Picture Sunday: Focal Utopia

Focal Utopia

This week’s picture Sunday features the Focal Utopia reference Headphone. To check out all previous Picture Sunday Posts click HERE.


Ah oui, l’Utopia est finalement là. Jeez, that took like forever and the best part is it didn’t even come from Focal. Honestly, Focal has been awful to deal with. Lots of promises were made from their end but not once did they get back to me or send the gear. If the Utopia wasn’t this excellent sounding… Well, a big thank you goes out to BELHIFI for letting me borrow the Utopia for a few weeks. Ok, now that that’s out of my system, let’s look at this magnificent headphone.

First of all, you need about $4000/€4000 to buy one of these sets but I’ve got to be honest, they sound incredibly good. And not only do they sound sublime, they look incredibly sexy too. While the build quality certainly is good, I do am surprised by how much this headphone makes crackling noises when adjusting it, or even when putting it on your head.

What you do need to know should you be interested in buying on of these, is that it doesn’t sound good on every single source and amp. In example it didn’t do much for me straight from the Box Design Head Box DS2 B (sorry) but it did keep me up till 3AM when hooked up to the Auris Audio HA2-SE tube amp running on full Mullard tubes.

With that amp the resolution, dynamics and sound stage is one of the, if not the best I have ever heard from a dynamic driver. The bass simply is to die for with very good impact, depth and layering. But that same bass – and the lack of it – is what makes me not like the Head Box DS2 B. The mids, again, have wonderful resolution, depth and precision and all that with the absolute best mix of being analytical and musical. Treble is detailed, extended and energetic and it’s every bit as good as the mids section or the bass. Nothing in this headphone disappoints me and that doesn’t happen very often.

So do I want this headphone? Yes. Am I willing to spend $4K on it? That’s a tough question as the Elear just has a way better price/quality ratio. Then again, my wife does have a lot of shoes I could sell. Would she miss a couple of Louboutins?

4.9/5 - (147 votes)

Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.


  • Reply January 5, 2021

    Glenn Shaikun

    Questions: How were the stock tubes? I have new Utopias and a Lyr 3/Multibit or Antique Sound Labs all tubes. The Lyr is desktop with HD560’s, and a very happy combo indeed.
    This is for the endgame set up. So far the Utopias not great with the Lyr, actually bit better on my old Antique Sound Labs tube headamp. Still burning in the Utopia’s, say 75 hours in, will run a whole lot more. Also, approx how much should I plan on spending if I go for Mullards? Thanks!

    • Reply January 8, 2021


      I bought, and in the end sold the Utopia headphone. I couldn’t get to listening to it for longer periods and never used it, so I decided to let it go.

  • Reply July 10, 2023


    Still have the original Utopias after five years. I have improved every bit of my headphone set up but the Utopias. They sound wonderful with the Felik’s Envy.

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