A real eye-catcher
Just unpacking the box is a lot of fun. After opening the elegant black box, we see a black-dark red patterned transport box in the shape of a handbag with a handle. This contains the headphones, as well as an approximately 1.2 meter long headphone cable. This cable is attached to both sides of the headphones via mini-jack plugs and also ends at the other end on mini-jack, this time in stereo. An adapter to 6.3mm jack is included. The cable makes a very professional and durable impression with its robust metal plugs and is perfectly suited for connecting to mobile devices such as iPhone and iPad. With an impedance of 55 ohms, the headphones are also relatively low impedance and, therefore, bring sufficient volume to the consumer headphone amplifiers installed in each. However, the Clear MG can only fully show its strengths on professional headphone amplifiers, but in the studio the 1.2 meter cable length is then probably not enough. Therefore, a coiled cable is included, which seems a bit oversized with a length of 5 meters and a corresponding weight.
Well-built magnesium driver
Externally, these open-back headphones present themselves in an extremely sophisticated manner. The circumaural shells and the headband are covered with perforated microfiber in a chic dark red, which, when combined with the complementary leather, ensures high wearing comfort through pleasant pressure distribution and prevents sweating. The headband is made of aluminum and can be adjusted to fit the head size, and the headphones‘ total weight of 450 grams allows for long sessions. The Focal full-range speakers are completely open on the back and are equipped with „M“ domes made of Magnesium, a material that is rarely used in this form. The honeycomb structure on the outer sides of the shells is also striking, which is supposed to provide an open listening experience while avoiding interference. In terms of sound, Focal relies solely on the tuning and sound quality of these components and, consequently, does without subsequent corrections by DSP or other electronic components.
High resolution and enjoyable
And such a correction is not necessary, at least according to our subjective impression during the listening test. The sound is very natural, without distorting or beautifying overemphasis. The bass is clean and tight. The highs are unforced, high-resolution and detailed, transients are presented crisply and naturally. Poorly mixed recordings and noise like clipping is audibly revealed. Fortunately, the music enjoyment doesn‘t completely fall by the wayside because, despite the richness of detail, the Clear MG Professional doesn‘t completely dissect the music pieces, but reproduces them in their entirety. It is, therefore, simply fun to listen to already well-mixed tracks using these headphones and perhaps discover one or two subtleties that could be improved. The neutral tuning without overemphasizing basses and trebles, in combination with the open design of the headphones, also allows for longer listening without tiring the hearing too much - at times during the test, we even forgot that the music was played through the headphones and not the monitor speakers!
With the Clear MG Professional, Focal manages the balancing act between elegant hi-fi headphones and professional studio headphones. The workmanship and wearing comfort are excellent, and the very well-tuned headphones also leave nothing to be desired in terms of sound. The neutral sound image enables realistic assessment of mixes, regardless of genre. But the headphones also please discerning ears when listening to music. Particularly in less optimal acoustic conditions in the studio, the investment in headphones of this caliber can be well worth it, even if the purchase resistance is quite high.
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