Focal Celestee Over Ear Headphone Review & Comments

fordster

Member
Nice review (as usual), thanks Ed.

I find these headphones to be a bit of a dilemma too. I’ll likely spend most of my time working from home even if life returns to ”normal” so would I have a place for these? I’d definitely stick to my HD800S for serious listening and if I’m working I’m not really paying that much attention to the music that I’d really need something like this. I guess for people commuting who want high quality music then they’d be a good choice. I’d likely just use either in ears to be less conspicuous or else use my B&O bluetooth over ears.
 

spinaltap

Distinguished Member
I‘ve owned the Celestee for the past month or so. While they are very comfortable to wear for extended use (and I personally love their colour), I’m bitterly disappointed by their performance.

Despite 50+ hours of running in, they sound no better via my Meridian Prime/PSU Headphone/DAC than via my 1st generation iPhoneSE. This is, despite my Meridian Prime being fed Tidal/MQA sources - either directly from my Intel NUC/Roon Rock via USB, or via my Meridian 218 via VanDenHul D103III interconnects. Switching sources, the Celestee performance is no better when listening to either my Meridian 506.2 CD Player, nor when listening to FM on my Meridian 504 Tuner.

Celestee performance is ‘neutral’ at best, with no discernible Bass response nor Bass extension that I can hear. Upper frequencies are not as crystal clear nor as sparkling that would be expected for headphones at this price point. The Celestee definitely does not deliver an ‘audiophile’ performance.

Yes, I agree that the supplied 1.2 metre cable is far too short - and is only suitable for direct connection to my iPhone. Other, more expensive, Focal Headphones are supplied with 1.2 metres and 3 metres long cables. If you want to buy the longer 3 metres long (Focal Clear) cable for Celestee it’s an additional £199.

Subsequently, I do not recommend the Focal Celestee.
 
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crabby09

Active Member
Kudos on using the term "imponderable" in the review. :) When dropping 4 digits on a set of headphones I really don't want to be compromising, but I very much like the look of these!
 

bogart99

Well-known Member
I think we have the usual reason for a short cable. If any longer would not fit in the carry case. So I think one would have to factor in a fair few quid to get a longer one to avoid connectors.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
I think we have the usual reason for a short cable. If any longer would not fit in the carry case. So I think one would have to factor in a fair few quid to get a longer one to avoid connectors.

That's often true but not here; the case is the same size as the Clear MG one and it can accommodate both the short lead and the longer balanced one (which, if you fancy, you can connect to the Celestee).
 

BobBob21

Well-known Member
I'm surprised at the comment of monochrome menswear, which I believe you're really meaning black and white. The most common suit colour in the UK is navy and clearly blue jeans also still dominate (for those pealing themselves out of their joggers/loungewear again). Similarly most aren't monochrome as they pair the navy suit with white shirts and black shoes etc.

I'm never going to spend £999 on headphones but the navy of these wouldn't put me off... the copper flashes are more of a concern but think they are just within tolerance
 

bogart99

Well-known Member
That's often true but not here; the case is the same size as the Clear MG one and it can accommodate both the short lead and the longer balanced one (which, if you fancy, you can connect to the Celestee).
Interesting the Clear MG comes with two cables so discounting a few quid for the extra long one the price of these headphones is possibly approaching parity.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
Guys, did you manage to compare the Celestee with the Elegia and the Radiance?

I tested the Elegia when it was released but there wasn't a pair on hand for comparison. The Celestee is very much an evolution of the Elegia- specs are almost identical, it's just the resonance control that has been beefed up. If you own Elegia, there's no point changing but the Celestee is a useful step forward. I've not listened to the Radiance though.
 

camcroft

Active Member

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