Opening the cognac-colored, simulated leather clad slipcase containing the headphones, it’s immediately apparent that Focal has paid meticulous attention to every design detail. Inside is a zippered, two-tone brown fabric, hard-sided case that’s molded to perfectly protect the enclosed Stellia headphones. Also included in the slipcase is a smaller foldout box containing an exquisitely styled leather wallet containing product information. The wallet looks like it could be from Coach.
There are also two cable options included. The first cable, intended for use with mobile sources, is four feet in length and is fabric-covered in a cognac and mocha striped design. It has a 3.5-millimeter TRS jack and a threaded 3.5-millimeter to quarter-inch unbalanced female adapter plug, along with right (R) and left (L) 3.5-millimeter TRS plugs at the headphone end that plug into their corresponding ear cups. And with an impedance rating of 35 Ohms and sensitivity of 106dB SPL / 1mW at 1kHz, the Stellia is certainly easy to drive with virtually any mobile source.
The second similarly fashioned cable, intended for use with either desktop or full-size systems, is 10 feet in length with a 4-pin XLR plug at one end and the same right and left 3.5-millimeter TRS plugs at the headphone end. Given its 4-pin XLR plug, this cable seems to have been specifically designed to mate with Focal’s new Arche amplifier/DAC.
The headband and aluminum yoke assembly of the Stellia is the same mechanical design used in the flagship Utopia open-back model. Aesthetically, however, the look of the Stellia is unique in that the padded headband and memory foam ear cups are covered in cognac and mocha colored full-grain non-perforated leather that is buttery soft to the touch. The leather just exudes quality. The aluminum yoke assembly is anodized in a matte cognac finish, as are the ear cup housings. The headband/yoke assembly is of the slide-and-click adjustable variety. The patterned stainless-steel ear cup outer lattice cover design is finished in anodized mocha and holds in place cognac leather covering the back of the ear cup. The middle of the ear cup back cover sports the Focal logo, which cleverly camouflages a tuned vent specifically designed to dissipate the lowest frequencies without disruption. Focal says this solution enables excellent decompression, removing the resonances typically encountered with closed-back designs.
The full range drivers include a 40-millimeter M-shaped, pure Beryllium dome, the same geometry used in the Utopia. Beryllium was chosen for Focal’s closed-back flagship because of its extreme rigidity, light mass, and excellent damping characteristics. The drivers in total, though, are different from those of Utopia. They have a frameless 100-percent copper voice coil with new surround that is about 50 percent lighter to account for the closed-back design and properly control their displacement. There are computer designed, pyramid-shaped indentations on the inner wall of the ear cup behind the driver that act to diffuse the extra energy, avoiding any potential back wave distortion. There is also EVA foam located behind the driver to absorb part of the excess energy as well. The frequency response of the transducers is rated at an impressively wide 5 Hz to 40 kHz.
To prevent initial reflections of high frequencies of the ear pad, the inner part was designed to consist of a 50/50 mix of acoustic fabric covering the memory foam and leather. According to testing performed by Focal, this combination results in a very linear response of those upper frequencies.