Focal Utopia is the reference-level high-end open-back headphones that deliver high-fidelity sound like two tiny authentic loudspeakers over your ears. It uses Beryllium drive units which are used in some of the high-end Focal loudspeakers. Such premium-quality headphones will require the finest headphone amps to drive them, as they certainly deserve the very best.
In order to find the best matching headphone amplifier for the Focal Utopia, we must learn more about their sonic characteristics, how they sound. What are their strengths and if there are any limitations even for such high-end headphones like the Utopia. Once we have managed to gather all this necessary information, we will then list out the best headphone amps for Focal Utopia.
Sonic Characteristics and Strengths of Focal Utopia
One look at the Focal Utopia, you will know it is high-end. The exquisite aesthetic of the Utopia is beaming with elegance and style, this is a pair of headphones you will gladly wear outside and will have that sense of pride while wearing them. Still, it is an open-back design and so the sound will leak out, which can be a bummer for others and the environmental noises may interrupt your listening experience. The Focal Utopia looks and feels comfortable with its padded leather headband with length adjustment mechanism as well as ear cup rotation. At the ear cups, a 20mm thick memory foam cushion covered with lambskin leather and microfiber fabric. You can definitely wear the Utopia for a long period of time as long you don’t mind the 490g weight.
The comfortable Focal Utopia uses a 40mm pure Beryllium ‘M’ shape dome single drive unit for full-range sound reproduction, removing any need for crossovers. The impedance is 80 Ohms with a sensitivity of 104dB SPL / 1mW @ 1kHz, which does indicate the Focal Utopia headphones are not difficult to drive. Truly impressive frequency response of 5Hz-50kHz, this is great if you are listening to SACD or high-resolution audio files like DSD. It comes with a light and rigid carrying case which looks very well-made. Overall, the Focal Utopia looks luxurious, in terms of aesthetics, they are probably one of the best-looking headphones in the world.
The clarity of the Focal Utopia is absolutely incredible, every single detail can be heard and without a trace of overemphasis. The best thing is that it never sounded clinical as well, the music is still engaging, partly due to their high-resolution sound and gripping timings. The instruments are highly defined and textured, accurately presented on a spacious soundstage where each of them sounded distinctively unique and natural. The stereo imaging is immaculate, it is sharp and with surgical precision, no matter the volumes, the overall sound doesn’t muddle and everything is still clearly defined.
The control on the low-frequency produces tight, accurate, and textured bass. It is fast and agile, the bass comes and goes with precision. There is weight and punch, the Focal Utopia really digs deep into the bass extension. The insight and dynamic balance of the Utopia really make the overall music presentation sound exciting even when it is so faithful to the source. The emotional energy from the build-up and music peaks, just leave you wanting for more. Even with so much richness and details, you can’t really remain analytical as you just simply want to enjoy listening to your favorite songs.
The Focal Utopia sound stage is expansive, is as if you are enveloped within your own personal sound field. The Utopia headphones’ sonic performance and sound quality definitely set them at a level where only the very finest of headphones can get to. It is indeed worth it to get the top headphone amplifier you can get your hands on and partner them with your Focal Utopia. We have now understood how truly capable this pair of headphones are and what are their sonic characteristics, it is time to share with you the best headphone amp you should go for.
Focal Utopia Specifications
- Type: Circum-aural open-back headphones
- Driver: 1.6 inch (40mm) pure Beryllium ‘M’ shape dome
- Frequency response: 5Hz-50kHz
- Impedance: 80 Ohms
- Sensitivity: 104dB SPL / 1mW @ 1kHz
- THD: <0,2% @ 1kHz / 100dB SPL
- Weight: 490g (1.08lbs)
Best Headphone Amps to match with Focal Utopia
The Benchmark HPA4 is one of the best headphone amplifiers that you can go for and match with your Focal Utopia headphones. It features THX Achromatic Audio Amplifier, a technology that reduces distortion and produces clean sound quality. Benchmark HPA4 is able to drive the Focal Utopia with ease, as their THX-888 amplifier is capable of delivering high power and current. The HPA4 headphone amp aims to produce realistic sound quality and lifelike sonic performances, not to mention, the quiet background that gives you a clean-sounding music presentation. An audition with this amazing headphone amplifier will be well worth your time.
You will also need a high-quality DAC for your Focal Utopia and the Schiit Gungnir Multibit is one of the very finest currently on the market. The musicality of the Schiit Gungnir Multibit is astounding, it is smooth and insightful, with impressive scale. The sound reproduction is clean, very detailed, and rich, with plenty of attacks without been too forward-sounding. As a true balanced DAC which provides exceptional sonic performances and it is sanely priced, making the Schiit Gungnir Multibit worth every penny. You can also be assured of the build quality of Gungnir Multibit as it is designed and built in California.
The Schiit Mjolnir 2 is another magnificent headphone amplifier that you can choose to partner with your Focal Utopia headphones. The Schiit Mjolnir 2 is also very well match with the Schiit Gungnir Multibit, producing impeccable sound quality that engages you no matter what’s your favorite tunes or music genre. The soundstage is expansive and the musicality is simply amazing. The linear integral solid-state tubes (LISST) provides the user with incredible versatility. The Schiit Mjolnir 2 is a powerful amp as well, so you will be assured it can easily drive your Focal Utopia.
Simaudio 430HA is a high-end reference headphone amplifier, extremely powerful, and has exceptional sonic performance. The accuracy and clarity are incredible as well, you will hear every nuance of the sound made by various distinct instruments. The bass reproduction has the impact and richness as well, without overwhelming the rest of the frequency, letting the Simaudio 430HA deliver a cohesive and faithful music presentation. The Simaudio 430HA precision and its impeccable timing make the listening experience very engaging, feeling the emotional rush in every song. Should really have a listen and see if you like what you hear from your Focal Utopia when partnering with the Simaudio 430HA headphone amp.
Violectric HPA V281 is another high-end headphone amp that you may want to consider partnering with your Focal Utopia cans. The HPA V281 has the power to drive almost any headphones including the Focal Utopia, delivering transparent and natural sound reproduction. Able to bring out the best sound quality from your headphones with its neutral-sounding characteristic. The headphone amp digs out plenty of details and produces them out with clarity but never sounding harsh. The Violectric HPA V281 is definitely one of the best headphone amps to drive your Focal Utopia, should check them out.
There are other amazing digital to analog audio converters which you may be interested in, one of them will be the Benchmark DAC3B. It is a DAC that can be used for professional applications and is well match for the Benchmark HPA4. The DAC3B has loads of sonic features such as the 2-channel Digital to Analog converter using the latest ESS Technologies ES9028PRO, etc. Schitt Yggdrasil is another reference level DAC which have garnered praises and awards throughout the years, a worthy DAC to partner with your Focal Utopia. It has class-leading control over the music delivery, handling the music transients with confidence and precision.
To Sum It Up
These are some of the very best headphone amplifiers and are a suitable match for your Focal Utopia headphones. You should check them out and have a listen, see if you like what you hear. Using some of them on this list as side-by-side comparisons with other potential headphone amps will be an ideal choice as well since the sound quality are all top-notch. If you are also getting an external DAC, it is best to audition them together with your selected headphone amp and Focal Utopia headphones.