Ultimate Acoustics: Focal Stellia & Arche
At this year’s New York edition of CanJam Global, Focal announced two innovative new members of their high-end headphone range: the closed-back Stellia headphone, and Arche; Focal’s very first (and strikingly confident) foray into the dedicated DAC and headphone amp component market.
Since the launch of the highly acclaimed Utopia headphone just under three years ago, Focal's range of high-end headphones has expanded and morphed to a comprehensive product line with versatile offerings across multiple price points.
Their newest headphone introduction: Stellia, is a closed-back model designed for portable and home listening and inherits many of its sibling's signature technologies, including a frameless 100% copper voice coil and M-Shaped dome drivers composed of pure Beryllium.
Finished in striking shades of Mocha and Cognac, Stellia features a new and exclusive speaker driver design capable of producing a wide frequency response, even at lower volume levels. Focal’s expertly designed soundproofing integrates vents to extend the driver’s frequency response, diffusers to break up standing waves and EVA foam positioned behind each speaker driver to absorb stray high frequencies. This unique synergy of drive and enclosure enables interference-free listening in any environment, and without compromising on detail across the audio spectrum.
As with the wider range of Focal high-end headphones, listening comfort is key. Stellia’s unique headband design includes a mechanical yoke originally developed for the Utopia model awhichd creates an ever-consistent curve across all head-sizes, large and small.
High-resilience memory foam has been selected for the Stellia’s ear-pad material, covered by genuine full-grain leather for a perfect balance of listening comfort and durability.
Something of a first for Focal and designed in partnership with French electronics manufacturer Micromega, Arche is an audiophile-grade digital-to-analogue converter and dedicated two channel headphone amplifier, rolled into one.
Arche employs a dual mono design from its source all the way to the 2x 1W Class A amplifier stage, ensuring almost non-existent crosstalk as well as low distortion. Two AK4490 converters have been specially selected and armed with dedicated Class A power supplies for clarity as well as consistency. The sizeable headroom offered by the Arche also ensures compatibility with a wide range of headphones and impedance ratings.
For even greater control of tonal balance, two unique amplifier profile types are built into the Arche and can be user-selected via the user interface: 'Voltage Mode' is a pure-current style amplifier with only 0.1 ohm impedance and major listening dynamics, while 'Hybrid Mode' switches to a standard integrated amplifier which features a higher impedance.
Designed to integrate effortlessly with Focal’s high-end headphone range, Arche features specific presets for each headphone model (Elegia, Stellia, Elear, Clear, Utopia, etc.) to ensure the listener yields the best result, every single time.
Focal’s newest family members Stellia & Arche will be hitting our shores in February/March and May 2019 respectively. For info on pricing and availability, or to become a Focal dealer, contact our Hi-Fi Sales Team.