French high-end audio brand Focal has updated its flagship Utopia headphones, simply called – Utopia.
The new Utopia (2022) headphones have undergone design updates both for aesthetic and acoustic reasons, while still featuring the technologies and premium materials befitting a flagship pair of open-back headphones.
We called the original Utopias, launched in 2016, "unarguably one of the finest headphones on the planet with a price tag to match" in our five-star review. Can Focal repeat that success?
Handcrafted in France, the new Utopia (2022) have a new look. The honeycomb styling brings it visually more in line with the rest of Focal's premium headphones range, which includes the open-back Clear Mg and closed-back Stellia and Celestee headphones. The honeycomb grille on the earcups isn't just for looks, says Focal: it aims to deliver a more open sound, with greater driver movement.
Inside the headphones' drivers is a new voice coil made of copper and aluminium – the former to improve reliability, the latter to make the headphones more lightweight. This metal alloy allows for "a rejuvenated sound signature, that lends even greater neutrality, with powerful bass and more mellow treble".
Additionally, the M-shaped drivers and new M-shaped grilles inside the earcups are designed to deliver even clearer and more accurate musical reproduction.
The rest of the headphones have remained largely similar to the previous model, with full-range Beryllium drivers that don't use any passive or active correction (from 5kHz to over 50kHz) to ensure pure audio signal reproduction, and an open-backed design that delivers on neutrality, dynamics and transparency.
The new Utopia headphones are reportedly more lightweight, but a look at the specs sheet shows both new and old models weigh 490g. The sliding yoke is forged from recycled carbon to help distribute the headphones' weight more evenly, which should make it even more comfortable to wear for long listening sessions. The genuine leather headband and leather-bound perforated memory foam earcups further add to the sense of luxury and comfort.
The Utopia headphones come in faux leather packaging and include a black fabric carry case, two cables in 3m and 1.5m lengths, and a handy 3.5mm to 6.35mm jack adapter.
Now, the price. The original Utopias were priced at £3250, but inevitably, the cost of everything has risen rapidly since then and every update Focal has made adds up. The new Utopia (2022) headphones, available from today, have an even higher price tag of £4699 / $4999 / AU$6999.
That price means they will be beyond the realms of most, but for those that can afford it, these Utopia headphones aim to be one of the best sounding open-back headphones you can get for the – outrageously expensive – money.
You'll need an appropriately capable source and partnering kit to hear the new Focal headphones at their best, and we did just that: you can read What Hi-Fi?'s Focal Utopia (2022) review right now.
Read our five-star Focal Stellia review
Read the original Focal Utopia review