Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $999 AT A GLANCE Plus Hand-crafted in France Remarkable resolution Super-easy to drive Minus 13-foot-long cable is unwieldy THE VERDICT The Focal Elear is a world-class design, right up with the best of Audeze, Beyerdynamic, Grado, Hifiman, and Sennheiser’s ’phones. I’m a lucky guy; I’ve heard almost all of the best headphones currently on the market, but I wasn’t expecting something in that league from Focal. I’ve enjoyed their Spirit headphones for years, but Elear is radically different from what came before. The most remarkable thing about the sound is that it’s not so easy to get a handle on. I will say this, though: Elear is hypertransparent, so you feel like you’re hearing a direct feed from the recording session. Build quality, design, and comfort are fully commensurate with the $999 price. They’re beautifully crafted and a pleasure to use.