Focal Clear MG Professional by Glenn Bucci
The Focal Clear Professional open back headphones came out in 2017. We see now in about 4 years they updated them with the new Clear MG Professional. The the sound is very close to the original Clear's which had received high praise by many.
The only difference between Clear MG's and Clear MG Pro version is the color and what is offered in the box with the cables.
The new MG's has a 40-mm magnesium (Mg) M-dome driver replaced Clear’s original 40-mm aluminum/magnesium driver. They are a lighter driver which helps add a little more cohesion to the music as well as slightly better dynamics.
Construction of the headphones is top notch. The microfiber pads are very comfortable and your ears won't sweat as much as you might on other headphones with some materials being used. Packaging offers a fancy box, a 2nd pair of ear pads, a coil and straight cables. They do weigh more than some other headphones but are still comfortable.
So how do the headphones sound? Very balanced. You hear a solid strong bass, great mid's and high's that are very even. I personally would prefer if there was a tad more treble response from these headphones. On my NAD preamp, I put the treble to +1 or 2 db to hear the cymbals and snare sound a little more open. With not having strong high's like the Beyerdynamic 1990's or Sennheiser 880's, the sound stage is not a big compared to the other two. While the others have a bigger sound stage including a more open top end, the mid's on those headphones are thinner than the Clear MG's. You also hear more sss when people sing with them. When I hear drum toms on the Clear's from Neil Pert, they are solid and have a good presence. On the 1990's and 880's they have a lighter sound and they are not as full sounding. The Sennheiser 660s actually sound similar in character to the Focal Clear MG's with the exception that the Clear's offer a little more detail information including the ability to hear the reverb tails better.
Audiophile fans and those who work in a studio who want headphones they are even and provide good detail, the Clear MG's are a great option. Is the higher cost for these headphones worth it? Being able to have monthly low payments interest free from several on line music stores does make it easier to work with, but $1,500 for headphones is a lot of money. But once you compare them to other headphones, its hard to go back to your older less expensive headphones. All in all the Focal Clear MG Professional headphones are a joy to hear music through. If you want a solid sound, with music more in your head, these headphones are a great option. Again the one thing I don't love but like is the treble response. Some reviewers say these headphones are warmer sounding due to the high end not being enhanced.
If you want a larger sound stage, lighter headphones, more treble response so you can hear details and separate out the instruments more, the Sennheiser 800's are the way to go. If you don't want to spend as much money for the 800's but want something similar with treble presence and sound stage, go for the 1990's. If you want something similar in character as the Focal Clear MG's but less money, go for the Sennheiser 650 or 660's. These lower cost headphones are roughly 85% as good.