The Focal Celestee are premium closed-back audiophile headphones. These sleek navy and copper headphones replace the discontinued Focal Elegia. They have a decently neutral sound profile with a smooth mid-range, so vocals and lead instruments are clear, present, and accurate. Thanks to their well-built design, they're also comfortable for long listening sessions. Their closed-back design can help block out some ambient noise, although they won't isolate you from the rumble of bus or plane engines. However, they struggle to reproduce low-bass, and they have a somewhat dark treble.
The Focal Celestee are decent for neutral sound. They have a smooth, warm sound profile. While they lack a thumpy low-bass, their mid-range is exceptionally neutral, ensuring that vocals and lead instruments are present, detailed, and clear. However, their treble is underemphasized, so voices sound veiled while sibilants like S and T sounds are dark. Since they have a closed-back design, their passive soundstage is perceived as somewhat small and as coming from inside your head rather than from out in front of you.
The Focal Celestee are poor for commute and travel. They have a bulky design, making them tricky to take with you on the go, lack any controls, and don't block out the low rumbles of bus or plane engines, which can be annoying. On the upside, they come with a great carrying case to help protect them. They also have a very comfortable and well-built design.
The Focal Celestee are disappointing for sports and fitness. They're bulky, have mediocre stability, and their wired design can accidentally snag on something, pulling them off your head. Their ear cups can also trap heat, which could make you sweat more than normal, and although we don't currently test for it, they don't have an IP rating for water resistance. On the upside, they're very comfortable and well-built.
The Focal Celestee are inadequate for office use. They leak some audio at high volumes, which may annoy others around you. They also don't support multi-device pairing and lack a microphone, so you won't be able to take calls at work. However, although they're a bit bulky, their fit is very comfortable. They can passively block out office chatter around you.
The Focal Celestee are wired headphones and can't be used wirelessly.
The Focal Celestee are passable for wired gaming. They don't have a microphone, so you won't be able to chat with your teammates, but their 1/8" TRS cable offers a low latency gaming experience.
The Focal Celestee don't have a microphone, so you won't be able to take calls.
The Focal Celestee have a very similar design language to other headphones in this manufacturer's lineup. They have an elegant metal honeycomb grille with Focal's logo in the center. Overall, their navy color scheme with copper accents lends them a sleek and refined look. However, they only come in this color.
The Focal Celestee are very comfortable. Like the Focal Clear Mg, they have a well-padded design with large and deep ear cups. However, they're quite heavy and bulky due to their metal design.
These headphones have mediocre breathability. Like the Focal Elegia, they trap in some heat and don't really allow air to circulate. While you shouldn't sweat more than usual if you're wearing them while listening to audio at your desk, they can make your ears warm if you're wearing them during physical activity.
These headphones aren't very portable. They have a bulky design and don't fold into a more compact form. Their ear cups also can't swivel to lay flat. Luckily, they come with a sturdy carrying case to help protect them when you're on the move.
The Focal Celesetee have an outstanding build quality. They're mostly metal with few moving parts, making them feel very high-end and sturdy. The semi-aniline leather padding is soft, while there's microfibre lining inside the ear cups. While not designed for sports, and we don't currently test for it, they lack an IP rating for dust and water resistance.
These headphones have mediocre stability. They're not designed for sports or large movements, so they can easily fall off your head. However, if you're wearing them during casual listening sessions, you shouldn't experience any issues with them moving around.
The Focal Celestee have a smooth, warm sound profile. They have a neutral mid-range, so vocals and lead instruments sound clear, accurate, and detailed. However, they lack a bit of low bass, and their treble is a bit dark.
These headphones have an acceptable frequency response consistency. They're prone to inconsistencies in bass and treble delivery, and you may notice a drop in bass if you have thick hair or glasses. It's important to take the time to adjust their fit, seal, and positioning each time you use them to get a more consistent sound.
The Focal Celestee have good bass accuracy. It's underemphasized across the range, so your mixes lack thump and punch. However, their high bass is only slightly underemphasized, which shouldn't be too noticeable. As a result, vocals and lead instruments lack a touch of warmth. However, their bass delivery can vary due to fit, seal, and positioning. This bass accuracy performance represents the average response, and your experience may vary.
The Focal Celestee have outstanding mid accuracy. The range is extremely flat and neutral, so vocals and lead instruments are present, detailed, and clear in your mixes.
These headphones have okay treble accuracy. It's underemphasized across the range, so vocals and lead instruments are veiled while sibilants like cymbals are dark and dull. Note that their treble delivery is sensitive to fit and positioning. This treble accuracy performance represents the average response, and your experience may vary.
The Focal Celestee have good peaks and dips performance. There's a small dip in the low-bass, which lessens their thump and rumble, while a small peak in the high-bass to low-mid can make mixes a touch muddy. A couple of peaks in the high-mid and low-treble makes vocals and lead instruments honky and harsh. A dip in the low-treble can also hurt their comprehensibility, while another peak in the mid-treble turns sibilants like S and T sounds piercing.
The Focal Celestee have very good imaging. There are a few spikes in the weighted group delay's bass response, which can result in a slightly loose bass. However, the rest of the response is below the audibility threshold, resulting in transparent treble reproduction. The left and right divers of our unit are also well-matched in phase, frequency, amplitude response. This is important for the proper placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo field. While there's a peak in the phase response in the high-treble, it's not audible when listening to music or content. However, these results are only valid for our unit, and yours may perform differently.
The Focal Celestee have a poor passive soundstage, which is expected from closed-back headphones. Their soundstage is perceived as small, closed-off, and as if coming from inside your head, rather than as if coming from speakers placed around you.
The weighted harmonic distortion performance is good. There are a few peaks, particularly in the low-bass and a couple in the treble range at a moderate volume. However, it can be very hard to hear with real-life content. That said, most frequencies fall under acceptable limits, which results in clean and pure audio reproduction.
These are the settings used to test these headphones, and our results are only valid when used in this configuration.
The noise isolation performance of these headphones is disappointing. They don't block out any bass-range noise like the rumble of bus or plane engines. They do a better job of reducing office chatter and the high-pitched hum of an AC unit, though.
The Focal Celestee have an acceptable leakage performance. Their leakage is concentrated in the mid to treble range, which can sound somewhat full. If you're listening to audio at high volumes, those around you may be able to hear it.
The Focal Celestee come with an L/R 1/8" TRS cable. They also come with a 1/4" adapter that you can screw on.
These headphones are only compatible with PCs when using their analog cable. Since they don't have a mic, you can only receive audio.
The Focal Celestee can only receive audio via an analog connection on PS4 and PS5.
The Focal Celestee are audio-only compatible with the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles via analog.
The Focal Celestee come in one color variant: 'Navy'. If you come across another variant of these headphones, please let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.
The Focal Celestee are high-end audiophile headphones that look similar to other over-ears in this manufacturer's lineup. Just like the Focal Elegia, they have a closed-back design that helps them block out a bit more background noise than audiophile headphones with an open-back enclosure like the HiFiMan Arya. They also have a smooth, warm sound profile with a neutral mid-range, although they can't reproduce as much bass as the Focal Stellia.
The Focal Celestee are the next generation of closed-back headphones in Focal's line-up, and they replace the discontinued Focal Elegia. Both headphones offer very similar overall performances and share the same comfortable and high-end design. However, the Celestee have a better passive soundstage performance while the Elegia can reproduce more low-bass.
The Focal Clear Mg are open-back headphones, while the Focal Celestee have a closed-back design. The Clear Mg can reproduce bass more accurately, and their passive soundstage is more spacious, open, and large, which can help immerse you in your audio. However, the Celestee are better at isolating noise around you and leak less audio.
The Focal Stellia and the Focal Celestee are similar closed-back audiophile headphones, but the Stellia have a slight edge. Unlike the Celestee, which use aluminum and magnesium alloy drivers, the Stellia's drivers are beryllium. They're able to reproduce bass more accurately, and their treble is more neutral. However, both headphones are very comfortable and have a high-end build.
The HiFiMan Sundara 2020 are better headphones for neutral sound than the Focal Celestee. While both headphones are comfortable, the HiFiMan are open-back, planar magnetic headphones. They have more consistent audio reproduction, a more accurate treble response, and a larger, more spacious passive soundstage. However, the Focal Celestee are closed-back headphones with a dynamic transducer and a significantly better build quality.
The Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO are better closed-back headphones for neutral sound than the Focal Celestee. The Beyerdynamic have a more neutral default sound profile, a significantly better passive soundstage performance, and are somewhat less prone to inconsistencies in their audio delivery. However, the Focal have a significantly better build quality that reflects their high-end materials, and they're more comfortable.