Focal Celestee

Closed-Back Over-Ear Headphones w/ On-the-Go Wired Connection

Focal Item # FCELESTEE

Focal Celestee

Closed-Back Over-Ear Headphones w/ On-the-Go Wired Connection

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Celestee is a high-end closed-back headphone blending elegant style with remarkable performance. 

Made in France, Celestee incorporates the level of craftsmanship normally found in Focal's most expensive headphones to produce outstanding tonal balance.

Focal's full-range 40mm Aluminium/Magnesium ‘M’-shaped speaker drivers deliver incredible bass, precise mids, and detailed high-frequency extension while special acoustic treatment within the earcups dampen resonance for a well-balanced soundstage that will delight any music lover's ears.

High Notes

Luxurious Navy Blue, Soft Copper Styling

Celestee is a re-tuned closed-back design featuring Navy Blue leather-covered headband and ear pads with Soft Copper detailing for a refined & sophisticated look.

High-Performance Driver by Focal

Focal's full-range speaker driver delivers deep bass as low as 5Hz with a top-end extension that sings to the 23kHz stratosphere.

Anti-Resonant Leather Earpads

Focal paid extra-special attention to the ear pads on Celestee. The new leather-covered cushions have a semi-aniline finish that stops resonance & stays cool against the skin.

Company & Product Overview

Focal, the luxury audio brand from Saint-Étienne, France, and the maker of world-class loudspeakers and the best audiophile headphones has released a new closed-back over-ear headphone for music lovers who crave high-end audio served on-the-go. Following in the footsteps of Focal’s very first full-sized closed-back headphone, Celestee is a re-tuned design featuring high-quality Navy Blue leather on the headband and ear pads with Soft Copper details that decorate the earcups, and Focal’s special 40mm 'M'-shaped Aluminium/Magnesium driver. Needless to say, we were excited to be one of the first to receive it and review the newest closed-back model from Focal ahead of the official release.  We will talk about Celestee throughout this review —  but, bear in mind — some of the performance and sound profile is the evolution of Focal’s first closed-back headphone ever, and much of the build-quality and aesthetics trickle down from their most expensive closed-back model — Focal Stellia. If you are considering any of the latest closed-back headphones from Focal, this review is for you.

<Focial Celestee headphones dangle

Packaging, Design & Build Quality

At Audio Advice, we love it when superior craftsmanship and technology from more expensive products trickle down into less expensive gear. Weighing just under a pound, Celestee is hand-built from fine premium materials in the same Burgundy, France-based facility as Focal’s most expensive high-end open-back design — Focal Utopia. Focal uses the same headband, yoke, and ear cups in each model. The differences are mainly the dome material, the ear cushions, and the colors.

In terms of looks, Celestee features navy blue finishes on the earpads, headband, yoke, and ear pads with soft copper details decorating the speaker driver grills, cable connectors, and rings. The stainless steel grills on the leather-covered ear cups are reminiscent of the Focal Stellia closed-back headphone, which sells for around $2,000 more than the Celestee. 

A venting port with the Focal logo is placed on the outside of the ear cups, which is also the same technology that trickles down from the Stellia. Overall, Celestee is a sophisticated-looking headphone with a build-quality comparable to higher-end headphones costing substantially more. 

Similar to all of the models in Focal’s lineup, a premium headphone case is bundled with Celestee. A new added bonus not yet seen on the other models is the carrying handle on top of the case, and this makes it really easy to tow it around. It’s a rigid woven-cloth case that matches Celestee’s navy blue and soft copper aesthetics and it does a good job protecting your investment with plenty of room to accommodate all included accessories. Inside the case, a 3.5mm headphone cable and a ¼-inch adapter are included. 

For more information on what to look for when shopping for the right headphone, be sure to check out our Headphones and Headsets Buyer's Guide.

Focal Celestee case


Celestee weighs just over 15 ounces, so while the premium build-quality is slightly heavier than some less expensive on-the-go options, it remains comfortable even after extended listening sessions. We think this feature alone makes Celestee a great choice for listening on-the-go.

The aluminum yoke provides lightweight, strong, but flexible support that molds to face shape and reduces pressure points. Additionally, the leather-covered headband has a soft layer of microfiber that lays on top of the head for added comfort and support. After about 15 minutes, pressure on top of the head was evenly distributed around the ears, creating a nice “snug” fit that stayed secure on our heads when on-the-move.

Focal paid extra special attention to the earpads on Celestee. The new leather-covered cushions on the ear pads are pigmented with a semi-aniline finish which means they are only slightly pigmented with a very fine layer of navy blue color. This allows the natural leather grains and the hair pores to remain unconcealed by pigmentation, making the earpads cool against the skin for extended periods and creating a tighter seal, preventing sound from leaking out. 

Focal Celestee earpad

These newly designed cushions also cover plenty of surface area around the ears. Having slightly larger earcups generally provides more room in the chamber for the ears to stay cool, and Focal extends this design principle across their entire line of high-end headphones. For less than $1,000, Focal goes the extra mile by adding special acoustic treatments within the ear cups to enhance the anti-resonance properties further so the music always stays locked in with a great sealing condition and better sound isolation. 

Overall, we were really impressed with how well Celestee’s strong but lightweight materials make the smart balance between a secure fitting headphone that stays on your head and a level of comfort that remains comfortable after long listening sessions and while on-the-go.

Focal Celestee headphones front

Features & Technology

Focal’s high-end headphones all share some pretty impressive features and technology. Across the board, their enclosures are identical in shape and size and feature a design that angles the driver inside the ear cup to better direct sound into the user’s ears. According to Focal, angling the drivers optimizes the space between the speakers and the wearer's ears so that you get a wider soundstage while also maintaining “depth” in the stereo image. 

For Celestee, Focal uses a 40mm 'M'-shaped Aluminium/Magnesium dome full-range speaker driver to direct clear sound towards the ear canal. This driver material is not as premium as the Beryllium drivers Focal is famous for in it’s most luxurious headphones for home use — however if you are wanting the Focal sound-profile for use on-the-go or even at home, we think Celestee will be a fantastic choice for less than $1,000.

Focal Celestee Driver

Based somewhat on the Focal Elegia regarding the driver and dome materials, Celestee has been further refined and re-tuned with more emphasis on the lower-end frequencies, a popular request by many Elegia owners. In Celestee, the high-performance dynamic driver can present a full range of frequencies from 5Hz to 23kHz with a maximum sound pressure level of 105dB for deeper bass extension, and a more precise dynamic-range in the mid to high frequencies.

Additionally, the new semi-aniline leather cushions have been designed specifically for the Celestee to enhance the new tuning while still providing the utmost comfort and improved noise isolation. Inside the ear cup, Focal used the ‘M’-Shaped dome technology from the Focal Stellia closed-back headphone to dampen and absorb pressure created when standing back waves reflect back to the driver cone. 

Without an effective damping and ventilation system, standing back waves will disrupt the soundstage and tonal balance of closed-back headphones. Focal developed a venting system to release the energy within the ear cup while still maintaining the ability to isolate outside noises from entering into the headphone. The Focal logo on the outside of the ear cup is where you’ll find their innovative venting port, and this is what you’ll also find on the Focal Stellia closed-back headphone. 

Focal Celestee female wearing the headphones


Unlike most high-end headphone models by Focal, you can expect great sound just by connecting Celestee with a laptop or smartphone. Since Celestee has a lower impedance of 35 Ohms, you don’t need an external DAC/Headphone amp to drive it. So, right out of the box, Celestee is ultra-convenient for use with just about any portable audio player — but, as with all headphones capable of revealing the fine details of music, they come even more alive when you use a better DAC.

After breaking in the Celestee for about a week, we used the headphone jack on a laptop and then an iPhone to stream hi-res audio using Qobuz. We listened to a lot of different genres of music in a variety of scenarios like riding in the car, crossing the street, and working in a coffee shop. For a closed-back headphone, we were immediately impressed with the Celestee’s open soundstage, the depth in the stereo field, and the resolute bass. 

Focal Celestee female wearing headphones
Once we connected up Celestee with a Chord Mojo, the hidden dynamics across the entire range of frequencies came alive with a wider sense of presentation that could even be compared to some open-back headphones — but without the noise-leaking issues associated with open-back designs. 

Pairing this headphone with a proper DAC/Headphone amp allows Celestee to reproduce deep bass as low as 5Hz with the resolution the human body can actually feel. With an impressive high-frequency range of 23kHz, Celestee has enough mid-range and top-end extension to sing to the stratosphere.

The Who’s “Eminence Front,” recorded in 1982 for their studio album, “It’s Hard.” is a great track to experience Celestee’s natural presentation of details, deep resolute bass extension, and open airy soundstage. 

Pete Townshend’s funky guitar panned hard left in the stereo field came alive with a rhythm and pacing that made us tap our feet along to the rhythm. It’s also a great recording to experience Celestee’s deep 5Hz bottom-end weight. 

At about 2:35, the bass guitar slid into the center of the soundstage with a tuneful sense of timing that made working in a coffee shop fun and energizing. The low-end energy from the bass guitar and the kick drum powered and inspired us throughout the workday with a tuneful sense of timing that was very easy to get lost in. 

For a portable headphone, Celestee delivers serious bass extension. Unlike many wireless headphones, Celestee highlights all of the instruments in the mix with natural clarity and impressive detail without drowning out any of the mid to high frequencies.

Focal Celestee Males wearing headphones around neck

Overall Recommendation

After more than a week of listening with Celestee, we were seriously impressed with this new high-end closed-back headphone. The premium craftsmanship you get at this price-point trickles down from the more expensive models in their high-end line of audiophile headphones. At just under $1,000, we think the value you get with Celestee is just incredible. 

If you want a top-of-the-line closed-back headphone with great sound quality that you can use with any portable music player on-the-go or at home, and you’ve got the money for a really cool-looking pair, Focal Celestee is the best sub-$1,000 option out there. 

On the other hand, if you want even more audiophile-grade performance from a closed-back design with the widest dynamic range and frequency response possible, go for the Focal Stellia. For

, the premium Beryllium drivers in this closed-back headphone trickle down from Focal’s flagship open-back design to deliver the best performance for your hi-res digital audio in a closed-back headphone, available.

If you're looking for great open-back headphones to use at home, take a look at the Focal Clear. Either way, you’ll be really happy you made the choice with a headphone from Focal

With all the portable headphones popping up with wireless and active noise-canceling features, it’s getting increasingly more difficult knowing how to find the right one. If you need help knowing what to look for when shopping for great headphones, be sure to check out our Headphones and Headsets Buyer's Guide

We hope you’ve enjoyed this review, but if you have any questions about the new Focal Celestee, feel free to give us a call, chat with one of our experts at, or stop into one of our Raleigh or Charlotte North Carolina showrooms. We’ll be happy to help you find the perfect pair of headphones for your music or that special music lover in your life.

Details & Specs

Type - Circum-aural closed-back headphones

Impedance - 35 Ohms

Sensitivity - 105dB SPL / 1mW @ 1 kHz

THD - 0,1% @ 1kHz / 100dB SPL

Frequency Response - 5Hz – 23kHz

Speaker Driver - 1 5/8" Aluminium/Magnesium "M" shape dome

Weight - 0.95lbs (430g)

Cables Supplied - 1 x 4ft. (1.2m) OFC 24 AWG cable with 1/8"(3.5mm) unbalanced TRS Jack connector, 1 x jack adapter,1/8" (3.5mm) point socket, 1/4" (6.35mm) point plug.

Hard-shell carry case provided 

More Information
UPC 3544054727164
Ear Coupling Over-Ear
Transducer Type Dynamic
Connection Type 3.5mm unbalanced TRS Jack connector
Earpad Material Leather
Sensitivity 105dB SPL / 1 mW @ 1 kHz
Impedance 35 Ohms
Frequency Response 5Hz – 23kHz
Cable Length 4 Feet
Cable Type Standard Audio Cable
Carrying Case Lightweight Rigid Carrying case
Customer Reviews
97% 4.9 / 5 - 2 reviews
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