Closed back headphones and Focal

Hey folks, I am beginning to research closed back headphones. My primary use will be when family is still awake and sharing space so that speakers are off limits while the sound infiltration from my open backs is Less pleasurable .  Secondarily, if I find a good sounding set of cans that do well at passive isolation, I might consider them over ANC for travel. 
I also have an opportunity for a tremendous deal on the Focal Stellia. Does anyone have experience with them or suggestions for other closed back headphones?
I like Blutooth IEM's' for travel. With the right ear tips the noise blocking is considerable.

I'm trying to understand something. You think others can hear your cans in the morning, or you want to keep morning sounds out of your music?
I haven't been successful in finding closed back headphones I really liked that much.

I've had good luck with open back, and IEMs, and found the ESS hybrid closed-back headphones decent compromises, but really little I felt worth high end dollars. Might want to look into the Audio Technica and Sony line too.
I have not heard the Stellia, but own the Focal Elex and have heard the Utopia.  The Elex are one of my favorites, but are not closed back. 

Of the closed back headphones I own, the Sony MDR-Z1R are my favorites.  They sound almost as good as my LCD-4 and are super comfortable.  The LCD-XC is also a very nice closed back headphone, but they are pretty heavy.  

Obviously the best thing you can do is go audition some different headphones, but I realize that's not always easy.  Check out and for lots of reviews.
Well I can audition but there are things that become clearer after someone has lived with them for a while. I spent a long time deciding on my current open can, between a Grado I loved but found uncomfortable, and some super comfortable HD660s—so I saved 700 and use them a good bit, and enjoy their accuracy but the “veiling” that they had compared to the Grados remains a weak point of the phones. 
I am hoping to avoid a similar dilemma. That’s part of the back story. 
Being used to the Grado 1000's, I never liked any closed-backed phones until I tried the Oppo.  I have the PM-3s and they are really nice IMO.  They're not made anymore, but I do see them, as well as PM-2's and PM-1's up for sale.  Some are asking very high prices, but not all.  
I’ve never heard Fostex. Not sure if anyone in my town (Portland) carries them. Has anyone had these for any length of time? I haven’t had good luck with “protein leather” lasting a long time. Also, how is the build quality? The images on line don’t impress. 
And how isolating are they? That was one thing holding me back on the Focal Stellias. Not so good on passive isolation. 

I have a pair of fostex mass drop Purple Hearts which is a 900 clone. I also have sennheiser hd800 hifiman Arya and focal elaer cans, all open back. The fostex are excellent and a fun listen because bass response from those cans is stellar and sound isolation is also very good. The senn 800,s and Arya are more resolving and have a wider soundstage as most open backs do but the fostex are great. I changed the ear pads on my fostex and have been using them pretty hard for a couple of years they held up really well until I inadvertently stepped on them and broke a plastic hanger for one ear cup. The part is on order so that was my fault. I,ve listened to the Sony,s and they are nice but a lot more $ than fostex. For noise cancelling closed back Bluetooth cans I have a pair of sennheiser . Very nice, 30 hour run time, super comfy and that wonderful sennheiser sound. Hope that give u a little insight.  Happy can hunting. Todd
If you're in Portland, Echo Audio has a pretty good selection of headphones and they often have used Audeze headphones at great prices.  They currently have a pair of LCD-X (not closed back however).  They also have a pair of AKG812's, which are also not closed back, but very nice cans.  They are very detailed and neutral, a different sound signature from the Focals and very comfortable.
Thanks Big Greg. Yup, I have listened at Echo. Currently I need closed backs because my listening room is multipurpose. Living with other people ;) 
@switzer145 Check out the thread “Anyone interested in nearly perfection on a headphone a a great price??” here from a few days ago also in the Headphones category — the OP has nice things to say about them and references several other headphones he’s compared them to. 
I have the Stellia over here.
It's my first closed back.

I'm coming from HiFiman Arya.
I still have the Arya.
I'll post impressions eventually...
I'm very interested too.   I have Arya's (love them) and thinking of getting a pair of Focal closed (Celestee) just for variety.  
I have the Audeze LCD-XC, which are great (but yes, they're heavy) and I like them for private listening. They're not as transparent as my Stax 009 phones. The other choice that has been mentioned, and I agree with, are the Fostex 900s. I heard them at a stereo show and liked them a lot.
@soix  and @seattle_mike 
I will post my thoughts later this morning.
Hint:.. My wallet is breathing a sigh of relief.

So I’ve been listening to the HiFiman Arya for one year. My last headphone before the Arya was the Focal Clear. While it did certain things very well, in the end it just wasn’t the sound I was looking for. I replaced the Clear with the Arya and I have been very happy since.
However, as I’m sure you all know, the upgrade bug was bitting so I decided to take a chance on the Focal Stellia and it has been in rotation in my system for a few weeks. As you can see from my system pics, my amp is the Pass Labs HPA-1.


Cosmetically, the Stellia has a love it or hate it feeling based on the opinions I’ve heard. Personally, I think this thing is gorgeous. To me, it oozes luxury and class. Just exceptional, IMO.
Put simply, when you hold the Stellia, you know where your money went. When you hold the Arya, you wonder where your money went.


Everyone is different but for me, the Stellia had a little too much squeeze and made the back of my jaw uncomfortable. Keep in mind, I’m coming from the Arya which is one of the most comfortable headphones I’ve tried. The top prize in that category goes to the Meze Empyrean. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to feeling like I wasn’t even wearing a headphone. I’ve heard someone say that wearing the Empyrean is more comfortable than not wearing a headphone at all. Hahahahaha!
Anyway, I really don’t like when headphones move as I turn my head. My Audeze LCD 2F and ZMF Atticus moved WAY too much. The Arya is good in regards to this but the Stellia (and the Clear), really stay planted and make you feel like you have a quality set of cans on your head (insert devil-faced emoji here). This is good considering they are closed back.
Every time I took off the Stellia and put the Arya on, I had this feeling of "Aaaahh", like a relief coming over me.


The Stellia have EXCEPTIONAL detail. Hands down, the best i’ve heard. However, after a while this tended to sound somewhat "artificial" in comparison to the Arya. "S" sounds on female vocals had a more annoying brightness to them. But please keep this in mind, I didn’t notice or was bothered by it UNTIL I put the Arya back on. So it didn’t jump out at me at first, but only after I went to the Arya.

I love the mids on the Arya. I think I just lean towards planars in this regard. Just the way my brain hears them seems to "make sense" with music. In comparison, the Stellia seemed "thinner" sounding.
There is more meat in the midrange with the Arya. Velvety smoothness in spades.

Perhaps the biggest surprise to me was that I didn’t care for the bass. While it was very articulate and detailed, in the end it was too boomy for me and obviously only got worse the more I increased the volume. Simply unacceptable in a 3K headphone. I was VERY disappointed with that. It really bothered me. I just could never stop paying attention to it. 

Overall, the Stellia has a tad too much of a bright presentation for me which you may have figured out from the mention of the exceptional detail earlier. The Arya never gives me a feeling of brightness.

With the Stellia, everything is directly by your ear. With the Arya, sound is more spacious with greater sense of depth and width. Plus, with the Arya, I get a front/back effect going on sometimes. The Stellia doesn’t give me that. Classical music is probably 80-90% of my listening and the Arya gives me a profoundly more enjoyable experience. Not like HD 800 width, but more width than the Frenchie.

I will say this of the Stellia: they are very dynamic. They certainly punch harder that any other headphone I’ve had. I also listen to a lot of electronic music like drum and bass and jungle. The Stellia hits and hits hard. With this music, the Stellia are more energetic and downright fun to listen to. However, since classical is most of my listening, I have to go with the Arya.

Concerning looks and build quality, the Stellia is off the hook. In terms of sound quality however, in my opinion the Stellia is overpriced.
I really wanted to like the Stellia, truly I did. But music is just more natural sounding with the Arya and the width of the presentation is just more appealing to me with the Arya. Instruments seem to just "float" in a space. There is a nice top-to-bottom balance with them that just sounds coherent and "right" to me.

Oh well, just my two cents. Hope this helps.

Put simply, when you hold the Stellia, you know where your money went. When you hold the Arya, you wonder where your money went.
Ha!  Best line of the day, and thanks for sharing your findings — most interesting.  As an owner of the low-rent (but still good-sounding) Hifiman HE400S I can relate in spades.
@soix  Thanks. When I wrote that, I said the same thing. Lol!

I had your headphone. It was my  "gateway drug" headphone to HiFiman.
Much respect!