Review: Focal Spirit Classic Headphones
With roots in Saint-Etienne, France, Focal are a world-renowned audio company designing and manufacturing loudspeakers for home, car and studio use. With over 30 years of experience in the field of audio, they have an incredible breadth of knowledge for acoustics and have recently ventured into the competitive headphone industry.
The first in Focal’s trilogy of headphones was the Spirit One S, an urban headphone boasting superior comfort with a well-defined neutral signature. The next in line were the Spirit Classics, a chic portable headphone boasting a neutral and yet elegantly tuned sound profile. Completing the line-up, the Spirit Professionals were soon to follow, primarily developed for use in studio monitoring and other professional environments.
The review here will be focusing on the Focal Spirit Classic headphones, a closed-back and over-ear configuration featuring 40mm titanium/mylar transducers. At a modest price of $599 localy, the Classic shares competition with the Master & Dynamic MH40, MW60 and V-Moda Wireless Crossfade headphones. The promising features and years of company experience, however, make the Focal Classics an appealing product and one set for endurance within the crowded arena of mid-fi gear.
Perhaps Focal could have selected the outside colour scheme to match that of the headphones, but it is still a very professional and slick-looking package regardless.
The matte black box employs a magnetic latch which opens up to reveal the Focal Classic headphones resting on a foam insert alongside the 2 different lengths of cables (a 1.4m and 4m one).
Design & Build
The design of the Focal Classic Headphones is simply outstanding with a hot chocolate metallic finish that exudes premium finesse. The bold and chamfered edges highlight the angular design and the brushed aluminium attachments compliment the sleek bronze housings.
The sliding headband mechanism is smooth with an adequate number of placeholder positions to suit a wide variety of head shapes and sizes. I have felt that whilst adjusting the headphones on the head, the sliding mechanism did not give way too quickly nor was it too stiff to adjust. The headphone cup adjuster, however, was a bit stiff to use but there is another pivot point at the centre of the housings to allow for more of an optimal fitting. Finally, the padded headband is constructed from a leather material which ties in nicely with the colour of the metal housings.
A dual balanced-armature earphone called Rock-it Sounds R50 ignited my interest for all things audio. Since then, I have been enthralled with psycho-acoustic impressions ranging from gear such as IEMs to DAPs and eventually full-sized headphones.