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Focal - Spirit Classic - Closed Back, Circumaural Hi-Fi Headphones

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #189 in Over-Ear

Posted

Pros: Excellent full bodied bass with excellent control and punch, smooth but energetic, balanced sound, excellent build quality,

Cons: Too long stock cable

I have been waiting for this for a while now. If you remember, I have been very impressed with Focal’s first headphone, the Spirit One .

 

From that moment on I was really curious to see what Focal will come up with next in the headphone department.

 

Well, the time has come, as I have both new models from Focal on my desk, the Focal Spirit Classic and Spirit Professional.

This review is dedicated to the first one, but at the end I am making a short comparison to Spirit Professional.

 

Both look very nice, but the Spirit Classic is something else. They have an extraordinary finish with a luxurious feel. The headband is softer, the ear cups are bigger & the clamping force is not so strong as with the spirit one, bringing the comfort to another level.

 

Focal Spirit Classic

 

Both headphones come with a gold plated 3.5 to 6.35 jack, a 1.4 m detachable cable for phone usage that also includes a microphone and another 4 m detachable cable (spiral for Pro).

In terms of isolation both do a great job, Spirit Professional coming a little on top here as it has a better grip letting less sound getting in or out.

 

Listening Impressions

 

The tests have been done with Decware Taboo MK3Focal Spirit OneFocal Spirit Classic, Focal Spirit Professional Simaudio Moon 300D v2,  Burson ConductorAudiobyte Hydra-X.

 

Amplification

 

While you could listen to them from a phone, I wouldn’t recommend it as both need more power than a normal phone can provide. FiiO E17 did a fine job with both of them, but they scaled pretty nice with Conductor and Taboo.

 

Classic Professional

 

Mike Oldfield – Cochise

 

What I noticed immediately was that the soundstage was deeper and the sound was smoother. The bass has more weight and goes deeper than on the Spirit One. The treble was kind of sweet and very pleasant. Doesn’t have the same attack of Spirit One, but the sound is more refined and smooth  reminding me  of HD650.

 

Robbie Williams – Feel

 

I love the bass on the Classic. It is more detailed than on Spirit One. It also goes deeper and it’s fuller. The voice was is better textured on Classic and better extended.

 

Hugh Laurie – Six Cold Feet

 

Wow the drum is just amazing with the Classic. It really has an impressing impact showing a very strong and quality mid-bass. The sound was very pleasant and laid back. I could listen to them them for hours and hours. Again, the voice was more present  and better extended. I also loved the smooth presentation of the trumpets. Even if the plucks are more apparent on Spirit One, the extension of the chords is better with classic.

 

Coldplay – Sparks

 

Again the bass had a wonderful and sexy body. The guitar plucks have more attack and impact on the Spirit One, but the extension is better on the Classic. The bass on the Classic reminds me of LCD-2.

 

Infected Mushroom – Ration Shmatio

The bass on the Classic is amazing.  It knows how to hit hard and deep with excellent control and speed. Never heard a better bass in a closed headphone before.

 

Leonard Cohen – Here it is

 

I love the voices on the Classic. They have a better presence and texture. They are also better extended. Compared to it, the Spirit One leaves the impression of incomplete voices, which in the chorus were better layered and easy to distinguish.

 

Mozart – The Magic Flute – Overture

 

This headphone sounds quite good with classical music. It has a good soundstage for a closed headphone. The instruments don’t blend in the same layer as there is enough air between them.

 

Summary

 

Bass

The bass on Spirit Classic is awesome. It goes very deep, it has very good control, punch and speed. I never felt it bled into the mids like with Sennheiser Momentum for example. It gives a wonderful full sound that  reminds me of LCD-2.

 

Mids

The mids are very smooth and pleasant. The voices are well extended and are more present than with Focal Spirit One. I also think that the upper mids are better and don’t fade out like on it’s smaller brother. The instruments don’t have the same attack, but they have a better extension.

 

Treble

The treble doesn’t have the spark as on Spirit One, but I feel that it has better extension and is more balanced and linear.

 

Soundstage

The soundstage is bigger than on it’s little brother and I really think it is quite decent for a closed headphone.

 

Instrument Separation 

The instruments have enough air between them and don’t blend in the same layer. They are not as well contoured as on it’s brothers but it does a fine job

.

Smooth without being slow

It also has a smooth & sweet presentation that I could listen for hours, but this doesn’t make them slow headphones.

 

Fast transients with exploding attack

These headphones have excellent transients with exploding attack. Sometimes I feel like the instruments , especially drums and guitars are inside the headphone.

 

 

Focal Spirit Professional small comparison

 

I find it very interesting that Focal launched 2 headphones that are quite different in their sound signature. The Classic doesn’t have too much of Spirit One’s signature but the Professional does,  and it sounds like a very good evolution from it, while Classic is a ramification in another direction.

 

The Pro version sounds more aggressive with faster transients and better attack.

The treble is more present on it, with more spark and better extension leading to a more opened sound as there is more air on top.

I feel that Classic has is fuller and deeper bass  while Pro has a stronger punch.

 

The male voices have a better presence and texture on Spirit Classic  while female voices are cleaner and crispier with the Spirit Professional.

Spirit Professional didn’t get the name for nothing, as it has better imaging and is better detailed.

On long listening sessions the Spirit Professional tends to get a little tiresome while with Classic I can listen for hours.

 

 

Classic & Professional

 

Conclusions

 

I always felt that Focal did a very good job with their first headphone and I expected their new products to be very good. I was not mistaken.

Both headphones are very good and I loved them both.

 

If I had to pick one, I think I would go with Spirit Classic as I love it’s refined and euphonic sound with deeper and fuller bass.

It has a smooth presentation reminding me of Sennheiser HD650 with added energy, extended treble and a full sound with a wonderful, deep and full bass that reminds me of LCD-2

On the other hand Spirit Professional has a more transparent and detailed sound with better imaging & treble extension.

 

These headphones have excellent transients with exploding attack. Sometimes I feel like the instruments , especially drums and guitars are inside the headphone.

I love the Spirit Classic so much that I couldn’t resist and I bought a pair for myself!

 

Focal Spirit Classic

Pros:

  • Excellent, fast deep punchy bass
  • Excellent transients with exploding attack and quick decays
  • Smooth, detailed and very pleasant mids
  • Very good extended vocals with good texture and presence
  • Well extended and linear treble
  • Smooth without being slow
  • Good soundstage (quite bigger than Spirit One’s)
  • Excellent build quality and looks
  • Much more comfortable than Spirit One
  • Good price for what it offers

Cons

  • I think the cable is too long. What am I going to do with 4m? That cable is everywhere on my desk.

 

Focal Spirit Professional

 

Pros:

  • Excellent, fast deep punchy bass with more impact than Classic but less body
  • Very detailed
  • Good transparency
  • Excellent transients with exploding attack and quick decays
  • Good clean female voices
  • Better imaging than Classic
  • More present treble with more spark and better extension
  • Bigger soundstage than both it’s brothers
  • Good build quality
  • Ergonomic cable
  • Good price for what it offers

Cons

  • Can get a little tiresome after a while

 

Both of them have worked their way up in the top of my closed headphones department.

Posted

The Focal Spirit Classic does everything I've asked of it very, very well.

 

For the past few weeks I have been using it on an almost daily basis with either my PS Vita or my computer music set up. Out of curiosity I have even listened to it on my phone a few times and they have proven very easy to drive. Using them with a headphone amp, I would recommend one with switchable gain, really tightens all of it's sonic aspects up.

 

I have been playing, "Thomas Was Alone" on my PS Vita (straight out of the headphone jack) and these headphones really pull you into the game. Visually, the game is very simple, but the combination of the games soundtrack with the visuals is really something special.

 

When using these with audio files on my computer I have been constantly impressed. They are closed headphones, so the sound stage isn't going to be anything incredible, but that should be obvious. Regardless of the type of music you throw at these you will, most likely, be very happy with the results. Treble seems to be a little rolled off, but the mids and bass seems to be represented in even parts.  There are times which I feel like they are a little veiled sounding and this is most likely because of the mildly rolled off treble.  It doesn't bother me at all, but there are times that it is very apparent.  My other headphones are Q701's and UE Triple Fi. 10s, both of which I consider to be very bright and detailed.  I think that the FSCs are definitely in the opposite direction of bright and are right on the cusp of being veiled.  The people who work at Focal did a great job straddling this divide and the result is a headphone that is very pleasant to listen to for long periods of time.  I have spend upwards of 3 or 4 continuous hours using them without any issues, albeit I am a very low volume listener.  After you get a seal, which is a little difficult for me sometimes, they sound great and provide a good deal of isolation.  I would say they provide about as much isolation as a set of thin silicone IEM tips.

 

The included accessories are also very useful. One short cable, which I use most of the time and one long cable, which I use when i sit in the listening chair farther from my computer, are included. Both have cable management rings so that you can store them when not in use and they are both very sharp (these are very nice, focal branding, very useful and easy to wrap the headphones up and store them). Another nice added touch are little o-rings at the base of the plug that force you to push down on the 1/4" adapter before you screw it on. This creates a very tight connection between the 1/8" plug and the 1/4" adapter. Does it sound better than other 1/4" adapters? Probably not, but it shows that focal has a great attention detail and a willingness to invest a little bit more time and effort into the creation and manufacturing of their product. This is obvious in the packaging and the built quality of the headphones.

 

The only reasons I gave this headphone 4 stars and not 5 are the fact that it takes me a few tries to get a good seal when I wear them and I think it would have been great to include an impedance adapter separately or just build it in to the longer cable.  This could have easily been a much worse, maybe it is better to say polarizing, headphone if the engineers are Focal hadn't done such a great job.  Personally, I think the Focal Spirit Classic have the perfect amount of detail to not be fatiguing.  Depending on your personal preference you may consider them veiled, but for me it is right on.  I also feel that the ear cups could be a tad bit bigger to accommodate people with larger ears.  Personally, it is a snug fit, but not uncomfortable to wear for hours at a time, but I imagine if you have larger ears this will not be the case.

 

There are many options around the $300 mark for a pair of closed headphones and The Focal Spirit Classic check almost every box. Focal has made a pair of headphones that looks great, sounds great and has paid attention to all of the details along the way.  It is also worth noting that at this price point you probably won't find a pair of headphones that looks this good or is made of out the same quality of materials as the FSC.

 

 

Focal - Spirit Classic - Closed Back, Circumaural Hi-Fi Headphones
By:
Description:

Spirit Classic headphones have been designed for audiophiles and music lovers. A warm sound combined with the dynamics of the transducers will enable you to find the pleasure of listening to all of your music with wonderful details. Spirit Classic's sound tuning is perfect for listening at home: extended low end, a detailed mid-range and linear top end for a lighter, open sound: all you would expect from Focal. Spirit Classic give its best when the user is at home in a relatively quiet background. There is no need to mask the surrounding noise to enjoy a faithful listening session. Its frequency response curve has been sculpted accordingly: flat in low frequencies, Spirit Classic has around 3dB less bass in comparison to Spirit One.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingOffice Product
BrandFocal
ColorBrown
EAN3544056725007
FeatureHigh-dynamic, faithful music reproduction. Matched 40 mm transducers. Light cone (86 mg as against a market average of 110 mg), giving faster acceleration for more dynamic signal response. Stiff, no-deformation Mylar-Titanium cone dome for signal reproduction with no added distortion. Memory foam ear cushions: Optimal comfort and sound insulation, Low impedance 4 m OFC cable with call management controls for use with portable devices.
LabelFocal
ManufacturerFocal
ModelH5006
MPNH5006
PublisherFocal
StudioFocal
TitleFocal - Spirit Classic - Closed Back, Circumaural Hi-Fi Headphones
Item Height8.5 inches
Item Length8.5 inches
Item Weight0.68 pounds
Item Width2.5 inches
Package Height4.02 inches
Package Length10.94 inches
Package Weight2.34 pounds
Package Width8.58 inches
PackageQuantity1
PartNumberH5006
ProductGroupMusical Instruments
ProductTypeNamePHONE
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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