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Focal Spirit One Headphones - Page 8

post #106 of 321

I heard these in the shop along with Denon AH-D2000, Sennheisser HD 558 and Beyerdynamic DT 700. The Focals were definitely the worst sounding from them all. I tried various genres ranging from rock to classical to electronica, I just never found these engaging enough. Also the ear cups were on my ear awkwardly as they are small so not really comfortable.

post #107 of 321

Would you mind elaborating on why they were the worst of the four you tried? In what ways were they not engaging to you?

 

As for the earcups, they are purposefully smaller than the others you mention because they were built to be on-ear instead of circumaural. They're more similar to something like the ESW9 in that sense.

post #108 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post

I heard these in the shop along with Denon AH-D2000, Sennheisser HD 558 and Beyerdynamic DT 700. The Focals were definitely the worst sounding from them all. I tried various genres ranging from rock to classical to electronica, I just never found these engaging enough. Also the ear cups were on my ear awkwardly as they are small so not really comfortable.

 

Yeah,  and I compared the surf and turf at Hy's with a Big Mac and the Big Mac was WAY better

post #109 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post

 

Yeah,  and I compared the surf and turf at Hy's with a Big Mac and the Big Mac was WAY better

 

How about the poutine from Harvey's?  biggrin.gif  wink.gif

post #110 of 321

Yea I know they are meant to be on ear rather than over ear, but for some reason I didn't them very comfortable, although it shouldn't be taken as these are just not wearable. For sure, you can wear them for an hour or two, but after that the clamping force and the positioning of cups would probably annoy me too much for really long sessions. For example, I find the HD 25 to be comfortable enough to be worn for many hours with no problem. Same thing with the AKG K 172 HD. Maybe I'm just a bit more sensitive and spoiled with the pads on Beyer and Denon's. But yea, focal cups are okay/good but not anything special. 

 

For the testing, I had about 5ish minutes with them so it was very brief and I was testing lot of phones and switching quickly. I realize it's a closed headphone but going from the Denon 2K to the Focal, the soundstage decreased in width and the instrument separation wasn't that great. It was a bit congested. The 770 250 also from what I can remember had better imaging and spacing. In comparison, I would say my KRK 8400 share a similar soundstage in terms of width and depth, but the imaging on the KRKs and instrument spacing is better. I just felt it was a bit clustered on the focals or not what I'm used to. 

 

The guy said he had gotten those ones two weeks back while the Denons and Sennheisser were over an year old. So it could've been a burn in issue, but I don't think the sound would've altered too much before vs after burning in on these like the ultrasone pro 900.  

 

I remember testing Michael Jackson - Thriller, Nelly Furtado - Promiscious, Dark Side of the moon, Avengend Sevenfold, mozart 21 piano concerto and even through in there some Armin Van Buuren just for the heck of it. From my short experience, as expected, it lacked in the department of bass, doesn't hit as low as the Beyers, Denon, or even the HD 558. But that wasn't a concern for me because these cans aren't meant for that and I wouldn't get them for that. I'm just simply pointing that out. Over the years I've heard the sound of Focals speakers and actually gotten to like them but these headphones just didn't do it for me, probably my bias and expectations of the typical Focal sound skewing my comparison. 

 

Moving onto the mids, from what I can remember I noticed that the mids were brought up in comparison to the recessed mids of the Denon's. Although the Beyer had a more balanced sound and sounded more natural than the Focals. As for the highs, the focals didn't have the extension of the Denons and Beyer. The cymbal crashes seemed awkward at times and couldn't fully hear the envelope on these. The sound on the Focals was a bit too grainy for my preference and sounded a bit artificial at times. Drums and other percussive elements weren't rendered as well I would like. The Beyer and KRK 8400 definitely triumphed them all in this category. The main thing that let me down about the Focals was that I just didn't find it very musical. For each genre that I tested, the focals weren't as musical as the others. I don't know if it was a burn in thing or not. Btw at that time the source I had was a Sansa Fuze with Fiio E11 running FLAC 16 bit 44.1 KHZ.  

 

Again, I only had them for a little time along with many other phones I was trying out, plus it was a bit noisy there. So don't know if that background noise influenced it, but then again the 2K aren't great in isolation and I wasn't too bothered with external voice with the 2K. These were very brief comparisons and just my $0.02. If I had more time and could try them over a day with various setups and song my results could easily differ compared to this quick run through.

post #111 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post

 

For the testing, I had about 5ish minutes with them

 

Weird, I have had 14,400 minutes with them and they blow the others out of the water!

post #112 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post

 

Weird, I have had 14,400 minutes with them and they blow the others out of the water!

 

I'm glad you are liking them :)

post #113 of 321
I had plenty of time with them myself and found them greatly uninspiring.
post #114 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

I had plenty of time with them myself and found them greatly uninspiring.

 

But...did you have 14,400 minutes with them. I hear they get really good around that time. wink.gif Jokes aside, I agree with you completely on this one point.

 

I've been listening to music from as long as I can remember from many languages, period of time and many genres and hearing them on many speakers and headphones with different sources blah blah blah you get the point.

 

Whenever I initially listen to something I am not looking for the lows mids, highs, stereo imaging, soundstage, timbre, tonality, brightness, FR, etc. That's all secondary for me. The first thing I look for is: Does it sound good? Is it musical in any sense?

 

With my experience with them, even if it was for a little time, they just couldn't get my attention as nothing sounded musical. I could listen to it and somewhat comprehend the sound, but definitely not feel anything. Like I've sometimes heard people say monitoring headphones with flat response don't sound musical, and sound somewhat sterile. If I was going with that logic, I could perhaps then understand the sound of the focals, but from what I gathered, the Focals are not meant to be monitors (unless I didn't get the memo), they are meant to be HI-FI, for (pleasurable) listening purposes. [Btw that logic about flat monitor sounding sterile is completely stupid as my KRK's, Q40 and other monitoring speakers sound very musical despite being flat and having good results on the waterfall charts (more accurate version of FR)]   

 

When I was testing other headphones, I didn't even know they had Focals and the guy just offered me. I was actually very happy to try them given my experience with Focal speakers, so if anything my experience with them should've had a positive boost due to my attachment. But noooo....no matter what song or genre I tried, I just couln't find an attachment with them on a musical level. Btw for those 5 mins, I was just testing those specific songs I mentioned before as I had used majority of those songs as a reference for all the other headphones I tested. However, after those 5 minutes and testing, I was flipping through bunch of stuff for few more minutes trying to see if anything could bring out the beauty in these. I really, really wanted to like these headphones but it just didn't happen...it wasn't even close to sounding musical, no prat whatsoever. The poor thing sounded confused no matter what genre, just couldn't get anything to latch on to.

 

I would even go as far to say that my old Bose triports are more musical then the Focals. Sure, if you looked at individual things like soundstage, clarity, extension and other common checklist things, the Focals would rate higher. Although from just a pure listening standpoint, the other headphones are simply better. In my strong opinion on HI-FI headphones (monitors excluded...maybe?), musicality comes first and then all the other critical aspects. If it doesn't meet the first criteria, then there is no point in continuing further.

 

I don't know whether it was lack of burn, the environment I was in or just my preference in music and headphones but all in all, the Focals just didn't do it for me.

 

I think I got it all regular_smile%20.gif

post #115 of 321

Does anybody know how to open up the earpad and the circle frame, so that I can see the driver and inspect any hair or object that causes the vibration coming with the bass?

 

Thanks.

post #116 of 321
Quote:

Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post

 

I would even go as far to say that my old Bose triports are more musical then the Focals. 

 

OK, I can't hold back my laughter any longer.

post #117 of 321

I'm not a huge fan of the focal headphones, it's a shame because they look really nice. The hinges are not very good either, there's no sense of adjustment with the clamp, no "click" or indications of size. And the jack is very cheap, the headband rubberized surface was scuffed out of the box confused_face_2.gif

 

And consumer's aren't buying them to back up what I've noticed! It's been on the headphone wall in the audio shop for about a month and a half now, probably thousands of people A/B'd it with the 40 other headphones... Yet, we've only sold about 4 of them...

 

I guess their attempt to keep up with their british rivals failed them (B&W P5), and now we plan on bringing in the P3's very soon; not to mention paradigm's new headpones and the PSB M4U...

 

Speaker companies are trying to get into the market big time!

post #118 of 321

I got a chance to hear the Focals very briefly the other day. I was not overly impressed, but I was also not totally disappointed. Which was something I had kind of expected given the comments in this thread. They fit me surprisingly well and sounded like something I could grow to enjoy if I had the time to spend with them. Build quality was kind of like sound quality - not as great as I'd like, but not as bad as I had heard either. 

 

I guess I can see how people might be underwhelmed by these. I think I prefer my V-Moda M80 overall, which - although a cheaper headphone by price - is an excellent sounding can imo. So nothing for the focal to be ashamed of losing against.

 

I do hope that Focal sells a boatload of these. Why? So they can take those profits and hopefully build more headphones, potentially taking into account the comments from owners and reviewers. We'll see what happens.   

post #119 of 321

My review sample arrived today.  yay!!! stay tuned for my unboxing video.

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post #120 of 321

lol...and i tot this is a circumaural, i managed to squeeeeze my flaps into the cups.tongue_smile.gif

 

First sight of it was...wow wats that, i must give it a try. There was a momentary flashback to my edition*8,

but upon touching it, reality sets in...:P

 

Soundwise, i think its like a shure940  with more balanced bass...crisp and tight.

Not sure if sound fatigue will set in...but i do like what i hav heard in 5mins...

which explains why i am reading up this thread.

 

Nah, this can is not inferior to the d2000, they are just different.

There will be a band of Focalists in due course.

popcorn.gif

 

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