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Focal Spirit Classic First Look - Head-Fi TV - Page 9

post #121 of 204
Originally Posted by hekeli View Post

It seems an "inconvenience" happened during transport from Amazon to UPS, so my phones are gone and refunded. biggrin.gif So yeah, maybe I'll try to order in some weeks if they come into stock again, I won't bother right now..

PS. Spirit Pro's price is down to £165 on amazon.co.uk, not in stock yet but atleast the price is more correct..

I smell a rat. Wait and see!
post #122 of 204
Originally Posted by EddieE View Post

Well my ears haven't adjusted to them yet (got them yesterday) so will post a full set of impressions next week. Early thoughts -

Not far off neutral, but tilted towards warm. Bass is boosted, but not bloated. Very clean bass.

The whole spectrums seem audible, but treble a little attenuated. Female voices a bit further back in the mix than my mind expects them to be.

Distortion is low. No grain, silent background. Very clean and clear through the frequency. The low distortion makes the boosted bass and lower treble thing work. As the sound is clean, detail can still be heard throughout.

Separation is good. Soundstage decent for a closed back set. Not huge, but not boxy or claustrophobic.

Overall competent headphones, better than the DT1350 I was using before. No closed back headphone will ever be perfect, but this is worth the asking price and a very nice listen.

The Focal Classics have a warm sound with a bit more low mids.

The Spirit 1 have a "V" eq shape, with slightly bumped 5k .

The Focal Pro's have a very detailed mid range that is prominent with a overall sound that tends toward "dry" and "clear"., however, this headphone is designed to be used to mix and master music, which accounts for the extended mid range and slightly dry presentation.

I think it offers the most accurate and balanced sound reproduction if you are looking for your Focal's to be more clinical and articulate.


here are some reviews of the Focal Spirit Pro's that may be helpful found on a Music Retailer's site.



Focal Spirit Pro Headphones

These headphones are by far the best sounding headphones I have ever owned. Chrystal clear with perfect frequency balance. I highly recommend them to all musicians, engineer and producers.
from Palo Alto, CA
November 25, 2013Music Background:
Recording Engineer

Amazingly Pure Sound

I've been using the HD280's for about 5 years now and have always loved them. I decided to finally check out what was hot these days. I wanted a closed back design to track and mix. From all the reviews and my budget, I decided to try the Focal Spirit Pro's. 

When I first got them I was too excited to wait until after the 24 hour break in time. I did a bunch of A-B tests and was very surprised as to how little difference I could hear between the 280 and the Spirits. But, with patience, I waited. Well, it was worth it. Once broken-in, the Spirits completely changed. The imaging opened up so much, the bass tightened, the vocals came into my head. The overall clarity was amazing.

After a week of listening I started feeling that they were losing their "amazingness", so then I decided bring out the 280 again and A-B them again. Holly, crap! My 280 now sounded awful. After a week of listen to the Spirits, they retrained my ears as to what sound should be. Neutral.

I still use the 280 to check what "normal" people will hear on their iPod, but the Spirit Pro's are now the only thing I record with. They are so good that after a while you forget you're using headphones.

Now the downside. They are not very comfortable. In fact, the 280's are 10 times more comfortable. The Spirits have small ear openings and I would consider them closed/on-ear. Also, I wear glasses and they are very uncomfortable. The Spirits also do not block out ambient sound even remotely as well as the 280's. I can wear the 280's all day. But, the Spirits do require ear breaks periodically.

As for sound quality they are perfectly neutral, pleasant and non-fatiguing.
from Brooklyn, NY
November 15, 2013Music Background:
pro musician, occasional engineer

Great for reference

These are great and trustworthy headphones. I needed something I could use for mixing and mastering while I sort out the dreadful room acoustics in my new apartment. I first bought a pair of Sennheiser HD-600s but was unhappy with how they sounded on all but one of my headphone amps (not surprising - they are high impedance and require a powerful amp). Yuval recommended I try the Spirits instead and it was a good move. I've been happy with the sonic detail, tonal separation, they way they reference with various speakers, and that they are low impedance and sound great even hooked up to an iPod. Plus, they're closed-back which makes them more useful in tracking sessions. The Senns were really comfortable and fun to listen to but all in all I think the Focals are a better for critical listening, and are more like listening on good monitor speakers. I would however warn you to burn them in well first. Out of the box I found them harsh, fatiguing, and nearly painful in the high end but after letting music play through them for several nights they mellowed out and opened up nicely and have now become comfortable and suitable for extended use. They are making it seem much less urgent to go fix my room acoustics.
from Northeast
October 21, 2013Music Background:
M.M., former professional musician

Buy These Headphones

I'm not one to post reviews of products. I honestly think this is my first one, but I had to share my experience with these headphones. I had already purchased and returned AKG Open-back reference headphones when I bought these Focals. I had read that these Focal headphones were considered "monitoring" headphones. Prior to this purchase I would never consider mixing and mastering with headphones. BUT, since I've owned them I work with these more than with my monitors. The sound is so neutral and revealing. I hear things I'd never heard before. I work so much more efficiently and effectively. It's like hearing music for the first time. When it comes to music I'm very hard to please, and when it comes to these headphones I'm very, very pleased.
Kino Watson
from Charlotte NC
October 19, 2013Music Background:
Songwriter and producer

Hear The Music Not The Headphones

My first impression of these headphones...pure honesty! No hyped highs and lows, just pure sonic quality! They remind me of what my solo6 monitors sound like! Although they're closed you get a sense of great stereo imaging! They produce a nice even natural tone! I give this product a thumbs up!
Tony Mazza
from New Jersey
October 16, 2013Music Background:
Mastering Engineer

These phones are amazing, Amazing!

After breaking these in for 25 hours I was more than happy. They sound amazing. Better than any other phones I've ever tried or owned. I was Mastering a song and I looked up and noticed my left focal twin six was not on, I looked right and that was off also. As confusion set in, I remembered I had these Focal Spirits on my head. Amazing! Nuff said!
Kevin deLeon
from New Orleans, LA
January 20, 2014Music Background:
Recording Engineer, Mixing Engineer, musician

Does it get any better?

Not much to really say here...These headphones are exactly as they are advertised. Studio quality, reference headphones. Very flat sounding cans (which is exactly what you want). After about 50 hours of listening these things are at their "broken in" stage and they are as accurate as my near-fields. Obviously mixing on headphones is a bit dodgy, so you still wouldn't want to depends on the cans and the cans alone. You are still going to want to check bass/sub on a larger system with accurate low-end response. For this price range, I can't imagine you finding a better set of reference headphones though. They are also VERY comfortable. I have a large head and these things fit me great. The memory foam is awesome.
L. Cooper
from United States
October 11, 2013Music Background:
Performing/Recording professional musician.

Focal Professional are the real deal

I love headphones and i use headphones every single day not only to listen and enjoy music, but i also use them to mix and master music, so, if you are reading this to find out if these headphones are hype or actually worth the money, then let me assure you that they are worth 3x the money.
I own Sennheiser 600s , AKG 702s, Beyers, as well as the Focal Spirit One's and i can tell you honestly from the standpoint of critical listening experience using cans that these Focal Professional cans are audiophile accurate.....The clarity is outstanding, the balance is perfect between frequencies, they are easy to drive, generally comfortable, and if you want to use them to record and mix your music, then they are the way to the truth wrapped around your head for $349.99 delivered.
I use mine with a $2500 Headroom Max , a $900 Sound Device USB Pre 2, a Arcam r-pac, as well as a very nice Marantz CD player, and assorted music making higher resolution USB interfaces.

There is a an abundance of sonic accuracy and fine detail within the sound they deliver that is a beautiful thing to hear......its a professional sound, an expensive sound, a musical sound.
If you are looking for hyped bass, strident mids, and sizzling hyper-treble, you wont find it within the sound of these headphones.
If instead you prefer a flat frequency response combined with clarion accuracy and musicality, then get out your Visa as you are home.

inSync Review

Mitch Gallagher
Great headphones are a must-have for every studio and live sound rig. You've got to have them as a secondary reference, for detail listening, for isolation while tracking, and more. The latest entry into the professional headphone fray is studio monitor manufacturer Focal with their brand-new 'phones.

The Spirits are closed-back, circumaural (around the ear) headphones, which provide excellent isolation from the outside world. This makes them excellent for tracking. But it's the great sound delivered by the 40-mm mylar/titanium drivers that makes the Spirits stand out-they're detailed and full sounding, with rich bass and natural mids and highs that also make them ideal for recording and live sound engineers. Frequency response ranges from 5Hz to 22kHz.

Two cables are included: a coiled reference cable for use in critical listening/studio situations and a straight cable with a built-in microphone for use with smartphones. Cables can be quickly swapped. Just pop one out and pop another in, which is also a great feature should a cable become damaged and need to be replaced. A carrying bag is also included.

But perhaps the best thing about the Spirits (after the excellent sound quality and dynamics) is the comfort they offer during long sessions. The phones are lightweight and use memory foam for the ear cups and the headband, which means they conform perfectly to your head and stay in place.

Great sound, great comfort; the Spirits are anothe

Edited by FullBright1 - 2/9/14 at 5:44am
post #123 of 204

Focal Spirit Pro or Fidelio L2. They seem like the best of current portables.


Has anyone compared them?

post #124 of 204
Originally Posted by Head1 View Post

Focal Spirit Pro or Fidelio L2. They seem like the best of current portables.


Has anyone compared them?

I will be able to compare the Fidelio L2 to the FS Classic once I received them. There is a lot to like about the L2s, although they are a bit too bright for my taste (slightly brighter than neutral). Keep in mind that the leak quite a bit of sound and conversely don't isolate very well.

post #125 of 204
I'm putting up one for sale in the fs thread. What a shame! It doesn't fit my head.
post #126 of 204
No rat after all. Received the classic from amazon.it.
Smaller than I expected despite the early warnings. Did't fit my ears.
Sound not spectacular but soon became lost in some cello music which sounded rather good, with the
classic. As did theShostakovich stringquartets.
Remembered I had these huge velour earpads from the FA-002W and put them around the classic pads
creating anice Uberear pad. Didn't change the sound or isolation much.
Anyway after some doubts I will keep them as closed classical music headphone.
post #127 of 204

Demoed those recently. I have to say I really liked the sound. It has a very clear and pleasing, I would say, sound. But what really drew my attention was the the bass which was really superb. 


But....that headband had like zero! padding although in the photos it looks so soft. It's like they took the professional headband. Removed the little padding it had and then dressed with that nice brown leather.


The headband is also pretty wide so the headphone rests mostly on the very top of your head(and I don't have a small head). So it rests on a narrow spot on your head with no padding. For that they were pretty uncomfortable to me, unbearable even and it's a shame. I wish this will change in the future.

post #128 of 204
Does these have any good isolation?

I'm currently using Sennheiser HD598's and really considering Spirit Classic for my second pair as closed headphone.
I've been reading some reviews that Classic's sound signature had been compared to be somewhat like Sennheiser HD 650, which would've been my other choice for new phones. But closed phones with somewhat like HD650's sound signature would be really interesting.
Edited by P701 - 3/8/14 at 6:44am
post #129 of 204
Yes, the isolation is very good. Much better than my D5000 which is not very surprising. They also don't leak much. My first pair of headphones that does not bother my wife when listening in bed. I'm not good at describing how headphones sound but I concur with D4rkst3EL, very clear and pleasant with superb bass.
post #130 of 204

I'd like to know if anyone knows about diferences or have had the opportunity to compare the Focal Spirit One, Focal Spirit Classic and Focal Spirit Pro; against some other headphones like the Grado sr325i, PSB M4RU-1, NAD VISO HP 50.



post #131 of 204
OK some further impressions:

A month or so into these, I have to say they rate up there among the best closed cans. As is the Head-Fi way, the Spirit Pro have become the FOTM and the Classic have been somewhat overshadowed, but they are superb headphones and deserve recognition as such.

They have largely been compared against the very-similar Spirit Pro, and the fact that they are “slightly warm” in direct comparison has led to some silly “veiled” comments. They are only “slighty warm” in direct comparison to the Pros – compared to most closed cans they are pretty close to linear, just slightly relaxed from the upper mids onwards. Everything is clear though, including the treble, and it is a LONG way from being treble shy or having "rolled off" treble. The treble is all there, all clear, just a couple of db down. The mids are smooth and natural sounding and it’s worth noting just how clean and crisp the bass is while remaining extended and powerful – not an easy thing to achieve in any headphones. The sound is overwhelmingly natural, smooth, but very detailed and clear. If you think of neutral as white, then this is an off-white. Not coloured, but quite white, a neutral with a warm twist.

Time for that old cliché – “Good soundstage for a closed can” – obviously these do not convince you they are an open can, it's not a huge soundstage by any means, but they have a good sense of space and separation that stops music from seeming boxed in and claustrophobic as it can with many closed back models.

The general quality of the accessories and packaging is pretty high end. The thick box has a hidden magnetic clasp and very nice foam cut out, and “soundproofing” in the lid as an aesthetic touch. You’ll only ever look at the thing once, but these little touches do add to the feeling of consumer satisfaction. The soft carrying bag is microfiber and keeps the headphones naturally polished. The portable cable is a good length, and the mic a sensible distance from the mouth. The home listening cable is really great in terms of flexibility, ruggedness and length. It’s absolutely perfect for crossing my room from my amplifier to watch films or TV when my girlfriend is doing some work in the room and needs quiet.

Style is great, the bronze and brown theme looks very classy and overall they look like they are worth their price. Many headphones in this bracket - “entry level” for headphone enthusiasts “expensive” for the average punter – fall short of appearing to the average person that they are of a suitable finish for the money. These clearly are. Other welcome design choices include an easily removable cable, and folding earcups to make the unused headphones in their soft fabric bag easily stashed in a  bag or even a large outside coat pocket.

The design is far from perfect though. The headband padding is soft – but the metal strips that form the internal headband appear to run over, not under the padding. Maybe there is a light layer of foam over but it very much feels like you have two metal bands pressed against your skull. This is a really odd design decision – to have obvious high quality memory foam headband padding and then negate its effect entirely in this way. I would stop short of saying it’s uncomfortable, it’s not, but it is an unnecessary irritant.

The ear pads, while extremely soft in the choice of memory foam and protein leather, are very small in terms of the opening. I have fairly big ears so it’s rare for me to find circumaural headphones that don’t touch or press some part of my ear so I am resigned to “over ear” headphones being party “on-ear”, but these go a bit too far. I don’t know whose ears these were made for. They won’t fit a child’s skull but the openings seem designed for a child’s ears. The pads really need not be so wide in the width of the “ring” and it would have been easy to make the opening larger on the same sized headphone. I guess creating the smaller space helped them achieve the natural sound with the low bass, but it’s a bit of a shame that they can get a bit irritating after an hour or so of use.

A final complaint is that the ball joint that allows cup rotation squeaked a bit on purchase. I sorted this out with a drop of olive oil worked into each ball joint (WD40 would be more orthodox but I didn’t have any to hand), but Focal could have done better in their design to avoid the problem in the first place.

So, a few design flaws here and there, but not enough to ruin the party. These are not just one of the best closed headphones for their very reasonable price; they are simply one of the best closed headphones available. Between this, the Spirit Pro and the NAD Visio HP50, for the first time we have affordable closed headphones that dip a toe into the high end while being conveniently portable and efficient.

Highly recommended.  
Edited by EddieE - 4/7/14 at 2:14pm
post #132 of 204
the nad still have better detail and resolution to my ears though
post #133 of 204
Originally Posted by sofastreamer View Post

the nad still have better detail and resolution to my ears though

Which would you say was more comfortable?  The NAD or Focal?

post #134 of 204

I don'l like the idea in Focal that I can't change de ear pads, I know that I can change the pads in the PSB M4U-1, but I don't know if I can change it in NAD VISO. I love the Grado sound, but for me Grado are uncomfortable. ¡An so, with Grado I don't like the idea that I can't change the cable!

post #135 of 204
Originally Posted by RelayerCR View Post

I don'l like the idea in Focal that I can't change de ear pads, I know that I can change the pads in the PSB M4U-1, but I don't know if I can change it in NAD VISO. I love the Grado sound, but for me Grado are uncomfortable. ¡An so, with Grado I don't like the idea that I can't change the cable!

Memory foam won't flatten and lose its shape too quickly like traditional open cell foam pads do, and the protein leather outer skin is easily cleaned.

I expect that they will release adhesive replacement pads as these models get older and need them, but there is no serious need for it right now.

This isn't like the ATH-M50 where the pads flatten so much that the sound noticably changes within 6 months of daily use. It's another level of quality and durability.
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