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Focal SPIRIT PROFESSIONAL Impressions thread - Page 117

post #1741 of 1755

Hey guys,

 

first Post :D - but this has really been bugging me. After buying and selling or returning a few headphones (M-Audio HDH-50, Yamaha HPH-MT7, Shure SRH840 and Audio Technica MSR7 and others) I'm pretty happy with the FSPs (really happy), but found the fit to make a crucial impact on sound quality. Lower on the ears (read: more headband lenght) they sound a lot better than one step shorter on each side. A LOT BETTER :darthsmile:. By a lot better i mean way more detailed, clearer and wider. i don't really know why. has anybody else experienced something similar? 


Edited by Enn Jott - 10/4/16 at 12:41pm
post #1742 of 1755
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enn Jott View Post
 

Hey guys,

 

first Post :D - but this has really been bugging me. After buying and selling or returning a few headphones (M-Audio HDH-50, Yamaha HPH-MT7, Shure SRH840 and Audio Technica MSR7 and others) I'm pretty happy with the FSPs (really happy), but found the fit to make a crucial impact on sound quality. Lower on the ears (read: more headband lenght) they sound a lot better than one step shorter on each side. A LOT BETTER :darthsmile:. By a lot better i mean way more detailed, clearer and wider. i don't really know why. has anybody else experienced something similar? 

 

First post here in months!

 

Yeah, like many headphones, the FSP changes depending on where the pads are in relation to your ears. I would sometimes push them closer to improve things. My ears are on the small side, so the pads are over-ear for me.

 

I haven't heard the Yamaha you had, but I like the Yamaha HPH-MT220 more than the FSP in every way. I think I also like my Koss KTXPRO1 more overall, which is crazy since it's only $15.


Edited by Music Alchemist - 10/6/16 at 10:32am
post #1743 of 1755
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enn Jott View Post

Hey guys,

first Post biggrin.gif  - but this has really been bugging me. After buying and selling or returning a few headphones (M-Audio HDH-50, Yamaha HPH-MT7, Shure SRH840 and Audio Technica MSR7 and others) I'm pretty happy with the FSPs (really happy), but found the fit to make a crucial impact on sound quality. Lower on the ears (read: more headband lenght) they sound a lot better than one step shorter on each side. A LOT BETTER darthsmile.gif . By a lot better i mean way more detailed, clearer and wider. i don't really know why. has anybody else experienced something similar? 
Welcome to Head-Fi! I still enjoy my FSP even though I own HP's that cost almost 5 times of what the FSP retails for. So you are enjoying great value, sound wise, so long as the headband remains in tact. I've owned my FSP for about 2years with no issues though just take care of them. The FSP check a lot of boxes for so many people as it is a well rounded headphone that leans towards neutral in sound signature for most.
post #1744 of 1755

i"ve noticed the oppo pm 3 can run in a balanced set up

 

i also just noticed the jack (output plugging into amp) is a TRRS jack and not TRS. Does that mean the FSP can also run in a balanced outut (eg into my sony pha3 or a pono player)

 

does anyone have definite knowledge of this? 

i've also emailed/asked focal tonight

post #1745 of 1755
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecrow View Post

i"ve noticed the oppo pm 3 can run in a balanced set up

i also just noticed the jack (output plugging into amp) is a TRRS jack and not TRS. Does that mean the FSP can also run in a balanced outut (eg into my sony pha3 or a pono player)

does anyone have definite knowledge of this? 
i've also emailed/asked focal tonight
I hope that the FSP can run balanced like the PM3! That would be amazing! Please do keep us posted about Focals reply
post #1746 of 1755

Since the Listen is the closest thing to a Spirit Pro replacement, I encourage anyone here who has heard it to share your thoughts, whether it be in this thread or here:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/815009/focal-listen-impressions-and-review

post #1747 of 1755
Quote:
Originally Posted by musiclvr View Post

I hope that the FSP can run balanced like the PM3! That would be amazing! Please do keep us posted about Focals reply
Focal tells me no. Just single ended
post #1748 of 1755
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecrow View Post

Focal tells me no. Just single ended
Thank you for the follow up @thecrow . I appreciate it. Too bad that we can't run he FSP balanced so easily though. Thank for asking for us though.
post #1749 of 1755
Quote:
Originally Posted by musiclvr View Post

Too bad that we can't run he FSP balanced so easily though.

 

Balanced vs single-ended is all about the design of the amp. Some amps sound better via the balanced output, or SE output, and some sound the same with both. There's no inherent advantage for the headphones themselves. But I would imagine you could have someone solder a custom XLR headphone cable for you, just for curiosity's sake.

 

Here's a relevant quote:

 

Quote:

Before I talk about the GSX itself I want to address one of the many, many things you see over, and over, and over, and over on Head-Fi.  Comments like, “I only run my headphones in balanced mode” or “Balanced is the better way to drive headphones” or (and this one really makes my skin crawl) “these headphones sound better balanced.”

 

To all those statements: no they don’t and please stop saying it.  Your headphones don’t care if they are balanced.  That’s not how they work.  Your AMP and DAC care, but not your headphones.  And you know what?  Most gear actually sounds better single ended because that’s how the architecture was designed and they just put a balanced connector on it, often with a crummy OPAMP in the way (I’m looking at you MSB). 

 

Does a balanced design have advantages?  Maybe.  But that’s not what I’m talking about here.  What I’m saying is that headphones universally don’t sound better balanced or single ended.  Certain amps and DAC’s do.

post #1750 of 1755
@Music Alchemist I own the Cavalli Audio Liquid Carbon (LC) 2.0 balanced amplifier. I previously owned the LC 1.0 but did not like the noise coming from the single ended output jack with low impedance iems/ headphones. So I'm happy to report that with the 2.0 the single ended output sounds phenomenal with the FSP it just sounds very alive, very liquid. I have found that the FSP is very revealing of upstream gear hence my interest in running it with a balanced amp (each driver having its dedicated power). I use my Chord Mojo as a dac so the LC 2.0 is not being fed a balanced signal but like you highlighted earlier in your post, not everything sounds better completely balanced all the way through. With that being said, I personally believe any given dynamic driver does benefit from more power to completely control its delivery of music. I have found that speed & decay seem more effortless this way. I hope to one day get my FSP terminated in a XLR 4- pin configuration but until then I will enjoy it as is.

I find it interesting that in that quote you kindly referenced the author closed by saying, "headphones universally don't sound better balanced or single ended. Certain amp's and DAC's do." If this was the case how would one be able to discern any sound at all if not experienced through headphones acting as the actual sound emitter? Happy Listening!
post #1751 of 1755
Quote:
Originally Posted by musiclvr View Post

@Music Alchemist I own the Cavalli Audio Liquid Carbon (LC) 2.0 balanced amplifier. I previously owned the LC 1.0 but did not like the noise coming from the single ended output jack with low impedance iems/ headphones. So I'm happy to report that with the 2.0 the single ended output sounds phenomenal with the FSP it just sounds very alive, very liquid. I have found that the FSP is very revealing of upstream gear hence my interest in running it with a balanced amp (each driver having its dedicated power). I use my Chord Mojo as a dac so the LC 2.0 is not being fed a balanced signal but like you highlighted earlier in your post, not everything sounds better completely balanced all the way through. With that being said, I personally believe any given dynamic driver does benefit from more power to completely control its delivery of music. I have found that speed & decay seem more effortless this way. I hope to one day get my FSP terminated in a XLR 4- pin configuration but until then I will enjoy it as is.

I find it interesting that in that quote you kindly referenced the author closed by saying, "headphones universally don't sound better balanced or single ended. Certain amp's and DAC's do." If this was the case how would one be able to discern any sound at all if not experienced through headphones acting as the actual sound emitter? Happy Listening!

 

Since the FSP only has a cable on one side, you may want to have the headphones themselves modified too. Personally I wouldn't bother, though. I'm sure you've seen my posts about preferring the MT220 over the FSP when it comes to closed headphones, and then there are many open headphones that are on another level entirely.

 

The headphones making sound has nothing to do with it. What he meant was that it depends on which amps and DACs you're talking about when it comes to the benefits of balanced vs SE. Some SE amps can sound better than some balanced amps.

 

As for power, these headphones are extremely easy to drive. (I compared a Schiit Magni 2 Uber amp and Schiit Modi 2 DAC to the headphone outputs of my laptop and did not hear a difference at all with many headphones, including the FSP, with the exception of very high volume levels, obviously.) I am not convinced that sheer power beyond the basic requirements has any benefit, because for any given headphone, the same amount of power is used to reach any given SPL level, including dynamic peaks in the music, and any available power beyond that is not used unless you increase the volume. I think it's other factors in the design of the amp that can improve things.


Edited by Music Alchemist - 10/25/16 at 9:54am
post #1752 of 1755
How are these compared to audeze sine? Thanks
post #1753 of 1755
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Lin View Post

How are these compared to audeze sine? Thanks
I own the fsp. I had a listen to the sine a few months ago.

From a vague memory the sines were fine. I beleive they were not as vibrant as the fsp. I find the fsp pretty neutral buy with a lively balance/treble.

There is nice neutral bottom end so there is some punch there too. In essence a great lively neutral sound.

I always warn people that the earcups may be small for large ears. I have average ears, i guess and they are absolutely fine.

Sound is more lively than the oppo pm3.

Great detail on the fsp.

I also like the focal spirit classic that im currently contemplating. Thats definitely more laid back and rolled off on the top end abit.

Im trying to decide if i "need" the classic as well or should i just eq the fsp

They sat on my head a lot better than the sine. I guess thats because the sines are on ear v over ear

Also ive had my fsp for over a year and all is well. But they appear thag you cant just throw them around due to the hinge connecting the ear cups to the headband. But ive often carried mine around carefully in my back pack and have had no problem. Touch wood
Edited by thecrow - 1/3/17 at 10:43pm
post #1754 of 1755
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecrow View Post

I own the fsp. I had a listen to the sine a few months ago.

From a vague memory the sines were fine. I beleive they were not as vibrant as the fsp. I find the fsp pretty neutral buy with a lively balance/treble.

There is nice neutral bottom end so there is some punch there too. In essence a great lively neutral sound.

I always warn people that the earcups may be small for large ears. I have average ears, i guess and they are absolutely fine.

Sound is more lively than the oppo pm3.

Great detail on the fsp.

I also like the focal spirit classic that im currently contemplating. Thats definitely more laid back and rolled off on the top end abit.

Im trying to decide if i "need" the classic as well or should i just eq the fsp

They sat on my head a lot better than the sine. I guess thats because the sines are on ear v over ear

Also ive had my fsp for over a year and all is well. But they appear thag you cant just throw them around due to the hinge connecting the ear cups to the headband. But ive often carried mine around carefully in my back pack and have had no problem. Touch wood
would you say they are on the same level
post #1755 of 1755
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Lin View Post

would you say they are on the same level
I
I honestly couldnt comfortably say yes but i know i had no inclination to swap my fsp for the sine.

I just remeber looking for something a little warmer or laid back than the fsp and i thought the sine were "good" but i preferred the focal classic, partly because of how it sat on my head and my established bias.

I do remember the sine being pretty light in the head but that's the other side ot it not being as gripping or stable.

I probably cant help much but its a headphone worth demoing i guess if you can, if you want something a little relaxed. And the fsp for something on the lively side of neutral with nice firm and balanced bottom end too (NOT bass headish)
Edited by thecrow - 1/3/17 at 11:09pm
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