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Focal SPIRIT PROFESSIONAL Impressions thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by m-13, Jan 23, 2014.
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  1. M-13
    So I got these today and WOW... [​IMG]
    These are the most neutral / balanced headphones I've heard, surpassing the MDR-7520, HD600, and HE-500.
    Surprisingly resolving of micro-details. Very transparent.
    There is an amazing sense of coherence and sweet balance from top to botton with incredible extension on both ends.
    I think these are a hidden gem and everyone should give them a try.
    My guess is they will be SUPER popular soon, so I've gone ahead and created some space for us to have fun discussing them.
    Here are some photos I took:
    After 8 days, the pads have become a lot softer and more comfortable. My initial impressions still hold. Very neutral while retaining great body to the music. Bass is well extened and hits hard and clean, and thunders if the music calls for it. Top to down coherence is amazing. The treble is well extended and ths soundscape is airy and very open sounding. Imaging and soundstaging abilities are also off the charts.
    One bad thing I noticed was that since they don't have any kind of a mid-bass hump, male voices and instruments located in the lower-mid, upper bass areas don't have that nice thick body that a lot of popular phones display (e.g. LCD-2). It sounds bit light and too clean. I guess it's neutral, but also not as enjoyable IMO. Female vocals and instruments located in the upper-mids sound awesome, sweet, extended airy and resolving.
    pOOB73 and amanp like this.
  2. M-13
    Spirit Pro Reviews:
  3. xanlamin
    It's truly great sounding but I find the Classic more musical. Did u try out the Classic before buying the Pro?
  4. M-13

    Unfortunately not. I am very interested however. I might buy the Classic to compare because I'm so impressed by the Pro. But I do tend to favor neutral headphones greatly. I already have too many musical ones or did have them in the past. Finding something neutral to my ears has been a much much harder quest.
    Edit: Wow... you own a lot of headphones. Your profile looks more like an encyclopedia. [​IMG]
  5. xanlamin
    Makes sense :) The Classic is on my target list, but i m concerned about the hinge design. I have seen this problem with the Spirit One.
  6. xanlamin
    Btw, I don't own most of the headphones in my profile but I have tested them at some point in time and I recorded my thoughts abt them in my profile :)
  7. M-13
    I see. I thought you were some kind of millionaire who could just buy whatever he wanted. Haha.[​IMG]
    Yeah, I totally ignored the Spirit One because I knew it had crazy problems. The Spirit Pro caught my interest because of the chatter at a site where a lot of studio rat professionals hang out. They kept saying it sounds exactly like their Focal monitors. When I heard this from at least four or five different professional mastering engineers I got curious to say the least.
    So far I think the Spirit Pro is amazing. I've heard and owned my share of cans too and it's not everyday I'm floored liked this.
  8. xanlamin
    True, I think they really made 2 very gd hp this time.
  9. ballard3
    Does Spirit pro have leather or pleather pads?
  10. M-13
    They smell like pleather to me. Maybe some kind of egg protein pads? The quality looks fine though, like it might last for awhile, Not cheap looking or anything.
  11. ballard3
    Thank you. Just another question: are pads replaceable?
  12. M-13

    I have no idea. I don't want to rip them out just in case they're not. [​IMG]
    (if I had to guess? I would say yes, by the way they're sort of mounted)
    They are not replaceable. Glued on. This I think kind of sucks, but the pads are very robust. They will definitely last 5 years under normal use.
  13. M-13
    So, day three with the Spirit Pros and I'm notcing some things. The pads are breaking in nicely, it's pretty high quality memory foam underneath the leather. The small earpad holes are becoming less of an issues as the pads get softer, wrapping my ears in comfort plushness.
    The bass seems to have decreased with some burn-in, becoming tighter and even deeper, very linear, but I would also say not for bass heads at all. The upper-mid range is incredibly open, almost like an open can with lots of air for instruments and voices to breath.
    Loving them so far.
  14. Greggo
    Do they fit all the way over your ears or do they rest on your ears?  Just curious as I have big ears myself and have trouble with V-Moda M-100 as an example, even with XL pads.  How would you compare the space for ears to fit inside the pads on Spirit Pro versus MDR-7520?
    I have read many positive comments on these phones so I will be watching closely.  I will soon add a full size closed headphone to my collection and I am considering the following:
    Focal Spirit Pro
    Focal Spirit Classic
    Sennheiser HD 6 Mix
    Sennheiser HD 7 DJ
    Sennheiser HD 8 DJ
    Shure SRH1540
    Sony MDR-7520
    Part of it will come down to deciding between studio mixing neutrality or just personal listening with a bit more of a "fun" sound signature, hence the mix of options above... or choosing one of each from the list above.
    Did you consider any of these and/or have a chance to test them out (aside from the Senns, since those are new models).  Would be interested in your comments regarding both sound and fit.
  15. M-13

    If you have big ears I would say you'd have trouble with these too. My average sized ears fit snugly into them. As the pads warm up the cushions do get softer and my ears have a easier time of fitting inside. Peronsally speaking, I have no comfort issues with them, but I would definitey warn people with past headphone comfort issues that they will probably have problems with the Spirit Pro.
    The 7520 has bigger holes for your ears, but the pad depth is much more shallow. Are you okay with your ears touching the driver protector plastic? Because it will for the 7520. Again, this doesn't bother me in the slightest, although I do notice my ears touching the back because of the shallow depth. I guess I'm kind of blessed in this regard, but I can see how people would get annoyed or uncomfortable by this.
    Out of the models you mentioned. I did look into the 1540 and Spirit Classic, but decided not to even try them out because people say they are on the bassier side of things. I don't like bassy headphones. It's okay for me to have a tad more than neutral, but I don't want something crazy bassy.
    The Spirit Pro is very neutral, and very resolving of details. It will be a super clear window into your mix and music, showing you everything in an inoffensive way. The 7520 is also neutral, but is not uncolored as the Spirit Pro. The 7520s biggest down side is that they sound super bassy out of the box and that bass is just odd, very weird. Not sure how to describe it. It goes away after some burn-in. The bass is quite nice afterwards, maybe 10%~15% above neutral depending on the kind of music. Sometimes, on certain tracks the bass feels just right, neutral and lending the music a nice body the Spirit Pro does not have, on other tracks the bass feels a bit above neutral. Both headphones have awesome extension and punch and control.
    I have never heard the new Sennheiser DJs (obviously), but I would hazard to guess they're not really in the same league at the 7520/Spirit Pro. My reference would be the Amperior, which was Senn's best DJ headphone until very recently. The 7520 was in a different league in terms of technicalities and refinement. The 7520 and Spirit Pro have a very refined sound, a cut above the typical headphones under $300 or even $400, if we're talking about the P7 or H6.
    Hope that helps.
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