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Focal Spirit Classic

12/9/2014 8:16:17 PM
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$499
Type: closed-back, dynamic; driver: 40mm; frequency response: 5Hz to 22,000Hz; impedance: 32 ohms

French hi-fi brand Focal may be one of the newer headphones makers, but it has garnered accolades with offerings like the Spirit One and Spirit Professional.

 

The Spirit Classic is one of its newer models.

From the first listen, it was clear that Focal's excellent hi-fi heritage continues with these headphones.

I heard a balanced and clean sound. I also heard plenty of nuances in the music, such as the fading splash of a cymbal and the staccato beats of a snare drum.

I could pick out such details even against the cacophony of a whole orchestra or five-piece band playing. The track Skyfall by Adele, which the singer performed with the backing of an orchestra and choir, highlighted this aspect well.

Sound quality is also helped by the headphones' tight fit on the ears, as well as the plush memory foam earcups which block out some ambient noise when you put them on.

However, this can be a double-edged sword as the headphones turned uncomfortable when worn for even short sessions of about 30 minutes.

Finished in anodised aluminium, the Spirit Classic exudes a classy and premium feel. But I have a feeling that its dark brown hue - the brand calls it "hot chocolate" - will not suit some tastes.

Weighing 310g, it is not the lightest or smallest pair of headphones around. It can be partially folded inwards, like the popular Beats Solo HD and the Sennheiser Urbanite XL featured in this round-up.

But portability is not its strong suit. Its solid, chunky build quality should find favour among music lovers who like their headphones to feel solid.

 
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