Reviews and Problems with Focal Spirit Professional
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Sound is Great! Feel not so great.
Karl, B&H Photo
27 February 2015
Excerpt: I'm a pro mixer and recording engineer. I currently use and trust my Focal CMS 65 Studio Monitors, I Love them and believe they make my recording/mixing experience the best it can be. However, the Focal spirit Pros sound equally as good I just couldn't ware them for long periods of time, they are not that comfortable for me at all, so I had to return them. I did spend a little more money for another set of headphones which I'll review shortly.
Pros: Clear Sound, Compact, Durable, Easy To Use, Lightweight, Versatile
Excerpt: A little background: I am both involved in sound professionally, as well as a young but passionate audiophile. I have heard many of the most highly regarded headphones ever made including the Audeze LCD-2 and LCD-3, the sennheiser HD 800 on a well-paired amp, Sennheiser HD650, HD600 through reference DACs, most of the beyerdynamic phones, all the Shure phones like the 1840 (I also own the SE846 and SE535), the top-of-the-line in ear Westones, TOTLS custom in-ears like...
Pros: Clear Sound, Dynamic, Easy to Drive, Neutral, Reference Quality
Summary: I was mixing and mastering an album, and using pretty good speakers and similar headphones, but because my room acoustics are still not treated, my mixed would pretty consistently fall apart when listening on other speakers. I bought the Focals in hopes it would save the day/album, and I couldn't believe it when it actually did!
Pros: Clear, and most importantly your mixes end up translating almost perfectly across all other speakers and headphones. If you are SERIOUS about mixing, get these headphones!
Cons: If you need them to be up to par right away, you may not be ok with needing to break them in with 50-100 hours of use. I played music through them from an iPod for a day and that seemed to get things right. My mixes turned out great!
Summary: Probably the most neutral headphones I've ever heard, in terms of frequency response. Music just sounds like music on them. I'm a studio engineer and in comparing these to my $4k monitor speakers, the overall sound is nearly the same. The soundstage is very good - not as good as the best open-backed cans, which is to be expected, but I don't hear any of the boxiness or nasal quality that you often expect with closed-back cans.
Pros: Sound quality, and sound isolation.
Cons: Not the most comfortable, especially if you have big ears. They tend to sit on the ears rather than go all the way around them. But the memory foam is loosening up over time and they've definitely become more comfortable to the point where it isn't too much of an issue.
Summary: I am apologizing beforehand, this is not a review but only praise for the Focal Spirit Professionals. Forget the B&W P7's, PSB M4U1's, Sennheiser Momentums, or as a matter of fact any portable headphones that are $300+ or below a thousand something dollars. These are absolutely amazing headphones with absolutely no flaw I can nitpick. As neutral and smooth as they are, they are still packed with fervent energy without the stridency or grain in the higher frequencies.
Pros: Soundstage, Speed, Refinement, Build quality (it's a tank), Isolation (awesome!), Bass, Midrange, Treble, BALANCE, Removable Cables, etc.
Cons: A bit heavy, a bit pricey but worth it, not the most detailed headphones
First off, I do need to stress these sound excellent. Excellent clarity, great bass, fun and a neutralish sound that is enjoyable for long-term listening. I think they need a bit more treble but I can certainly see how many people think the treble is there in just the right amount.
However, the real let down is the many design choices that really harm this headphone.
On-ear or Over-ear?
For the average ear these are on-ear headphones not over-ear.
Pros: Sound is exceptional. Detailed, great imaging, great bass and sounds as if it were close to neutral.
Cons: This is an on-ear headphone and not an over-ear headphone.
Summary: Introduction and Context:
On October 27th, 2013, I posted a question in the Sennheiser Amperior Appreciation Thread: (http://www.head-fi.org/t/612632/sennheiser-amperior-appreciation-thread/405#post_9926794)
Originally Posted by AustinValentine
I have my own question for this fantastic group of Amperior enthusiasts: can anyone recommend a circumaural (open or closed) headphone with a sound signature similar to the Amperior?
Pros: Neutral Sound, Punchy and Dynamic, Aesthetically Pleasing
Cons: Headband and Swivel Construction, Didn't Pay For Itself
Summary: Hello everybody,
I have been waiting for this for a while now. The first headphone from Focal, the Spirit One impressed me very much with their unique sound.
From that moment on I was really curious to see what Focal will come up with next in the headphone department.
Well, the time has come, as I have both new models from Focal on my desk, the Focal Spirit Classic and Spirit Professional.
Pros: Fast and punchy bass, very good details, very good transients, good transparency, good soundstage, well built
Cons: Very good for studio use, but may get a little tiresome after a while for non professional use
Masterpiece overshadowed by poor design decisions.
24 January 2015
Summary: Sound wise? They are like Sennheiser HD600. Unbeatable sub £500. Crystal clear tones, well balanced with slight bass elevation. Comfort/Ergonomic? This is downfall of these headphones, they are not going to fit or be comfortable on at least 50% people that will try them and this is why these headphones aren't as popular as they really should be.
Summary: I have a number of expensive high end headphones and yet it took this product to fully appreciate my music. The sound is punchy and clear. The bass is smooth and the treble beautifully fizzy. I can not recommend these highly enough. I fully intend to buy at least one more to keep as back ups should mine break for any reason.