We check out Focal’s latest headphones, the very snazzy Spirit Professionals…
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After 25 years’ of experience in speaker design and manufacturing, Focal has now poured its expertise into the design of a new pair of flagship closed-back studio headphones. Provided with both coiled and straight cables, you also get a 3.5mm-to-1/4-inch jack adaptor and a carry pouch. The straight cable is for mobile playback as it includes a remote with onboard mic for hi-fidelity conversations.
As soon as we picked up the headphones we noticed the slick finish and robust build. That being said, they are also incredibly light; alongside their soft yet firm cups they are perfect for long sessions as we experienced no ear fatigue or headaches when using them.
After using these headphones for a few weeks to ensure they were bedded-in, we selected a range of different listening materials to see how they fared under their final test conditions. First up we listened to a classic pop album that had a good balance of both loudness and depth. A soft female lead and backing vocal – which usually smear into one in our experience – suddenly gained another degree of separation. Listening to some classic jazz recordings also revealed this detail within a nice sense of depth, enabling us to discern the tiniest nuances in room sounds and plate-reverb tails.
We next tried them out with some harder-edged metal and the midrange crunch of the guitars came through quite well, though due to the non-fatiguing nature of Focal products, extreme metallers may crave a little more bite. However, the contrasting dynamics of drum cymbals were well portrayed and we trusted our perception of the mix overall.
Turning to electronic music, we tried some deep trance and enjoyed the wide stereo field, which has convincing placement within it. True to the nature of Focals, you do feel like you’re within the mix rather than it being to either side or in front of you, and the only mix aspect that didn’t come through 100 per cent were some rhythmic sub parts on one track in particular. In general, though, the bass response has an even reach down below 30Hz and the timing is very tight.