Focal Spirit One Headphones

2012-04-17T10:12:44+00:00April 17th, 2012|Home|1,141 Comments

Focal has just expanded its family of products with the introduction of the company’s very first high fidelity headphones.  The first model of this new family, the Spirit One, is a closed type headphone, light and highly accessorized. With its sleek and luxurious design, its performance honoring all the brand standards, the Spirit One is ready to hit the streets and living rooms.  The launch of the Spirit One headphone fits perfectly with the brand strategy: to offer a true quality sound wherever it is necessary. After bringing quality music to the home and to studios with loudspeakers, and to the car with world-renowned speakers, the headphone was the missing link between these different worlds.

Two years of hard work were necessary for Focal to develop and shape the Spirit One, to acquire all the necessary skills to master the delicate art of the high fidelity headphone. The goal was not to launch one more headphone into the market, but to create a sophisticated sound component, of the highest quality, immediately identifiable as a Focal product in itself.  In a highly competitive market, but with strong growth, where the number of competitors with doubtful pedigree continues to increase, and where the headphone is often limited to a fashion accessory, Focal offers a leading product with all the legitimacy that such a sound specialist can summon.

Focal’s modern approach to headphone design is evident from the outset.  The Spirit One is a headphone that you can listen to anywhere: in the street, while commuting, or at home. The presence of the aluminum iPhone remote control integrated into the minijack cable is the most evident expression of this approach. Besides the ability to manage calls, it controls the essential functions of the music player from Apple  (Ready for iPod, iPhone, iPad): volume, play, pause, previous track or next track. Finally, an adapter can disable the remote when the Spirit One is used with a non-compatible smartphone. Many accessories are standard with the Spirit One to extend the listening pleasure in all situations: mini-jack/jack adapter (3.5mm / 6.35mm) for home listening, airplane connector, soft transport cover, detachable anti-winding cord, not to mention that the headphone comes in a deluxe rigid storage case.

But the key to a mobile headphone is of course its light weight.  At only 225g, obtained with an ultra-light aluminum structure, silky touch ABS shells (soft touch coating), the Spirit One is simply pleasant to wear, without the fatigue generally caused by a headphone’s weight. These choices of materials also give it a plush aspect: modern without falling into unpractical fashion excess. Comfort has been especially studied for the circum-aural coupling around the ear, to ensure a pleasant contact and the proper seal required to operate a closed headphone.

By calling its headphone Spirit One, Focal is committed to the path of “The Spirit of Sound”; that is to say, be respectful to the music – all types of music. This commitment implicitly dispels any use of an easy sound, with a falsely dramatic nature, supported by a “physiological” response curve, with bloated bass and hollowed midrange. Respectful sound is a sound that reproduces all the instruments with the right tonal balance, and with the dynamics that characterize each of them. The choice of 40 mm diaphragms (mylar / titanium), through extensive listening sessions, meets the technical standards displayed by Focal on the drivers: stiffness and lightness, to obtain respectively, a pure sound free of distortion right down to the sub bass, and a maximum dynamic range due to a high efficiency. The company’s know-how has been focused on dozens of interacting parameters – such as on a loudspeaker, but moved to other technical points – to achieve the ideal response curve. The ovoid shape of the shells and the choice of materials are important elements to be taken in consideration, as they influence sound reproduction. In line with Focal tradition, the result is a sound that meets the company’s goals: honest, full… the true sound. Sound quality is also a matter of environment, and listening in the street or on public transport exposes the listener to outside noise that will directly affect sound reproduction. Choosing a circum-aural type closed headphone resting on the skull around the ear was therefore the most logical choice to remain faithful to accurate and undisturbed sound.

The Spirit One headphones are available now for approximately $279.

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