Focal Spirit One S is your perfect travel buddy
THIS writer is certain that majority of us have experienced boredom during a lengthy road trip or a flight out to a foreign destination. We have all heard of the horrors of budget airlines not having an in-flight entertainment system. Thanks to the guys at Focal Ph, a recent travel abroad was made more bearable with their line of perfect travel buddies.
Gen Tiu, the marketing manager of Waido Corporation, exclusive distributors of Focal headphones and home entertainment systems in the country, sent me a test unit of the Spirit S. Focal’s Spirit S is their entry level headphones competitively priced at P11,000, it is a part of the Focal Headphones family composed of the Spirit Classic and the high-end Spirit Professional.
One noticeable feature of Focal is that their headphones have similar design cues. With the Spirit One S, it is a tasteful combination of black, dark grey and silver finishes with cosmetic touches of metal of what is effectively a plastic headphone. Don’t be misled with the plastic because it is high quality and it I guess it is meant to reduce weight of the SOS. The metal portions of the headphones make it look high quality and expensive. Overall, this headphone is a looker.
The circular design encloses and cup your ears with soft pads are a convenient and pleasurable way to enjoy the SOS during extended plays. The inside of the cups are finished with a layer of red cloth between your ears and the housing, so everything feels very plush and comfortable. The pads are nice and thick, but the opening for your ears might be a little tight for those with larger ears. The cable that comes with the package is a good length at 1.4m and allows enough slack to connect to a player in your pocket or on your desk with a bit of room to move, but without creating an unwieldy tangle of excess cable. The cable attaches to the left earpiece with a 3.5mm plug that needs to be pushed in securely.
The Spirit One S leans towards a forgiving bass sound similar to the Spirit Classic, but more so. I sampled a track and listened to “This Girl” by the Kungs, and immediately noticed that the One S had more bass. This extended bottom end can be good when your strolling on a public and noisy mall, or while car pooling or simply drowning out the splashing of the waves by the seashore. However, the SOS did lack the detail of the bass with the Spirit Classic, but the difference was subtle and easily lost among the noise of commuting. The speaker drivers are 40mm—fairly normal for this range of headphones. Just don’t jack up the volume too much because this can damage your ear but the good news is that musical detail holds at lower volumes so there’s not that urge to increase volume to get impact and detail. If you feel the need to increase volume to a level where you know you shouldn’t, distortion is minimal.
The Focal Spirit One S Over-ear Headphones is a well engineered and designed product, though audiophiles might feel that it is a bit lacking a bit more. The Spirit One S delivers a rich, deep sound, but the bass can dominate the mix. That being said, This French made headphone does a fantastic job crafting a portable set of over-ear headphones that sounds a great deal better than most popular brands in the market.