Focal, the French speaker and headphone manufacturer who we visited at their factory and HQ near Lyon, have launched their newest line of mobile headphones – Premium closed-back wireless over-ear Listen Wireless®, In-ear Spark and Spark Wireless®, and Hifi in-ear Sphear S®.
“Last year, Focal took the audio world by surprise with Utopia and Elear high-end headphones, which integrated some very innovative technologies,” said Ben Jensen, president of Focal North America. “With this collection of portable headphones, Focal was focused on developing mainstream mobile products in-line with the brand’s core values, while integrating our mastery of wireless headphones. We want to play a leading role in this growing sector giving the consumer freedom of cables and making 2017 the year of wireless headphones for Focal.”
Listen Wireless – Premium Closed-Back Wireless Headphones
Listen Wireless is the wireless version of Focal’s high-end closed-back Listen headphones, and the flagship product of its new range of headphones for the mainstream market. Equipped with Bluetooth® wireless technology, these headphones offer a product of “French craftsmanship with a sophisticated design and, as always, the quality of Focal Sound”. Listen launched to last year and was developed from day one with the intention of developing a second, wireless version. The size of the ear-pieces has been specifically designed to integrate Bluetooth® technology. Listen Wireless is equipped with Bluetooth® wireless technology version 4.1, and compatible with aptX. The technology has now reached a level where it is “nearly as good as CD quality”.
The ultra-flexible headband makes them light, reduces pressure on the head and increases durability. The memory foam ear cushions made from fabric and leatherette provide isolation, a key feature of Listen Wireless. Focal kept the design of the folding ear-pieces, which makes them easy to use and carry around. Listen Wireless has a scratch-resistant lacquered Black High Gloss finish. These wireless headphones can also be used with a traditional audio cable. They offer 20 hours of listening time, and have a charging time of less than three hours. The automatic standby feature gives it a total range of 240 hours. They have a reception range of up to 60 feet (15 meters). Listen Wireless is equipped with a dual omnidirectional microphone system running Clear Voice Capture software it also uses the NFC technology available on some smartphones equipped with an NFC module for an easy and quick connection. The controls are located on the ear-pieces.
Up to eight different devices can be stored in the memory of Listen Wireless and two devices can be connected simultaneously. This means users can listen to music from a tablet and answer a call from a smartphone at the same time. Listen Wireless is supplied with a USB cable and an audio cable for wired use, or for when Bluetooth® connectivity isn’t possible. A soft carry case is also supplied.
(Clear Voice Capture)
Listen Wireless Availability & Pricing
Listen Wireless will be available mid to late July 2017 in Black high gloss finish from retail and online partners for $299.00 USD / $399.00 CAD. The price for the wired Listen will drop from $299 to $249 USD and from $399 to $299 CAD beginning June 21st
Spark and Spark Wireless – Mobile In-Ear Headphones
As a follow up to the Sphear in-ear headphones, Focal created the new Spark line to provide “mobile and connected consumer access at an affordable price”.
Designed in France, Spark has a 9.5mm Mylar driver and the body of the IEM is aluminium. There is a three-button remote control with omnidirectional microphone, silicone earplugs, soft touch, flat anti-tangle cable and the rigid carrying case. Spark Wireless is the first Bluetooth® headset designed by Focal.
Spark and Spark Wireless Availability & Pricing
Spark and Spark Wireless are now available in Black and Silver from retail and online partners for $69.00 USD / $89.00 CAD and $99.00 USD / $139.00 CAD, respectively.
Spark Blue Cobalt and Spark Wireless Rose Gold will be available mid to late July.
Sphear S – Mobile Hifi In-Ear Headphones
Sphear S is Focal’s updated version of its first in-ear headphones launched in 2015. They come with ultra-large Mylar transducers (10.8mm), one of the biggest of their type. Designed to suit all ear shapes and sizes, Sphear S provides noise isolation and ensures an “optimal audio experience in complete comfort, even during prolonged listening”. Sphear S come with three pairs of silicone tips (size S, M, L), three memory foam tips (size S, M, L) and a carrying case.
Sphear S Availability & Pricing
Sphear S will be available mid to late July in Black for $129.00 USD / $179.00 CAD.