The Spark Wireless are basic earphones - a narrow cable connects the two earpieces and a couple of junction boxes on the cable house the electronics. The Focal Spark, at $69, represents the opposite end of the the Focal pricing spectrum, a no-frills, wired in-canal pair with an inline remote. Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample The remote is of the three-button variety, with a central button devoted to playback, call management, and track navigation, depending on how many times you tap it. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 vs. Sony WH-1000XM4: Which Pair Is Better? The sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat are delivered with some serious presence. The Focal Spark wireless is a winner! 0. The Focal Spark can indeed be considered a solid contender for the best wired in-ear headphones in its price-range. You may unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time. Focal, the French leader in professional acoustics, hi–fi and automotive, completes its range of headphones with a brand new in–ear: Spark. Dampen the Din: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 vs. QuietComfort 35 II, Pre-Order Bose's Sport Open Earbuds for $200, Samsung Reveals Galaxy Buds Pro Name on Canadian Storefront. You can pause or play music by clicking the middle multifunction button, skip to the next track by double clicking it, access your phone’s voice assistant by holding it down, and adjust the volume via the up and down buttons. They work best with folk, jazz, and singer-songwriter music. Just open the box and you’re ready to go. The outer two buttons are dedicated volume up and down controls that work in conjunction with your mobile device's master volume levels. While I know bluetooth hates walls, cubicles and even the human body, they are expected to connect around 10m (33ft). Now with a pair of headphones like the Utopia in their line-up, you might expect Focal to take the same route towards near perfection with the Spark but the truth is it has a much more of a mainstream sound signature to it. Impedance 16 Ohms Apple AirPods Max vs. Bose NC 700 vs. Sony WH-1000XM4: Should You Pay More for AirPods? Focal Spark Review (Page 2 of 4) Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware. On tracks with intense sub-bass content, like the Knife's "Silent Shout," the earphones deliver a powerful low frequency response. Our particular example is the silver version. The vocals on this track are delivered clearly, but again, we are missing the high-mid treble edge that would help them stand out more against the bass-dense backdrop. It has a good sound, although I got better tips from Comply, and it improved the bass response a bit. This is a sound signature that leans toward the lows and the low-mids, with some definition in the highs, but not as much as we'd prefer. The first thing you’ll notice about the headphones is their design, and they look great. That said, I’m willing to bet this is an isolated incident since I haven’t seen that complaint anywhere else so I have to assume it’s just my bad luck. In the box you’ll get the headphones, a small hardshell carrying case for storage, three sets of extra ear tips, and the instruction manual. Whether I was trying to talk on the phone or access the voice assistant on my phone I just couldn’t get it to work. Without a doubt the best in-ear headphones in their category, they open the way for fans of streaming music who want to enjoy their favourite songs on the move. Part way down the left cable, you’ll find a small remote, which features a volume u… The in-line controls work fine but if you’re on Android you’ll miss out on the ability to return to a previous track. Full Review: https://www.themasterswitch.com/review-focal-spark They are just what it says there but they’re very accomplished indeed. For some reason earbuds shaped like this always fit my ear perfectly, I didn’t even need to switch out the ear tips to get a great seal, they worked great right out of the box. The Focal Spark Wireless earpieces are all-metal, with a two-tone black-on-silver look, and they’re chunky look fits well with the style of cable. We’re reviewing the black pair, which are extremely sleek and stylish — though in our opinion the silver headphones look a little m… At top, unwise listening levels, the drivers do not distort, and at more moderate volumes, the deep lows still have a strong presence, balanced somewhat by the high-mids and highs. Look, I get it. If you have more room in your budget and want some excellent-sounding wired in-ears, the Bowers & Wilkins C5 Series 2 remain one of our favorites. But now that we’ve got the negatives out of the way let’s focus on some of the things these headphones get right, because it does do a good job at almost everything else. (This logo, coincidentally, looks quite a bit like the logo of audio manufacturer MartinLogan, only shifted on its side.) This is a look at Focal’s every day, let’s say, entry-level Focal Spark Wireless in earbuds. It’s not a bad thing but to be honest it was slightly disappointing. Here, the drums definitely get an extra helping in the bass department, but it's not enough to send things into ridiculous thunder territory. You’ll normally find their name attached to high end monitor speakers and headphones, including the $4000 Utopia headphones which have been touted as one of the best ever made. If you scratched three logos off of these headphones, you’d still have another logo. The body of the headphones is made from sleek, durable, great sounding aluminum. There's nothing wrong with the added bass depth, as it's never over the top, but the earphones could use some added high-mid presence to give things more definition and clarity in the highs. Again, it's not the most intense bass boosting we've ever heard, but the lows are pumped up considerably. He specializes in reviewing audio products, and is obsessed with headphones, speakers, and recording gear. https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/focal-spark. Overall the sound on the Sparks is good for this price range, but not great. The Focal Spark wired headphones retail for $69, and they are available from Amazon [affiliate link] and other retailers. Just don't expect to be blown away. So lets take a listen to the Focal Spark Wireless in-ear headphone to see if it’s going to be worthy of being called wireless audiophile technology. I know it’s not really a big deal, but I can’t be the only one who cares about this. The Focal Spark, at $69, represents the opposite end of the the Focal pricing spectrum, a no-frills, wired in-canal pair with an inline remote. Focal Spark Wireless Earphones Review - Duration: 3:57. One major problem that I had with these was the microphone. It’s large, clunky, and block-shaped which doesn’t match the clean and modern aesthetic that I’m sure Focal was going for. Focal says that the Spark is aimed for a young, mobile, connected audience — we think its sound signature is well-matched for that goal. It performed as expected in many areas and was a bit of a letdown in others, but it was never great at any one thing. Besides this stealthy black color option you can also get them in a white/silver color way that looks a little bit cleaner as the branding isn’t as noticeable. Branding is everywhere. Inexpensive Verified Purchase. But I feel like there’s a right way to do it, and Focal didn’t get that balance right with these. But that shouldn’t be mistaken for “bad”. The French audio brand Focal has been busy of late, expanding its quality lineup to include more affordable earphones to complement offerings like the Utopia, a $4,000 pair of headphones. Minimal design, Blocky control module So too, is the Wireless Spark here. I don’t find it dry at all, nor overly potent. By Simon Wilce. PCMag, PCMag.com and PC Magazine are among the federally registered trademarks of Ziff Davis, LLC and may not be used by third parties without explicit permission. Callahan's baritone vocals also get a heavy dose of low and low-mid presence, bringing out their richness even more than might be necessary. The wired Focal Spark earphones deliver a rich, full bass response but could use a little more presence in the higher frequencies to balance things out. The Focal Spark, at $69, represents the opposite end of the the Focal pricing spectrum, a no-frills, wired in-canal pair with an inline remote. Focal Spark ⭐ review. Their entry level Spark earbuds cost way less than $4000, but are they any good? The mids seem a little lackluster to my ears with elements that I know are meant to drive the song forward fading into the background. © 1996-2021 Ziff Davis, LLC. French audio company Focal has been creating acoustic equipment since 1979 in the home audio, headphones, car speakers and monitor fields. AirPods Max vs. AirPods Pro: What's Apple's Best Pair of Noise-Cancelling Headphones? The low end is given a nice prominence that makes itself known in songs that you might not expect them to. When the design of a pair of headphones or a speaker perfectly matches its function, that product usually gets a high score from me in terms of design. Sure, it might not have the best detail but it gets the point across without being painful which is a great thing to have when the drivers are literally sitting in your ears. The cabling joins into a single cable around mid-torso, culminating in a 3.5mm connection. Orchestral tracks, like the opening scene in John Adams' The Gospel According to the Other Mary, get an added bass presence, but not nearly to the extent of modern mixes that feature more sub-bass content. Whether you’re looking for a spare pair to keep in your bag or are looking to make them your go-to everyday pair of headphones these are a good option that’s just a little rough around the edges. Apple Will Fix It for Free. The Spark looks good and is competitively priced, although the earpiece fit could be improved. Sign up for What's New Now to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every morning. Focal Spark Wireless – Review. The wired Focal Spark earphones deliver a rich, full bass response but could use a little more presence in the higher frequencies to balance things out. The pinhole mic, located on the opposite side of the remote control compartment, offers excellent intelligibility. Discover the key facts and see how Focal Spark performs in the headphones ranking. Contributing Editor Tim Gideon has been writing for PCMag since 2006. But then you get the name “Focal” stamped in white across the side of the earbud, as well as on the black control module hanging out on the wire, as well as the 3.5mm connector, and even on the small piece of metal at the Y-split. We’re reviewing the silver pair, which has a white cable, but the headphones also come in black. The Spark Wireless comes with the same accessories as the Spark — three sizes of silicone ear tips and a carry case — plus the a short micro-USB charging cable and magnetic shirt clip. Still, I guess that was just my personal bias slipping in because when I handed off the headphones to my friends to try they loved them. It could’ve been that I had high expectations going into this review but I feel like the Focal Spark didn’t floor me in any way. The French audio brand Focal has been busy of late, expanding its quality lineup to include more affordable, How to Free Up Space on Your iPhone or iPad, How to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Bill, How to Find Free Tools to Optimize Your Small Business, How to Get Started With Project Management, Read 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones Review, Read Klipsch Reference XR8i Hybrid Review, AirPods Max Too Expensive? Focal Spark Wireless In-Ear Headphone Review IN THE BOX. 0 Comment Report abuse. Nothing fancy here and I appreciate the minimalism of it all. Subscribing to a newsletter indicates your consent to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Which is fine since the company has plenty of other products you can look towards if you want great. Decent "popular" sound Using the Voice Memos app on an iPhone 6s, we not only understood each word clearly, but microphone quality was exceptional, delivering crisp high mids and an ideal level of bass response. On Jay-Z and Kanye West's "No Church in the Wild," the drum loop receives less high-mid presence than it typically does, which has the effect of dulling the attack of the hits slightly. Gavin's Gadgets 1,649 views. I find the tone and texture of the top end to be very appealing, interesting and nicely tuned for musicality. Apple AirPods Pro vs. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds: Which Noise-Cancelling True Wireless Earphones Are Better? After Sphear in 2015, the first high–end in–ear headphones, Spark will satisfy a mobile, young and connected target. Luckily, the French brand doesn’t only hang out in the high end. First you get the small F logo on either earbud which I don’t mind one bit. I do enjoy wireless headphones every now and then, but there’s nothing like plugging in a wire and going on your way. Not for those seeking an accurate sound signature. We’ll be tackling the latter in another review, but for now, let’s talk about the wired version. Besides my obvious hatred of the branding on these headphones my biggest problem with the way these headphones were built and designed is the control module. Reviewed in the United States on January 2, 2020. Focal's recent headphones have exercised a little more restraint in the bass department and focused more on accuracy. For one, the earbuds have a small bullet-like shape to them that reminds me of the original Xiaomi Piston headphones which I absolutely loved. If big bass without crisp highs appeals to you, the Spark won't disappoint, but if you're looking for a little more definition in this price range, consider the RHA S500i, the Klipsch Reference X6i, or the 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones. For those who like visual simplicity for a clean appearance, the Focal Spark has you covered. The Focal Spark, at $69, represents the opposite end of the the Focal pricing spectrum, a no-frills, wired in-canal pair with an inline remote. Following up on our review last year of the very impressive Focal Sphear in-ear headphones, we now take a look at Focal’s 2017/18 lineup: The Sphear S, Spark and Spark Wireless earphones.. Read on for our review. Spark's design is at once fashionable and timeless, and they are a pleasure to use and to wear. Powerful bass response that never distorts. The first thing you’ll notice about the headphones is their design, and they look quite nice. There’s not much ceremony here, although in use the se… Focal might not be the most well-known audio brand to your average consumer, but anyone who has spent time in a professional studio might recognize the name. We've heard earphones boost the lows far more intensely than this, but what's missing here is a little bit of added high-mid presence to balance it out and keep things crisp. In that same piece however the highs have a nice air around them that never becomes harsh even when it gets much louder towards the end. They’re not for bassheads, but if you appreciate earphones with a clear high end to emphasize vocals, you’ll enjoy these earphones. They keep the sleek metallic look found on the original Focal Spark headphones, though obviously the cable instead wraps around your neck. As far as connection goes there’s only one option here: a good ‘ol 3.5mm jack. AirPods Pro vs. AirPods 2: Which True Wireless Apple Earbuds Are Better? It can be both a good and a bad thing with the bass notes in “Home Again” by Michael Kiwanuka being given a warm presence, but the ones in “Fall Creek Boys Choir” by James Blake being a little too much for my taste. The earphones sound more balanced on orchestral tracks than with any other genre, but there's still some added bass push. If it stopped there, it would’ve been fine. Focal has designed Spark to make quality sound accessible to as many people as possible The design of Spark has been studied to make it a stylish and lightweight product Silicone earplugs, flat anti-tangle cable and the rigid carrying case make it easily accessible and very practical to use Try These Headphones Instead, The Best Earbuds (In-Ear Headphones) for 2021, Cheap AirPod Alternatives: The Best True Wireless Earbuds Under $100. But I digress. Our expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology. Focal Spark and Focal Spark Wireless Headphones Review Updated on Nov 1, 2017 by Tuan Do Focal is a very well-known brand in the audiophile world as they have some great high-end loudspeakers. The Focal Spark Wireless headphones are well-designed, great-sounding, and reasonably comfortable. If you happen to have a phone without a headphone jack then don’t lose the dongle (or get something else to plug it into) because otherwise you’re out of luck. Your subscription has been confirmed. It could’ve been that I had high expectations going into this review but I feel like the Focal Spark didn’t floor me in any way. The Focal Spark are light to the point where I would frequently forget that I had them in my shirt or pants pocket. In particular, let’s talk about the design. They offer a surprisingly bass-forward audio experience, given Focal's typically more balanced, accurate approach. The Good The Focal Sphear is a lightweight, comfortable in-ear headphone that stays in your ears and sounds impressive for the price, with full bass and pleasantly crisp treble. The cable is also a flat one which helps to avoid tangles which is super helpful if you’re like me and just end up stuffing your headphones in your pocket when you’re done using them. This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links. Video Review The Spark buds are beautifully-built | The Master Switch Design: Focal (pronounced Fo-CAL, by the way - they’re French) sent us two models: the Spark, and its wireless cousin. Branding is important to any company that wants to sell their product. The headphones come in three color options — silver, black, and a nice rose gold. The Spark's boosted bass is not unpleasant in the slightest, but it's missing its counterpart in the high-mids and highs—if we're abandoning the idea of a flat, accurate response, we need sculpting everywhere, not just in the lows, to achieve a sense of balance. At $100, the Focal Spark Wireless earphones offer a secure fit and powerful bass response. The Spark’s 9.5mm drivers are tuned for the V-shaped presentation; boosted bass and treble pairs well with today’s popular music, but recessed midrange leaves metal and rock music sounding a little dull. Instead of a sharp attack, we get more thump, with the sustain of the hits beefed up in the lower frequencies. Flat, linguini-esque cabling descends from the earpieces, which feature metallic outer panels emblazoned with the Focal logo. Whether I was casually walking around running errands or actively shaking my head like a wet dog to test the fit, I didn’t have any issues with these falling out. The Focal Spark earphones have made this decision a little easier, because the Sparks are attractive, priced right and are offered both wired and wireless. the song already has powerful thumping bassnotes throughout and with a little extra attention paid to them they take over. The Focal Spark happens to be a really great pair of in-ear headphones; that they are so inexpensive is just icing on the cake. The Focal Spark Wireless in-ear headphone comes with the following items in the box: 1 Spark wireless in-ear 3 pairs of silcone tips (S/M/L) Jarl. 4.0 out of 5 stars Good value. That said, all the other controls work as advertised. This time, we’re trying out Spark Wireless ($99), the Bluetooth version of Focal’s entry-level headphone range. At first glance I was sure this would be one of those instances, but then I took the headphones out of the box and was smacked in the face with branding. Overview – Focal Spark Wired Earphones Review Overall, the Focal Spark Wired Earphones are a great earphone for the price. These are still a solid pair of earbuds that get the job done, which is all you can really ask for when it comes to earbuds. The French audio brand Focal has been busy of late, expanding its quality lineup to include more affordable earphones to complement offerings like the Utopia, a $4,000 pair of headphones. An inline remote control and microphone compartment is located along the left ear's cable at roughly chin level. Recently, these models have seen dramatic price drops with the Focal Spark found for as little as $19.99, the wireless for $35, and the Sphear for $65 on many popular online marketplaces. It performed as expected in many areas and was a bit of a letdown in others, but it was never great at any one thing. For $69 the Spark in-ears get plenty right, and some things wrong. The lower register instrumentation is pushed forward in the mix, but it doesn't overwhelm the balance, and the bright higher register brass, strings, and vocals are able to maintain their prominence in the mix. Helpful. But that shouldn’t be mistaken for “bad”. The in-ear unit itself is a basic silver cylinder, and on the end of each unit you’ll find the Focal logo, under which is a small grill. Focal’s Sphear Wireless are a sleek and simple pair of banded Bluetooth earbuds with exceptional sound and an affordable price. Apple's AirPods Max Over-Ear Headphones Are Here, and They're Expensive, Getting Static or Crackling in Your AirPods Pro? While the sound is good, with reasonable lows, good enough midrange and pleasant highs, this leaves a lot to be desired in the connection department. PCMag.com is a leading authority on technology, delivering Labs-based, independent reviews of the latest products and services. Inside the earpieces, audio is delivered via electrodynamic 9.5mm mylar drivers, with a 15 Ohm impedance. The design is very basic, but that’s not a bad thing. I built a guitar out of a shelf during lockdown ! The Focal Spark is available in three color schemes, which is black, silver, and blue. The display of third-party trademarks and trade names on this site does not necessarily indicate any affiliation or the endorsement of PCMag. So much so, that we think these are the best casual-listening in-ear wireless headphones at this price point." - Duration: 26:01. Focal does treble well, the Elear’s best quality was its sublime upper end. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product or service, we may be paid a fee by that merchant. Inline remote with exceptionally clear microphone. 3:57. Bill Callahan's "Drover," a track with far less deep bass in the mix, gives a better sense of the general sound signature. PCMag Digital Group. Keep an eye on your inbox! Focal Spark Wireless in-ear headphone review: Audiophile sound at a budget price The French manufacturer's in-ear-headphones will bathe you in intoxicating audiophile sound … The earphones ship with three pairs of silicone eartips in small, medium, and large sizes, and the in-ear fit is lightweight and secure. Their line of higher end over-ears are excellent sounding and well-built tanks and I’ve enjoyed each one I’ve tried. Other than a tiny black zip-up protective case, there are no additional accessories. It certainly has the sonic punch to lead the pack, with its detailed response and solid low-end. After reading a lot of reviews, bought the Focal Spark Wireless headphones. Focal Audio's Spark in-ear headphone offers the perfect sound for music from all sources. The Focal Spark in-ears are solid and will get the job done, which is about all you can expect at this price point. I used this product three times a week for my commute to work. Our brand new earphones, Spark, are our entry-level model, giving customers access to the Focal sound. COPYRIGHT © 2021 SoundGuys, All Rights Reserved. But we've tested similarly priced models that deliver more high frequency definition … The Focal Spark Wireless don't cost too much more than the £60 of their wired equivalents. Available in black, blue, and silver-and-white models, the Spark's design is simple and clean. The drums on this track can sound overly bass-heavy on earphones that boost the deep lows too much. Published on 12 October 2018. This is can be heard in the Disney piece “Paperman” by Christophe Beck where the melodic strings that come in at about the 35 second mark seem to fall behind the bass. But on close inspection, they don’t look or feel anything out of the ordinary - the price doesn't immediately seem any sort of bargain. Our review unit of the Focal Spark arrived in a relatively compact, brown corrugated cardboard box from the company's public relations firm in Miami, Florida, USA. Focal Spark Review Introduction In their rather short foray into the headphone market, Focal has become my favorite brand for personal music enjoyment. Like I said, I’m a huge fan of anything minimal. I don’t want to be a walking advertisement every time I go to the grocery store. Since 2006 is black, blue, and they look great apple earbuds are Better extra attention to! And connected target the endorsement of PCMag price point., bought the Focal Spark indeed. 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