Focal makes its headphone debut with Spirit One

On the way next month is the first headphone model from loudspeaker company Focal, the Spirit One.

Two years in development, the £199 design is the first in a forthcoming range for the mobile audio market, designed to 'deliver Focal performance on the move, as well as at home'.

It's a lightweight closed-back circumaural headphone designed for sonic accuracy and to keep out most external sounds, Focal saying that 'extensive research was carried out to find the right balance of controlled external leakage to give emotional reassurance and security'.

Another priority was comfort, enabling the headphones to be worn for an extended period – for example while travelling. The Spirit One weighs 225g, and is build around a headband machined from aircraft-grade aluminium.

The drive units use neodymium magnets and lightweight but rigid 4cm mylar/titanium diaphragms for speed, linearity, sensitivity and dynamics.

The ovoid outer shells were, like every aspect of the design, arrived at by performance-evaluation: Focal says the shape was found to be ideal when made from a type of ABS chosen for both its tactile qualities and its self-damping properties.

The detachable cable includes an aluminium iPhone/iPod/iPad remote for functions including call answer/hang up, volume, play/pause and track skip.

An adapter is provided to disable the remote when used with other music players.

The Spirit One will come complete with 3.5mm/6.3mm jack adapter, an airline connector, that detachable cable, and both a soft transport cover and a rigid storage case.

And just in case you were wondering how many components go into a pair of headphones...

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Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.