“Last year, Focal took the audio world by surprise with Utopia and Elear high-end headphones, which integrated some very innovative technologies,” says 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 circumaural 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 an exceptional product of French craftsmanship with a sophisticated design and the quality of Focal's large electrodynamic Mylar Titanium drivers.
Listen launched to great success last year and was developed from day one with the intention of developing a second, wireless version. In addition to providing great sound, the size of the ear-pieces was specifically designed to integrate the best of Bluetooth technology. Focal wanted the technology to be of sufficient quality not just something associated with compressed music. As a result, Listen Wireless is equipped with Bluetooth wireless technology version 4.1, and compatible with aptX.
According to the French company, the technology has now reached a level where it is nearly as good as CD quality. After becoming a reference manufacturer for high-end headphones, Focal intends to leverage its expertise also in the portable wireless headphones, focusing on audio quality.
In addition, Listen Wireless has all the attributes people expect to find in headphones: comfort and style. 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 excellent 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, and added a scratch-resistant lacquered Black High Gloss finish.
The new wireless headphones can also be used with a traditional audio cable. Like the original Listen wired model, when connected to a DAC, the new Listen Wireless will deliver all the power and scale worthy of a high-end hi-fi product with all the advantages of real mobility. The new headphones 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. Reception range is up to 60 feet (15 meters), giving users complete freedom of movement around the source.
The Listen Wireless headphones are also equipped with a dual omnidirectional microphone system running Clear Voice Capture software for improved voice clarity while talking, even in noisy environments. They also feature NFC technology for an easy and quick connection with smartphones, while the controls are located on the ear-pieces, making them even more ergonomic. The three buttons are grouped into three areas: the on/off and Bluetooth buttons in one area; music and call controls in another; and volume controls. The controls are simple and intuitive, controlled by short or long presses.
Voice notifications and different LED colors indicate the status of the headphones, the battery level, pairing, etc. 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 allows users to transport the headphones around in complete safety.
Listen Wireless will be available mid to late July in Black high gloss finish from retail and online partners for $299.00 USD. The price for the wired Listen will drop from $299 to $249 USD, beginning June 21.
Spark and Spark Wireless - Mobile In-Ear Headphones
As a follow up to the successful Sphear in-ear headphones, Focal created the new Spark line to provide the mobile and connected consumer access to Focal sound and performance at an affordable price.
Spark has a dynamic and wide frequency response with a 9.5mm Mylar driver to make quality sound accessible at an affordable price, in a stylish, lightweight and comfortable in-ear headphone. The body of the aluminum headphones and the three-button remote control with omnidirectional microphone give it an elegant look. The silicone earplugs, the soft touch, flat anti-tangle cable and the rigid carrying case make it easily accessible and practical to use, and offers comfort for long listening sessions.
Spark Wireless is the first Bluetooth in-ear headset designed by Focal. Completing the Spark series, Spark Wireless is a high-quality ultra-nomad headphone providing music enthusiasts with comfort, quality listening and total freedom of movement thanks to its Bluetooth 4.1 implementation.
Spark and Spark Wireless are now available in Black and Silver from retail and online partners for $69.00 USD and $99.00 USD, respectively. Spark Blue Cobalt and Spark Wireless Rose Gold models will be available mid to late July.
Spark Wireless come with three pairs of silicone tips (size S, M, L), a USB cable, a battery clip for sports activities and a rigid carrying case. Included with each pair of Spark are three pairs of silicone tips (size S, M, L) and a rigid carrying case.
Sphear S – Mobile Hi-Fi In-Ear Headphones
Sphear S is Focal’s updated version of its first in-ear headphones launched in 2015. Offering hi-fi quality, they come with ultra-large Mylar transducers (10.8mm), one of the biggest of their type, to ensure an extended frequency response in the low end as well as an improved tonal balance. Designed to suit all ear shapes and sizes, the closed-back intra-aural Sphear S model provides noise isolation and ensures an optimal audio experience in complete comfort, even during prolonged listening.
Sphear S will be available mid to late July in Black from retail and online partners for $129.00 USD. 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.