Because it’s wireless via standard Bluetooth, this is aimed particularly at mobile users. It isn’t the most elegant solution, however. The Focal Spark wireless earbuds are available from Amazon for £89 with free delivery. This compartment also houses the micro USB connection for the included (but very short) micro USB charging cable. At $99, they also offer a secure, lightweight fit and are easy to operate. Apple AirPods Max vs. Bose NC 700 vs. Sony WH-1000XM4: Should You Pay More for AirPods? There’s not much ceremony here, although in use the se… Subscribing to a newsletter indicates your consent to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. 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. French audio company Focal has been creating acoustic equipment since 1979 in the home audio, headphones, car speakers and monitor fields. Eric Frederiksen. And the sound quality? Focal doesn't get anything glaringly wrong here, but the sound signature isn't as compelling as other options we've tested. It hurts to say that it is a very bad attempt by an Audio brand of such caliber to make such an entry-level product. Bass and treble is far more prominent here than in the SoundMagic E10BT. Focal is a relatively new brand in the arena of headphones. 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 … It has a good sound, although I got better tips from Comply, and it improved the bass response a bit. The, 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, AirPods Max Too Expensive? There’s an advantage to that more chunky build: battery life. Helpful. With the right sized tips, the earbuds sit softly and securely in your ears. #mc_embed_signup{background:#fff; clear:left; font:14px Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; width:100%;} If you’re using recent smartphones with no 3.5mm jack, this is absolutely the better choice. 11 Nov 2018 0 Earlier this year, I had the chance to check out my first set of headphones from french audio outfit Focal. It’s high-mid emphasis favors music with vocals and acoustic instruments like folk and singer songwriter music. 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 expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology. Even though my iPhone has a headphone jack, the Focal Spark Wireless will allow you to live without. A little magnetised clip lets you anchor the Focal Spark Wireless to clothing. But we've tested similarly priced models that deliver more high frequency definition along with the pumped lows. Contributing Editor Tim Gideon has been writing for PCMag since 2006. 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. 4.0 out of 5 stars Good value. At more moderate volume levels, the drivers deliver quite a thump—it should appeal to bass lovers, but there could definitely be a little more high-mid presence in the mix. A weighted compartment at the halfway point of the cable sits behind the neck—this houses the Bluetooth circuitry, as well as the status LED. You can buy them from Flipkart, Amazon. Instead, you get a beefed up sustain for the drum loop, which gets plenty of low frequency boosting. Despite its large-ish size, the battery block doesn’t weigh too much, and also doesn’t bounce around erratically if you’re wearing the Focal Spark Wireless while running. The in-ear fit is lightweight, secure, and comfortable, unless of course, you're not into the idea of a neckband in the first place. 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. Lightweight, secure in-ear fit. Focal Spark in-ear-headphones review: Refined audio and French style on a budget These modestly priced headphones sound leaps and bounds beyond their price tag. We may earn a commission if you click a deal and buy an item. The Focal Spark Wireless is available in three color schemes, which is black, silver, and rose gold. Sound quality is decent but below the the brilliance you might expect from an old hi-fi hand such as Focal. After reading a lot of reviews, bought the Focal Spark Wireless headphones. The Skullcandy Jib Wireless and the JBL Reflect Mini BT are both winners, while the more expensive Jaybird X3 is worth the higher price if you have room in your budget. The bud itself is aluminum, nice and light, and comes in Rose Gold (pink), Black and Silver for the Wireless Sparks. Focal's Spark Wireless Bluetooth earphones deliver some serious thunder in the bass department. The headphones come in three color options — silver, black, and a nice rose gold. He specializes in reviewing audio products, and is obsessed with headphones, speakers, and recording gear. Flaky Bluetooth reliability is another knock that keeps the Focal Spark Wireless from challenging some of the top alternatives. There’s no aptX or NFC either, but it’s no great surprise when the cost bump over the wired Focal Spark Wireless is relatively small. That said, the profound bass response can overwhelm the mix at times, and even lovers of powerful low end might find themselves wishing for more crisp, high-mid presence in the mix. Inside each earpiece, a 9.5mm Mylar driver delivers the audio. Using the Voice Memos app on an iPhone 6s, we were able to understand every word we recorded, but there were plenty of audio artifacts, and the overall quality was fuzzy. In fact, I know of another headphone out there called the Elear (also made by Focal) that has … There’s no neckband, which may turn off some – but there’s also more than only a cable bridging the two earpieces together. #mergeRow-gdpr fieldset label {font-weight: normal;} 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. We’ll be looking at the wired version today, although you can check out the Focal Spark Wireless review aswell. The Focal Spark Wireless don't cost too much more than the £60 of their wired equivalents. #mc-embedded-subscribe-form .mc_fieldset{border:none;min-height: 0px;padding-bottom:0px;}. You may unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time. The Focal Spark Wireless are mid-price Bluetooth earphones. The Focal Spark Wireless headphones have the same design as the wired version, however, I am very disappointed with the design since there are two blocks on the cable. Full Review: https://www.themasterswitch.com/review-focal-spark-wireless Focal Spark Wireless. Part way down the left cable, you’ll find a small remote, which features a volume u… I find them prone to movement-related blips. Again, bass lovers will not be disappointed—the earphones can certainly reproduce deep lows—but this is not a balanced sound signature that delivers lows matched with high frequency definition. This is how we make money. A plastic block sits by the back of your neck – it appears to hold the battery – while a familiar second brick is home to the three buttons that make up most headphone remotes. 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. We’re reviewing the silver pair, which has a white cable, but the headphones also come in black. While the cable's surface is a matte rubber, the earpieces and inline compartments have a glossier finish to them. While simple cable earphones rarely last much longer than five hours between charges, the Focal Spark Wireless last eight, putting them in the next league when it comes to stamina. You can read my full review of the Focal Spark wired earphone to get a more detailed idea of the sound signature of this amazing little device. Orchestral tracks, like the opening scene in John Adams' The Gospel According to the Other Mary, get more bass boosting than anyone seeking an accurate frequency response will want, but some listeners might enjoy the extra presence this lends to lower register instrumentation. Nearest the left earpiece, at roughly chin level, is the inline remote control compartment. Focal Spark Wireless Earphones review: No Spark. The high-mids feel dialed back, though—there's less treble edge on Callahan's vocals, the guitar strums have less brightness, and things seem generally shifted toward the lows. We’re reviewing the black pair, which are extremely sleek and stylish — though in our opinion the silver headphones look a little m… Focal Spark Wireless Review (Page 3 of 4) Page 3 - Subjective Audio Analysis. You’ll also feel the cable around your neck as you turn your head far more than most thanks to the anchoring effect of the battery block and the chunky, flat cable design. This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links. 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. Focal's Spark Wireless Bluetooth earphones deliver some serious thunder in the bass department. (The volume works in conjunction with your mobile device's master volume levels.) The controls of the Focal Listen Wireless are nice and large, but the placement of the playback controls on the upper half of the front-side of the ear cup paired with the volume and pairing buttons on the lower half of the back-side of the ear cups makes it difficult to press one control without accidentally pressing the opposing control. However, if you find them online at a decent price, they’re a solid buy. 0 Comment Report abuse. The Focal Spark Wireless are mid-priced wireless earphones for those who hate the neckband style of rival pairs, but don’t want the so-so battery life of sets with … Let’s get into the details: Well, it’s good if not the best at the price; it isn’t quite what I expected from a brand such as Focal, with hard treble, soft mids and standard crowd-pleaser bass. They keep the sleek metallic look found on the original Focal Spark headphones, though obviously the cable instead wraps around your neck. Source: The samples for this review were provided by Focal. At $99, they also offer a secure, lightweight fit and are easy to … If you're a fan of the neckband-style design and booming bass, the Spark Wireless might be up your alley, but there are more compelling options in this price range—even for bass lovers. © 1996-2021 Ziff Davis, LLC. The design works pretty well. AirPods Max vs. AirPods Pro: What's Apple's Best Pair of Noise-Cancelling Headphones? We recommend moving this block and the preceding CSS link to the HEAD of your HTML file. Focal Spark wireless. Orchestral tracks, like the opening scene in John Adams', At $100, the Focal Spark Wireless earphones offer a secure fit and powerful bass response. The Spark Wireless headphones are available in silver, black, and rose gold. The Focal Spark Wireless have a design that attempts to incorporate the best bits of the main wireless earphones styles. I used this product three times a week for my commute to work. PCMag.com is a leading authority on technology, delivering Labs-based, independent reviews of the latest products and services. Sign up for What's New Now to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every morning. At $100, the Focal Spark Wireless earphones offer a secure fit and powerful bass response. There’s conspicuously less texture and detail in the mids than the emphasised treble too, which leaves some guitar music sounding a little flat. The drums on this track sound thunderous—they get a pretty heavy helping of deep bass response for quite a bit more thump than usual. They are well designed and come with a price tag of ₹7,990/- ($76.15). 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. The Focal Spark Wireless do a fine job with electronic music, making synths and samples sound vital, while the thick but not outright overblown bass keeps the rhythm taut enough to satisfy at the price. Apple's AirPods Max Over-Ear Headphones Are Here, and They're Expensive, Getting Static or Crackling in Your AirPods Pro? While I know bluetooth hates walls, cubicles and even the human body, they are expected to connect around 10m (33ft). Keep an eye on your inbox! As I mentioned I did receive a wired pair of Focal Spark that are finished in Cobalt Blue though this is not an option for the wireless version. If you’ve spent time in the professional audio industry, Focal is one of those audio brands that will definitely ring a bell as they make some of the most high-end monitor speakers and headphones for the audiophile and pro audio space. 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. 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. The Focal Spark Wireless earphones sell for $99 US. Of course, it isn’t the most sophisticated style going. The treble is a little hard, at times verging on brash, giving some voices a harsh edge. Focal's Spark Wireless Bluetooth earphones deliver some serious thunder in the bass department. There’s a solution to the slippage issue, though. Such issues have rapidly declined in mid-price rivals over the past year or so. 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. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product or service, we may be paid a fee by that merchant. The Bluetooth is 4.1 and aptX so carries a good quality audio file, in principle. Surprisingly, the snap-shut rubber cover that protects the micro USB port popped off—not open—fairly easily in testing, actually separating itself from the compartment altogether. Feed the Focal Spark Wireless some more natural sounds and you’ll begin to hear their limitations, though. But having to remember to bring a magnetic shirt fastener with you every time you go for a run seems a little ambitious. Focal Spark Wireless The gist: The Spark wireless is an entry-level model that gives music lovers a taste of the legendary Focal sound… well, almost. Available in black, white-and-silver, or white-and-rose gold, the earphones feature a flat, linguini-like neckband and earpieces that sport the Focal logo on the metallic end caps. I know Focal as primarily a maker of hi-fi speakers, which leads to certain expectations when it comes to sound. The Focal Spark Wireless are mid-priced wireless earphones for those who hate the neckband style of rival pairs, but don’t want the so-so battery life of sets with earpieces joined by a near-naked wire. The Wireless Spark has an abundant kick and slam factor down yonder, but only when cranked up to probably more than comfortable listening volumes. The design is very basic, but that’s not a bad thing. This time, we’re trying out Spark Wireless ($99), the Bluetooth version of Focal’s entry-level headphone range. Focal Spark Wireless Review (Page 2 of 4) Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware. The Focal Spark Wireless is a comfortable Bluetooth headset. Listening to the Focal Spark Wireless next to the SoundMagic E10BT, they make the E10BT sound a little treble-shy and soft at the top end, but the SoundMagic earphones have a more even spread of detail across the frequency range. Your subscription has been confirmed. It is low profile and light. Focal spark wireless is an amazing pair of earphones but a really bad set of wireless earphones. Apple Will Fix It for Free. These aren’t earphones that you’d be comfortable wearing round your neck all day, even when not in use. With 4.1 Bluetooth technology, a range of up to 15 meters, and 8-hours of battery life, they are great for travel and workouts. The mids are clearer, making them more comfortable genre-hoppers. 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. Andrew Williams is a technology writer, who has contributed to Stuff, WIRED, TechRadar, T3, Wareable and, of course, Trusted Reviews. On tracks with intense sub-bass content, like The Knife's "Silent Shout," the earphones deliver a powerful deep bass response and don't distort at top, unwise listening levels. Jarl. That said, the profound bass response can overwhelm the mix at times, and even lovers of powerful low end might find themselves wishing for more crisp, high-mid presence in the mix. These are wireless in-ear headphones and offer excellent value for money. Battery life is estiamted to be up to eight hours, but your results will depend on your volume levels. You can press it back into place and reconnect it, but this is an annoyance, and a design flaw we rarely see. If wires aren’t your cup of tea, the $99 Focal Spark Wireless in-ear headphones are a great option. I was happy with all groups of music and speech and if you are looking for a lightweight set of wireless earbuds with six to eight hours of use between charges then this set should be added to your shortlist. That, however, is because this track lacks a powerful deep bass presence to shift the balance to the lows. Overview – Focal Spark Wireless Earphones Review Overall, the Focal Spark Wireless earphones have a good sense of depth to them, and lots of great clarity in the midrange. A good comparison would be with the Fiio FH1 review which similar in many ways. The sound signature isn't muddy, but it isn't the crisp, clear sound some listeners will be looking for. The Focal Sphear Wireless earphones deliver a good audio experience, with two useful EQ modes, for a reasonable price. /* Add your own Mailchimp form style overrides in your site stylesheet or in this style block. Verified Purchase. Here he test and reviews some of newest mobile, audio and camera d…. The sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat also have lots of deep bass heft to them, but the track lacks the higher frequency presence that gives the overall mix better definition. However, the Focal Spark Wireless aim for a more mass market appeal. The Focal Spark Wireless is the Bluetooth version and it costs just $30. Reviewing audio devices require extensively trained ears and lots of experience. Like the Spark wired earphone, the Spark wireless features well balanced bass, crystal clear mids and all the high frequencies you could wish for in a wireless in-ear headphone. Our particular example is the silver version. The bass is there for power and punch, the treble injection for clarity and a sense of overt detail. Try These Headphones Instead, The Best Earbuds (In-Ear Headphones) for 2021, Cheap AirPod Alternatives: The Best True Wireless Earbuds Under $100. The remote houses three buttons—a central multifunction button for playback and call management, and plus/minus buttons for adjusting volume and track navigation. The Focal Spark Wireless headphones deliver a bass-forward sound signature that would benefit from more high-mid presence. */ Focal have kept both camps of listeners happy with the release of the Spark ($69) and Spark Wireless ($99). Light, slight and neckband-free, they’re well suited to those who like their earphones minimalist in style – but not so minimalist that you’re left with just a couple of earpieces and a battery life of three hours. Bill Callahan's "Drover," a track with far less deep bass in the mix, gives us a better sense of the general sound signature. I’ve found they tend to slip around with movement, and the earpieces don’t magnetically link together. Apple AirPods Pro vs. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds: Which Noise-Cancelling True Wireless Earphones Are Better? The display of third-party trademarks and trade names on this site does not necessarily indicate any affiliation or the endorsement of PCMag. Best for portable multimedia devices such as laptops, tablets, and of course, smartphones. Reviewed in the United States on January 2, 2020. They may not have perfect sound balance or perfect wireless performance, but the Focal Spark Wireless have plenty of energy. The first thing you’ll notice about the headphones is their design, and they look great. https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/focal-spark-wireless. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 vs. Sony WH-1000XM4: Which Pair Is Better? But that shouldn’t be mistaken for “bad”. The Focal Spark Wireless earphones deliver a bass-forward sound signature that would benefit from more high-mid presence. Focal includes three pairs of silicon eartips (S, M, and L), a battery clip (it looks more like a magnetic cable cinch, but it allows you to fasten the compartment to your shirt while exercising), the aforementioned charging cable, and a small zip-up case. The result is not the least awkward wireless earphone I’ve used. The higher register brass, strings, and vocals retain a crisp presence despite the dialed-back high-mids, and things sound more balanced here than on other tracks we tested. This is typical of a Bluetooth inline mic, however, and for basic communication purposes, it'll do just fine. The first thing you’ll notice about the headphones is their design, and they look quite nice. We're not big fans of combining volume control and track skipping on the same buttons—it's too easy to accidentally skip a track when you meant to adjust the volume. The Focal Spark wireless is a winner! But we've tested similarly priced models that deliver more high frequency definition along with the pumped lows. The inline mic offers so-so intelligibility. Powerful, distortion-free bass response. Last year, we reviewed the Focal Spark, an excellent pair of buds that retail for a little under $70. The vocals are clear enough but lack their typical crispness. At $99, they also offer a secure, lightweight fit and are easy to operate. #mc-embedded-subscribe-form input[type=checkbox]{display: inline; width: auto;margin-right: 10px;} And if you're looking to spend a little less, the 808 Audio Ear Canz is a solid option for its modest price. They cost £89, just £30 more than the wired version. Wireless reliability isn’t that hot, however, particularly compared with the rock-solid (and cheaper) SoundMagic E10BT. The latest addition to the portfolio is Focal Spark Wireless Headphones. PCMag Digital Group. When they were shipped to us, Focal also included the wireless version, unsurprisingly called the Focal Spark Wireless. #mergeRow-gdpr {margin-top: 20px;} Callahan's baritone vocals also receive a generous low-mid presence, giving his voice more richness. As such, they don’t lack energy or bulk, and the soundstage is respectably wide for a pair of in-ears. 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