|Warranty length||2 Years|
|Brand||Focal JM Labs|
|Product Award||HiFi Choice Recommended|
Tech SpecsWITH AN ENVIABLE pedigree as a producer of loudspeakers, Focal has enjoyed considerable success in the headphone market. Now the company has decided to move into the in-ear sector with the launch of the Sphear, whose name I guess is a play on the words sphere and hear. These sort of headphones tend to be either ear buds that sit just inside the lug hole or in-ears that are pushed in further, and have a much better bass response by virtue of creating a sealed environment. Focal reckons that in-ears aren’t as comfy as ear buds when it comes to extended listening. And so it has tried to create a closed-back earphone that sits on the pinna (the outer cartilage part of the ear) but extends into the auditory canal using tips to form a seal, which cuts out ambient noise and improves bass response. One benefit of this approach is that larger transducers can be employed, with Focal opting for a 10.8mm ultra-large Mylar type that offering a frequency response of 20Hz – 20kHz. The impedance is a reasonably low 16ohm. The Sphear earphones are principally intended for use with mobile phones, and so they sport an inline omnidirectional microphone and universally compatible remote control. The latter is a smart, simple affair that conveniently sits about 30cm below chin level, where the left and right cords split. I find this symmetrical arrangement of the cord so much better than those that have a T-shape, often with the right cord much longer than the left and the inline remote dangling in midair.
After two years of meticulous development, Focal have unveiled their new Sphear in-ear headphones marking their first venture in the category. They were created because Focal believes that as current earphones become uncomfortable to wear after some time, they have “generally failed to fulfil their promise."
Designed with this in mind, the Focal Sphear headphones aim to redefine the approach towards the ear canal. It features memory foam tips and an extended housing in order to shift the weight of the headphones to the inferior auricle and consequently reduce excessive volume and weight.
The Sphear utilises 10.8mm drivers and an intuitive rounded design to deliver Focal’s signature sound with an exceptionally rich mid-range. The bass is also increased slightly to resolve the issue of noisy environments. As expected from the French manufacturer, the overall sound is precise, clear and faithful to the original music.
A multi-function remote control allows you to control all your devices connected to your In-Ear headphones such as smartphones, tablets, MP3 players or computers. The remote is fitted with an omnidirectional microphone enabling you to answer or end telephone calls as well control play functions like play, stop, next and previous track.
The Focal Sphear in-ear headphones are supplied with three pairs of silicone and memory foam tips along with an aeroplane adapter and carrying case.
- 'The Sphear is a real joy, proving itself easy to drive and capable of delivering a well imaged and nicely balanced soundfield.' (Hi-Fi Choice Magazine September 2015)
'In terms of absolute transparency the Sphear doesn’t compare with on-ear headphone models, but it does perform incredibly well with portable devices. Price is perfectly pitched, making it a great buy for music fans on the go.' (Hi-Fi Choice Magazine September 2015)