Focal is known worldwide for their exceptional quality high-end audio products. Their headphones are known to be some of the best according to audiophiles and headphone forums. One of their more affordable consumer directed headphone models is the Focal Listen… a comfortable, smartphone friendly everyday headphone with fantastic sound for everyday music listeners on the go. The latest version of this headphone is now wireless and Focal fans are wondering how good the Focal Listen Wireless really is considering the nearly endless list of competition. I’m a big fan of the original Focal wired headphone so I’m quite excited to give the new Focal Listen Wireless over-ear headphone a full test and review.
Focal Listen Wireless Headphone Review
IN THE BOX
In the box with the Focal Listen Wireless headphone you get the following:
- Focal Listen Wireless Headphone
- Removable audio cable 3.5mm (1/8″)
- Sturdy carrying bag
- USB charging cable
Design / Style / Durability
If you know the original Focal Listen headphone then you won’t be too shocked at the Listen Wireless. It’s an uber-stylish yet minimal looking headphone. The headband and most of the essential parts are made from durable plastic that keep it light yet sturdy. The classic Focal engineered design is something you can count on with everything product they make and the Listen Wireless headphone shines with a sort of tech-savvy sophistication.
The Focal Listen Wireless is ready to go when you are. With a battery life of up to 20 hours you can use this headphone again and again several times before you’ll need to recharge. And the fold-up design with the convenient carry bag make the Listen Wireless ready for daily battle in the real world.
One of my favorite things about the entire Focal line of headphones is the level of detail put into making them comfortable. Although the Focal Listen Wireless is on the lower end of the Focal headphone spectrum they still offer an impressive level of comfort. The only drawback is they can be a slight bit tight but it really depends on the person using the headphone. Overall, the padding on the headband and ear-pads are quite nice but I hope the tightness of the fit would ease up after a while of daily use.
The Focal Listen Wireless headphone also features Bluetooth 4.1 as well as the aptX codec for premium sound quality via dedicated digital audio player or smartphone. The Listen Wireless also has all the controls you need from volume to track advance and has an on board microphone for phone calls. The wireless range of the Listen Wireless was about average for most new Bluetooth headphones right now at approximately 25-30 feet. To top it all off the Listen Wireless has an optional aux cable for listening wired in situations where Bluetooth is not available.
Taking note of the sound signature of the Focal Listen Wireless I immediately notice the focus on clarity from the mid-range frequencies to the highs. The Listen’s 40mm driver and frequency range of 15Hz to 22kHz make for a pleasing combination in the bass as well. I sampled quite a few tracks to really get an idea of where the Focal Listen Wireless headphone was strongest. I started off with some tracks from the Tame Impala “Currents” album and was moved by the punchy bass and warm overtones. Moving on to Cut Copy “In Ghost Colours” the sound signature of this headphone revealed itself a little more. The Focal Listen Wireless is clearly a high-end everyday headphone designed to please most in the pop music genres. From EDM to indie rock and even heavy metal, the Listen Wireless is a “bass strong” headphone with a slight boost in the mids. One other thing I noticed about this wireless headphone is that it’s the first one so far that actually did not leave me wanting more volume. I don’t know how they did it but Focal managed to win the Bluetooth sound pressure level battle.
Summing up my experience with Focal’s first Bluetooth headphone I can say that a lot of people are going to be impressed with the Listen Wireless. It’s a comfortable, portable crowd-pleaser that looks and sounds better than most wireless headphones in the same price range of just under $300. Everything from easy to use controls to long battery life give the Listen Wireless an advantage that carefree music lovers are likely to enjoy. Although it may not be a perfect fit for everyone I think the Focal Listen Wireless has definitely found its footing in the constantly growing headphone market.
Type: Circamaural closed-back ear-cup headphones
Bluetooth Version: 4.1
Range: 15 meters
Battery: Up to 20hrs
Impedance: 32 Ohms
Sensitivity: 122dB SPL @ 1kHz
Total Harmonic Distortion @ 1kHz 100dB: <0.4%
Frequency Response: 15Hz – 22kHz
Driver Type: Electrodynamic (Mylar Titanium)
Microphones: 2 Omnidirectional (Clear Voice Capture)
Net Weight: 300 grams