This past week, along with the wired version of the same product, Focal sent me their Spark earphones to test out. These earphones are made with portability and sound quality in mind, and fit within an affordable budget. But does their sound stand up to what the earphones claim to do? Today, let’s take a closer look with this Focal Spark Wireless Earphones Review.
Focal Spark Wireless Earphones Review
In the Box – Focal Spark Wireless Earphones Review
-Focal Spark Wireless earphones
-zipping, semi-hard carrying case
-silicone eartips (small, medium, and large)
-micro USB charging cable
-magnetic battery clip
-Bluetooth codec: Bluetooth 4.1
-Bluetooth range: >15 m
-Battery Life: 8 hours
-Impedance: 16 ohms
-Sensitivity: 103 dB SPL, 1 mW @ 1 kHz
-THD (1 mW (50 H:10 kHz)): <.3%
-Frequency Response: 20 Hz- 20 kHz
-Driver: Electrodynamic Mylar, 9.5 mm
-Weight: 14 g
Design – Focal Spark Wireless Earphones Review
The look of the Focal Spark Wireless earphones, like the Spark Wired earphones is classy and mature. The earpieces have a matte black finish which contrasts attractively with the silver ends. Those ends feature the Focal logo, which, like the Focal Spark Wired earphones, is etched into the metal and covered over in a sparkly metal grill. The rest of the look is simple. It sports a matte black, flat cable which connects to the matte black battery and microphone/remote.
Since the earpieces are built identically to the Focal Spark Wired, the Focal Spark Wireless earphones fits similarly. They rely on the fit of the eartips to hold them in place. As a result, if your ears typically fit with normal eartips, you’ll have great luck with the Spark. However, if your ears require more finesse or a more sophisticated design to keep them in place, these won’t be for you. While my ears usually work well with the medium tips of earphones, I found the mediums seemed slightly too big with the Spark. Rather, the small tips fit better for me and created a nice seal. The seal both kept the earphones in place and blocked out noise from the outside world.
The Focal Spark Wireless earphones are built well. They sport aluminum driver housings, which protect the drivers from pressure. Additionally, small strain reliefs rest at the base of the earpieces and at either ends of the battery and microphone/remote.
The Focal Spark Wireless earphones feature an eight hour battery life, making them ideal for commuting and listening on-the-go. They connect wirelessly via Bluetooth 4.1, which has a range of about 15 m or 30 ft. Additionally, onboard the cable is a remote and microphone, good for adjusting playback, answering calls, and talking on the phone. As a result, The spark is a good option for those looking for a discrete earphone for phone conferencing.
Sound – Focal Spark Wireless Earphones Review
The low frequencies of the Focal Spark Wireless earphones feel a bit emphasized, providing a sense of dimension to low-frequency rich instruments. For example, when I was listening to the song Highways and Clouds by Amos Lee, the kick drum felt thick and solid, contributing a strong foundation to the groove. The lows seemed to reach way far downward, but became lighter in level as it approached the sub frequencies below 60 Hz. For example, when I was listening to the song HUMBLE by Kendrick Lamar, I could feel the super low bass synth, but had a hard time putting my finger on the exact pitch of it. As a result, it created emotion, but left a lot of space for the other low frequency parts.
The middle frequencies of the Focal Spark Wireless earphones have a strong and solid low-mid response. It gives precedence to bass guitars and the thickness of electric guitars and synths. For example, when I was listening to Roosevelt Room by Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, the bass guitar felt more forward in the mix than it usually does. The guitars felt thick and powerful. The top end of the midrange had a little bit of a dip, giving the organ and background vocals a sense of mellowness. However, the high mids had a fairly big emphasis. As a result, Conor’s voice, felt a bit louder in the mix and slightly more present.
The lower end of the treble of the Focal Spark Wireless earphones experienced a bit of a cut, while the upper part of the trouble experienced a boost. As a result, the high frequencies had a sense of detail and separation, but high frequency rich instruments sat slightly differently in the mix tonally. For example, when I was listening to the song Green Light by Lorde, Ella Yelich-O’Connor’s vocal has extra detail and breath to it than normal.
The soundstage of the Focal Spark Wireless earphones is subtle, but has a sense of nuance. The downward reaching low frequencies contrast well with the emphasized upper treble, creating a detailed sense of height. While there isn’t much remarkable about the width or depth, the clearness of the midrange leaves space for reverbs and room mics to come through with effectiveness. For example, when I was listening to the song So Tender by Keith Jarrett, I could sense of the distance of the drums because of the room mics. Additionally, the lightness of the brushes on the snare and cymbals sounded high in the vertical domain, which contrasted well with the depth of the low-mid rich upright bass.
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. It’s high-mid emphasis favors music with vocals and acoustic instruments like folk and singer songwriter music. It’s low-mid emphasis favors big electric guitars and synths like those in rock and metal.
The Focal Spark Wireless earphones are available for the best price here: