This past week, Focal sent me their most affordable product: a tiny set of earphones. I’m quite familiar with Focal’s products, and was interested to see how this portable, in-ear version would sound. Would they satisfy the budget audiophile’s wants and needs? Today I’m going to take a closer look at the Focal Spark Wired, and put them to the test to find out. Without further ado, here is the Focal Spark Wired Earphones Review!
Bang for your Buck! – Focal Spark Wired Earphones Review
In the Box – Focal Spark Wired Earphones Review
-Focal Spark Wired Earphones
-Eartips (small, medium, large)
-zipping protective case
Specifications – Focal Spark Wired Earphones Review
-Impedance: 16 ohms
-Sensitivity: 103 dB
-THD 1mW (50 Hz-10 kHz): <.3%
-Frequency Response: 20 Hz-20 kHz
-Driver: electrodynamic Mylar, 9.5 mm
-Weight: 14 g
-Connector: 3.5 mm jack
Design – Focal Spark Wired Earphones Review
The Focal Spark Wired In-Ear Headphones come in three colors: cobalt blue, black, and silver. The pair Focal sent me were the silver version. The earpieces have a classy, simple look. The back of the earpiece is marked with the classy logo etched into the aluminum. In the hole that is left from the etching is a shiny, webbed grill. It is clear that although these are at the bottom end of what Focal makes, they still paid special attention to detail in its look. The connectors and remote have light, thin, glossy lines of silver which add to the sweetness of them.
The Focal Spark Wired Earphones have medium-sized driver housings. Additionally, they come with three sizes of eartips. Usually, medium tips fit well with my ear. However, when I tried putting them in with these, it felt like they were too big for some reason. Then, I switched to the smaller tips which created a nice seal in my ear. The earphones rely on a seal for them to fit, as their shape and cable structure don’t utilize much support from the shape of the ear. However, so long as your ears aren’t strangely shaped (or in other words, most earphones tend to fit for you), then you’ll have good luck with the Sparks.
The build of the Focal Spark WIred Earphones is solid. Unlike many of earphones in its price range which are made of plastic, the components of the Spark are made of aluminum. The body of the remote control is made of plastic, but it is housed in a coating of aluminum to prevent it from harm if it falls to the ground or gets squished. In addition, the cable of the Focal Spark Wired Earphones has a flat style to prevent it from tangling.
Sound – Focal Spark Wired Earphones Review
The low frequencies of the Focal Spark Wired Earphones feel even, yet somewhat modest. As a result, they come through with an accurate tonality, yet don’t have a huge impact. For example, when I was listening to the song Caroline in my Mind by James Taylor, the lows of the kick drum sounded clear and round, yet was somewhat masked in level compared to the energetic low-mids and top region of the low-end.
The low-mids of the Focal Spark Wired Earphones are full and emphasized. As a result, bass guitars and thick synths come through with strength and solidity. Likewise, the high-mids feel boosted. As a result, fuzzy synths, guitars, and vocal articulation comes through with detail. Additionally, the high-mid boost accents the attacks of drums and staccato horns and strings. For example, when I was listening to the song Time to Pretend by MGMT, the fuzziness of the synths came through with a sense of hardness and detail. Additionally, the vocals sat forward in the mix, although, because of a slight cut in the middle part of the midrange, remained similarly situated in the mix in comparison to the wide, midrange-rich synths.
The Focal Spark Wired Earphones have a cut in the lower treble, but a boost in the middle treble. As a result, high frequency rich instruments sit slightly differently in the mix. Additionally, the high frequencies come through with a sense of emphasis in general. As a result, I’d describe these earphones as somewhat bright. This brightness works well for acoustic music and music with vocals like folk or singer-songwriter in particular. For example, when I was listening to the song Slow Burn by Kacey Musgraves, her voice sat higher in the mix than usual because of the high end boost. Additionally, because of the shape of the highs, the acoustic guitar’s strings and finger noise came through more presently than usual.
The soundstage of the Focal Spark Wired Earphones was actually quite impressive. It had a good sense of height, mostly emphasized by the high frequency boost. Additionally, it did a good job of representing wide instruments while maintaining a strong sense of center. For example, when I was listening to the song Miles Runs the Voodoo Down by Miles Davis, the wide guitar, keys, sax, and drums contrasted nicely with the centered trumpet, without making it feel out of place. Additionally, the cymbals and trumpet sit high in the vertical plain above my head, providing a noticeable lift to the entire mix as a whole.
Overview – Focal Spark Wired Earphones Review
Overall, the Focal Spark Wired Earphones are a great earphone for the price. They’re not for bassheads, but if you appreciate earphones with a clear high end to emphasize vocals, you’ll enjoy these earphones. They work best with folk, jazz, and singer-songwriter music.
The Focal Spark Wired Earphones are available for the best price here:
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