Youtube review: Focal Spirit Pro Stereo Headphone review by Dale - YouTube Photo: http://dalethorn.com/Photos/Panasonic_Gm1/Headphone_Focal_Spirit_Pro_01.jpg Sources: iPhone5, iPhone5 with FiiO E07k using LOD, iPhone5 with Decware Zen Head amp, various computers using the Microstreamer and Audioengine D3 DAC/amps. Review notes: My first impressions of the sound of the Spirit Pro are based on direct comparisons to other headphones - in particular the FAD Pandora VI, the Shure SRH1540, B&O H6, B&W P7, v-moda M100, Beyerdynamic T51p, and notes I've accumulated from many prior reviews. I describe how I relate to the Spirit Pro (i.e. my personal taste and how I use the headphone) only after covering all of the objective issues. Summarizing the sound (details below): The Focal Spirit Pro not only sounds very good, it sounds right. I came to this conclusion while listening for colorations of various kinds and finding none, but especially when hearing bass lines that seemed to render more perfectly than with the other headphones I have. Many of the music tracks listed below sound as though their final mixes could have been monitored with this headphone. When I first put the Spirit Pro on, I thought it sounded rich and dark, but not as rich as the Pandora VI for example, which has an enhanced signature at both ends of the spectrum. What I came to realize is that the Spirit Pro has a 'soft' high end, similar to the Shure 1540 and Beyer T51p, and noting that headphone soundstage and other properties are critically dependent on having a full treble response, I compensated for that partially with a slight increase around 3 and 7 khz. My adjustments are not based on my hearing, but on comparing the sound to the other headphones noted above, to try to be as objective as possible. In any case, whether you play the Spirit Pro flat or tweak it as I did, the overall sound is excellent - from a tight and solid low bass through an uncolored midrange to a smooth and detailed treble that's free of the sonic irritations that plague many headphones, even some of the more pricy variety. Although I describe the Spirit Pro as somewhat warm and dark sounding, it's not bassy nor is the bass anything but tight and detailed. This is probably very close to a true-neutral bass, but where many of the so-called neutral headphones have a deep bass rolloff, the Spirit Pro holds up well in that regard. The music samples below have comments about the deep bass that I hear and feel with this headphone, but even those comments don't convey the feeling of hearing great bass lines in tracks I'm familiar with, but haven't enjoyed as much as with the Spirit Pro. While the bass is good and detailed, people who do gaming or listen while on public transport where the background is heavy on low frequencies - those users will want a headphone with boosted bass, so for them I'd recommend something else. Like most headphones, the Spirit Pro improves noticeably with DACs and headphone amps as compared to using just a low-cost portable music player, and the Spirit Pro plays very loudly with typical iPods and cellphones. To appreciate the difference a good DAC and amp can make, play music using the DAC/amp first, then switch to a portable music player and hear the difference. That difference is usually subtle and difficult to appreciate the other way around: if you listen with the portable player first and then switch to the DAC/amp. I think that's because it's easier to hear what detail is lost in the former example instead of what's gained in the latter example, unless what's gained is dramatic. Isolation is above average - much better than 10 db at the treble frequencies but less less lower down, as it is with all non-noise-canceling headphones. Leakage is the lowest I can remember in a conventional closed headphone - if used in a very quiet office next to other cubicles, the people in those cubicles won't likely hear anything unless the Spirit Pro is played at extremely loud volume levels. The build quality is very good - mostly metal from what I can see. The headband has a strong clamp, but the earpads are very soft and squishy and have a high-quality pleather covering, so depending on a user's experience with professional headphones (and the 'Pro' in Focal Spirit Pro means what it says), good comfort can be achieved quickly when the earpads are positioned properly on the ears. The earcup openings measure approximately 40 x 48 mm, so they're going to be partially around and partly on-ear for most users, similar to the Sennheiser Momentum and other headphones that I've had. The earcups have very handy click detents, and the earcups can be extended about 1/2 inch further than where they fit my ears. Very large heads might not be able to squeeze into this headphone. The earcups don't quite contact my chin when they're fully extended and I'm wearing the headphone around my neck, so the Spirit Pro may serve as a portable headphone for users who don't want to carry a separate headphone carrycase. The cables (4m coiled and 1.4m straight with start/stop button and mic) are single-sided (left side) and detachable, they're rubber-coated and look strong, and the earcup end of the cables is a generic 3.5 mm miniplug. It seems that a generic cable could be substituted if a Focal cable could not be obtained. The terminator for the short cable has the extra ring for smartphones and etc., and both cables are threaded for a screw-on 6.35 mm (1/4 inch) adapter (included). The music tracks below have been listed in a number of prior reviews, and are a selection of my most revealing tracks for headphone testing. Since these tracks cover a wide range of genres and were selected from my tests of very different headphones, there won't be a bias toward the Spirit Pro with this music. I suggest that instead of reading each comment below as an absolute unto itself, you could compare these notes to the prior reviews and see how the Spirit Pro compares with each individual track.