Published on April 16, 2012 2:56 PM

New Developments For The Focal Spirit One

A few weeks ago we reviewed the Focal Spirit One. It was well on its way to becoming one of the great nomadic headphones... but a few snags ultimately cut this perspective short. Since then, Focal has been working hard to resolve the issues and has just given us an update.

The company insisted that the headphones it had delivered to us were in fact part of a tiny series of unfinished, pre-market models. In our review we expressed doubts about the lifespan of several of the components, such as the swivel joints keeping the earcups in place (since our review, the model we have has already begun to crack) and the extension adapter, which was too short and of low quality.

Focal confirmed these issues with us and explained that there had even been an internal wiring defect that brought about a loss in signal on one of the speakers. But according to the manufacturer, these problems affected the trial run models only. Here's what Focal told us:

  – all the marketed versions have had their swivel joints reinforced
  – the cable's been improved (on the inside; outside it looks the same) and made sturdier
  – the internal wiring issues have been resolved

Only one flaw remained at go time: the first delivery of marketable copies had a hissing noise in the right ear. The source has been identified and the problem solved for all subsequent deliveries. And there's more good news: the mini-extension adapter cable has been replaced by a standard cord with an ordinary (non-smartphone) mini-jack connector.

If you happen to be one of the unhappy few who purchased the hissing version, Focal says it will gladly replace your pair for you.

As for us, we're waiting on our second copy so we can see for ourselves where the Spirit One stands today. At that point we'll update our article if needed. But all things considered, it's nice to see a manufacturer (a young one, at that) with such a pro-active follow-up policy for their products. Methinks the competition could learn a thing or two...

> Review: Focal Spirit One

> Reviews: Headphones
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