Focal Spirit Classic headphones

Grown-up, natural audio from a leading French marque

Focal is a long-established hi-fi brand from France with a peerless reputation and a rather marvellous street address for a technology company - 108 Rue de l’Avenir. Yes, these exceptionally good-looking high-end headphones come from the street of the future.

They don’t cost the earth – and although their design is pretty slick and urban, they may not quite work for anyone with big ears because the cups are quite small for an over-ear device.

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If you’re not too much of an African elephant, however, and you can find your way around Focal’s irritating website (no small feat), you are going to love the sound and feel of the Spirit Classic. Focal invites you to “rendezvous with your music” and I wouldn’t dispute that they do indeed offer a pleasant way of meeting your familiar sounds and hearing them in a new light, to mix metaphors twice over.

The headphones don’t assault you with bass, opting rather for a grown-up, natural sound. Focal also generously supplies them with a long (4m) lead for sitting room use, and a mobile lead for on-the-go listening from a phone or tablet. The aim is for you to have one headphone set for all eventualities, and it pulls this off splendidly.

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