Your unique tastes, listening habits, and financial situation will ultimately determine which Focal headphones are best for you. The most effective way to decide which model will meet your needs is to check them out yourself. This guide provides a quick introduction to some of the most well-liked types.
Remember that purchasing top-notch headphones is only one aspect of the audio experience. Your listening experience can be significantly improved by using an appropriate DAC and amplifier in conjunction with your Focal headphones. So, enjoy the tour into the world of Focal headphones, take your time, and consider your alternatives.
How do Focal headphones work?
Since founding in 1979, Focal, a French audio equipment producer, has led the audio sector. The company takes great delight in creating top-notch headphones, speakers, and other audio equipment in its Saint-Étienne, France, facility.
Focal has established itself as a leading expert in the high-end audio industry because of its opulent designs, meticulous attention to detail, and unmatched sound quality. This article will assist you in sifting through your selections and locating the ideal Focal headphones set if you're considering making the purchase.
You must establish your budget, which should take longer than a quick peek at your bank account. Let music, your system's main component, serve as your guide.
It makes little sense to spend a lot of money on headphones that will, at best, be underused and, at worst, highlight the flaws in your source if you're streaming lost but compact files like MP3s. Don't expect your high-end home system, a library of WAV and DSD hi-res files, or entry-level in-ears to represent its capabilities faithfully.
All of which brings up the topic of type. As you probably already know, there are three primary varieties of headphones: in-ear, on-ear, and over-ear. We'll put aside for a moment the question of whether or not you want the cord connecting your listening equipment to your device.
The decision is primarily based on personal preference. Some of the best over-ear headphones are lightweight and stylish enough to wear on your morning commute (and they should deter anyone wishing to strike up a conversation with you on the train). However, there is also great audio if you choose a pair of the best in-ear headphones.
To cut to the point, we advise the Sound Magic E11C or, if your budget permits, the Shure Aonic 3 for a good set of wired in-ear. The superb Senn Heiser IE 900 or Shure KSE1200 are fantastic in-ear headphones if you want the best available and can afford the price.
Reverting to Type:
Let's now consider where you'll be wearing your headphones. Do they need to be almost silent and inaudible to others if they're just intended for usage within the home? While choosing on-ears or over-ears with open backs might result in a broader sound, they may not be the best choice for the train or bus (since other passengers will hear songs and playlists you may like to keep private).
Why not take into account the Grado SR80x here? If you're looking for a more expensive alternative, the Grado SR325x and the Beyer Dynamic T1 are also highly recommended if your system can handle it.
There are also a ton of excellent-sounding, noise-canceling headphones (many of which are wireless) that will block out the hum of an airliner, such as the Sony WH-1000XM5 and Apple Air Pods Max. We'd also recommend the excellent-sounding Austrian Audio Hi-X15 wired over-ears, which are reasonably priced yet look and feel anything from cheap.
The Sony WF-C500, WF-C700N, WF-1000XM4, and Bose Quiet Comfort Earbuds II are just a few examples of the (relatively) recent crop of genuine wireless in-ears (those without cables attaching the two buds) that will provide even more wireless freedom.
Since many smartphone manufacturers have abandoned the 3.5mm audio jack, Bluetooth headphones are becoming increasingly popular. If they fit well, running without a cable jangling around your neck or behind your head and disrupting your stride is also better. Running while listening to music on your smartphone may affect whether you use wired or wireless headphones.
Now is the moment to think about comfort. Consider how a set of headphones feels in your ears after around 30 minutes or whether the poorly cushioned band gives you a headache when you're testing them out. Can you acquire an excellent seal to guarantee a strong sound performance, and do the units feel safe in your ears if you choose genuine wireless? If they seem a little hefty at first, they'll start to feel uncomfortable after a few hours and may even begin to fall out when you make a sudden head rotation.
It serves no use to torture yourself if you're going to wear them every day. Try one of the on-ear headphones we suggest, such as the Grado SR80x.
Consider the Austrian Audio Hi-X50, which offers "excellent sound in a carefully designed and well-made package" for just a little extra. We'll leave the fantastic Focal Clear Mg open-back headphones with you at the very high end.
Of course, sound is king, but aesthetics should also be considered. When you set eyes on them, you should want to put in your headphones and start listening. Although a pair of cans in Ferrari red can stick out at the store, would you feel uncomfortable wearing them to work?
On the other hand, if your record's packaging resembles something a funeral director would design, are you less inclined to be enthusiastic about your music? Finding a happy medium between a fashion item and sartorial shame is critical.
When you finally get your headphones home, there is little to do, unlike with many hi-fi gears. As with speakers, the location of stands and cables is not a concern; nevertheless, remember our prior warning concerning running-in.
You risk being disappointed if you remove your headphones from the package and plug them in immediately. You'll hear the sound that made you want to buy them in the first place if you leave them running overnight (we do this with every pair we evaluate).