UNBOXED: Reviewing the Focal Spark and Spark Wireless IEMs
The more I test them out, the more in-ear monitors (IEMs) are growing on me. The latest pair of in-ears that I had the opportunity to test out come courtesy of Focal, a Paris-based company that we’ve come across in the past. Just last week, Focal launched a bunch of new headphone options, and among the new additions to their portfolio are the Spark and Spark Wireless in-ear headphones. Focal was kind enough to send us both entry-level models to take a look at.
As their names suggest, both headphones are similarly designed, the only difference being that one is a Bluetooth headphone while the other requires a 3.5mm headphone jack to work—also the former is $99 while the latter is $69. The look and feel of the Spark and Spark Wireless practically the same. Both have a lightweight design, aluminum earpiece casing, and a flat anti-tangle cable. Typically, with the latter feature, we see those spaghetti cables that are rubber textured and get dirty easily. The Focal cable is super smooth and is textured in a way that allows it to stay lint and dust free.
One design drawback for each: the silicone tips are a tad difficult to change. Maybe I’m a bit special, but the whole process of changing from one size to the next took about 10 minutes and roughly 17 attempts for each ear. The tips Focal uses aren't proprietary in any way—the same ones come with a number of different in-ear headphones—but these ones were particularly difficult to swap in and out.