Headphones are one of the essential accessories for an audiophile. Every studio must have a good pair of headphones as they are used in monitoring audio output.
The market is full of a wide variety of them today. Walk around, and you will be shocked with just how many options you have regarding features and price.
I always find it better to invest in one expensive pair of best headphones than to go for several low-quality ones. This comes down to finding the right brand.
Focal is a company that has been making high-end headphones for many years. I have never seen any of their products that I didn’t like.
And that is why I am sure the Focal Listen headphones will make many users happy. These are very insightful cans with a rich tone. They are also spacious, promising comfort and excellent sound output.
Focal Listen Wireless Headphones Review
The Focal Listen headphones have come out as a strong contender on the market of high-end headphones. Note that I will say Listen Wireless when I am talking about the wireless models or listen when referring to the original version. I first read about them on MusicRadar, a part of Future PLC, an international media group and leading digital publisher.
I am not sure why the price of Listen headphones dropped after the release of Focal Wireless, and yet they are much better, in my view. We are used to seeing expensive things as the best, so this move does not make such a huge statement.
Nevertheless, Listen is still a pair of cans you will ever want to own. They come with chrome-plated ear cups that contrast nicely with their all-black design. It does a wonderful job in visual presentation. The rest is made of plastic and yet still feels sturdy.
At first, you may not see these cans as high-end. But be sure to get excellent performance from them. They have got the looks and build of a top-notch pair of headphones.
Inside the box, you get a 3.5mm cable, a micro-USB charging code, a neoprene carrying case, and headphones. They are available in either black, olive, blue, or purple.
What makes these cans special
The first thing you will notice is the excellent built quality. They are sturdy headphones that you can use without worrying about breaking.
Well, they are chunky. But that bulk should not make you think they are heavy. If anything, these are very lightweight headphones. Their headband is designed for even weight distribution, which also reduces fatigue.
Under the headphones is an air-filled silicone rail across the interior. This makes them more comfortable, allowing for a good grip on the head.
I have an issue with the controls, though. I think they are poorly placed. The buttons are large, making you think they will be easy to press. Only that I sometimes hit the rewind button when looking for volume.
You will come across the omnidirectional dual-mic system, which is quite effective. It has Clear Voice Capture functionality, which allows the mic to produce a very clear sound.
The mylar titanium drivers are pretty compelling. They sound cool and evert strong. Besides, the materials are very light, combining with excellent resilience for efficiency and performance. It offers the highest strength-to-weight ratio.
In terms of sound, I am sure you will agree these bad boys are really good. Connect to your device through NFC, Bluetooth, or 3.5mm cable, and you are ready to get your great audio output.
Strong battery life and a large ear cup on each side make these portable headphones better than other headphones. The headphone sounds great, thanks to the comfortable ear cushions.
• Excellent noise isolation
• Compatible with apt-X
• Great connectivity
• Clear Voice Capture
• Too big
Sound Quality: How do Focal Listen Wireless sound?
I don’t think there would be anything better for this price. Every aspect of its sound signature is set-top the point, making you feel at peace with your listening. Though the low end seems to have a slight bump occasionally, it’s still a great performance.
Concerning imaging, Focal Listen Wireless does an excellent job. I have seen many headphones that cannot master that 3-D space, which makes these very effective.
I plated “Feel It Steel,” and the trumpets sound live and natural. The 40mm electrodynamic mylar titanium drivers promise a frequency range of 15Hz to 22kHz. This goes beyond the human ear. You should not use them for the full volume of extended periods.
Clearly and articulated lows make it easy to hear some of your favorite pieces. You can listen to a beautiful resonance in pieces that have a lot of basses.
The mids are well balanced without much masking of the bass. You can be sure these cans will navigate the midrange frequencies quite well.
The treble is a bit overemphasized, but it could be what you need for songs like the “Conscious Club” by Vulfpeck. The highs come out clearly and well-articulated, something that many of us look for.
Their sound stage is excellent. A good bass emerges from the memory foam ear cups, which are also comfortable. Its performance is close to CD quality, and the volume controls make it even better.
Build Quality: How are Focal Listen Wireless built?
From the box, you can already tell that these are high-end and durable headphones. The resilience is quite obvious. You can twist the headband in your favorite position, and they will not break.
I liked the brushed chrome ear cups. They feel strong and sturdy. On them is memory form ear-pieces over the titanium drivers. These are features of a pair of headphones that will make the owner proud.
If you are looking for on-the-to-go headphones, consider these Focal Listen Wireless. The company has included a microphone on the 1.5m cable, making it your ultimate piece for calls and other uses.
As I stated above, I was not too fond of the way the buttons on this pair of headphones are arranged. They got me confused severally, something that I don’t enjoy very much.
You will see a round button about halfway the cable, which serves as playback control. It’s also one that activates AI assistants for your Smartphone use. If you want to pause or play a song, press it once. Or press it twice to get to the next track. Pressing times is a replay.
In a nutshell, the Listen Wireless headphones are sturdy and strong. The ear cups are made from plastic, which is still strong. Besides, the headband is quite strong, featuring stainless steel.
The adjustable headband and the large earcups make it easy to wear and very comfortable. Understand that these are closed-back headphones, which also means they offer an excellent noise isolation function.
Ear Cups: Does Focal Listen Wireless have Comfortable Ear Cups and Ear Pads?
When buying headphones, comfort is often one of the most important factors. The Focal Listen Wireless is not very bad in this. They are supremely comfortable and a smart choice for listening to your favorite music.
I used the Listen headphones before, and their comfort is so-so. It could be due to the shape of my head, but I was expecting a lot more from them. The pressure is not evenly distributed, which made me want to take them off.
The headphones come with stiffer padding, which could be an added advantage for some people. I kept moving it around to find the most comfortable spot.
The earpads are not bad, though. They are spacious, giving you enough room to do your job effectively. They may not be the most luxurious pads around, but at this price, I don’t think you would complain much.
Heat buildup is a major concern for many headphone users. Closed-back cans are especially vulnerable to such effects. The Listen Wireless or not overly warm, thanks to their size, which makes them ideal for long listening sessions.
One person’s experience may not be what another feels. And hence, I will let you try out their headphones and see how comfortable they are for you.
Studio Headphones: Does Focal Listen Wireless have Clear Sound Capture?
Focal Listen Wireless is one of the few headphones that have very good microphones. It comes with an Omni-directional dual-mic system that does a great job.
But that is not what captured my attention. The headphones feature Clear Voice Capture that works with the mics, delivering the clearest voice. It’s also the reason you can rely on them for excellent ambient noise isolation.
However, you should know that static feedback is relayed through the mics every after a few seconds. Many people who tested the headphones asked about this effect, which could be another point of concern for you.
Most of us only care about the quality of sound that comes from the microphones. The Focus Listen Wireless headphones are designed for use with smartphones. And because of that, they are very good for making calls through the microphone.
Who is the Focal Listen Wireless for?
The Focal Listen Wireless are headphones designed for the modern audiophile. They are quite versatile, and anyone looking for a good sound output will find them compelling.
First, they are made for vegans. Focus has used leatherette ear pads. This might make you think they are cheap, but that is not the case here. The cushions are 22mm thick and heat-sensitive, making sure your ears are not sweaty.
Second, it’s for those who want excellent noise isolation instead of active noise-cancellation headphones. They are bulky but don’t have ANC technology. They do a great job in filtering outside noise. This gives you an excellent overall performance.
These headphones are perfect for home listening. They have a comfortable fit and offer better clarity than I had ever heard.
Focal Listen Wireless vs. Professional, Which is Better?
I cannot end this Focal Listen review without comparing these two products. Focal has been very instrumental in creating high-end and top-performing products.
Focal Listen Wireless and Focal Listen Professional have been in constant competition for a long time. Both products are good because they promise professional sound. However, there are several details that make one different from the other.
Focal Listen is characterized by:
- Stereo speakers, which assure a more natural sound with better low end. They deliver sound from independent speakers.
- A detachable cable. This means they are easy to store and very portable.
- Wireless. You can connect through Bluetooth and other wireless.
- 20dB /mW, higher sound pressure level. They can handle high pressure much better.
- Headset functionality. You can use them as a headset because of the mic.
- Weight of 273g. They are 7 grams lighter than the Professional.
Focal Professional, on the other hand, has:
- 10Hz Lower low-frequency
- A tangle-free cable, which is longer
- A coiled cable.
Verdict: The Focal Listen is much better in terms of features and performance. The Focal Listen Professional costs are less than the wireless.
Buy the Focal Listen Wireless headphones if you are looking to invest in quality sound. They are designed for modern musicians and audiophiles. Although they are quite expensive, it’s a worthy investment.