Focal’s (www.focanlna.com) first in-ear headphone, Sphear (US$179), tackles two pain points of discomfort with many in-ear headphones: excessive weight and volume at the ear canal.
Consumers seem to have a “love-them-or-hate-them” attitude towards in-ear headphones. Those who dislike them typically complain about the weight, excessive bass and overall discomfort caused over long periods of listening. Focal’s concept with the shape of Sphear utilizes memory foam tips on the front that adapt naturally to the ear, while an extended housing at the back shifts the weight of the headphones to the outer ear.
This bulbous shape makes it possible to have a larger 10.8mm driver. With this design, Sphear provides both comfort as well as good tonal balance.
Each pair of Sphear in-ear headphones were designed to be lightweight using materials that help to prevent listener fatigue, a common problem with in-ear monitors, often due to the pressure caused by the weight of the drivers. Each Sphear earbud weighs 2.6 g +/- 5% per side not including tips, while the entire pair of headphones weighs 154 grams, (including the non-removable cable and in-line remote control).
Added for convenience for those individuals on the go, this in-line remote control adds track skip and play/pause functionality as well as an in-line microphone with the ability to answer/end calls as well. These commands are compatible with all iOS devices, as well as most Android and Windows Phone devices.
Included with each pair of Sphear are three pairs of silicone tips (size S, M, L), three pair of memory foam tips (size S, M, L), a two-prong airplane adapter and a rigid carrying case that protects the earbuds while on the go.