Focal Sphear

Focal Sphear—warm, refined and very natural-sounding IEM from the high-end French speaker maker. Solidly (if not lavishly) built and easy to drive with a mobile, though the separate mic and control are somewhat counter-intuitive; fit and comfort may be a challenge for some because of the large earpieces and isolation isn’t great for such a commuter-oriented piece. I’d describe these as J-shaped, with prominent, thick textured but well-articulated subbass, clear, slightly recessed mids and mildly enhanced, tube-like treble which is  smoothed over but still presents a lot of detail. There’s definitely a soft coloration to the notes (percussion and guitars lack a bit of attack and  crispness); fans of a more neutral signature will not be engaged. Soundstage is uncongested and seems about average in size, but layering and stereo separation is excellent. These have better coherence than the similarly-positioned Momentum In-Ear and RBH and are better-tuned than the RHA MA750; the Fidue A73, CH9T and Simgot, sound bigger and more lively, though not necessarily better. Very fairly priced at their current $89 street price; these are the rare mainstream player that can compete favorably with comparably-priced Chifi players. If you can get ’em to fit, they’re a good pickup.