Focal - Focal Spark Wireless


Intras Bluetooth Focal Spark Wireless: the spark that struggles to shine

Aprox. 98€ - see price -

The Spark Wireless model is the wireless version of Spark, the most affordable pair of intras offered by Focal. Launched at € 99, Spark Wireless is the gateway to nomadic wireless listening by the Stéphane firm. The Sphear from the same manufacturer did not convince us during their visit to our labs, and this is unfortunately still the case with this model.

Our review


Each intra consists of an aluminum body that is both solid and well finished. Connected by a flat cable covered with a silicone coating, these headphones unfortunately do not have any fixing system, a very practical system to form a necklace and avoid losing them when they are around the neck. The cable sports two modules: the largest accommodates the battery and the only light indication, while the second, smaller, houses the three-button remote control, the microphone for calls and the micro-USB port for charging. On these elements, there is nothing to criticize concerning the quality of manufacture.

Despite the lack of promise as to any resistance, know that the few listening sessions in the rain and during the sport were no problem. Even if the compactness of the set makes it possible to store everything very easily in the pocket, it is possible to slip the pair of intras in the rigid case supplied with its charging cable.

The comfort provided by the Spark Wireless does not reveal any unpleasant surprises: intrusive, the intras are easily inserted into the duct and offer good support. Three pairs of silicone tips of different sizes are delivered to optimize comfort according to your body type. However, no memory foam tip is provided. If they are not integrated into the shells, the magnets are placed in the small clip allowing the cable to be hung on the collar of a t-shirt or shirt. Its use is almost essential in the event of an active session (walking, running, etc.), the cable being particularly sensitive to solid-state transmissions (transmission of shocks and contacts in the form of unwanted sounds at low frequencies) and sliding easily .

The use of Spark Wireless is very classic. The remote control gives access to all the commands that we are entitled to expect on modern Bluetooth intras, namely music navigation (play / pause / next / previous song, these last two commands being accessible via the + / -), call management, activation of the smartphone voice assistant and adjustment of the listening volume. Access to the buttons is not always easy, as the user is often forced to look for the remote control a little too far back. The positioning of the two modules is not very natural and the cable does not always fall straight towards the shoulder. To simplify handling, you must bring the modules closer together, and therefore tilt the weight of the assembly seriously towards the left side.

Some voice indications (only in English) and a light indication are there to inform the user about the Bluetooth connection (pairing in progress, number of devices, connected) and the status of intras (on / off / low battery). For the battery level, you only have to rely on what your smartphone indicates.

Spark Wireless communicate exclusively via Bluetooth 4.1. Pairing is done in a jiffy and it is possible to connect up to 2 devices simultaneously (multipoint connection). Apart from rare occasions in less hospitable environments, we have not experienced any major problems with inadvertent disconnection or disconnection. Focal announces an autonomy of 8 hours, which is more than correct compared to a good number of intras of this kind. We were able to verify this promise in reality, but only at a moderate listening volume. In general, we are more around 7am.

The microphone on the Spark Wireless remote control does a good job of capturing ... as long as we are in a calm environment. Under these conditions, the voice is a bit muffled, but remains intelligible. In the street, it is a whole other story since the too great directivity coupled with the too great distance between the microphone and the mouth drowns the voice in the surrounding noises. She becomes very difficult to understand, even when speaking loudly. The microphone is particularly sensitive to wind, which really does not help matters. In the end, we much prefer to use the smartphone.



Each interior of Spark Wireless has a 9.5mm Mylar speaker. The listening experience offered here is just right, because of a particularly marked V-shaped sound signature and a lack of control.

Spark Wireless are far too generous in the bass, especially in the lower frequencies. Admittedly, the intras descend well into the bass and offer deep bass, but the much too marked boost combined with the lack of control of the membranes after each attack transforms this area into an imposing and shapeless mass. The bass is particularly sluggish. Under these conditions, it is almost impossible to differentiate the sources operating in this region, even when the attacks are not close together. There is also a significant masking effect on the higher frequencies, in particular the low-medium / medium region. Suffice to say that listening to certain songs, especially those that greatly enhance the bass, quickly becomes tiring.

The way in which the high mids / highs are put forward is also not easy. The tight and very marked peak very frankly forces the feeling of clarity, sharpness and shine. The attacks of many instruments are exaggerated (percussion, strings…), the harmonics too, so much so that we quickly end up with a trying sound rendering, as long as we want to place ourselves at a listening volume "comfortable". The only real “advantage” of such behavior is to compensate for the hegemony of the bass to detach at least the voice, which gains intelligibility in all circumstances. The reproduction of the stereophonic scene is very correct: in width, the elements are placed naturally and are easily identifiable. We also appreciate the response in the higher frequencies, because many intras cut violently when approaching this area. This saves some air. The effect is less noticeable in depth, especially in the center of the stage because of the space taken by the bass.

For Bluetooth intras, the behavior of Spark Wireless with regard to distortion is almost exemplary. We can also make the same comment about Bluetooth latency, which is below the 100 ms mark. So you can enjoy your favorite movies, series and video content without worrying about too embarrassing discrepancies between sound and image.



The Spark Wireless is a pair of correct Bluetooth intras, but which will not be remembered, in particular because of its far too marked sound signature. Better to look at other references like the MA650 Wireless, the Freedom 2 or the AF100W.