The Proof is in the PR When Comparing Beats By Dre with Focal Audio in Chicago

July 1, 2014 4:52 am Published by Leave your thoughts

When comparing products before a purchase, think about what it means when a product’s opening argument is that it’s the most famous. The first line in the description of Beats Studio over ear headphones talks about how they are the most “famous,” before going on to proclaim how sexy, light, and strong they are.

These are not headphones for people who are shopping for a mobile or private listening experience. These are headphones for people shopping for an image.

Instead of cashing in on the cache of celebrity cameos and advertising buzzwords, some headphones sell themselves on their superior quality. Focal Audio’s Spirit One is one such set of headphones. However, differences in advertising are hardly enough to make a final decision on purchase preference, so let’s line them up and see how Dr. Dre’s media machine matches up against Focal Audio in Chicago.


Not all heads are shaped the same, so having flexibility on both vertical and horizontal axes allows for the Spirit One to be manipulated to fit most head shapes while also allowing for easier and more versatile storage inside its semi-hard case that is included in its purchase. The Beats have very limited flexibility, opting for a flexible bellow and only folding on a horizontal axis for storage in a hard case that comes included in its kit.


While the Beats boast in their Studio series a reduction of weight, they still clock in at an ounce and a half heavier than the Spirit One, despite the fact that Focal Audio’s headphones are made of aluminum for the closed back and the hinges, allowing for increased durability while remaining lightweight. The Beats went with all plastic for their housing, much more likely to shatter and scratch. They do come with a much higher level of customizability for color when you order them online, offering fifteen color schemes to the Spirit One’s pair of schemes. So there’s that.

Noise Pollution

This part does help explain the extra heft to the Beats: they have sound canceling built into their headphones while the Spirit One does not. The Spirit One is a closed back, over the ear set and has sound insulation over 20 dB, respectable stats if not up at the level of noise canceling. On the other hand, the Beats need to be charged in order for the noise canceling to work, which means rechargeable batteries, meaning that eventually the impressive 20 hour charge time will be whittled down by the over and undercharging that is inevitable. Also, if one day you forget to charge your Beats then there will be quite a lot of noise pollution.


The Spirit One comes with a two-year warranty while the Beats sport only the single year of coverage, surprising considering the fact that they have more technology in their product that can develop issues, such as the rechargeable battery and the adaptive noise canceling.

Focal Audio in Chicago has made available to you a set of headphones with 40mm Mylar/titanium drivers, with 32 ohm impedance for ~$224 while Dr. Dre’s Beats have made available a set of flashy headphones for ~$299, with seventy-five dollars tacked on for advertising.

Quintessence Audio Ltd. is one of the few distributors of Focal Audio in the Midwest. Come talk to us, and we’ll pull back the curtain and show you where the good stuff is!


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