Focal Listen Professional Headphones


Selling for $299, Focal Listen Professional is a closed-back, circumaural headphone that provides isolation, comfort, and durability with a tight, non-hyped sound signature. As with all headphones, the frequency response is not flat– it has bumps at 80Hz and 600Hz, a dip at 4000Hz and a boost at 10000Hz. However, the response doesn’t exhibit any unpleasant spikes, with relatively smooth and non-fatiguing sonics. With Sonarworks headphone calibration software, the Listen Pro’s response curve can be closer to flat and more accurate for critical engineering work.

Its 32 Ohm impedance makes it easy to drive, but this is a headphone that comes forth with a quality DAC and headphone amp. Evaluating it with typical sources – computers, phones, iPad/tablets, digital audio players – the headphones were functional, but when paired with the iFi Micro iDSD BL, its resolution, cohesiveness, transient response and spacial delineation improved, moving it closer in league with Focal’s more expensive open-back models like the Clear Pro.

Design ergonomics are good. The only issue worth noting is that the rubber inner headband cushioning is a bit firm, and after several hours of use, the pressure can cause a little soreness on the top of the head. However, fit and feel of the ear cushions is excellent, with no discomfort over multihour use.

For musicians and engineers looking for a solid, purposeful closed-back headphone at an accessible price point, the Focal Listen Pro is worth a listen.