For portable headphones, isolation is key and the Spirit One does a pretty good job as it has enough clamping force.
Although the Spirit One is listed as a circum-aural (over ear) design, the cups are more supra-aural in that they’re small, covering most of your ears (medium size), but not all.
Design and Construct:
The size of the Spirit One feels nice an compact and looks good when you put them on. The headphone cups don’t stick out when worn and the headband is thin enough so that when you wear the headphones, it won’t mess up your hair (this is important as you’ll be wearing them out).
Although in picture and even in person, it looks like the headphones are made of all aluminum (chrome), they’re an amalgamation of aluminum (outer part of headband arms, middle of the cups), rubber (head band and outer cups) and plastic. The headphones feel very sturdy on and off. The ear pads are of synthetic leather. The fabric cord with remote control is very nice — the cord is perfect length for portable use.
Most importantly the Spirit One sounds just about right for a $279 headphone. I would characterize the sound signature as being neutral and balanced.
I think the highs are where the Spirit One shines. The highs are clear, not as detailed as some full sized headphones, but very good for portable headphones. Vocals sound alive and have clarity.
The upper mids to mids are smooth and well defined.
The lows are a bit on the thin side, but you get enough bass when the music calls for it. However, if you’re a bass head then the Spirit One won’t appease you.
Sound Stage is about where it should be for portable closed back headphones. I’d say above average.
If you’re looking for a great mid-fi portable headphone suitable for most genre of music, then the Spirit is the “One” to look for.