A new era
A new era has just begun at Spirit Torino in Italy: they have launched their first own Bluetooth headphones, the Spirit Torino Mistral.
Now you could say: "Yes, of course. Like everyone else, they are now also bringing Bluetooth headphones!"
The fact that the whole thing is not a "Me too" project becomes clear at the latest when you hold the Mistral in your hands or put it on. - This is serious hifi. If you know Andrea Ricci, boss and mastermind of Spirit Torino, then you know that this man doesn't compromise on sound anyway just to follow trends.
For at home and on the go
The Mistral is available in 2 versions: A version with Bluetooth and a "Pro" version with a premium cable.
Standard copper cable on Bluetooth version.
Professional cable for the "Pro" version.
The special feature: the Bluetooth version also comes with a high-quality cable, so the headphones can be used on the go with your smartphone or at home on the amplifier to exploit the full sound potential. - Hardly any other manufacturer offers this!
Here is the Bluetooth version: The headband is designed to accommodate the ES100 MKII Bluetooth module. It sits between the headband and headband and does not interfere with wearing.
The "Pro" version without Bluetooth. The headband is decorated with the Spirit Torino logo.
Quality you can touch
Customers can also choose between two color variants: brown mahogany wood or blue lacquered birch wood. By the way, the woods are real and not cheap veneer like other manufacturers. The headband is in two parts and consists of a metal frame and a genuine leather headrest. - There is definitely no saving on high-quality materials here! Incidentally, the Mistral is entirely handcrafted in Turin.
Uncomplicated and frugal
By the way, the Spirit Torino Mistral is not tricky when it comes to the source. It plays with desktop headphone amplifiers as well as with portable
hifi players (DAPs) and of course with smartphones, tablets and computers via Bluetooth. It is frugal when it comes to performance and plays big even with little power.
Due to its low weight of around 300 grams, it is also comfortable to wear and also very suitable for on the go.
For the Bluetooth module, Spirit Torino relied on purchased technology and that's a good thing! It was decided to concentrate fully on the headphones and their sound - on what you can do.
The Bluetooth module is the ES1000 MKII Bluetooth receiver from Earstudio, with which Spirit Torino had had very good experiences in the past. Due to its small size and design, it could be easily integrated into the headphones and supports 24bit, Bluetooth 5.0 and the LDAC codec, to name just a few important features.
But how does it sound now?
Quite simply: just like a real Spirit Torino headphone! 😅
Meaning: It has the typical sound signature of Spirit Torino, which is tuned to reproduce live atmosphere.
These are not "neutral" headphones, but they are also not gimmicky. The clear focus is on voice reproduction or the mids. Singers are presented with verve and richness, just as if you were there live.
The Mistral is not a "bass monster" and it is not supposed to be. That would not be possible due to the physics of open headphones. However, a test with Hans Zimmer's soundtrack from Bladerunner 2049 shows that the necessary "foundation" is definitely there when you need it. "Godzilla" (film soundtrack) is also staged in an important way - it's just fun! No, it's not bloodcurdling Radiante - bass, but enough to enjoy classical music and classic soundtracks as well.
Spirit Torino typical, the overtones and highs seem a bit tamed and reserved - but there is no need to do without details.
The channel and instrument separation is very good and the Mistral draws a realistic stage.
Bluetooth or cable?
"To be or not to be?" - That is the question. Or not, because when using Bluetooth no/hardly any compromises have to be made in terms of sound. No joke!
The built-in ES100 MKII receiver does its job so well that I was a little shocked
😱, since I didn't have a very high opinion of Bluetooth headphones when it came to the sound.
The Mistral also performs brilliantly with Bluetooth. The sound changes quite a lot: the bass increases significantly and the ES100 MKII seems to focus more on a "mass-suitable" tuning. That's not a bad thing here though, fortunately the Mistral's basic signature remains intact.
Who is the Mistral for?
I think that lovers of acoustic music and voices in particular will be happy with the Mistral. I think these headphones are particularly suitable for the singer/songwriter, jazz, blues, classical, soundtrack and unplugged music genres.
The Mistral can also be used as a "fun machine" via Bluetooth. I did enjoy Ice Cube, Wu Tang, and M.O.P.! 🤞😁
Oh yes, rock and metal fans don't have to go without either. 🤘 The complex compositions of Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir were skilfully unraveled by the mistral and Tenacious D becomes an almost audiophile pleasure!
With the Mistral, Spirit Torino has managed the balancing act between flexibility or portability and audiophile virtues. These headphones really can be used anywhere - on the go or at home, making them pretty much suitable for anyone who enjoys Spirit Torino's unique sound signature. Professionals or purists use the Pro version without Bluetooth, but with a better cable.
In any case, you get something special here - haptic and acoustic - that stands out from the gray or black (plastic) crowd of the competition!
The Spirit Torino Mistral is available now and can be tested free of charge in both variants at home.