French hi-fi brand Focal is a big believer in high-end, high-quality sound, so when it brings a product to market, it aims to do so without much of a compromise.
Focal has produce many a headphone in the last few years, but the Bathys represent their first attempt at a wireless, noise cancelling headphone and as you’d expect it’s leaving no stone unturned in the search for high performance.
The Bathys features two noise cancelling modes: a ‘Silent’ mode that’s optimised for journeys with high background noise such as planes and trains, and a ‘Soft’ mode for use at home or in the office. A transparency mode is also included, allowing the wearer to hear what’s around them.
The audio is pumped through 40mm Aluminium-Magnesium drivers that Focal says helps to create a “naturally detailed sound with impact”, with deep bass, soft treble reproduction and a clear mid-range “for an extremely precise sound”. The headphones also pack an integrated USB-DAC mode that supports resolutions of up to 24-bit/192kHz for a high-quality wireless performance.
Bluetooth connectivity equals SBC, AAC, aptX and aptX Adaptive, while the Bathys also supports USB and 3.5mm jack connections. Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are both supported (each one is built-in), and you can choose which one in the dedicated app developed by Focal that also has features such as an adjustable EQ to customise the sound. The headphones use Qualcomm’s Clear Voice Capture microphone technology to provide clear call quality, while battery life is around 30 hours with a 15-minute fast-charge providing another five hours of playback.
The design is eccentric in appearance with real leather used for the headband, with curvy earcups that feature grilles to help provide its distinctive Focal aesthetic. In the middle of the earcup is a backlit logo that can light up when activated through the app (in case you want to attract even more attention).
And what about the name ‘Bathys’? The word comes from ‘bathyscaphe’, which relates to the first submarine exploration vehicle, its embodiment of “calm, depth and absolute silence” was the inspiration behind the name of the headphones.
The Focal Bathys don’t come cheap at $799 / €799 / £699. They’re available in a black silver finish with availability expected October 2022.