$699 Noise Canceling Headphones for Hi-Fi Enthusiasts

For those of you who haven’t heard of Focal, Focal is a French high-end audio company best known for their ultra-high-fidelity speakers. What’s more, they’re also super high-end.they sell for $140,000 per speaker. But the brand also makes a range of open-back and closed-back headphones at much more affordable prices, ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Released in late 2022, Focal Bathies — pronounced “bat” in your French accent — this is the company’s first foray into the pervasive realm of wireless noise-cancelling headphones. The Bathys are different in their style, sound and, of course, their price. The $699 Bathys Most expensive wireless noise canceling headphones — but Focal seems to have done a lot to justify it.

Bathys shares the same 40mm M-dome driver as Focal’s non-wireless open-back. Elea ($750) and closed back Celesti ($999) headphones. Made from premium materials such as magnesium, aluminum and genuine leather. Plus, it offers a few other Hi-Fi features that set it apart from other “luxury” noise-cancelling headphones.

Focal Baths: What We Think

Focal Bathys sits on a Craighill headphone stand.

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Forget about the price for a moment. Focal Bathys are very good wireless headphones. It sounds great wirelessly, but it’s also a bona fide option for Hi-Fi enthusiasts as it supports lossless quality audio (up to 24-bit/192kHz). And most importantly, it’s comfortable to wear.

Admittedly, active noise cancellation is nothing short of revolutionary compared to its predecessor. Apple AirPods Max again Sony WH-1000MX5Of the world. That said, no other “luxury” headphone manufacturer has: Bowers & Wilkins and master & dynamiccan compete with them on that front as well.

If you’re looking for premium wireless headphones that put sound quality first and foremost, and you like the honeycomb look of Bathys, then these are the headphones that are easy to recommend. Don’t expect the best of the best when it comes to active noise cancellation. You can get headphones with stronger ANC for significantly less.

Focal Bathies

  • Great sound even when played over Bluetooth
  • Can play lossless audio when using a wired USB-C connection
  • surprisingly comfortable
  • Design may not be for everyone
  • ANC won’t blow your socks off
  • $699 isn’t cheap

Bathys sound great when playing music wirelessly

When streaming music, the app actually tells you what kind of audio file you’re listening to. Here I was streaming an AAC file from Apple Music.

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After testing Bathys over the past few weeks, it’s easy to say that sound quality is definitely the standout feature. I mean, it sounds perfect. Focal is equipped with her high-end 40mm drivers, Teka from among them. The company says it can emulate the sound of near-field speakers. The result is a warm, crisp sound with a robust soundstage. To be honest, they were a lot of fun to listen to.

I’ve been streaming mostly from Spotify and Apple Music — Bathys supports aptX HD and AAC, depending on the device you’re streaming from. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with Lauren Daigle and Ed Sheeran’s kicks. Both of their voices sound loud in appropriate ways, and for wireless streaming, Bathys’ sound is certainly on par with the likes of Apple’s AirPods Max.

It’s also a true Hi-Fi wired headphone

Switch Bathys to DAC mode and connect to your computer (or smartphone) via USB-C cable to listen to lossless quality audio.

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The best thing about Bathys is that they also make some very nice wired headphones. There’s a special ‘DAC Mode’, instantly toggleable via a button on the right earcup, which allows Bathys to play lossless audio (up to 24-bit/192kHz) using a built-in DAC and headphone amplifier Become. When using the integrated USB-C-to-USB-C cable.

This is good news for anyone who has subscribed to a lossless streaming service and wants to get the most out of it.As Apple Music subscribers (Conveniently maxed out at 24bit/192kHz), I was able to connect headphones to my computer. macbook, switch DAC mode on to listen to lossless audio files. It was easy. (You can do the same with an iPhone, but you’ll need a USB-C-to-Lightning adapter.)

Bathys are surprisingly lightweight and comfortable.

Bathys feel light on the head despite being made from high-quality materials such as metal and leather.

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For me, one of the pleasant surprises with Focal Bathys is how comfortable they are. I expected it to feel heavy as it’s mostly metal rather than plastic, but it wasn’t. Weighing in at 350 grams, it’s lighter than the AirPods Max’s 385 grams, but the Bathys’ weight is distributed across the headband so the actual ear cups don’t feel too heavy.

Plus, Bathys’ leather ear cups are extra thick and plush. They are like ear pillows and are very comfortable. Of course, since it is leather, it will wear out over time. However, it can be removed and replaced.

Thanks to physical buttons

physical button. they are great

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I once ranted about the lack of physical buttons on headphones. So many modern headphones opt for capacitive touch controls like tapping or swiping the actual earcup to adjust volume, play/pause, etc. endlessly frustrating. It becomes a hassle to touch the headphones and adjust the fit. dangerous mission. Thankfully, Focal gave her Bathys a real click button. and they are great.

Almost all of the buttons are located on Bathy’s right earcup. There is a power button, a volume and pairing button, and a button to start your voice assistant (Siri or Alexa). The left earcup has a single button for switching between noise canceling and transparency modes.

Active noise cancellation is not a standout feature

Each earcup has an LED light that is on by default. You can dim or turn it off from the app.

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Focal Bathys’ active noise canceling won’t blow you away. That’s good, but not great. With ANC turned on, the Sony WH-1000XM5 and AirPods Max. It shouldn’t be the primary reason you buy Bathys.

Another thing to mention is that switching between transparent and noise canceling modes (and the hybrid of the two, “soft” mode) is easy enough by pressing and holding the button on the earcup, but that’s not really the case. It turns out not. It’s not always easy to know what mode you were in. As far as I know, there is no feature to turn on voice prompts for Bathys settings. It just beeps when switching modes, but it doesn’t. Very useful if you don’t know what mode you are currently in.

The app experience is actually…awesome

The app has a built-in equalizer as well as presets to choose from.

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Most modern wireless headphones work with companion apps. And the experience of using them usually goes one of two ways: They are very complicated and complicated. Alternatively, it’s bare-bones and exists primarily for software updates. Bathys’ companion app (Focal & Naim) is actually a good compromise.

Companion apps really only allow you to do three things. You can use the built-in equalizer to adjust audio settings and create new custom sound profiles. You can switch between noise canceling and transparency settings. You can adjust the brightness of the LED lights built into both earcups to turn them on (the default setting), dim, or turn them off.

Focal Baths: Alternatives

There are many “luxury” wireless noise-cancelling headphones priced between $500 and $1,000.

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In fact, there are a lot of “luxury” noise-cancelling wireless earbuds these days, all of which combine premium materials, quality sound, and a hefty price tag.I tested Bowers & Wilkins PX8 ($699) and the Master & Dynamic MW75 ($599), but they are good, but expensive. And there are also more popular and slightly more affordable options, such as: Sony WH-1000XM5 ($399) and AirPods Max ($549), the best noise canceling of any ANC wireless headphone. If you’re going to spend big bucks, a lot of it comes down to design. Like the look? If you’re paying more, it’s better.

Focal Bathies

  • Great sound even when played over Bluetooth
  • Can play lossless audio when using a wired USB-C connection
  • surprisingly comfortable
  • Design may not be for everyone
  • ANC won’t blow your socks off
  • $699 isn’t cheap

https://www.gearpatrol.com/tech/audio/a44376577/focal-bathys-review/ $699 Noise Canceling Headphones for Hi-Fi Enthusiasts

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