Focal Bathys Bluetooth Noise Reduction Headphones is the latest headphone model from the French company Focal JMlab. As the name suggests, these are Bluetooth headphones that feature active noise reduction and are thus primarily designed as a personal audio device for mobile use. What is particularly exciting is that the French specialist is talking about being able to present the first Bluetooth headphones with active noise cancellation that allow real high-fidelity sound and should therefore appeal even to very demanding music enthusiasts.
Focal Bathys – Bluetooth and active noise cancellation
For the new Focal Bathys, in addition to the latest technology in electronics, the focus was on outstanding drivers, which were of course once again developed and manufactured in France, according to the manufacturer’s promise. The declared aim was to achieve a performance on a high-fidelity level, as we already mentioned briefly. According to Focal JMlab, this should set the new Focal Bathys apart from the large offer on the market in this segment.
Closed over-ear headphones
The developers of the new Focal Bathys rely on a closed construction of the over-ear headphones, using a 40 mm driver with an aluminium-magnesium cone and a so-called M-dome.
This special construction is responsible for the detailed, precise and dynamic performance of the Focal Bathys. Moreover, according to Focal JMlab, this is patent pending and therefore unique on the market.
Bluetooth 5.1 including aptX Adaptive
Another important point is, of course, the electronics used here, the basis for which is a Bluetooth module with Bluetooth 5.1. This ensures that in addition to the lossy Bluetooth codecs SBC and AAC, aptX and aptX Adaptive are also guaranteed for signal transmission with up to 24 bits and thus hi-res audio.
By the way, it is Bluetooth with multipoint support, so two source devices can be connected at the same time, for example a portable hi-res audio player, a so-called DAP, plus a smartphone for phone calls.
In order to be able to make phone calls with the best voice quality using the new Focal Bathys, and of course as a basis for the implemented active noise suppression, a total of eight microphones are available here.
Voice control via Apple iOS and Google Android
The simplest way to ensure control over the smartphone and thus music playback on the move is to support voice control. Officially, the new Focal Bathys only supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, but experience shows that Apple Siri also works without problems under Apple iOS.
It should also be mentioned in this context that the new Focal Bathys supports Google Fast Pair for a particularly easy connection with smartphones based on Google Android.
Active noise cancellation
The already mentioned active noise cancellation of the new Focal Bathys should prove to be particularly effective, according to the manufacturer’s promise, whereby different modes can be selected depending on the requirements.
The so-called Silent Mode is designed for travelling with loud ambient noise, whereas the Soft Mode makes it easier to concentrate on the music or speech, but does not ensure complete isolation from the surroundings. This task can also be performed by the Transparency Mode, whereby ambient noises are to be perceived even better, especially conversations in the surroundings.
The USB-DAC mode option will be particularly interesting for many hi-fi enthusiasts, as it allows the Focal Bathys to be connected directly to a PC or Mac and allows the best quality. The manufacturer promises the use of particularly high-quality converters that allow the playback of data with up to 24 bit and 192 kHz.
This interface is designed as USB-C, which of course also charges the integrated battery.
Battery life of up to 30 hours
With active noise cancellation and signal transmission via Bluetooth, the new Focal Bathys are said to offer a battery life of up to 30 hours. If the headphones are operated in the classic way via an analogue cable using a 3.5 mm stereo jack, which is also possible, the active noise cancellation can be used for up to 35 hours. In USB-DAC mode, a playing time of up to 42 hours should be achieved.
Noble design, high-quality materials
According to the manufacturer, the design and choice of materials of the Focal Bathys are of course based on the best from Focal JMlab. In this respect, the manufacturer speaks of a combination of noble materials such as magnesium on the temples, genuine leather on the headband or aluminium for a robust construction, which should ensure incomparable comfort for every head shape. It is also emphasised that, at around 350 g, the headphones are light and very compact, making them an ideal companion for on the go.
We have already mentioned that voice control is the main feature, and there are also buttons on the right ear cup of the Focal Bathys for direct access to all relevant functions.
Of course, a headphone of this kind should not be without a suitable app, and this is now available in the form of the Focal & Naim app for Apple iOS and Google Android.
Prices and availability
The new Focal Bathys is available immediately from specialist dealers. The recommended retail price is € 799. The scope of delivery includes a carrying case, a USB-C cable and a 3.5 mm stereo mini-jack cable.
Getting to the point
Focal JMlab already has many outstanding headphones to its name, and for years the French speaker specialist has been successively expanding its range of personal audio devices. Now, with the new Focal Bathys, a solution has been added that the company describes as Bluetooth headphones with active noise cancellation and true high-fidelity sound.
|FOCAL BATHYS BLUETOOTH NOISE REDUCTION HEADPHONES
|Focal Naim Deutschland GmbH
|More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG