The Focal Bathys are by no means the first noise-cancelling headphones to hit the market. However Focal have managed to distill their fantastic heritage in manufacturing wired headphones, into a top-notch pair of Bluetooth wireless headphones.
Focal has clearly paid a lot of attention to first impressions with the Bathy headphones, as we all know first impressions are what count! The unboxing experience is one to be savored with the Bathys, high quality packing might not be something to get excited about, but at this price point it’s to be expected, and boy have Focal done well here! Within the box is the premium quality carry case which is a proper hard case, rather than a simple drawstring bag.
Opening said case reveals the Bathy’s in all their glory and wow do they look sharp sitting there, glistening back at you! These must be some of the best detailed headphones I’ve seen in a long time. The yokes (the bit that swivels on the headphone) are made of magnesium, as is the patterned effect on the headphones themselves. There is the traditional Focal Flame on either side of the headphones which can be illuminated should you wish (controlled through the free Focal App). Leather on the headband & ear cups makes up the final finishing touches on a very attractive set of cans.
In terms of specs, the Bathys are right up there at the competitive end of the market. 30 hours battery life, USB DAC Mode (allows you to connect your phone over USB to enhance audio quality) USB-C for charging & Bluetooth 5.1. All strong stats. Placing the Bathys over your head for the first time is a real joy. Yes, they are a big set of headphones & that may not suit a smaller head, but Focal have given them a good amount of adjustment and medium level of clamping force to the side of your head, so most people should find the Bathys a comfortable listen.
For my first audition I went straight to one of my current favourite tracks, ‘Higher’ by London Grammar. This track has some beautiful ethereal vocals classically associated with London Grammar. Instantly the Bathy’s make their abilities known… that the added space between your ears and the drivers inside the headphones really makes a difference, giving those beautiful vocals a real sense of space. CamelPhat also features in this track, providing epic synths and bass to fill out the rest of the track. The whole experience is extremely well captured in the Bathys, bass notes are crisp well defined, and the synths and percussion are all given room to breathe. There could be more weight to the overall presentation, but what is there is consistency & that is a difficult thing to master.
Switching things up, I next listened to ‘Spinnin’ by Madison Beer. Again like in the London Gramar track, the Bathys give a stunning presentation of Madisons voice. They capture the tonality of her voice perfectly. The guitar that follows the track is there to hear, cleanly blended with the drums & other instruments that make up the track. There are fantastic vocal undertones within the track, that are placed wonderfully within the soundstage too. Bass is still a touch lean, but this is only a minor criticism.
One final tried and tested track, ‘Inner Light’ by Elderbook. This is a track that through the wrong system, or headphones can sound flat and uninspiring. I’m pleased to report that the Bathys take this track in their stride. The intro to the track has a lovely piano that is filtered down to just the lower frequencies that slowly comes out to its true sound, mixed with distant sounding percussion it makes for a epic track intro. Through the Bathys this is given to you, and then some. Time & time again the Bathys have this wonderful feeling of space, and it couldn’t be better revealed here. The vocals in the track are superbly delivered which we’ve come to know from these headphones now. Bass tones are deep and nuanced, which can be tough for a track like this, where too much of a heavy hand can lose detail in the track.
Overall the Bathys have made a long-lasting impression. Their build quality surpasses their price point, giving much more premium headphones a run for their money. For sound, they really are unique in giving such an open and spacious delivery, given the closed back noise-cancelling nature. To give these headphones a listen, give your local store a call and pop in for a demonstration!
Author: Aaron, Bournemouth Store