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Home / Hot Stuff / Audio / Focal dives into ANC over-ears with new Bathys headphones

Focal dives into ANC over-ears with new Bathys headphones

Submarine-inspired cans promise silence and audiophile-grade sound

Focal Bathys hot stuff

French headphone artificer Focal has looked to the ocean floor for inspiration for its first-ever pair of active noise cancelling headphones. The Bathys, named after one of the earliest submarines, aims to deliver the same sort of solemn silence you’d find 10,000m below the waves – until you start pumping Hi-Fi-grade tunes through its built-in USB DAC, that is.

The over-ears let you pick between Bluetooth 5.1 for wireless listening, with SBC, AAC and aptX Adaptive codec support, 3.5mm wired for a direct connection to analogue sources, or over USB-C via the integrated DAC from digital devices at 24 bit / 192kHz quality.

They promise 30 hours of listening with ANC enabled, with a 15 minute top-up being sufficient for another five hours of tunes.

ANC goes beyond mere ‘on’ and ‘off’ with a Silent mode, meant for plane and train travel where there’s lots of background noise, and a Soft mode for while you’re somewhere quieter, but still want to strip out background distractions. Naturally there’s also a transparency mode to keep you aware of your surroundings when you want it.

Focal Bathys lifestyle

Focal says the Bathys’ aluminium/magnesium dome drivers will deliver “an extremely precise sound” with the same sound signature you’ll find in the firm’s pricier models.

The concentric circle earcup grilles take a little design inspiration from the top-tier Focal Utopia headphones, while the company’s flame logo has a built-in backlight for a little extra visual flair.

Arriving in a single colour choice (black and silver), it uses similarly premium materials like magnesium for the ear cup yokes, real leather for the headband, and aluminium to add sturdiness. Naturally for a pair of travel-friendly cans, the Bathys comes with an equally plush carrying case to keep the headphones safe while you’re on the move.

The Focal Bathys is going on sale later this month for £699, directly from the Focal website. That puts it above the likes of Apple’s AirPods Max and the Bowers & Wilkins PX8, but neither of those can match it for high-resolution playback over a wired connection.