So Quiet, So Otherworldly, They're Named After the Bathyscaphe

Your Hi-Fi Travel Companion

Focal Bathys wireless Bluetooth active noise canceling headphones

 focal bathys wireless bluetooth headphones

 

With an Al-Mg M-dome, 30-hour battery life, two active noise-cancellation modes, voice assist, and a dedicated app. Made in France.

For a long time, traditional two-channel companies have been offering travel-compatible headphones. Bowers & Wilkins has their most recent Px7 S2 and Px8, Mark Levinson sells their No. 5909s, Sennheiser has a few models, and other worthy competitors have thrown their hats in the ring. But we don’t blame you if those haven’t quite captured the magic of your stereo on the go. For that kind of experience, you might need something more like a Focal Utopia 2022 or Focal Stellia, paired with a top-notch amp like a Feliks Euforia. While the Stellia may be capable of road-warrior duties, you’d be running it wired off an iPhone and missing all sorts of wonderful features, not to mention traveling with a mighty expensive piece of kit. What to do?

Enter the Focal Bathys, which is Focal’s newest headphone, and the first we’ve seen to truly distill the legendary Focal driver technology from their headphones and tweeters into an ANC, wireless Bluetooth offering. This is not a branded product made by another OEM, nor does it use any off-the-shelf transducers with logos stamped on the basket. This is a true Focal product, designed and built from the ground up around their highly popular and successful Utopia, Stellia, and Clear Mg platforms.

“Forget portables, DAPs, and other bulky, inconvenient alternatives. This is all the hi-fi you need on the go.”

— Grover Neville, personal audio manager

 

Our staff members, even those who aren’t typically into headphones, are already raving and buying pairs for themselves. If you’ve enjoyed the functionality of AirPods, Galaxy Buds and other true wireless headphones, but have been waiting for something that can offer a sound more accurately described as ‘high-fidelity’ while traveling, this is your answer.

“Forget portables, DAPs, and other bulky, inconvenient alternatives. This is all the hi-fi you need on the go,” says Grover Neville, our personal audio guru.

We couldn’t agree more: The Focal Bathys is certainly the best wireless, ANC headphone we’ve ever heard.

Why We're Buying Bathys for Ourselves

Our sales associate Chris Landfield represented Upscale at CanJam SoCal this year, and out of all the amazing stuff he got his hands on, he was most excited about the sneak preview Focal gave us of the Bathys.

Says Chris of the headphones, "The build quality is solid, the app is easy to use, and they were really comfortable, and that's saying something considering I had been listening to lots of headphones all weekend."

When asked to guess the price, Chris put sound quality in line with a $1,500 headphone. At close to half that price, he marveled that "the music, with the help of the ANC, sounded like I was in the studio with the musicians."

And if you're wondering about the name of these headphones, here's what Focal says: "Bathys comes from the word 'bathyscaphe', the first submarine exploration vehicle. The embodiment of calm, depth, and absolute silence, this vessel is the inspiration behind the name of Focal's very first headphones with active noise reduction."

Check out the Bathys from Focal this holiday season. It may well be a great stocking stuffer for friends, family, and anybody else who cares about sound quality and wants to take that level of performance anywhere they want, even if it's no farther than a desk for the work-from-home crowd.

Focal Bathys Headphones

 Focal Bathys Headphones

Product Info

Vincent Audio: Hybrid Magic from Germany

Vincent Audio

"Buy the best speakers you can afford." That's the advice Kevin Deal keeps giving on our videos, and it's excellent. After all, loudspeakers are the most inaccurate and non-linear component of your audio system. It makes sense to get the best.

But if you skew your budget towards speakers, how low should you be going for electronics? There is, after all, value in the "source first" approach which preaches a term from the early days of computing: GIGO, or 'garbage in, garbage out'. Get the best source component you can afford, goes that thinking, to ensure you pour the most detail and bandwidth into the system.

In nearly all situations, and especially when starting out, 'speakers first' is the way to go. This means you need to be on the hunt for truly great electronics at affordable prices... luckily these exist, and one of those sweet-spot brands is Vincent Audio from Germany.

Kick-Ass Hybrid Designs

With integrated amps in the $1,300 to $3,500 range, Vincent is able to bring high-fidelity performance to systems where the customer has perhaps stretched to $5,000 to $8,000 on speakers.

Why is Vincent so easy to recommend? The main reason is its tube/solid-state hybrid technology, which, like all good hybrid circuits, lies in the Goldilocks zone of sonic appeal. The solid-state output stage provides that high damping factor that results in a swift start and stop of the bigger drivers, allowing for bass with slam, and not boom and bloom.

On the input stage, Vincent uses richly toned 6N1-family tubes, which offer all the glory you expect, but also their higher voltage provides improved signal stability with higher spectral purity that brings out the fine details of a recording. This is not cotton-candy tube audio, but just the right mix of sparkle, texture, and accuracy.

A Class-A Act

The Vincent SV237MKII is an exemplar of what this 1995-founded brand brings to the audio rack. The input stage uses 6N1P-EV, which are low-distortion, dual-gain triodes, that are carefully mated to a Class A solid-state output stage, all backed by toroidal transformers designed by German engineer Frank Blöhbaum. The SV237 weighs in at a considerable 45 lb, and it is rare to see a product this massively built at the price.

To make life easier (and help with that non-speaker budget) there is a DAC on board, and it's no afterthought, considering it features renowned Burr-Brown chips. Various optical and digital inputs ensure it will fit in to your living room easily, with a Bluetooth input to keep everyone in the family happy.

Explore Vincent Audio

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