Video: Testing Focal's High-End $800 Bathys Over-Ear Headphones

French company Focal is known for its range of high fidelity audio systems, and it recently came out with its first set of wireless headphones with Active Noise Cancellation, the Bathys. The Focal Bathys are priced at $800, and while they are closest in functionality to Apple's $549 AirPods Max, they're more premium than anything Apple offers.

MacRumors videographer Dan Barbera has been testing out the Focal Bathys to see how they measure up to the ‌AirPods Max‌ and whether they’re worth the premium price.

As a spoiler, these headphones have some of the best sounding wireless audio available, but the Active Noise Cancellation is a little disappointing at this price point. Make sure to watch Dan's video for a full overview of the design, functionality, battery life, and sound quality of the headphones.

Top Rated Comments

mthomas184 Avatar
13 months ago
They're worth it because they are not named Apple. If they were named Apple, they wouldn't be worth it.

I believe that's how this works.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Matthew.H Avatar
13 months ago
Until wireless headphones at these prices get the option of easily replaceable batteries there not worth the price.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Unregistered 4U Avatar
13 months ago
Looks nice, but I can’t use these. I suffer from bathysfear.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vegetassj4 Avatar
13 months ago
Holy Stereo! ('')

I saw BAT-hys OVER-EAR HEADPHONES in my notifications, and was expecting to see something like this:

Attachment Image
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AhRiHmAn Avatar
13 months ago

Wonder what the unboxing of these headphones looks like.

Looks great but $800 just for headphones?
The price is way too steep but I get it’s a luxury brand. ??
I’m more shocked by the $19 polishing cloth than those $800 headphones ??
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dasmb Avatar
13 months ago
So I'm a big head-fi guy. I've owned high end options from Audeze, Audio-Technica, Hifiman, Grado, B&W, B&O, Oppo & SONY. I prefer closed back phones for listening privately.

Principally, I am interested in audio quality mixed with excellent build quality and comfort. So it may be interesting to know that when the Airpods Max hit the scene, I sold all of my other headphones (except for one pair of electrostatics). Reason was simple: they sounded as good as or better than everything else except the Audeze, they had a very low noise floor meaning I could listen to details at a safer volume (and while moving) and heavy as they were, they were much less cumbersome than the Audeze or most of the other high end wired headphones, which tend to have ludicrous cables and require finicky dongles.

Finally, the connectivity was awfully good. It's not quite magic (and in the early days of the firmware it could be downright bad, with the headphones dropping signal or needing to be reset many times per day), but light years better than every pure bluetooth options I tried.

Over time, the fact that my only option is compressed music has been a bit of a downer, and I do miss the fuller dynamic range and higher resolution of the Audeze. I am very much the intended market for a high end ANC headphone -- but I don't know if I'll be able to buy anything that doesn't have at least as good ANC as the Airpods Max and that included the transparency mode, which on the Max is almost magic compared to the competition. Hearing that the Focal do transparency well is a big plus.

I'm not sure if I will audition these or not. I like the idea of a decent onboard DAC and good transparency, but you can see in this review how bad the performance of the app is, which has me concerned for the experience of switching from wireless to wired modes. These are also rather inexpensive for a Focal headphone, which has me worried that they may have outsourced the build or cheaper out on the drivers.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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