I have no hesitation in admitting that Focal makes some of my favorite audio gear, so whenever the company announces a new set of headphones, my ears perk up. This time the announcement is a bit different than usual though: it’s launching the new Focal Radiance as a part of a partnership with Bentley. Yep, that Bentley.
As you might expect given the partnership, the Radiance are premium headphones, coming in at a cool $1,300 (£1199/€1300). For the price, you’re getting an elegant black and copper closed-back design with leather earpads and a fancy diamond grille pattern. The headphones use Focal’s 40mm M-shaped dome common throughout many of Focal’s high-end headphones.
That said, it’s also worth noting these are far from the most expensive headphones in Focal’s lineup. The Focal Utopia and Stellia, for instance, use fancier beryllium drivers and come in at roughly $3,000 and $4,000 each, so it’s nice to see that Focal doesn’t seem to be overcharging just for slapping a Bently logo on a new pair of headphones.
The Radiance is roughly on par with the $1,500 Focal Clear price-wise, which uses similar drivers in a decidedly less fancy enclosure. Hopefully, they perform similarly well, as the Clear remains one of my reference headphones several years after I first heard them.
Headphones aside, Naim (Focal’s sister company) is also releasing a new Bentley-themed edition of the Mu-So 2, an all-in-one streaming speaker. While this isn’t an all-new product like the Radiance, when I tested this speaker I was impressed by the sound quality that could emerge from a single box.
This new variant also features nifty copper accents and is the first Mu-so to feature a wooden finish. Naim is using Ayous “a sustainable African hardwood” that gives the unit a distinctly more luxe appearance than the Mu-so’s other iterations. You’ll pay for it though, as this variant retails for $2,199(£1799/€1999) compared to the $1,599 of the standard version.
The Focal Radiance and Mu-so for Bentley Special Edition will be available starting October from Focal, Naim, and Bentley dealers, as well as the companies’ web stores.
Published September 15, 2020 — 02:34 UTC