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Focal for Bentley Radiance headphones, inspired by Mulliner Bacalar

  • When we visited French loudspeaker manufacturer Focal back in February of this year, we saw how their Saint-Étienne factory had (at least) three large glass-walled rooms dedicated to headphone construction; rooms that were strictly off-limits to filming. This week’s announcement might point to one reason why: Focal has introduced Radiance, a new closed-back headphone that houses a 4cm dynamic full-range driver with an ‘aluminium/magnesium “M” shape dome’.

    The Radiance’s yoke – the piece that connects each earcup to its leather-finished headband – is made from solid aluminium whilst the earcup cushioning is wrapped in a breathable leather made by Somerset’s Pittards. To the press release for more info: “Pittards has been crafting leather in Somerset since 1826, with its ultra-soft yet durable designs used by everyone from fashion houses to round-the-world yacht racers and the military; Spitfire pilots wore Pittards gloves.”

    This headphone’s luxury-focused finish has been driven by Focal’s branding and product development partner, Bentley Motors, who reportedly steered its design cues towards the interior and exterior of the (German-owned) British manufacturer’s Mulliner Bacalar (pictured above). Note the copper accents and a recurring lattice pattern, inspired by Bentley’s diamond seat quilting, that shows up on Radiance’s earcups, cable connections and the padded headband’s underside.

    Giving them their full name, the Focal for Bentley Radiance headphones ship with a bespoke carry-case that’s finished in the same woven copper and black material found on the Naim Mu-so for Bentley Special Edition’s (£1799/€1999/US$2199) speaker grille.

    Each pair will sell for £1199/€1299/US$1299. Shipping begins on 26th October. Every pair will be made in Saint-Étienne.

    Further information: Focal

    John Darko

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has also contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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