Focal for Bentley Radiance review

Focal for Bentley Radiance headphones provided for the purpose of review.

As part of the Special Edition Bentley Collection, Focal has released the Bentley Radiance closed-back hi-fi headphones, alongside its sister-brand Naim releasing the special edition Mu-so speakers (see here for the review).

This exciting collection has been designed with Bentley styling cues in mind, while also utilising high-quality materials and the best technology for a premium experience.

Using the Focal Radiance headphones with my Macbook Pro and Astell&Kern USB-C Dual DAC Cable

Design

The Special Edition Bentley Radiance headphones are designed, developed, and made in France.

To make the collection really special the design has been inspired by Bentley styling cues such as the copper accents and the diamond pattern on the ear cups, underside of the headband and knurling on the cable connections.

These Bentley design aspects have been specifically inspired by the EXP 100 GT, with elements also seen in the new Bentley Continental GT, such as the diamond-on-diamond interior quilting (for more information on the Bentley design cues – see Naim Mu-so for Bentley Special Edition.)

The ear cups themselves are made from an incredibly soft and durable leather, supplied by Pittards, connoisseurs of technical, performance leather that they have been crafting in England since 1826.

The headphones have been optimised to share the same sonic signature of the Naim Mu-so speakers.

Pricing

The Focal for Bentley Radiance headphones are priced at AUD$2000, with limited stock available.

What’s in the box?

  • The Focal for Bentley Radiance headphones with unique Bentley design finishes and Pittard leather ear cups
  • A 1/8″ (3.5mm) stereo jack cable
  • A 1/8″ (3.5mm) to 1/4″ (6.35mm) jack adapter
  • A woven finish carrying case, made from the same material as the Special Edition Mu-so Speakers
  • Black leather-effect packaging (faux leather packaging)
  • Information booklet with Bentley branding

Unlike the Bentley Naim Mu-so speakers, I was really pleased with the packaging of the Radiance headphones.

Unboxing you reveal a faux leather box in which your headphones are within, inside of the hard-shell, woven finish carry case.

The bespoke carry case and shares the same woven material finish as Naim Mu-so speakers.

All-in-all the Focal for Bentley Radiance headphones have spared no details, looking as premium as they feel. 

Set up

As far as set-up goes, it is straight forward – plug in and play.

However, Focal recommends a ‘running-in-period’ to calibrate the sound, ensuring optimum sound performance.

It is suggested that after several of listening, the headphones will run themselves in, however you can also speed up the process by playing ‘very bassy music’ at a relatively high volume (not maximum) for at least 24 hours.

If you choose the latter, you could basically run them in over the weekend and you’d be good to go for your work week.

To be honest, I think it is easier to use your headphones as you usually would and know that there will be a short period where the sound needs time to mature.

I thought the sound was incredible from first listen, so I hardly noticed the difference – but it depends on your personal preference.

High-fidelity sound experience

The sound performance of the Focal radiance headphones is fantastic. The engineering that was involved from a design and technical perspective both melds together perfectly, delivering high-end audio quality while maintaining absolute comfort.

Part of me wishes you didn’t have to run in the headphones yourself but the other part also appreciates that being part of the ownership experience, knowing that the sound will naturally improve through your own use.

I felt submerged in my own world when I wore the Focal Radiance headphones, which is what I look for in my audio experiences.

The sound experience is rich and remarkable, without external disturbances and no resonance.

Day-to-day performance

Although the Focal radiance headphones do have a bit of weight to them, I still found them incredibly comfortable to wear, which would be in part due to the supple full-grain leather earpads and padded headband.

The attention to detail is noticed and I did not feel that my ears were getting too hot after prolonged use, unlike other much cheaper over-ear headphones.

Airflow seemingly is managed by the integrated vents, yet it does not compromise or cause a loss on audio quality, still managing to maintain great soundproofing.


Although these are not ‘noise-cancelling headphones’, the design of the Radiance headphones still ensures the most natural soundproofing which is much more enjoyable.

The premium travel case although bulky, does make it possible for you to enjoy your headphones outside of your home and know that once you’re done, they will be protected in the hard-shell case.  

Using these headphones feels indulgent and special, not just because they are a collector’s item.

Not only are they beautiful to look at, but they are so comfortable, and they are enjoyable to use.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a unique hi-fi headphone that does not compromise on sound and design, the Bentley Special Edition hi-fi headphones should be considered.

This unique partnership between Focal and Bentley delivers on style and quality, but also provides an indulgent and pleasurable audio experience. Every detail has been thought out, from the packaging to the Bentley Diamond motifs that sprinkle through the headphone design.

Whether you are looking for a collector’s item or looking to upgrade your audio listening experience, it doesn’t get much better than the Focal for Bentley Radiance high-end headphones.  

To learn more about the Focal for Bentley Radiance headphones, head to the official Focal site.

For Australian retailers head to Busisoft AV or Addicted to Audio.


Words by @andreamichelleindy

Photography of the Focal for Bentley Radiance headphones by Andrea Michelle Indy

EXP100 GT Concept Car imagery courtesy of Bentley Motors