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Finally, Focal's new headphones have all the best audio tech without the $1,000 price tag

The high-end audio company aims to break down the cost barrier between its critically acclaimed audio technology and everyday audio enthusiasts.
Written by Jada Jones, Associate Editor
Focal Hadenys headphones against a brown background

Today, high-end audio company Focal announced two new headphones for audio buffs looking to take the next step into sophisticated high-fidelity audio. Focal unveiled the open-back Hadenys and closed-back Azurys headphones, both considered entry-level by Focal's standards, showing their desire to attract consumers who might have been intimidated by the company's ritzier audio products.

Also: The best music headphones: Expert tested and reviewed

Focal has garnered worldwide recognition for its loudspeakers and headphones, and its pioneering audio technology. Historically, Focal headphones cost between $900 and $5,000, but the Hadenys and Azurys aim to lower the cost barrier between hi-fi audio and everyday people.

Both headphones feature Focal's patented, custom-made speaker drivers that are designed and built in the company's workshops in France. The 40mm full-range loudspeakers in both headphones are borrowed from Focal's Bathys headphones, the company's first hi-fi headphones enabled with Bluetooth and noise-canceling technologies.

The headphones' speakers sport an M-shaped dome to soften high-pitched frequencies without compromising clarity. The domes are made of aluminum and magnesium to allow optimal control of the dome's movement, delivering a smooth, warm, and accurate sound.

The Hadenys are open-back headphones, meaning the back of the ear cups are open to allow air to move from the speakers out the back of the ear cup. Additionally, the Hadenys' honeycomb grilles aid in the decompression of the speaker driver, according to Focal. This form factor creates an open, airy, and natural sound but makes the headphones unsuitable for listening in public spaces.

Also: These speakers deliver impressively accurate sound for any style of music

Focal offers the Hadenys in a deep shade of brown, inspired by Hadean, the first and oldest of Earth's known geological eons. The memory foam ear pads and lightweight build foster comfort during lengthy listening sessions.

The closed-back Azurys headphones can be worn at home or on the go, thanks to their closed ear cups. However, they lack noise-canceling and Bluetooth technologies and need to be wired. Still, their 26-ohm impedance is low enough to work well with an affordable digital-to-analog converter, like Apple's USB-C to 3.5mm adapter for iOS or Anker's adapter for Android.

Focal Azurys against a blue background

Despite their lack of noise-canceling, Focal says the Azurys' thick ear pads provide increased passive noise isolation that will fit any head shape. The Azurys are available in a shade of metallic blue, inspired by the semi-precious stone Azurite, which is associated with positivity, confidence, and dynamism.

Also: Everything you need for a vinyl setup: The best turntables, speakers, and more

Both headphones are made from genuine leather and include a carrying case with the cables needed for wired listening. The Hadenys and Azurys will retail for $699 and $549, respectively, and will be available to ship in June.

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