Focal debuts its most affordable open- and closed-back headphones

Focal Azurys and Hadenys wired headphones.

French hi-fi company Focal is known for it superb lines of speakers and headphones. It is not, however, known for its accessible prices. And while its latest wired headphones may still be out of reach for many, the Focal Hadenys and Azurys are the company’s most affordable open- and closed-back models so far, with prices that start at $549. They’ll be available from Focal and select retailer starting in June.

The two headphones share the same M-shaped 40mm aluminum/magnesium drivers that Focal uses on its Bathys wireless cans, which bodes well for their audio quality. Our Bathys reviewer called their sound “transcendent,” a word that doesn’t get used very often in our headphone reviews.

Focal Azurys wired closed-back headphones.
The closed-back Focal Azurys Focal

Unlike the Bathys, the Hadenys (pronounced ah-den-ees) and Azurys (ah-zur-ees) are purely for wired listening. Their design will be instantly familiar to Focal fans. The new models are loaded with Focal’s DNA, like a plush, padded leather-topped headband, oversized earcups and ear cushions for comfort and sound isolation, and magnesium earcup yokes for a lighter weight.

Where these headphones depart from Focal’s tradition are their prices, which come in far cheaper than the company’s previous entry points. The $549 Azurys uses a closed-back design (like the $999 Focal Celestee), while the $699 Hadenys adopts an open-back architecture, similar to the much pricier $1,499 Focal Clear MG.

Observant fans will also note that Focal has simplified its logo — the flame shape is now an unbroken 2D line instead of a folding 3D spiral.

Focal Hadenys wired, open-back headphones.
The open-back Focal Hadenys Focal

They also swap Focal’s normal left/right cable connections for a single-sided design that presumably helps to cut down on some manufacturing costs.

Focal recommends the closed-back Azurys for anywhere listening, while the open-back Hadenys are better suited to at-home listening sessions (or other locations where you can keep background sounds to a minimum).

Focal Azurys wired closed-back headphones.
Focal Azurys wired closed-back headphones.
Focal Hadenys wired, open-back headphones.
Focal Hadenys wired, open-back headphones.

If you have a preference for stronger bass, the Azurys will be a better bet, as their frequency response goes from a low of 15Hz to a high of 22kHz. The Hadenys, on the other hand, are rated for 25Hz to 22kHz.

Both the Hadenys and Azurys come with their own zippered travel case and a 3.5mm analog cable. However, in keeping with their suggested uses, the Azurys come with a 4-foot cable with an inline mic and remote, while the Hadenys ship with a 6-foot cable and come with a 1/4-inch adapter for use with home hi-fi gear.