Twelve years into their partnership with Bentley Motors, Naim and Focal have introduced two all-new Bentley Special Edition products – the Naim Mu-so for Bentley Special Edition wireless speaker and the Focal for Bentley Radiance headphones. And, well, just look at them.
The former is a remodelling of the current Naim Mu-so – a five-star all-in-one music system that we heralded for being “superb-sounding” and “fully-featured” – while the latter are brand-new Bentley-flavoured, high-end, closed-back over-ears from Focal.
Both new additions to the Bentley Collection have been created by audio and design specialists from all three companies, and as you’d expect they feature distinctive nods to luxury Bentley design.
Naim’s first-generation Mu-so (and Mu-so Qb, at that) got the Bentley treatment back in 2016, but the aesthetic approach for the second-generation Mu-so is markedly different – and, in our opinion, even more striking. Here, the Mu-so’s colour accents are influenced by the styling of the Bentley Mulliner Bacalar (which in itself is inspired by the EXP 100 GT electric concept car), while the signature Bentley lattice design that surrounds the illuminating top-panel volume dial directly references the car brand's iconic diamond seat quilting.
This is the first Mu-so with a wooden finish, too, the standard Mu-so and its predecessor opting for brushed aluminium styling. It's crafted from African hardwood Ayous, which is complemented by a smoked plinth and copper-threaded speaker grille. Smart indeed.
“The copper seen within the Naim Mu-so for Bentley Special Edition was inspired by the exterior metal brightwork of the EXP 100 GT, and represents Bentley’s move towards more sustainable materials for the future. This theme was mirrored through the weave of the front mesh as a highlight and can be seen in the anodised, machined veins at the back,” says Stefan Sielaff, director of design at Bentley.
“The etching on the ‘dial plate’ takes the form of a progressive diamond which elegantly grows out from the centre and is a nod to Bentley’s diamond-in-diamond interior quilting from the new Continental GT,” he adds.
Meanwhile, the Focal Bentley Radiance – created, developed and made in France, like all Focal fare – also hone in on the copper accent and lattice pattern splendour. Their ear cups are finished in Pittards’ eminent gloving leather (because if it’s good enough for yacht racers and Spitfire pilots, it’s good enough for Focal), and they come complete with a bespoke carry case that's finished in the same woven material found on the speaker grille of the Bentley Mu-so.
If the Radiances are of the all-round quality of Focal’s other high-end headphones, such as the Stellias, future owners are in for a real treat.
The Naim Mu-so for Bentley Special Edition and Focal for Bentley Radiance will be available from October, priced £1799 ($2199) and £1199 ($1299) respectively.
Naim for Bentley premium audio system (2020 Bentley Continental GT) review
Best audiophile headphones 2020
Best wireless speakers 2020: wonderful wi-fi speakers for all budgets
Edit: Done some digging, it appears they are closed back so, they look likely to be based on the Elegia, indicating a price premium of about ₤350...
Naim/Focal would do well to improve the sonics, or just leave alone.