Focal Bathys Wireless HiFi Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation - Official Discussion Thread

The Volume issue is what is stpooing me from ordering a pair of these.
Surely this is a basic thing for a costly HP to get right…such a shame . I am favouring the PX8 because of this


You do need an OTG usb-c to lightning cable if you want to forego the CCK adapter. I did find one on Amazon that worked. I posted a link to it earlier in this discussion.


I’ve been holding off on giving my thoughts on the Bathys because I’ve been waiting for the B&W PX8 to come in to compare, and folks have been comparing them to one another.

I now have that one in and no, it’s not on the same level as the Bathys for sound quality - along just about all dimensions of sound quality I can think of, but in particular the tuning on the PX8 sounds very weird to me. Boomy and muddy bass with a strong low to mid treble resonance causing some percussion compression.

I think the stiffer competition for the Bathys in terms of sound quality comes from the Sennheiser Momentum 4.


Wow, and the Sennheiser Momentum 4 is half the price.

Sennheiser Momentum 4

Well, I’m not saying they sound better necessarily. Just that this is a better comparison for sound quality than the PX8. To put it bluntly… both the Bathys and Momentum 4 sound good. I can not say that about the PX8 unfortunately. I was kind of shocked actually. But hey, some folks like it.

Just for reference, here’s the measurement result of the PX8.

I got two fairly consistent results depending on the positioning.

Compare that to the Bathys measurements:

The one thing with the Bathys is that it seems to change a lot depending on the pad compression. So the next thing I’ll have to do on this one is try to find out how significantly it varies. Some results were better and some were worse, but since the 43AG isn’t the side of an actual human head it’s tough to know exactly what the result is for real people. Time for a 5128 I guess haha.


My first impressions of the Bathys here after a few hours of listening and using them on the go:

Bathys is really, really nice.

It’s like a slightly more neutral counterpart to the Radiance, while still maintaining the qualities of the Radiance such as it’s soundstage and for the most part, imaging and detail… Sound wise, it is just right mixture of excitement, musicality, while not being too sharp or shouty with different genres of music that the Airpods Max can be. This is coming from someone who has enjoyed the Max and can appreciate it for what it is.

Also, I’m really impressed by the noise cancelling and transparency modes. For a company’s first foray into TWS full-sized headphones, it does more than enough just right. As an added bonus, the mic quality is incredible (whereas with the airpods max people say I’m always muffled and under water). No issues with fit and comfort so far here. Minor hotspot on the way goes away after 30 minutes to an hour. Clamp force is chefs kiss with my ginormous head, which is usually an issue on other Focal headphones for me.

It’s only my first day, but I’m really struggling to find faults with it. It does well with any genre of music and has gotten me excited to listen to things all over again. With the added bonus…of being on the go wherever I want, with no wires. It’s been a while since I’ve tried Focal since I sold my Clear and Celestee, but now I think it’s time to get something wired from them again to provide more some more context on comparison.

Nicely done Focal & Naim. Nicely done. Here’s to more high end properly entering the world of full sized TWS and pushing the development of this technology forward with competition!


So, the lack of headband adjustment sealed the deal with my big head, I returned my pair. It had a cool tuning for the most part, kind of warm, which I like. Sub bass was somewhat subdued (heh) compared to the mid-bass, but I think I could’ve lived with that.

Basically these would have had to be pretty comfortable for my head to stay. Especially coming from QC35, they would’ve needed to be even somewhat comparable. Bose still seems like the comfort king and newcomers like Focal really need to take notes. But, that headband adjustment just doesn’t go far enough. I’d say this is an odd oversight, since Clears fit me just fine. Bathys almost feel like an overall miniaturized version of their larger counterparts, sadly including the headband.

I briefly tried B&W Px7 on my head at the store too and they were very comfy. Momentum 3 and 4 extended easily enough, while not feeling quite as nice. Maybe they’ll fix this in Bathys v2.0? We’ll see. Comfort is a huge issue and for most folk even more important that sound quality.

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Agreed. Ideally we want the best sounding headphone to our ears, but if it’s unusable due to comfort issues, it’s all moot and so what’s the point!?


I have been living with mine for little more than a week, and the comfort is not bad despite the smaller earcups compared to other Focals (and though heavier than the Bose/Sonys, the added clamp on the earcups makes them less likely to shift around when you lean forward or backward, I can wear them for hours at a time); the sound is excellent especially for a set of Bluetooth headphones. As an owner of Elex, Clear, and Radiance, just in the Focal line, it sounds very similar to the Radiance, I’d say 90% the way there but with slightly less “oomph” in the bass, and does not have the somewhat sparkle in the high frequencies (a welcomed difference for the most part, as I had to turn my Radiance’s sibilant region down with EQ; but based on other people’s reviews it could just be my pair as I rarely have such a major auditory discrepancy with others regarding my other headphones)

However I have found a few issues with the Bathys, and all of them seem that they can easily be fixed through a firmware update:

  1. "…I set mine to “LED Off” normally but after being left alone for an extended period of time with no music playing, the headphones go to standby mode (with standby enabled in settings) but once I begin playing on my phone, the light comes on again after it wakes up from sleep. The problems is that unlike a temporary connection indicator light, the light stays on and must be manually turned off in-app again. (This repeatedly happened across different host devices running both iOS and Android)

  2. They also need more granular controls for volume, like others have mentioned, especially in the lower volume levels where there is one specific step that turns it from barely audible to one that quadruples the perceived volume.

  3. While the passthrough sounds quite natural, there is also a slight static noise in passthrough mode (not very noticeable unless you are somewhere completely silent.)

  4. My last suggestion is to make the mode-switching prompts sound quieter (if not shorter as well), as it plays a loud tone that is audibly quite low-res whenever I turn it on/off, switch ANC modes, pass through etc which is quite uncomfortable when used late night and also cheapens the otherwise excellent experience."


Does anyone know if the earpads can be swapped with clear earpads? These earpads run HOT for me.

Certainly not directly, as the Bathys is slightly smaller than the rest of the focal line-up, and also the pads do not have the “click-on” system.

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Thank you! I’m enjoying the hp very much, just can’t wear it for an extended time.

Figured I’d add my first impressions to the pot here.

I received the Bathys yesterday and I don’t think it’s for me.
The bluetooth modes work well to a point but sound congested during busy passages. This is alleviated by the DAC mode’s presence, which works extremely well, but if I’m using a wire then I don’t see much value in having a bluetooth headphone in the first place.

The ANC and transparency modes work but I wouldn’t call them stellar, and the comfort isn’t quite as good as the QC45 or even the Elegia. I have to have the headband fully extended to fit them on my head.

Though, one thing I think they nailed is the controls. Using push buttons and switches for everything was such a good idea, and everything just seems to work for the most part.

Sound-wise; I find the Bathys soundstage to be pleasantly spacious but I think that hurts the dynamics. They’re not nearly as punchy as I’d like them to be for a closed back.

I can see how these would be a great versatile headphone for someone who just wants one thing to do it all, but it just seems like a jack of all trades and a master of none.


I know that these headphones do hi res music through dac mode through usbc but if I use the jack cable to connect to an external dac will I still hear hi res audio?

I believe the jack connects to an ADC to get converted from the analogue signal to a digital signal which the onboard DSP processes and then outputs to the built in Amp along with the ANC waveform.

So you’d essentially be adding three more things to the chain. Will you notice a difference? Probably not. But I’d just stick with DAC mode if you want to get the most out of them. I definitely noticed a difference between DAC mode an Bluetooth.

The headphone jack is just there for compatibility imo, not sound quality. It’s good for things that don’t support BT or USB DAC mode, but I personally didn’t think HP Jack mode sounded better than USB.

Hope this helps!

Thank you for the info! The reason I asked is because I have an iPhone so I didn’t know if I should just get the adapter or an otg for usb c. I appreciate the help.

Just got a pair. I have a pretty large head and had to send back the AirPod Max headphones to Apple, as they were just too painful. I did everything I could to stretch them out but to no avail.

These may be more flexible over the long run.

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Just tried them out. I was afraid they would be too tight for my large head, but so far so good.

My first impression of SQ was that these were not as good as what I usually listen to. They sounded a bit veiled in ANC modes.

Then I realized that they are a small fraction of the price of what I normally listen to (Utopia OG and Raal SR1a). LOL, so I have to cut them some slack, and evaluate them on price/performance, rather than on an absolute basis.

Perhaps it is “brain burn” kicking in, or also burn-in of the drivers, as the veil mentioned above seems to be lifting and SQ is improving a lot. I am getting fond of them.

Have a flight coming up, so will see how they perform in the wild. I will not be using them wired as I have other great solutions for that.


I tried them yesterday wired (via Lightning-to-USB-c cable) vs. Bluetooth, both from my iPhone.

Sound is definitely different - the Bluetooth sounds more “airy”, but also less solid, while the wired / DAC performance is actually quite good - solid and impactful.

I definitely prefer the wired performance, and will likely use it more frequently, but I like the Bluetooth option, as well.