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

I got one of these for my iPad to use with a Questyle M12, it works fine. Just select the one with lightning to USB C. I don’t know if it’s better than the alternatives though. It seems more “audiophile”, but it could be a Jedi mind trick!


Thanks for that link. Looks good (but also pricey). Have you tested it?

Nope. I just did the search. No guarantees.

1 Like

I have the GUCraftsman USB C to 4.4mm Balanced DAC. USB Type C to 4.4mm Balanced Female Portable HiFi Headphone Adapter 6N Single Crystal Silver Aux Audio Dongle Cable Cord to 4.4mm Jack Adapter for Android/Windows/MacOSX System Smartphone Laptop : Electronics

A very high quality item for a ridiculous cheap price. I use it with a RaspberryPI Zero W and a Douk Audio U5 Balanced Headphone Amp as a LMS Endpoint streamer.

Mark Gosdin

Seems like a stable APTX-adaptive connection for iPhones also works (for much less money) with the Apple Lightning to USB Adapter and the Sennheiser BTD600.

In fact, as only an OTG cable is necessary for connecting to the BTD600, I guess also something like the Hidisz lt03 should work instead of the Apple adapter. Hidizs LT03 Lightning Male to USB Female OTG Adapter — HiFiGo

AAC (from an Apple device) both measures (objective) and typically sounds better (subjective) than aptX-adaptive, so if your headphone supports AAC there’s not a lot of point in messing around to make iOS devices send aptX-anything.

aptX-HD has a higher maximum bit-rate than AAC - but that’s in ideal conditions. And how that bandwidth is used matters; the aptX family of CODECs generally seems to have worse noise performance, and very early and significant frequency roll-off vs. AAC (at least when the AAC source is an Apple device).

It’s worth remembering that aptX is more about consistent performance than absolute quality.

Now … if your DAC or DAC/amp or headphone doesn’t support AAC … then aptX is almost always better than SBC (which would be the fallback). For example, the Hugo 2 sounds shockingly bad via SBC, but quite decent via aptX. That’d be a case that’d be worth going aptX. Though it’d be better still just going wired for the Hugo 2 … since it’s not particularly pocketable.


Hi, would you mind telling us which EQ adjustments you would make if one would only use the Bathys app? Thanks!

That’s a work in progress still.


:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Well then pls let us know as soon as you are near the target! :pray:

As an IT worker I really don’t understand how this could work.

A digital signal carried through a cable in the context of a protocol with delivery control and labels has one and one only duty: deliver those 1 and 0s to the destination. It is only 1 and 0s, there is nothing else.

If there is no data loss, no latency, no corruptions, It can’t have a different content (whatever it is audio, video, code, etc). A digital delivery can’t change the black depth of a movie or the vibrancy of the highs in a song, as long as there is control of the packets/stream.
Even if there would be data loss or corruption, it should not be presented like this, but rather with artifacts like scratches or sound bumps.

If there was a compression involved, like there is with BT, then it could make sense.

The easiest answer is: Find a resolving system and trust your ears. It can be quite obvious.

But aside from that, I reiterate that 1’s and 0’s aren’t values that magically transmit through time and space. They’re (approximations of) square waves travelling across real wires. These wires can carry noise that doesn’t corrupt the 1’s and 0’s but still rides along with them to the next component, and eventually, through to your transducer (headphone or speaker). Additionally, the timing accuracy of the square waves can matter a lot, and how much it matters can depend on the digital connection (cable) used. USB almost always gets buffered and re-clocked by the receiving DAC. Digital coax does not, and as such, is entirely dependent on the clock accuracy upstream of it. Distortions in the time domain, as well as interference riding along the square wave(ish) signal can both affect the resulting sound.

Hope this helps!


Without getting into a lot of detail the issues are where the conceptual model doesn’t match the physical model.
It’s a combination of mixed clock domains, Jitter, and noise carried on power and signal lines from one device to another, or simply picked up from RF in the air.

FWIW the entire audio industry felt much the same way when CD first shipped in the 80’s, the early CD players all had very robust physical mechanisms, but the intent of the manufacturers was to make cheaper mechanism’s and just use smarter software. Which they pretty much did from the 3rd generation players onwards. But there was a noticeable loss in quality, and when it was investigated (I want to claim it was Cambridge audio who made at the time what was considered the best CD player, though my memory of the 80’s is a bit clouded), it turned out that lower quality transports introduced more errors, and although those errors were ALL corrected, the correction introduced additional jitter into the signal which was clearly audible.

Human hearing it turns out is surprisingly sensitive to jitter in time domain samples.

I agree with this sentiment, listen and decide, there used to a really obvious example in digital cables when firewire was still a thing. Firewire cables are symmetric (you could use them either way around), and often they would be grounded at one end and not the other, and just swapping the direction of a cable would often have a very obvious effect.


I do not focus on cables myself, but as @andris notes, listen for yourself. If you want to be hardcore about the science, create a double blind setup and see if you can personally hear any differences. If you can identify different cables, do you care about the changes? They may come across as slightly different flavors but not better or worse.

Yep. Some cables with nominally identical specs indeed are not the same. All long (>2 meter) USB cables that I’ve owned struggled or failed.

The very first generation of CD drives used gravity to keep the discs in place. They were slow to start, the discs skidded when they slowed, and they allowed discs to vibrate. Some vendors sold heavy stick-on rings or weighted pads to keep them flat, but this slowed responsiveness even more. Later on the players started clamping from above and below, and this cured many of my problems. I still had one confounded clampy CD transport that didn’t accurately report read errors and also allowed discs to shake violently…forcing me to re-rip a bunch of CDs full of skips.

1 Like

There‘s a new firmware update for the Bathys (as well as an app update). Anyways, now there is a new „dynamic“ EQ porfile that mimics the harman curve. At least they say so. What do you guys think about the new EQ setting?
@Resolve would you say Focal succeeded in getting near the harman curve? Or have you found an even „better“ EQ setting for yourself in the meantime? If so, please let us know! :pray:

1 Like

We have to measure it still. I don’t think they can make it like… exactly Harman, given the limitation of 5 bands, but I expect it to be in the ballpark. One thing I noticed though is that the volume does attenuate a bit, and that’s because of the required pre-gain, so keep that in mind when listening that it’s not equal volume between profile on and profile off.

I think it’s great that Focal includes the option, regardless what people prefer.


Thanks! And yeah, a measurment would be great of course!
Strange though they hide the EQ settings of the „dynamic“ mode. Well, Harman is a competitor still :wink:

How does it work to upgrade the firmware? Thru the app?

Yes, through the app!

1 Like

Maybe the dynamic eq is a custom DSP profile not limited to the 5-bands since it can’t be modified or shown.


How does the Bathys compare to the Audeze Maxwell?