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

Both are good - The Maxwell is more ‘objectively great’ in the measurements sense, but they both have a pleasant enough tuning depending on what you’re looking for. Maxwell is also a bit is less comfortable for long term use because it’s heavier, doesn’t have ANC, and is a bit more upper mid forward. Bathys is a bit more laid back, thicker in the lower mids, with slightly better dynamics/contrast. They’re also very different types of devices, so I’d say base your pick around use case and form factor.


Would you mind doing another test for me? I‘d like to know if you hear a difference between:

1: your iPhone (with Apple Camera Kit) and Focal USB-C cable

2: the Focal USB-C cable connected to your mac/pc

Thanks in advance!

On the road for a bit so can’t right now - sorry!

No problem! But if you‘re at home and have time to check, that would be great.

Or maybe @Immersive_Sound_Tech can help in the meantime?

Ps.: nevermind, I ordered an Apple adapter and will know in a few days :wink:

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Sorry if I ask again: Just received the apple camera kit BUT it just has a USB-A as well as Lightning out possibility. So I can‘t use the Focal USB-C cable, am I right? Or did I buy the wrong apple adapter? Which one do you own?
And which cable from the adapter to the headphones do you use?

The lightning on the Apple Camera adapter is Lightning POWER IN only. This is so you can power your device while using something else, like a DAC.

The USB-A is to connect a DAC (or a camera, or or or). If your DAC does not have a way to connect to USB-A, then it will work with an A to C adapter, for example. Or a USB A to C cable. Since you are using the camera adapter, you do NOT need a “to go” cable.

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I use this Apple adapter:

And this cable:

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The adapter you are showing is the Camera Adapter 2 (formerly Camera card 2). I use both that and the newer 3 that @newernow has. The Adapter 2 is more compact and is great to use for a short time with inline DAC/AMPs like the AudioQuest Drafonfly series. It’s nice when portability is more important than anything else.

The Adapter 2 does not have any external power capability. All power is supplied through the Lightning port. This can be limiting and sometimes causes drop outs or freezes especially at high volumes. It has a slower data rate - not a problem in my experience, but some others have had issues with it because of that. With the Adapter 3, you can supply power, which can to a degree augment the power from the phone, making it more robust. And more of a PITA because to use that function, you also are charging, plus it’s bigger and clumsier.

In the past year, several generic clones of both adapters have appeared. I’ve picked up one or two and they seem to work OK.


Good evening, all. My first post here and hoping someone can help.

I purchased the Focal Bathys last week and very happy so far but would like to get the Apple camera adapter trick to work.

I’m in possession of a genuine Apple Lightening to USB 3 Camera Adapter and have plugged in the USB-A to the camera adapter and connected the USB-C to the headphones.

Then I turn on the headphones in DAC mode and the music is playing as it should (even with Bluetooth turned off to ensure it’s through the pipe).

The problem I’m experiencing is that the Focal & Naim app plain refuses to recognise that the headphones are attached leaving me unable to control the in-app settings.

The only potential weak link, as far as I can see, is the USB-A to C cable but, even then, it’s not entirely rubbish (OPPO brand to be precise).

Am I missing something or is it possibly the cable from adapter to headphones?

Thanks in advance.

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Hi and welcome! The app only works in bluetooth mode :wink:

Many thanks, newernow.

But I tried with BT on and off. The app just constantly searches for a device that isn’t there, but it plays my tunes.

I’m stumped.

Hm, that´s strange. Maybe try deleting the app and installing it new. As said, only with BT-mode activated. Also try turing off and on your mobile device. Good luck!

Ps.: and of course don’t forget to turn on bluetooth again on your phone :wink:

Many thanks, newernow.

I’ve tried every combination known to man and nothing gives so have given up at this juncture but I’m convinced the issue lies with the USB-A to USB-C cable. Notwithstanding, when I set up the camera adapter route, the headphone battery charge drains extremely quickly, like it’s charging the iPhone.

I’m on holiday in SE Asia at moment and will purchase a decent cable on my return to the UK.

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Normally I connect the Bathys to my phone via bluetooth first while the app is closed. Then I activate the app & the Bathys gets recognized. (having the app open before I connect to my phone via bluetooth give me issues too which I why I keep the app closed initially). Then after the app recognizes the headphones, I set the eq to what I want…the headphones are programmed to maintain that app eq setting until it’s manually changed later. Then I power off the headphones & close the app. Then set the Bathys to DAC mode. Then plug in the first end of the DAC cable into the Bathys port. Then plug the phone end of the DAC cable into your phone(I have a droid so I can’t comment on the apple adapter situation). Following these steps ends up with the Bathys playing music that will be eq’d to the settings you chose at the beginning steps. Maybe this helps I hope.

I really appreciate using the loudness eq setting whenever listening to music at low volume. Focal must have done their homework considering the flecher-munson curve loudness compensation principles…executed very nicely IMO. The dynamic eq setting seems to congest the soundstage too much for me…I’d take the standard eq setting for everything except low volume situations.

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Question to all the android users out there: Is it normal that the Bathys always charges when connected via USB-C with the smartphone? (In my case Samsung)
Because I‘d prefer if it wouldn‘t drain so much the battery of my smartphone. Is there anything I could change in the menue?

I have android too & its a trickle charge that occurs while in dac mode. You cannot change that.
Maybe take your android to a repair shop to have the phone’s battery ability to maintain a charge measured. Phones are designed to perform really strong maybe for a 2yr lifespan so when you get into years 3-4+ the battery might be ready for replacement. In my Bathys experience, I don’t see fast battery drain occurring in dac mode…that’s why I’m thinking your battery could be weak. Even within 2 years, high heat above room temperatures can prematurely degrade a phone battery.

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Many thanks for your succinct response and most appreciated, Nate. Also thanks and appreciation to newernow for their previous input.

I’m back from holiday and have come to a decision - I’m returning the Bathys and not because of the camera adapter connection issue.

There’s a lot to love about the Focal Bathys but there’re some annoyances that I won’t be able to cope with in longer term. #1 ANC always on. I’m not an ANC fan in the first place as generally listen to music at home. I have decent earbuds for the occasional commute to work (the only good thing to have come out of C19 lockdown is two days absolute max per week in office and even that’s liberally applied). Notwithstanding, the ANC isn’t up to much.

#2 they’re not as fun to listen to as my B&W PX7’s. I’m not suggesting PX7s are aurally superior, by the way.

I see the Bathys as nearly there, but not quite. £700 is a lot of outlay so Royal Mail will pick up the parcel tomorrow morning. I’ve elected for personal return (i.e. full RM Special Delivery - insurance to £750 at my own expense). It was nice while it lasted.

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Makes sense. I’ve had the PX7 for
years already too and if you rarely use ANC then for sure you could get an open back headphone if you don’t already have a decent one. Working at home when its quiet, I never use a closed back since I purchased an AKG open back for jazz and an Audeze open back for everything else as long as its quiet. Once the family comes home, I feel the Bathys crushes my PX7 and the PX8 I returned.

Yes, I’m going to leave it a while and see what comes on the market in the coming months.

Out of interest, why did you return the PX8?