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

Well I hoped for a pink colored version :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I hoped that the Dune would be shown on a DUNE of some type rather than a chunk of pale sandstone. These are dunes:

This is Dune:


The new Dune Bathys will use “the voice” (aka the Force?) to make you believe it sounds better! :wink:

Hm, you’re saying that the post-EQ FR for your preset looks significantly different from how it comes out on a rig? That’s a bit strange. The FRs I showed are calculated, not measured, but I’d expect that (unless we drive the HP into distortion) they should more-or-less agree with measurements.

It could be that I have a bug in my code, that I misread your preset (are all fiters peaks?), or that we use a different convention for Q or different filters altogether. If your EQ app shows the frequency plot for the EQ preset (Roon does, for example), then a screenshot of that could help me track down the issue.

AudioQuest Carbon USB-C Cable Review

Hi there all of you guys who - like me - won’t stop thinking that there could be more to squeeze out of the Bathys. I reached out to AudioQuest and they did send me an example of their 0.75 meter Carbon USB-C to USB-C cable in exchange for an honest review (using the cable with my Bathys and my MacBook Pro as well as my Samsung Galaxy s10e).

For starters I’d like to tell you which EQ I am using:


I do use another one when using the Bathys wireless though ……arly-impressions.965153/page-63#post-17495082

I always heard differences between USB-C to lightning cables (I hat two different ones back then for my iPhone), and they did sound shockingly different! That’s why I thought maybe I could hear a difference between different USB-C to USB-C cables, too. In addition there are differences to be heard when switching from a mobile phone to the MacBook Pro. There shouldn’t be a difference. It´s all 1s and 0s, right? Well, I don’t believe that any more …

Anyways, let’s start with my findings when listening to the AudioQuest Carbon in comparison to the original Focal USB-C cable :

Overall I would say that I hear some kind of consolidation. The music seems to be a bit more present , tangible. It doesn’t have a different presentation (like the Wireworld I will speak of later on). BUT as the background appears to be blacker when listening to the Carbon, the music might be more palpable. It certainly isn’t a night-and-day-difference though.

Beginning with the bass I’m inclined to say the Carbon has a tiny bit more oomph than the original cable. I, for one, like its bass presentation very much and wouldn’t want to change anything.

The highs are, compared to the Focal cable, a bit softer. I have to admit: That’s something that surprised me a bit. Not that the Caron sounds worse in this department, it´s just a bit more cautious. This also means: One could drive the Bathys a bit louder than previously, which in consequence favours the bass/mids … which isn’t a bad thing per se if one prefers headphones that don’t have too much energy in the upper frequency range. On the other hand: If one prefers a more „airy“ sound, you might want to stick to the original cable.

But what about the mids ? Well, here lies the true charm of the Carbon , at least for me. Because this cable favours voices above all! Which again, might not be what you are searching for when listening to a lot of classical music and instrumental albums where you might want a bigger stage and air. BUT if you are one that favours voices, then you might want to check out this cable. It presents them very beautifully!

Since I did review the Wireworld Starlight 8 a few months back - you can find my findings here:…er-ear-headphone.965131/page-84#post-17653679
Of course I’d also like to compare those two upgrade cables:

Alright, the Wireworld has a bigger stage. It sounds grander. But it comes with a cost. Where the information of the left and right signals pan very „left“ and very „right“, there also seems to be some kind of lack in between. At least when compared to the Carbon.

The Carbon has more information in the center stage, and it „renders“ (if one could use that word in a USB cable review) the information very true to the source. The WireWorld cable sounds a tiny bit, just really a tiny bit more woolly, just because the stage is that big in comparison to the stage of the Carbon. And to be honest, I am not sure which sound I really prefer. Of course orchestral music benefits from having „space“. But when listening to a jazz singer I might want to hear the voices as clear as possible. I guess it comes down to your taste. Both cables are similarly priced. Pick your poison !

The downsides?

  1. One word: Price. (About 200 Euros). Of course this is a lot.
  2. It doesn’t sound THAT much different when comparing it to the original Focal cable. It “just” makes it a bit more “better” sounding. (The WireWorld cable did indeed sound different)
  3. The length is either 0.75 meters or 1.5 meters. I chose the first, shorter length because I want to put my smartphone into my left front pocket. It is the perfect length for this carrying version. 1.5 meters would have been to long, even if I would put my mobile phone into my back pocket. Also please don’t forget number 1 (price!)
  4. Compared to the Starlight 8 cable from Wireworld it doesn’t „flash“ any importance. It is, well, black. It is slightly thicker than the original cable, which is a very good thing in my opinion. Also it bends very nicely, is pliable (although not as pliable as the original cable) and also doesn’t have so much microphonics than the WireWorld. But if you are looking for an upgrade cable that also has a bling bling factor, this isn’t it. But I think that most of you guys don’t want/need that anyways because the Bathys itself has enough „importance“ in its looks itself.

BTW: This is the link to the official AudioQuest/Carbon website :

To be true: The Batys sound fantastic with the bluetooth connection. Of course there is a jump to be heard when connecting it with a USB-C cable to the mobile phone (it sounds better to me when connected to an android phone compared to the iPhone with the Camera Kit). And there is another small jump when connecting the Bathys to the Laptop/MacBook Pro. And there is another (this time even smaller) jump when connecting the Bathys with an upgrade USB-C cable to the chosen source, at least to me, where the diminishing return kicks in. BUT the biggest jump (in overall sound quality and transparency and balanced tuning) you will get when applying my suggested EQ (for USB connection) at the beginning of this review. Have fun listening to the Bathys!

And here, at last, some pics:

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The new Bathys firmware update has released and with the new update they’ve now added Mimi Sound Personaliztion, allowing a more tailored EQ experience for your preferences!

This is from Focal

“With Mimi Sound Personalization for headphones, audio is richer and more involved. Instruments become more distinguishable, and dialogue clearer, for a better and more enjoyable sound experience.”

I’m in the process of updating the app and firmware right now. Looking forward to trying it out!

I recently tried something similar in the Denon PerL Pro TWS and I was actually quite surprised by the results (in a good way) so I’ve been excited about this Bathys update for quite some time since Focal first told us about it.


very interested to hear people’s impressions of this update! I’d also love to see how the Bathys measures after Resolve undergoes the Mimi personalization :eyes:

I took a stab at the personalization. Now… given that this is a personalized hearing test that requires an individual and not a test fixture, it may be a different result for each person.

For the sound personalization, you can choose the intensity of the DSP, which is really useful, however for this test I wanted to show the maximum effect to get a sense of what the difference is.

In general it reduces the lower mids by a noticeably amount, by upshelving the upper mids and treble (ear gain) with what seems to be a comb-like effect.

Here it is at 50% relative to a 10dB slope.

Here it is on GRAS relative to Harman:

Note the positional variation around 1.5khz!

Here it is smoothed to the same degree as Harman:

I probably wouldn’t go more than this as it does tend to get quite bright when turned on maximum.

I’m going to keep doing some testing but overall I quite like the implementation here for when you’re using the Bathys on the go and don’t have access to EQ software. For those who found the Bathys too warm, this makes it far more suitable.

I still want parametric EQ or the ability to input specific values in the app-based EQ options, but this is a very nice alternative. More importantly, it shows Focal welcomes personalization with this platform and that’s great to see!


I’ve had my eye on a pair of Focal Bathys for a while, but ended up buying the Sennheiser Momentum 4 for travel use after seeing some excellent reviews.

With the new Dune color variant, I can’t resist any longer - I’ve just ordered a pair of Bathys Dune :hear_no_evil:


Resistance is futile - wait, wrong sci-fi movie/series! :laughing:

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Hi. I watch Your long term review on Youtube. You cover their Dune update where You described mimi functionality and post here FR of its impact to sound. But I still can’t find anywhere FR for DYNAMIC profile which was added by firmware and app update half year ago. Focal claims that it is closer to HARMAN target. Could You test it. Before this update I boost 900hz region in app but then I use DYNAMIC preset and I find it good for me and let’s say close to my Stellia headphones taking class differential. So could You test objective sound of this preset?

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It is a Harman-like preset. I will post the measurements once I’m able.

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In the interim, you can check out the HeadFi thread on Bathys; A user called kuulokenurkka posted a measurement of the Dynamic preset there a while ago.

However, that measurement was done on a non-standarized rig, so you cannot compare the result to the Harman target for a GRAS rig and see how close it is. What you can do is figure out what the Dynamic preset does to the FR by comparing the stock and Dynamic settings measured on that same non-standard rig. Then, you can apply that modification to GRAS measurements of the Bathys and compare the result to Harman. This roundabout way gives you (black is Harman 2018, colors are different measurements of the Bathys with the inferred Dynamic EQ applied).

So indeed, it seems that the Dynamic preset is pretty Harman-y.

For those interested, here is what the Dynamic preset seems to be in terms of PEQ filters

{'type': 'lshelf', 'f0': 75., 'dbGain': 2., 'q': 1.},
{'type': 'hshelf', 'f0': 700., 'dbGain': 2., 'q': 1.},
{'type': 'hshelf', 'f0': 5500., 'dbGain': -2., 'q': 1.},
{'type': 'peak', 'f0': 900., 'dbGain': 2., 'q': 3.},

I came up with this by matching the Dynamic FR measured by kuulokenurkka (black below) to PEQ + stock measured on the same rig (blue). The EQ is plotted in the lower panel.

I get why folks assume you can do this, but unfortunately you can’t expect to extrapolate GRASlike data from a non-standardized rig (even if the results may be close on occasion). The reason is because headphones behave differently depending on the head or rig that they’re on. It’s the same reason why you can’t extrapolate the Harman Target for the 5128 by just calculating the delta between measured results. What’s going on acoustically for the headphone is literally different in each condition.

Now… my understanding is that some of the clone pinnae are getting closer. So in practice this may be a reasonable indication (if it was indeed done on a KB5000like pinna). But it’s not something we should be in the habit of doing.

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The assumption I make is that a given EQ preset will produce roughly the same SPL “delta” on different rigs. I think this should be the case because equalizers, headphones, pinnae, and microphones are all linear devices in their usual operating range. But perhaps there is something obvious that I’m missing (like acoustic power vs pressure, different window functions if we’re talking FFT masurements, or something else).

The problem with this is that you don’t know the baseline effect each rig has on the headphones you’re doing this for, apart from the initial result. So even if the SPL delta of an EQ remains constant, that doesn’t mean you can predict the measured results across different rigs.

The HpTF (headphone transfer function) isn’t the same for each headphone either. Some headphones like the HD 800 S are quite consistent across different heads, but other headphones like the Focals vary wildly due to the difference in how they couple to the side of the head. Even differences between a flat plate system like the 45CA and a mannequin head with the same ear sim and pinna can show meaningful differences to how the headphone performs.

Your assumption is a fairly understandable one though so I get why you’d think this is possible, and when headphones only get measured on one rig its bound to be misleading. People think these measured results indicate the truth about these products, but really they just represent the truth in given conditions. You will find differences in headphone behavior across heads for many of them, and its worth knowing how that behavior varies for each headphone.


I feel like this is getting increasingly off-topic, so perhaps we should continue in private messages. Also because I’m not sure if we really disagree about the physics, or just don’t explain our reasonings clearly enough. One thing I don’t understand is how we can agree (even if provisionally) that the ‘EQ’d minus stock’ delta will be similar across rigs, and then not agree that you can measure the stock FR on a new rig, add that delta, and in this way get a fair estimate of the EQ’d response on the new rig.

Maybe this is where the misunderstanding is. I think we can keep this discussion here for now since its relevant to the Bathys.

Because each headphone rig or ‘head’ changes the behavior of the headphone, you cannot predict the results on a 5128 from results on a 43AG (and so on). Headphones do not have a 1:1 relationship across different heads, and this is also why Dr. Olive’s quick fix for the 5128 wouldn’t be usable as a reference point - and they are aware of this. So its not that the EQ values somehow change, its that the behavior of the headphone itself changes, and the amount and type of change also varies depending on the headphone.

Now… you say ‘fair estimate’, and across similar rigs I do think that’s reasonable. Like if you compare 43AG results to ones done on a 45CA, for over-ear headphones that’s bound to be similar, provided they’re both using the KB5000 pinna. I’m less sure about the effects of clone or non-standard rigs. I imagine there’s one out there that’s reasonably close but I don’t think we can be super confident in that without testing it.

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Focal Bathys
first impressions (DAC mode)

-very good with EQ!

-much better than Airpods Max with and without EQ

-dynamics are great - even for Focal

-very comfortable for a closed back headphone - still I wouldn’t want to wear these for longer than 30 minutes - maybe if the clamp lessens (will report back)


tried out a couple EQ suggestions above to start and ended up stealing @Resolve’s original bass bumps

here’s what I have after day 01:

30 Hz, +1.5 dB, Q: 1.4

50 Hz, +2, Q: 1.8

200 Hz, -1.5, Q: 1.3

630 Hz, -.6, Q: 1.656

Reference Tracks


Play around with 1.5khz. See how you hear that region with them.