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

New member here and newly acquired Bathys. Just had delivery of the Meenova cable but immediately noticed it crackles and will disconnect from the music if the USB-C plug is touched. Has anyone else had this issue? I suspect it’s the cable and will be returning for an exchange but it could also be the Bathys socket? Will get the Apple dongle to use another cable to eliminate the headphone socket and update here later but would appreciate any other feedback meanwhile.

Apologies in advance for what is probably a stupid question. I have only used my Bathys wirelessly so far (for around one year) and while I love them, passing through crowds (and being in London underground stations that have wireless) is causing such interference that I want to explore using them wired.

Other than using the provided 3.5mm cable, I want to give a balanced cable a go.

My player is an Astell and Kern AK25 and I have 2.5 and 4.4mm sockets available.

So … what is the best route to connecting say the 4.4mm balanced port on the AK25 to the Bathys?

Should I go for a 4.4 to 4.4 cable plus a 4.4/3.5 converter? Or will the converter risk losing the quality the balanced cable might provide?

And regarding the bluetooth interference in crowds or certain locations, I assume I have no way round this other than to go wired right?

DON’T.

The analog input on the Bathys is NOT balanced, and there’s no way to use a balanced analog source with it.

If you do connect a balanced source to it, you’ll either trigger the short-circuit protection on the source (if it has any) or fry it/its amplifier.

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Wow. Thanks!

So using the DAC on the Bathys through usb is going to be the way to go then.

Any recommendations regarding the converter I will need to connect the 3.5mm cable and USB?

I may be misunderstanding the question, but you don’t want to use anything analogue going into the Bathys - only USB. You’ll want to connect your A&K via USB only sending digital to the Bathys. Unfortunately, there is no way to use an external DAC instead of the Bathys’ DAC, because, if you do connect an analogue source, it will go through an A-to-D and then back to digital via the Bathys’ DAC.

To that end, the A&K player is largely unnecessary unless you have a music library accessible there that isn’t on a phone. Otherwise, I’d just use USB from your phone to the Bathys.

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Anyone have any tips on removing the pads? I see that there are two pins in this picture, which is different than the 5 pin design in other Focal headphones.

I’ve pulled off pads on my Stellia before, so I know what that’s supposed to feel like. I am not sure how to pull on these Bathys pads though, and it feels like I might break a clip or pin.

does anybody know how i can make the bathys on pc using dac mode using the equalizer epo with peace be decent for mostly all types of music i mostly go between softer music and jazz stuff to rock and metal core

Dear Friends,

I recently acquired the Focal Bathys (the new dune color) headphones and was eager to experience their acclaimed audio quality firsthand. Upon unboxing and connecting them to my iPhone via Bluetooth, I encountered an unexpected issue: sound was only emitted from the left speaker, leaving the right side silent. Even after updating the firmware through the Naim Focal app, the problem persisted.

Hoping to resolve the issue, I connected the headphones to my Mac in DAC mode using supplied USB-C cable, only to find the right speaker still unresponsive. Following the support team’s advice, I adjusted the MIDI settings on my Mac, which resulted in faint sound from the left speaker but none from the right.

Ultimately, Sam from the support team provided a return label for me to send back the defective unit. Despite my efforts, including a factory reset, the issue remained unresolved.

I’m reaching out to see if any of you have experienced similar issues with this model and if you’ve found a solution. It’s disheartening, especially given the high expectations set by glowing reviews from trusted sources like @Resolve.

On a positive note, the customer service at headphones.com was commendable; they’ve arranged to send a replacement unit immediately. Nonetheless, the initial excitement of exploring my new gadget was dampened by this experience. I’m curious to hear if anyone else has faced this and how it was handled.

Thank you all for your insights and advice.

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Replying to my own post here. Received the replacement unit today. It’s working fine. Love the looks of it. The Dune color looks beautiful.

Definitely this is not in the same level of Stellia. But as a bluetooth headphones the sound quality is way better than the Sony XM5, Bose 700, B&W or any bluetooth headphones I heard so far and the Focal sound signature is there.

Still playing with the eq, personalization, DAC mode etc.

So far loving it.

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Thanks for this. My problem is that the A&K DAC cannot be bypassed it seems, so connecting to the Bathys via usb does not work. It has to be Bluetooth (which other than in crowded areas is really good) or a standard headphone cable (which avoids the Bathys DAC, which seems a shame). I have a very large music collection on a card which I have plugged into the A&K and as a music player I love it.

I wonder is the DAC in the A&K likely to be better/worse than the Bathys? Should it be use the A&K with DAC-less headphones, or use a phone with the Bathys DAC?

The A&K DAC is bypassed if you use either Bluetooth or USB output from the A&K unit (i.e. any digital output); it is only involved in driving the A&K’s analog outputs.

No.

If you use the analog input into the Bathys, it goes straight into an Analog to Digital converting, through the Bathy’s DSP, and into the Bathys DAC.

In other words, the Bathys’ DAC is always involved.

What you really want to avoid is going from digital to analog, back to digital, then back to analog, which is what would happen if you did A&K 3.5mm → Bathys’ 3.5mm.

You should be able to connect the USB output from the A&K directly to the USB input on the Bathys (which might require an OTG or host cable), thereby avoiding unnecessary D->A and A->D steps, which will get you the best possible result out of the Bathys.

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Ok that’s really helpful thanks. Regarding the usb to usb connection… when I tried this with the usb cable supplied with the headphones it didn’t work. The cable is fine if I listen to music from my pc but the A & K wouldn’t function properly. I got the impression this solution couldn’t work. Cabling issue?

You probably need an OTG cable, rather than a simple USB-C to USB-C.

You also need to make sure the USB Mode on the SR25 is set for digital output rather than mass storage.

Thanks for this.

Regarding the USB Mode, currently set as media device MTP. Has option for DAC Input but it will not let me select it.

And that is what I need to change right? Any idea why it cannot be changed?

Hi again.

Found this which seems a problem.

Something to note is that you cannot use the Bathys with a digital audio player in USB DAC mode. Almost all computers, phones, and tablets have the ability to control the volume on the source device. However, DAPs are not designed to control the volume when outputting a digital signal as a source to an external DAC. The preamp section, which is in most cases analog, is obviously bypassed when using the device to output digital. Now, DAC chips do have the ability to control the volume in the digital domain, but analog preamp stages sound better in most cases. Thus most of the DAPs out there don’t control volume this way. Thus you can only use the Bathys with a DAP via a wired headphone cable connection or via Bluetooth wirelessly.

Yes.

You can only change it when it is connected to a suitable device.

Generally that is the case, as they’re operating in “Transport” mode (which just delivers the raw bits from the source material). If the Bathys can’t take a full-level UAC2 input and do its own volume control then that would be a problem (no idea if they can, don’t have them).

Morning

OK I think it gets worse…

Last night I plugged my A&K into the Bathys with the usb cable and with Bathys set to DAC mode. The A&K went blank and then refused to operate at all (even after unplugging the usb).

Later last night it became operational again, and I wondered if the battery had died and I had not noticed the level being low.

Tried a repeat this morning and the A&K has again shut down.

It does not like being connected to the Bathys DAC mode at all. So I cannot change the USB mode setting with the Bathys attached because the A&K is switching off…

A&K and Bathys do not seem to want to collaborate. Shame…

Hello,
Is there two version of Bathys? Initial, end of 2022 and mid/fall 2023 when hearing thing was announced? Or those are identical?
Are there any known hardware issues?
Thank you.

Nothing has changed on the tuning.

There is a Black/Silver version of the Bathys which is the original and there is a Dune version.

Both have the exact same tuning though and are simply just colour swaps.

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