Focal Bathys Hi-Fi Bluetooth & ANC Headphones: Early Impressions
Jan 19, 2023 at 10:59 PM Post #767 of 1,656
Kind of a "Long term" report on the Bathys:

I just got my second pair of Bathys. The first pair broke unfortunately and luckily and gratefully it was replaced under warranty. Nothing major that would steer me away from another pair, but a word of caution for other users specifically using the 3.5mm jack as their frequent input.

*TLDR; Be careful when using 3.5mm jack as the socket is not chassis mounted and can potentially break the pcb inside the headphones.

I was gaming over the holidays and using my own 3.5mm male-to-male cable from my PS5 controller to the Bathys and all is going well. Until one morning I laid down the headphones perhaps a little too carelessly. When I put the headphones back on, only one side has sound. More troubleshooting and things are looking dire, BT doesn't connect to my phone and USB DAC is intermittently not working. What I'm noticing is the USB socket has much more play than usual indicating that something physically has broken inside the headphones. The cable I was using has a Rean 3.5mm jack so it's more solid than the plastic OEM cable, and I must've hit the 3.5mm jack attached to the headphones on something and broken the PCB board that has the 3.5mm and USB socket. What I found on the Bathys compare to say a Sony XM3-4-5 is the USB and 3.5mm sockets are not chassis mounted. ie. reinforced against the case of the headphone. If you plug a 3.5mm jack into yours now, you will see there is a bit of a wiggle. If you're clumsy like me then there is a chance a hardwire connected Bathys can break. I'll just need to be more careful with these second pairs because they do really sound great.

Onto the new pair and applied my preferred EQ setting.. Definitely need burning in.. the "harsh" highs that mellowed over time are apparent.

One thing I discovered with this second pair is regarding the LED light in DAC mode. Previously it seems that there is no way to get it to follow the app setting and it's always on. Try this:
- In BT mode, set the LED to off from the app
- Turn off the headphone
- Plug in the usb cable from headphone to computer
- Turn to DAC mode.

On mine, the LED comes on at start-up and then turns off. But it only works with the above sequence. Any other way the LED will come on in DAC mode.
 
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Jan 25, 2023 at 11:47 PM Post #768 of 1,656
Has anyone compared the Bathys with the wired Focals like the Stellia? The Bathys, to me, seemed to have a stronger clamp force (perhaps as they expect you move around more with them) and significantly smaller earpads (persumably to save weight?) with the result that whilst I found the Stellias supremely comfortable in the shop, the Bathys gave me a slight headache after only 15 mins which is a shame as they sound great and I need a decent pair of comfortable BT headphones.
 
Jan 26, 2023 at 5:17 AM Post #769 of 1,656
I have Clear MG's and Bathys. The Bathys do have a stronger clamping force which I appreciate with a portable set of headphones, especially when I'm on the move and don't want them moving about on my head. The clamp force itself settles down and like a good pair of shoes becomes comfortable after about 2-3 hours wearing-in time (I'm not saying 'wear-in' is a thing like 'burn-in' lol). As far as the ear pads are concerned, the inner circumference of the pads is slightly smaller on Bathys although physically, the pads are a lot bigger on the Clear and Stellia. I put this down to the sound signature Focal were targeting + sealing for bass / sub bass + ANC constraints + weight...
 
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Jan 26, 2023 at 4:33 PM Post #770 of 1,656
Has anyone compared the Bathys with the wired Focals like the Stellia? The Bathys, to me, seemed to have a stronger clamp force (perhaps as they expect you move around more with them) and significantly smaller earpads (persumably to save weight?) with the result that whilst I found the Stellias supremely comfortable in the shop, the Bathys gave me a slight headache after only 15 mins which is a shame as they sound great and I need a decent pair of comfortable BT headphones.
I have Clear MG's and Bathys. The Bathys do have a stronger clamping force which I appreciate with a portable set of headphones, especially when I'm on the move and don't want them moving about on my head. The clamp force itself settles down and like a good pair of shoes becomes comfortable after about 2-3 hours wearing-in time (I'm not saying 'wear-in' is a thing like 'burn-in' lol). As far as the ear pads are concerned, the inner circumference of the pads is slightly smaller on Bathys although physically, the pads are a lot bigger on the Clear and Stellia. I put this down to the sound signature Focal were targeting + sealing for bass / sub bass + ANC constraints + weight...

Agree with @techbro's comments here. There's a lot that Focal had to level out in developing these.

I highly recommend seeing if you can get a demo before making a final decision @howiebrou!

They're a lovely piece of gear that definitely has wear in effect that techbro aptly put that comes from use over time.
 
Jan 26, 2023 at 7:30 PM Post #771 of 1,656
@FocalOfficial One. More. Click.

All I needed was one more click on the headband to fit my head guys :frowning2: Fully extended, if I pull them down so the top compresses into my head, I can get the cups over my ears, but its obvisouly not comfortable.

Sound good though guys. Just shame don't fit my head :frowning2:
 
Jan 26, 2023 at 7:59 PM Post #773 of 1,656
Agree with @techbro's comments here. There's a lot that Focal had to level out in developing these.

I highly recommend seeing if you can get a demo before making a final decision @howiebrou!

They're a lovely piece of gear that definitely has wear in effect that techbro aptly put that comes from use over time.
I wore them for about 15 mins in a shop and just found them a little tight. Then again most hats don't fit me either. The only issue was I kept putting the Stellias and Utopias on to compare and they were much more comfortable which concerns me. I would not walk around with the wireless headphones but they would be for travel so removing the wire certainly makes things much simpler on a plane or in an airport lounge.
 
Jan 26, 2023 at 8:28 PM Post #774 of 1,656
I have Clear MG's and Bathys. The Bathys do have a stronger clamping force which I appreciate with a portable set of headphones, especially when I'm on the move and don't want them moving about on my head. The clamp force itself settles down and like a good pair of shoes becomes comfortable after about 2-3 hours wearing-in time (I'm not saying 'wear-in' is a thing like 'burn-in' lol). As far as the ear pads are concerned, the inner circumference of the pads is slightly smaller on Bathys although physically, the pads are a lot bigger on the Clear and Stellia. I put this down to the sound signature Focal were targeting + sealing for bass / sub bass + ANC constraints + weight...

I think wear in really is a significant thing. The properties of material change with heat, friction and moisture and that really does affect the comfort of things in a way that's often very obvious. You're right about shoes but it also happens with things like earpads, they get softer as they get used to heating up and being compressed.

Subjectively you should also get more familiar with how they feel and begin to notice the force they apply less easily.

When I first had the Bathys I could only wear them for a few hours comfortably but it took a couple of weeks to get comfortable with them and now I can wear them all day without issue. I felt a big difference over time and for me personally that took more than 2-3 hours.
 
Jan 26, 2023 at 10:17 PM Post #775 of 1,656
I have Clear MG's and Bathys. The Bathys do have a stronger clamping force which I appreciate with a portable set of headphones, especially when I'm on the move and don't want them moving about on my head. The clamp force itself settles down and like a good pair of shoes becomes comfortable after about 2-3 hours wearing-in time (I'm not saying 'wear-in' is a thing like 'burn-in' lol). As far as the ear pads are concerned, the inner circumference of the pads is slightly smaller on Bathys although physically, the pads are a lot bigger on the Clear and Stellia. I put this down to the sound signature Focal were targeting + sealing for bass / sub bass + ANC constraints + weight...
Thanks @techbro. I own Clear MG anbd am considering Bathys. What are your thoughts about comparative sound signature and overall sound quality of these 2?
 
Jan 27, 2023 at 3:16 AM Post #776 of 1,656
Has anyone compared the Bathys with the wired Focals like the Stellia? The Bathys, to me, seemed to have a stronger clamp force (perhaps as they expect you move around more with them) and significantly smaller earpads (persumably to save weight?) with the result that whilst I found the Stellias supremely comfortable in the shop, the Bathys gave me a slight headache after only 15 mins which is a shame as they sound great and I need a decent pair of comfortable BT headphones.
im compared my bathys vs stellia.
 
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Jan 27, 2023 at 3:18 AM Post #777 of 1,656
After fews hours bathys clamp forse gets comfy.im compared my bathys vs stellia,radiance,celestee and elegia. all same soundsexept difference in bass.,only elegia muted .bathys gold centre. stellia overpriced . want closed headphone pair to my ananda, im got audeze lcd-2c cb. Planar easy outperformed stellia in all,-soundstage,details.comfort,concert hall for ears ,simply another class. and. 5x lower price(new lcd-2c cb got for 560eur). stellia for interior decor very good.
 
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Jan 27, 2023 at 7:24 AM Post #778 of 1,656
Thanks @techbro. I own Clear MG anbd am considering Bathys. What are your thoughts about comparative sound signature and overall sound quality of these 2?
The comparison is with Bathys in DAC mode and a Cayin RU6 / Questyle M15 as my portable DAC setup for the Clear Mg’s. ‘Burn-ins’ and ‘Wear-ins‘ (lol) completed over ~3 weeks. So, the sound signature comparison depends on what ‘flavour’ of Clear MG’s you are operating. Source audio is Qobuz on Android 12 running USB Audio Player Pro.

1. Bathys (EQ’d to my taste via the Focal app -2.5, -2, 0, +1, +1.5 db) >>> ’Standard’ Clear Mg out of the box (no EQ).
2. Bathys > Clear Mg with Dekoni Stellia Pads.
3. Bathys <<< Clear Mg (as above) with Forza Audioworks Noir Hpc Mk ii 4.4mm balanced cable.

I mostly listen to EDM (~70% of the time vs. ~30% classical/jazz/metal) so this musical bias needs to be taken into account. The Clear MG’s as configured in 3. are simply outstanding and unrecognisable from the pair I took out of the box (sold by the previous owner because of the poor out of box listening experience). The Bathys do really well, SQ wise, given the overall price delta to the Clear Mg audio chain required for them to shine. In wireless mode, Aptx adaptive on Bathys is a decent (if limited) codec that provides a ‘Focal centric‘, enjoyable and engaging **mobile** listening experience.
 
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Jan 27, 2023 at 10:48 AM Post #779 of 1,656
For members who care about the sound, the answer to the previous poster question is yes. In my subjective (obviously) experience there are (small mind you) differences between the included cable, a standard Apple USB-C cable, and a WireWorld Starlight 8 (a larger difference, and one I find worthwhile). To be perfectly fair minded, the WW cable I had was only .6m -- this could conceivably explain the difference, although the length constraints in the USB 3.1 a/b spec are really related to very high data rates -- many multiples of what you would be using for redbook or 24/192 audio. I have a 1m WW cable on order (the longest they make at present) and will report back. It would be fascinating if the two lengths sound different.

The measuring debate is not really of interest to me, just relaying my experience, YMMV of course. If you think I'm crazy that's fine. : D
Have you already received your 1m WW Starlight cable? Can you tell us what differences you hear between the stock cable and the new one?
Also: Wireworld don´t happen to make OTG USB-C to lightning cables, do they?
 
Feb 2, 2023 at 1:03 PM Post #780 of 1,656
This adapter works. https://www.zorloo.com/product-page/lightning-to-usb-c-receptacle-adapter-for-ztella

AudioQuest makes lightning to USB-C cables. They don't work.

Use the stock cable. It sounds better than Audioquest Carbon USB-C cable. So don't bother upgrading it.

The Bathys really needs 40 hour burn-in period to settle its sound characteristics. Be patient.
I can vouch for that..purchased the audioquest forest thinking it would automatically work the headphones in dac mode…not a peep out of them. I also have a Hidizs LT02 which works perfectly but at only 4 inches long is inpracticle. Don’t know where to look next but the adapter you highlight may be the answer…cheers.
 

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