Focal Bathys - Wireless ANC Over-Ear Headphone
Oct 30, 2022 at 2:29 PM Post #511 of 1,723
(Utopia 2022 >= Utopia 2020>>Stellia) >> ( Clear MG >= Clear >= Celestee > Elegia)>>> (Spirit Classic > = Spirit Pro > Bathys) > Listen > Spirit One
(Reference) > (hi end) > ( low end) The more ">", the better the sound, ">=" means minimal difference. Sound very close.
Fascinating, i owned Celestee, Elegia and Clear alongside for a while. The Clear to me were a lot, lot better sounding than the closed backs. Much nicer tonal balance and a more natural timbre, along with all the advantages you might expect from an open back.

I would agree that Bathys are of course kicking around below Elegia/Celestee. But I think they do a fine job of bringing much of that sound quality into a smaller package.
 
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Oct 30, 2022 at 3:15 PM Post #512 of 1,723
Been to the dealer and listened to Bathys and Utopia 2022 again today.

Again, I won't say bathys is the worst focal headphones I have ever listened, but my ears confirmed it is in the in the very back positions of all focal headphones I have listened. I will rank all focal headphones I have listened below.

(Utopia 2022 >= Utopia 2020>>Stellia) >> ( Clear MG >= Clear >= Celestee > Elegia)>>> (Spirit Classic > = Spirit Pro > Bathys) > Listen > Spirit One
(Reference) > (hi end) > ( low end) The more ">", the better the sound, ">=" means minimal difference. Sound very close.

Yes. To my ears, I even love spirit pro and classic more than Bathys. I loved spirit pro and class so much and keep for 2 years until replaced both for clear. I will say definitely the Bathys' driver will perform way better than spirit pro and classic, but technology circuits and battery just killed more acoustic design spaces to make Bathys sound even better.
Interesting. I didn't know there was an updated version of the Utopia.

I started with the Clear MG, then when finding it too recessed in the treble, switched to the Clear OG (which was supposedly a bit brighter), then I bought the Stellia, which I thought were really good but somewhat clinical and fatiguing until I swapped out the ear pads and purchased better cable. It sounds pretty neutral to me now and it works well on classical music etc but not so good for older rock and pop.

I'm finding the tonal balance of the Bathys to be really really enjoyable. I can play anything on it and it sounds engaging without sacrificing detail or adding mud. The midrange is just beautiful. BT combined with my iPhone is fine for casual listening but it's much better with my FIIO M17.
 
Oct 30, 2022 at 4:27 PM Post #513 of 1,723
A Newbie’s Perspective:

I certainly appreciate all the expertise on this site. I’ve really been learning quite a bit. My knowledge and expertise is limited to comfort, how good I personally think my music sounds through the headphones, and user experience— how easy they headphones are to use.

I got the Clear MGs and Celestee earlier this year and I love them. Based on this site and other sources I run them through good DACs into my phone or computer, or I run them straight into an A&K Kann Max. I also got a several IEMs for traveling around. I qualify this just to say I have a newbie’s level of dangerous experience. 😁

But I missed the convenience of grab and go that I have with BT head phones. With the Bathys and and PX8, I saw a great opportunity. I got both to see which I like best.

For me, the Bathys wins all day in the comfort category. The PX8s get warm around my ears and I have to take a break. But the Bathys can stay on all day (all flight) happily. I love the pads, although the MGs are still the most comfortable set ever for me… for me they are the standard.

In terms of sound… it depends what I listen to. Jazz trios and orchestral music recorded more recently, sound better to me on the Bathys. I don’t know why… just that they do. The level of detail is immersive and I can easily get lost. But, I prefer older recordings on the PX8. Again… not sure why. From a rock perspective, Cheap Trick… my favorite band, is incredible on the PX8. Less exciting on the Bathys. Jazz vocals from women, overall, to me, sound better on the Bathys, but I prefer Kurt Elling on the PX8.🤷‍♂️ So, from a sound basis, it is a toss up for me.

User experience… the ergonomics of the PX8 is just intuitive and great for me. But, for some reason, they default to only connecting to the previous source, even when I set up the source to automatically detect. The Bathys UX is less iser friendly and I’m always feeling around for the controls. But they connect to all devices easily and I can go back and forth without effort. Of course, I’m sure others have had the opposite experience, so user error may be the culprit.

My wife is probably going to kill me… in which case you can all tell her I promised them to you upon my death… but I’m going to keep them both. I think the Bathys has a slight edge, but that may change over time. And of course, your mileage may vary.
 
Oct 30, 2022 at 4:35 PM Post #514 of 1,723
I’ve been listening to mine watching movies with them paired to my Nvidia shield using LDAC. It connects flawlessly and I have no issues even though the shield is about 10 feet away with a wall in between. They’re quite comfortable with a headband cover I picked up on eBay
 
Oct 30, 2022 at 4:44 PM Post #515 of 1,723
Fascinating, i owned Celestee, Elegia and Clear alongside for a while. The Clear to me were a lot, lot better sounding than the closed backs. Much nicer tonal balance and a more natural timbre, along with all the advantages you might expect from an open back.

I would agree that Bathys are of course kicking around below Elegia/Celestee. But I think they do a fine job of bringing much of that sound quality into a smaller package.
The Clear is certainly a wonderful headphone. I bought it just after 2 months since it launched. It stayed in my collection for 3 years. After listened to Stellia at audio 46 during my trip to NYC, Stellia is clearly a winner. I was shocked that been a closed back sound even better than open. That's why It took me a year and work to sold my clear and exchange the Stellia.
 
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Oct 30, 2022 at 10:13 PM Post #516 of 1,723
I’ve been listening to mine watching movies with them paired to my Nvidia shield using LDAC. It connects flawlessly and I have no issues even though the shield is about 10 feet away with a wall in between. They’re quite comfortable with a headband cover I picked up on eBay
LDAC? How? The Bathys doesn't support LDAC, right?
 
Oct 30, 2022 at 10:39 PM Post #517 of 1,723
... (Utopia 2022 >= Utopia 2020>>Stellia) > ( Clear MG >= Clear >= Celestee > Elegia)>> (Spirit Classic > = Spirit Pro > Bathys) > Listen > Spirit One
(Reference) > (hi end) > ( low end) ...
I'm not dismissing your statements by any means or how you personally ranked all these different headphones. That said, this is most likely flawed. There are too many variables that are most likely not the sam and will have an influence on the "sound" you will get from the headphones. The big one, which is the one variable we do expect is the speaker/driver of the headphones. But most of these headphones require an headphone amp to run well. We don't know if you used a DAC or DAC/amp combo. I'm going to assume you did not use the same amp or dac to listen all these different headphones.

Next, the Bathys are designed to be used at BT. The others are added bonus that does make the more robust. Since almost all the other headphones you listed are not BT. It's not necessarily a bad thing to compared the Bathys via BT for a reference. To say one is better is misleading. Unless you managed to use the 3.5mm input cable for all the headphones. Obviously, you cannot use the same cable. If you used some kind of balanced power, those tend to give more power than unbalanced, which usually leads to more volune. And humans tend to find more volume to be a better sound.

I did a comparison using a my FiiO K9 Pro ESS to the Stellia. The Stellia were using a unbalanced output and Bathys the 3.5mm balance. There was a huge differnce in volume. The cables were not the same. This was done out of curiousity to how they two headphones were similar or different. It wasn't scientific.

End of the day, I'm rarely going to use the Bathys in a non-BT manner. Why would I when I have K9 Pro and Stellia? The Bathys allow me the convience to be untethered and have the Focal tone that I enjoy.
 
Oct 30, 2022 at 11:12 PM Post #518 of 1,723
I'm not dismissing your statements by any means or how you personally ranked all these different headphones. That said, this is most likely flawed. There are too many variables that are most likely not the sam and will have an influence on the "sound" you will get from the headphones. The big one, which is the one variable we do expect is the speaker/driver of the headphones. But most of these headphones require an headphone amp to run well. We don't know if you used a DAC or DAC/amp combo. I'm going to assume you did not use the same amp or dac to listen all these different headphones.

Next, the Bathys are designed to be used at BT. The others are added bonus that does make the more robust. Since almost all the other headphones you listed are not BT. It's not necessarily a bad thing to compared the Bathys via BT for a reference. To say one is better is misleading. Unless you managed to use the 3.5mm input cable for all the headphones. Obviously, you cannot use the same cable. If you used some kind of balanced power, those tend to give more power than unbalanced, which usually leads to more volune. And humans tend to find more volume to be a better sound.

I did a comparison using a my FiiO K9 Pro ESS to the Stellia. The Stellia were using a unbalanced output and Bathys the 3.5mm balance. There was a huge differnce in volume. The cables were not the same. This was done out of curiousity to how they two headphones were similar or different. It wasn't scientific.

End of the day, I'm rarely going to use the Bathys in a non-BT manner. Why would I when I have K9 Pro and Stellia? The Bathys allow me the convience to be untethered and have the Focal tone that I enjoy.
I am not a professional reviewer and all these are just my opinion. Of course your mileage may vary. I did use my kann alpha as my set up for all of them. I am not blaming Bathys since it is currently one of the best BT headphones. Bathy's headphone design is my dream portable headphone design, but the sound is just not enough compare to wired. Yes, from the list, I rarely use wireless headphones as my portable setup. I really wish Focal could do even better sounding portable wired headphone based on Bathys chassis.
 
Oct 31, 2022 at 6:18 AM Post #520 of 1,723
The Clear is certainly a wonderful headphone. I bought it just after 2 months since it launched. It stayed in my collection for 3 years. After listened to Stellia at audio 46 during my trip to NYC, Stellia is clearly a winner. I was shocked that been a closed back sound even better than open. That's why It took me a year and work to sold my clear and exchange the Stellia.
I had a similar reaction, I tried Stellia at a shop while having Clear at home. I fully expected the Clear to be better due to it's open back nature, and Stellia to be more of an indulgent luxury product. An hour later I was looking for deals on the Stellia and contemplating the insane act of dropping 3k on a pair of headphones.
 
Oct 31, 2022 at 8:21 AM Post #522 of 1,723
I've had the Amiron Wireless for a few years already, would getting the PX8's or Focal Bathys be an upgrade? I don't need ANC at all as such and FYI I did not like Sony XM3/4/5 at all.
In my review of the Bathys (post #479 above) I did compare the Bathys to the Amiron Wireless and concluded that the Bathys are a better all around portable headphone because they are more compact and have ANC. I also stated that if one does not need the ANC and doesn't mind wearing full sized headphones then the Amiron Wireless is an excellent wireless, aka Bluetooth, headphone. So to answer your question directly: no getting the Bathys would not be an upgrade in terms of audio quality over the Amiron Wireless since both headphones sound quite good.
 
Oct 31, 2022 at 11:57 AM Post #524 of 1,723
My Amirons are worn (headband foam gone, known issue and the cables are about to tear)
All simple enough to fix with a pad for the headband and some new aftermarket cables. Remember Amazon can sometimes be your friend :L3000:

By the way, I just finished a listening session comparing the Bathys with the Amiron Wireless using Bluetooth via my iPhone. The sound quality for either one is very good and it really comes down to one's personal preferences and the features one is looking for. The Bathys have ANC and that killer USB DAC mode. The Amiron Wireless are full size and have a fully passive wired mode. However if you are already set on replacing the Amiron Wireless then the Bathys are a very good choice.
 

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