Focal Bathys - Wireless ANC Over-Ear Headphone
Oct 31, 2022 at 1:30 PM Post #526 of 1,707
Have they fixed the Bug where LED LIGHT wouldn’t turn off in USB-DAC audio or 3.5mm audio?
For the Bathys running firmware version 1.4.2 the LED light works as follows:

The status of the LED light can only be set using the Focal & Naim app on a mobile device and in order to use the Focal & Naim app the Bathys MUST be connected to the mobile device via Bluetooth. Unlike the EQ settings, the setting for LED light only affects the LED light when using Bluetooth. When using USB-DAC audio or 3.5mm audio the LED light is automatically at 50% and at present cannot be changed.
 
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Oct 31, 2022 at 2:09 PM Post #527 of 1,707
For the Bathys running firmware version 1.4.2 the LED light works as follows:

The status of the LED light can only be set using the Focal & Naim app on a mobile device and in order to use the Focal & Naim app the Bathys MUST be connected to the mobile device via Bluetooth. Like the EQ settings, the setting for LED light remains in effect until they are reset using the Focal & Naim app. For example, if one sets the LED light to "off" then LED light is "off" no matter what mode the headphones are used in - Bluetooth, USB DAC or wired (3.5mm audio). The LED light can then only be turned back on by using the Focal & Naim app.
Excellent they fixed the bug then in an update I assume. Good news
 
Oct 31, 2022 at 2:59 PM Post #528 of 1,707
For the Bathys running firmware version 1.4.2 the LED light works as follows:

The status of the LED light can only be set using the Focal & Naim app on a mobile device and in order to use the Focal & Naim app the Bathys MUST be connected to the mobile device via Bluetooth. Like the EQ settings, the setting for LED light remains in effect until they are reset using the Focal & Naim app. For example, if one sets the LED light to "off" then LED light is "off" no matter what mode the headphones are used in - Bluetooth, USB DAC or wired (3.5mm audio). The LED light can then only be turned back on by using the Focal & Naim app.
Can not confirm that. LED switched off in App, in wired mode the LED turns on.
 
Oct 31, 2022 at 3:35 PM Post #529 of 1,707
Can not confirm that. LED switched off in App, in wired mode the LED turns on.
You ae indeed correct. I just double checked and the LED light can only be controlled when using Bluetooth via the Focal & Naim app. For wired or USB DAC mode the LED light is automatically set to 50% and cannot be changed by the user. Sorry for the confusion. My bad :blush:
 
Oct 31, 2022 at 4:48 PM Post #531 of 1,707
John Darko’s YouTube review of the Bathys is out
Nice review. Darko doesn't go over the top with sound quality comparisons. Very easy to understand what he's referring to with respect to the sound. He also doesn't compare the Bathys to wired, full sized headphones but very smartly limits the comparisons to other Bluetooth, ANC headphones. Thanks for the link!
 
Oct 31, 2022 at 4:53 PM Post #532 of 1,707
Day +3

Absolutely loving the Bathys in all scenarios (coffee shops, WFH, long walks outside, etc) and I even used it at the gym. It's easily my favorite BT headphones.
 
Oct 31, 2022 at 5:08 PM Post #533 of 1,707
Tough choice, I'm worried the Bathys will have the same problem as the Sonys - all sounding very processed.
Amirons can be completely transformed with different pads, I didn't like the stock ones at all. Missing oomph and too hot treble.
Will try to arrange an audition of the 5909 and the Bathys somewhere.
 
Oct 31, 2022 at 5:18 PM Post #534 of 1,707
Tough choice, I'm worried the Bathys will have the same problem as the Sonys - all sounding very processed.
No worries there. The Bathys do not sound processed at all. Very natural sounding with excellent tonal balance. Any direct comparison with the Sony WH-1000XM series headphones and the Bathys will quickly reveal the processed sound of the Sony versus the natural sound of the Bathys.
 
Oct 31, 2022 at 6:15 PM Post #535 of 1,707
Having had these for about 3 weeks I have mixed feelings about these. The sound is good when running higher codecs or through DAC mode, but AAC implementation is not good. They are fairly detailed with deep reaching bass and good separation in between elements in the soundstage. Running in DAC mode with ANC soft is a good listening experience but doesn't challenge similar priced wired headphones. Bass is tuneful and detailed when ANC is in "soft" mode, but it becomes a bit muted, loses slam and punch when you turn on max ANC. Once they have to counteract rumble and ANC is working hard the bass becomes one-note and a muddy mess. There are also issues with treble which can become sharp at higher volumes when ANC is on max.

The AAC implementation on the Bathys is not good IMO. Music sounds detailed, but the sound stage is very congested, upper harmonics are missing and the playback is not that enjoyable to listen to. When comparing AAC on PX8 to the Bathys, the PX8 does a fairly good job with AAC and is an enjoyable listen while Bathys is more detailed and "good sounding" but at the same quite boring on AAC.

I was able to connect with aptX-HD for about two weeks from my walkman but not been able to do so since. Having tried a bit of aptX adaptive and regular aptX as well i would say these really need higher quality codecs. It seems Focal spent a lot more time to optimize for aptX as it is much more enjoyable than AAC and it takes another significant step up with aptX adaptive. Wonder what these could do with LDAC 990 or similar as none of the BT codecs I've been able to use with these come close to wired.

There are unfortunately lots of issues with the Bathys, most of which can be fixed in firmware but the ANC can most likely not be fixed without a physical redesign.
  • ANC isn't very good. It takes away rumble etc. quite decently however they seem to almost be semi open so a lot of higher frequencies go straight through. E.g. when no music is played higher pitched part of voices are clearly audible from a long distance while they can barely be heard on the PX8 and basically not audible on the XM5 in the same situation. This also applies to road noise as well. This causes issues as I need to turn up the music to drown out the noise when riding on public transportation. Most likely not something that can be fixed in firmware.
  • Another major one is the volume steps. Feels like it jumps 5-6db for each step in the range I want to listen in so it is almost never the right volume. I often find myself wanting the volume step in between two steps. Double the number of steps to 32 or so and it should be OK.
  • These have been pretty bad at automatically connecting to units. Most of the time I have to tell the unit to initiate the connection to the Bathys. This has been rare with all the other 10 or so BT headphones or in-ears I've had.
  • I find the leather on the pads to be a bit sticky (not pleasant feeling) and the headphones generally have below average comfort.
  • Light on the side is only guarantied to be off when the app is active. It is a bit random if it is off or on when connecting to other sources which do not have the app. (windows, walkman etc.)
  • Switching between the different ANC modes is a hassle. I don't care about transparency and would much rather be able to cycle between ANC modes without having to hold the button for a long time, like pretty much all other ANC headphones I've had.

Overall I would classify these as a better version of the Shure Aonic 50. More dynamic and better sound with quite weak ANC, but worse codec support and much more issues. Mostly office and home use headphone that I will most likely not use all that much for travel.
 
Oct 31, 2022 at 6:35 PM Post #537 of 1,707
Thanks for the review. It sounds like a physical V2 could be on the way based on that. I tried the latest B&W PX72. Nice sound, but ear cups did not extend down enough to fully reach my ears on my long head. The consensus is that they beat the Bathys on sound and NR. If I'm going to pay $800 USD they can't lose to a far less expensive model like that.
Pretty sure that isn't the consensus re the sound being better on PX72 than Bathys btw...where did you read this?
 
Oct 31, 2022 at 7:03 PM Post #539 of 1,707
I edited my post. I meant the PX8 and I can't recall exactly but heard at least a few say they liked the B&W better. Not all share this. The video review up there was positive.
The PX8 aren't that much less expensive than the Bathys and it is mostly AAC codec (one of lowest quality codecs supported by both headphones) where the Bathys are clearly worse in my experience. At higher quality codecs they trade blows and it becomes more of a sound preference when listening in low to moderate noise environments. I haven't been able to test the PX8 in higher noise environments yet, but the impact from the ANC is less on that headphone in the listening I've done so far.
 
Oct 31, 2022 at 8:43 PM Post #540 of 1,707
Tough choice, I'm worried the Bathys will have the same problem as the Sonys - all sounding very processed.
Coming from my APMs, the Bathys doesnt sound processed in comparison.
 

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