Focal Bathys - Fix for volume increments likely?

As above post, we (I!) have done this and after some mixed messages, seems they are not currently looking to address it. This is from my AU dealer and a subsequent response from Focal.

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Thanks for your response, looks like we’ll have to live with it unfortunately…

I got a Pair of B&W Px8 (Burgundy) in the Sales, but then saw a pair of Bathys on eBay at a bargain price. I bought them and they are much nicer sounding than the B&W which i will return. The volume step is noticeable but not a big problem for me.

Interestingly, i can play music from my Synology NAS with the DS Player app, this has a volume slider in the app so it provides infinitely variable volume. I wonder if Focal/Naim could do this in their app ?

Ticket logged today. Will update on here if I get an update.

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Ok, so I thought I had copied the text from the ticket I logged with Focal, but looks like I didn’t. Here it is;

"My focal Bathys are almost unusable due to the large volume jumps. I am using them with an Astell & Kern Sr25 Mk2 and the volume is either too quiet or too loud. I have the same problem if i use them with my Iphone 15 plus, and in dac mode from my Macbook pro or Macbook air laptops. I find that I am often listening to music at too high a volume than i should because the next volume step down is too quiet. Lots of people have the same issue on the Focal / Naim user forum and various other sites. They say that they have contacted you and that you say there are no plans to fix the issue.

Please can you do something to fix this as the headphones are not fit for purpose if you can not use them unless you play them so loud that you are likely to damage your hearing. I do not wish to sell my headphones, like so many others have done as they do sound excellent. The volume works fine when I use a cable from my Audiolab Amplifier so i know how good they can be.

Please can you get back to me about this. I did try to register my product on your website but i do not receive the email that i need for verification. Thank you."

I received a reply and this is what they said.

"I sent this onwards to our counterparts at Focal France and they have acknowledge the volume control issue with the Focal Bathys, and we want to assure you that it is not fault with your Bathys but can vary based on the connected device. We have received feedback regarding the limited number of volume steps, and we understand that it can lead to difficulties in finding an optimal volume level.

Their software team is actively investigating this matter, However, implementing a solution will require some development time we understand the impact on your listening experience, especially when using devices like the Astell & Kern or MacBook laptop in DAC mode. Your feedback raised is valuable to us."

So, they have acknowledged there is a problem and they are working to try and remedy it. Hopefully it won’t be too long until a fix is available. Fingers crossed

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Regardless the eventual result, their response makes sense. Software development does take time.

I have raised a ticket with Focal and 24 hours late today, got back to me with this reply.

This has been asked about a couple of times, and, although the volume increments work as intended, we have taken customer feedback on board, and I have been told that there will be an update to increase the number of volume increments, and allowing a smoother transition between levels in the process.

I do not have a time for this implementation, but hope that it’s not too far away.

Kind regards,
Duncan

Duncan Roberts
Technical Support Specialist
Phone: +44 (0)1722 443 405
Email: support@naimaudio.com

I’m really hoping this results in an update that solves this issue as none of my cheaper Sony headphones have this problem.

Some positive feedback from you and @conky then!

Whilst I have sold mine on (this being my major reason for doing so - yeah, I may be overly sensitive here, but it really bugged me) I would seriously consider buying a pair again if this was addressed.