Focal Bathys queries

So I received my Focal Bathys phones yesterday. Look great, and so far very impressed.


  • in wired DAC mode, the volume on my Astell and Kern player (SR25mkii) fixes at maximum and I cannot change it down, either on the player or on the headphones. Any ideas how to do this?

  • for my specific pairing (AK SR25 mk ii as above), does anyone have any experience of the best settings re codec etc?

I am a total newbie to this level of tech and to be honest do not understand a lot of the terminology yet, so if you have any useful tips that would be great (and be gentle with me :)).

Purely for the record, my other kit includes a Brennan B3 for CD ripping and hard drive storage, meaning my player is handling WAV files. I also have a Naim Muso 2 for playing music at home (wired to the Brennan, and shortly once set up taking music wirelessly from the SR25 (although since it got all its music from the Brennan hard drive, it will be interesting to see if there is much or any sound difference).

Cheers in advance!


OK, so I had a search and found I am not the only one with this issue. However, still no solution presenting itself.

On the plus side, playing around with the EQ on the Bathys app and am getting close to a sound I really really like through Bluetooth, so perhaps the DAC connection issue is not going to kill me.


Found this while searching for answers:

When you switch to USB DAC mode, you can use a USB cable and stream music from your phone or computer to enjoy 24bit/192kHz resolution, without Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. You’re bypassing the DAC in your device in favor of the DAC in the Bathys. Focal has not provided details on the DAC chip, so I don’t have further information.

Now, 24/192 is pretty good, but what if you want something higher? Let’s say you have DSD files and you need a DAC that will read those. You also want to keep things as lightweight and portable as possible. You could listen to the Bathys using the Clarus CODA USB DAC connected to your phone. Simply turn off USB DAC mode on the Bathys to override the internal DAC.

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.

So does this mean all I need to do with a DAC player is wire it to the Bathys but not to use Bathys DAC mode as the player has that covered … so I guess I can use either the jack or the USB wire? Or is the usb connection going to have any superiority?

No doubt simple trial and error will find out, but if anyone has any thoughts on this please share.

Looks like the original thread has been closed, but wanted to chime in as a fan of these as well.

Had them for a few weeks using in BT mode and was instantly impressed, now finally got hold of a lighting to USB C converter (ddHiFi TC28i) for DAC wired mode and as expected there’s another huge jump in sound quality.

I think these will cover pretty much 90% of my headphone listening needs. Not even sure about that other 10% either as rarely listen at home when not working, or entirely able to focus on the music.


1 Like

I am looking to move from Wireless and Wired IEMS to these, so good to see the positive reviews and I like your 90% listening needs measure.

Just my $0.02.

I got my Bathys yesterday and tested the USB connection with my iPhone 12. I tried several configurations, but none worked. So I went on line and discovered I needed the iPhone Camera Connection Adapter/Connector. No problem - I use one of those with my Dragonfly. Tried it - still nothing. Maybe I needed a newer version, so I went to the Apple Store and bought and returned two types on site. Neither worked.

So I went home. But I did not give up. I connected the Bathys to a Windows computer that had a USB C port. Bingo - that worked! (Although it took me a minute or so to figure out where to control the volume.)

So, the problem appeared not to be with the Bathys. What then? I rummaged through my USB cable collection and found a USB A to USB C Cable designed for USB-3. Substituted that and Voila!

There are too many variables to be absolutely certain, but my experiments suggest that the proper cable is a factor in getting the Bathys to communicate with an iProduct.

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.