Has anyone tried streaming to the Focal Bathys as a Roon USB endpoint?
As a simple experiment I setup a Raspbery Pi as an endpoint (using Ropieee) and plugged the Bathys into one of the USB ports with the Bathys set to DAC mode. Roon properly recognized the USB attached DAC, and I am able to configure it in Roon as an endpoint. off to a good start!
But the issue is with volume control…
Setting the volume to “Fixed Volume” the playback is at max volume, and the volume controls on the Bathys do not function. For some reason the Bathys isn’t able to locally lower it’s volume in this mode. (FWIW, I highly recommend testing this with a quiet track…)
Setting the volume to “Device Volume” I am able to lower the volume via the Roon volume control (for example, setting to 50 is on the higher end of listening level for me). But again, the Bathys isn’t able to control the volume, the volume up/dn buttons do nothing. Similarly, the play/pause button does nothing.
If anyone else has a Bathys and has tried this, I would be curious to hear if your experience is the same.
To me this seems like a bug. I would expect a dac/amp with a volume control button to be able to locally raise/lower volume if the source is unable to do so. Given that the “Device Volume” function in Roon works, it appears the Bathys can receive volume control commands via USB from the source to adjust volume. But if a command is given locally via button press it is ignored. Or perhaps it is trying to send the volume control command via USB to the source, and Roon is ignoring it?
Either way, this is a little disappointing. These headphones make for a really interesting Roon endpoint. But in DAC mode there seems to be no local volume control. As long as you have the Roon remote always handy to adjust volume, it is a compelling minimalist setup.
[related non-Roon observation that substantiates the theory that the Bathys do not have local volume control in DAC mode: using the Bathys with the USB Audio Player Pro app on Android, the hardware volume control feature in the app works, but the headphone volume control buttons do not work. It seems that volume control in DAC mode is expected to come from the source.]