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One driver good, two drivers better? Not quite.

A Review On: Sony Hybrid Black In-Ear Headphones - XBA-H1

Sony Hybrid Black In-Ear Headphones - XBA-H1

Rated # 317 in In-Ear
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Review Details:
Audio Quality
Comfort
Design
Isolation
Value
Purchased on:
Price paid: $110.00
a_recording
Posted · 1744 Views · 0 Comments

Pros: Good isolation, smooth sound, light weight

Cons: Large earpieces, wind noise, real lack of treble extension and sense of space

Here is my video review of the XBA-H1. If you like the video please check out my channel :) Below the video is a quick summary of my opinions.

 

 

Design & Comfort

 

The XBA-H1's earpieces are quite large, and may not suit every user's ears. Thankfully they are quite lightweight. The cable is good quality and doesn't tangle easily, and microphonics / cable noise is reasonable even when worn down. Isolation is good, but with the large earpieces wind noise can be a problem. Given the large size of the earphone, Sony should perhaps had gone for a negative profile design.

 

Sound


The H1 does really sound as if someone took a XBA-1/10/C10 driver and added a bass driver to it. You get the same feathery, brittle kind of sound of the XBA full range driver now combined with a dramatically more thumpy bass line. As a result the earphone is very thick and smooth in sound, and has a similar character to the Shure SE215. However, the addition of the dynamic driver means that treble, which already lacked extension in the XBA-1 series, now really ends up taking a backseat. The lack of treble extension means that strings and vocals sound blunted, feathery and brittle, and there is a real lack of air in the sound. The Shure SE215 in comparison has a much more natural high frequency roll-off and overall I think sounds better.

 

Given that the SE215 has a negative profile fit, detachable cables, a more natural sound and a lower price, I would not really look at the H1 unless I was absolutely allergic to high frequencies.

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