Hey sorry for asking so many questions but what do you think I could expect going from the xba3 to the 7550 sound wise? I am trying to figure out what makes a headphone clear, for instance the re400 has fantastic detail, more than the xba3 for me but it does not sound as clear, it has this muffled sound, is that the treble?
Also you dont recommend the xba40?
I will miss the mic but I'll manage.
Simply put, there are several different types of clarity.
An earphone can sound very clear because the high frequency sounds, or some of the frequencies, are emphasised. This is probably the case with the XBA-3. A lack of high frequencies can make things sound muffled.
An earphone can sound clear because there is not much resonance from the driver housing. Earphones can have resonances and other issues because the actual earpiece itself echoes with the movement of sound waves inside the earphone. Since the echoes were never actually present in the actual recording, they may make the sound appear muffled or indistinct. This is why more expensive earphones tend to use higher quality, non-resonant materials like metal or ceramic.
An earphone can sound clear because the driver itself is well designed and inside a well designed earpiece. For instance, if a driver is made of materials with a high strength to weight/mass ratio, this means that it is able to move faster or handle more input power without distorting. Therefore it can more accurately reflect the input signal. This is why companies use balanced armatures or dynamic drivers coated with materials like titanium, carbon nanotubes, etc. The RE-400 is a well designed earphone in this sense.
There are other factors as well, but as you can see 'clarity' is a very ambiguous word. It can be difficult to tell by ear what is the 'clarity' of an earphone without a lot of comparison between different earphones that give you some clue as to what to look for. Learning to interpret measurements of earphones helps in this regard.