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post #151 of 171

^^

I did but somehow ended up with bit different listening impressions after more rigorous trial (originally posted here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/571775/11-new-sony-ba-iems/300#post_7896027 )

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post

I could swing by the Sony permanent showroom in Ginza tonight and sample the XBA prototypes for an hour or so. I am glad I did as I came out with more firm impressions than at the Fujiya festival last months...

 

Sampled music:

 

  • Tuna Fish Emiliana Torrini Love In The Time Of Science
  • Caramel Suzanne Vega Suzanne Vega Close-Up, Vol 1, Love Songs
  • El Pajaro Lhasa De Sela La Llorona
  • Anyone and Everyone Lhasa Lhasa
  • Zoom Giovanni Mirabassi Trio Out Of Track
  • Too Old To Die Young Bushman's Revenge Jitterbug
  • Puppet Yael Naïm She Was A Boy
  • In The Flesh? (2011 - Remaster) Pink Floyd The Wall (2011 - Remaster)
  • Money (2011 - Remaster) Pink Floyd The Dark Side Of The Moon (2011 - Remaster)
  • Farewell My Love (Featuring Archie Shepp) Charles PAsi Uncaged
  • Moonglow Salvagnini Quartet Giant Moon
  • Paper Tiger Beck Sea Change (HD tracks 24/96 > 44.1)
  • Gérard Les Têtes Raides L'An Demain
  • 11-Heartbeat HeadFi and HDtracks Open Your Ears
 
Listening gear: iPhone (lossless) > Moon Audio Blue Dragon LOD > RSA Tomahawk (High gain, typically listening at 8-9AM with these). Note that I also tried direct from the iPhone and got pretty similar results (volume halfway) except for bit more loose bass.
 
Listening impressions in chronological order:
 
XBA3: 
  • Well extended in the highs (similar to XBA4) with good sparkle but neither shrill (Money from Pink Floyd 2011 remasters sounds just right) or artificial sounding.
  • On the other hand, bass was too emphasized, even boomy sounding through the Tomahawk (bit less forward driven straight through the iPhone but still too much for me) so I quickly moved up the ladder to XBA4
 
XBA4:
  • Very pleasant sounding with a rather "loudness" type equalization curve which makes it preferable for moderate to low level listening.
  • I quickly realized that unfortunately, the demo unit had the woofer busted so I had to switch to the version with built in mic.
  • It was extended at both ends (could hear all Hearbeat samples clearly from the HDTracks/Open yours ears sampler).
  • Soundstage was nowhere near convincing with more left to right panning than anything which may be due to a combination of source / iem / universal fit / phase shift across the drivers.
  • Tonal balance was very good (but clearly deviating from neutral). Drivers are very well blended together and I could not pick up any resonances or harshness.
  • Detail / low level resolution was excellent baring in mind that isolation isn't perfect and source is pretty limited so it's not home rig type of detail retrieval but nevertheless totally satisfying.
  • Prat is excellent, I was tapping the foot the whole time.
  • Overall, my impressions is that it kills se315 (unfair comparisons since the Shure is a single driver unit but price wise they're not that far in Japan) and I might actually prefer it to my Sensaphonics 2xs (which unfortunately or not died on me again a week ago or so).
  • Issues: bulky, sticks out , poor isolation (maybe because I have small ear canal and couldn't seat them in fully). Cable is flimsy so I am not sure about sturdiness.
 
XBA2:
  • These reminded me much more of the SE315 (and price wise they're similar) with more emphasis on the midrange and the treble very rolled off compared to XBA3 and XBA4.
  • However, its bass extends lower and/or is more forward than that of the SR315. For instance, I can't really feel the last heartbeat sample on se315 but it may be a touch firmer than the Sony.
  • The SE315 feels like midrange only and dynamically compressed so the XBA2 (same price in Japan I believe) is a no brainer.
  • Overall, I liked the XBA2 better than XBA3 as I thought its bass was more natural sounding to me (not as forward and not boomy). I wish Sony did not shelve down the highs as much but fortunately I can turn to the XBA4 for this.
  • Very compact (but still sticks out a little bit compared to an angled driver like Shure's SE series), it fits perfectly in my (small) ears and I could get reasonable isolation.

 

 
Conclusion:
  • It is a bit difficult to decide between the XBA2 (not as extended low / highs but very compact and most comfortable for my small ears) and XBA4 (much better listening experience but at the expense of bulkiness and somewhat poorer fit to my ears).
  • I believe I will go with the XBA4 though as the price is still reasonable in light of the sound it delivers (does not replace my home rig but I could probably live happily with just that!).

 



 

post #152 of 171

XBA3 Review :

 

http://www.thetechblogger.com/2011/11/review-of-the-xba-3-sony-balanced-armature-headphone/

post #153 of 171

Do the 3sl , 4sl, have a double bore or a single-bore? (or even a triple bore?)

post #154 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Infoseeker View Post

Do the 3sl , 4sl, have a double bore or a single-bore? (or even a triple bore?)



What do you mean by bore???

post #155 of 171

It's not too important; just am curious. It is the openings for the sound for the BA driver's sound to come out.

post #156 of 171

From the cut away diagrams they all look single bore. 

post #157 of 171

Such a great looking pair

wondering how much will it cost

post #158 of 171

Very nice. How long for them to arrive to South America??

post #159 of 171

Dang I might need to get some of those.  I really love Sony, they seem to make a quality product if you choose the right one.  I own a pair of Sony MDR-7506's and they are amazing to say the least (yes I know they pale in comparison to your HD 800's and Grados) but for the price I would say they are a superb headphone.  They are tough as heck and I like their sound signature, very clean and precise for being 90 dollars on Amazon.  I can't wait to get my hands on some of these buds!

post #160 of 171

really interested in the quads. sometimes less is more......but Sony really knows what they are doing. 

post #161 of 171

An object of desire

post #162 of 171

Was in a rush today and didn't get to try these out even though I was in the Sony store. Had to catch the bullet train out to Kyoto but I think I'll give the XBA3/4 out when I am back in Tokyo - have a pair of Triple Fi coming in the posts though.

post #163 of 171


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by billbro View Post

Was in a rush today and didn't get to try these out even though I was in the Sony store. Had to catch the bullet train out to Kyoto but I think I'll give the XBA3/4 out when I am back in Tokyo - have a pair of Triple Fi coming in the posts though.



Hi,

How much the XBA4 cost, I am interested.

post #164 of 171

guys, I just wrote a review of my XBA 3SL and the 4SL that I tested, with pictures

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/585358/sony-xba-3sl-4sl-and-why-i-bought-the-3sl-instead-of-the-4sl-impressions

 

feel free to comment and ask!

post #165 of 171
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