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The discovery thread.! NEW sfwalcer's earphone comparo PG 1727. DannyBai multi phone impressions... - Page 262

post #3916 of 26064
Thread Starter 

Guys that know me I ain't no company goon. Yet Admins here at headfi tagged me with that as I wrote that on the CKM500 thread. I am a fan of ATs stuff but I am a fan of better sounding stuff even more. Once you get a custom tag I didn't realize it at the moment but they make me look like I work for AT or something.  Speaking of better stuff.

 

I listened to my new XBA-3s last night and I couldn't stop listening to them. It is the first time I have ever wanted to listen to a BA based earphone. My TF10s not so much but these are a different story. I know many of you guys know me for my budget stuff I write about and more or less the JVC earphones. But I have to say. I am very much impressed with the XBA-3. It has so many great qualities that I was not expecting from the earphones. These are what the TF10s should have been imo. The biggest difference between the 2 is the mids. I find the mids on the XBA-3s one of the best I have ever heard. So immersive the way it sounds. So much delicate detail and imagery it is a very seductive sound.

 

Do I think they are worth the $300 price tag? No. But at $200 I think they do. So for what I bought them for it was beyond a good deal. It was a pleasant surprise.

 

So without further ado. What makes the Sony XBA-3 sound so seductive. I was listening to of all tunes. Johnny Cash Ring of fire and as many times as I have heard that tune what was a huge surprise to me was just how wide that tune sounded on the XBA-3. I do a lot of commuting for my business so I was in my car listening to my XBA-3s when this tune came up. The tune sounded wider than the speakers that are in my car. It sounded like I was in a big concert hall..I kept on taking the earphones out as I was simply amazed at the sense of space the tune was throwing out. The advantages of BA drivers are clearly evident here. Earphones and headphones for the most part relay a sense of space to your ears giving you that stage that we all know. These are the first earphones that adjusts to the actual recording. If the tune was recorded in a bigger scale these relay that to what your hearing much better than any other earphones I have heard. It is quite addictive as I found myself going from tune to tune and it threw a big smile on my face as the sense of space of a particular tune would actually change pending on how it was recorded. Amazing.

 

Beyond that. The sound is a complete one and Sony did an awesome job with the tuning on these earphones. I have quickly become a fan of the mids on these earphones. In a word very accurate and detailed..I read many a review on these earphones but I had no idea just how good the mids were until now. It seems Sony takes their mids very seriously. Every single Sony headphone and earphone I have had always had good to outstanding mids and these are perhaps the best I have heard to date..The meat of your tunes reside in the mids and the accuracy these convey is. Dare I say perfect..These earphones really shine with instrument and vocal presentation that is some of the best I have heard. The 3 drivers works extremely well together and sound like high end speakers in your ears.. I read some reviews online saying the bass is a bit much ect. Lol. It has enough bass for even Hip hop and EDM but these aren't bass heavy at all. Music without my bass is like music without highs. For this sound, it is perfect imo.

 

More of a balanced sound than tilting toward highs or the bass end. Now the highs I had to get used to but I quickly realized my ears are too used to colored highs that are on many of my earphones and headphones. These have a delicate clean approach to the highs that once you figure out put the focus back to the mids more than the highs and if you think about it that is actually the correct way to hear your tunes. The highs should be the rhythmic accents to your tunes and not the focus and that is the tuning Sony did on these. I simply bow down to the delicate balancing they did between the 3 drivers in each ear..Bass has plenty of impact and the subs in here are tuned much like the highs in that they convey more accurately how the bass should sound more than anything bloaty or exaggerated. Yet they threw in just a touch more than neutral levels because who don't like their beats hitting hard? 

 

In a nut shell. I am very much more impressed with these than any other Sony product I have heard to date. These are what I thought my Sony EX600 should have been. These are what I hoped the TF10s was going to be.

 

I don't know if there ever will be another opportunity to grab one of these for $100 but if you ever see such a deal online. Grab them like it was the last bottle of vodka at the end of the world.

Over whelming thumbs up from me.


Edited by Dsnuts - 10/19/12 at 11:02am
post #3917 of 26064

How would you compare them to the ex600?

post #3918 of 26064
Thread Starter 

Funny your asking this. I have the EX600 in my ears as I type. The sound is simply not as engaging. The mids of the EX600 is not as good. I always thought the mids sounded a bit detached from the rest of the sound on the EX600 and it is showing this flaw here as I compare. Sideways like how the drivers sit in your ears a bit uneven in the mids..I also much prefer the highs and bass end of the XBA-3 over these as well. A bit of harshness to the highs on the EX600s a bit peaky and not as controlled or dynamic as the highs that are on the XBA-3.

 

Right after writing this impression of the XBA-3 I threw in the EX600 and the sound is clearly a downgrade in quality. Not as dynamic sounding or as clean. I much prefer the overall sound on the XBA-3. EX600 sound presentation to me is kinda on the boring side and while neutral enough truth be told my FXD earphones beat these a new one for dynamic sound and don't come close to how the XBA-3 sounds at all..Spiky highs. Sideways mids sound and somewhat limp bass end that don't excite. No comparison.

 

The EX600 is actually a good phone for guys that love neutrality but this is clearly a case of once you had better in your ears and then listen to lesser. You can clearly tell the sound flaws in comparison.


Edited by Dsnuts - 10/19/12 at 1:13pm
post #3919 of 26064

Sounds great, why I have not heard about the sale i dont know. Hopefully people will sell them at a fair price.

Im not expecting these to have crazy rumble, but how would you describe them?

post #3920 of 26064

An ebay seller has the xba-3's for $189.95.

 

I just picked up a pair, I already have the XBA-4's but read somewhere that the 3's gave a better sound.

Not the cheapest, and probably don't deserve to be mentioned in this thread, but thanks for the review.

Dsnuts, you may want to add your observations to one of the many XBA-1,2,3,4 threads out there. 

 

Btw, just received a pair of xb90's, bought from Accessory Jack. Bass is really big and the signature may be to dark.  Will have to burn them in for a bit to see how the sound changes. 

post #3921 of 26064

Nice, would love to hear your take on the differences

post #3922 of 26064
Thread Starter 

Bass end has precision much like the rest of the sound. Again the positive aspects of BA drivers. Very nice speed and transients. I test sub bass on all my earphones and I would actually like a little more on the sub bass front but for what is there. There is nothing missing. Mid bass impact is very accurate like it is supposed to sound both in tonality an speed.  On cheaper bass earphones you get that one note bass end that gives you the idea that you are getting impact but not actually dealing out accurate impact. Don't know if you know what I mean. Basically everything on the sound is high end. Including the bass end. I can imagine the new SONY MDR-1Rs having somewhat of a similar tuning to these earphones.


The bass is a solid notch over neutral and these are not a bassy iem at all. Despite hearing they have a "Sub woofer" in them. The bass driver was implimented to represent the bass.  To represent the beat to the song and represent it accurately. For example hiphop tunes have more bass end emphasis and sub bass performance and on hiphop tunes you will hear it like you have always heard it. But on bass light tunes it highlights the bass end like it should. Bass to me is very important to the overall sound and these while not giving you the Bass end of a XB90EX..If a sub bass low note is in the track you will be able to hear it clearly on these with no struggle at all. These are what I imagined a higher end Sony would sound like.


Edited by Dsnuts - 10/19/12 at 1:59pm
post #3923 of 26064
Quote:

 

Btw, just received a pair of xb90's, bought from Accessory Jack. Bass is really big and the signature may be to dark.  Will have to burn them in for a bit to see how the sound changes. 

dark? as missing high end sparkle? I'm not too good with these audio terminologies, so if you could explain what you are hearing, would be good. to me they sound good, so I'm kinda confused :)

post #3924 of 26064

R1 won't arrive until Monday.

post #3925 of 26064
Quote:
Originally Posted by nihontoman View Post

dark? as missing high end sparkle? I'm not too good with these audio terminologies, so if you could explain what you are hearing, would be good. to me they sound good, so I'm kinda confused :)

 

Had them on my ears for all of two minutes, with no burn in. Not sure about the tips as well, may not have had a proper seal.
 

I'll give them an honest appraisal with time.

post #3926 of 26064
Thread Starter 

Look forward to what you have to say about your XBA-3s Carlsan..You seem to have a lot to compare them to..As for the XB90s. Try out a wider tip than the Sony Hybrids and they need a solid burn in for certain..

post #3927 of 26064

Nice impressions Dsnuts. I think the XBA-4 is pretty damn good (not for the $350 I paid for it, but if was $200 to 300 it would have been a hell of a bargain,

post #3928 of 26064
Any update on the FAD?
post #3929 of 26064
Thread Starter 

Ya now that I have these I am naturally curious about the XBA-4s now.. This hobby leads to one thing or another..My next purchase will be either the MDR-1R maybe or the FXZ200s. Which have been confirmed at $280. Yikes. 

 

You pay for new tech but what is interesting is. Just when AT is launching their CKS99@ $160 and their CKS1000 @ $300 JVC strikes with these new FXZ100s at $150 and the FXZ200s for $280. 

 

Competition is a good thing. But JVC won already. Lol! I have no idea when I will get my FADs but will report ASAP when I get em. Probably next week I hope.


Edited by Dsnuts - 10/19/12 at 7:37pm
post #3930 of 26064

The RE600 is coming as well!  That could be very exciting too!

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › The discovery thread.! NEW sfwalcer's earphone comparo PG 1727. DannyBai multi phone impressions PG 1729!!