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Sennheiser IE80 VS Sony XBA-4 VS Sony MDR-EX1000

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

Hey guys this is my first thread here and i need a liitle help regarding to headphones.

 

Which headphone will be better for me the sennheiser ie80, sony xba-4 or the sony mrd-ex1000 or any other good sounding IEM that you could recommend for me.

 

What I like most in a pair of IEM is a good thumping base and a nice soundstage and mids and highs.

 

IMMORTALMUSO

post #2 of 38

Start by crossing the XBA-4 off your list.

post #3 of 38

There are pros and cons to both. I owned the XBA-4 and IE8, and have auditioned the IE80. 

 

First of all, the IE8/IE80 do not have very good isolation and can be a little difficult to fit. If you plan on using them on the go, the IE8/IE80s might not be ideal for you. For example, they didn't isolate enough on my train/bus commute.  

 

Another potential issue is the XBA-4 (non-mic version) has a very short J-cord. This is the kind of niggling thing that can be annoying, as they are quite short without the included extension, but quite long with it. For me this wasn't a problem because I always put my iPod in my shirt pocket. 

 

 

And getting to the sound... 

 

IE8/IE80: Amazing soundstage, excellent and hard hitting bass, sparkly treble, and smooth though slightly recessed mids. The IE80 isn't a huge sonic upgrade of the IE8, but does seem to flatten out the sound a bit and reduce the infamous mid-bass hump of the IE8. Overall, a very warm, full engaging sound.  

 

XBA-4: Punchy, well-extended bass, smooth mids (more forward than IE80) and well extended though slightly grainy treble. The XBA-4 has an overall cleaner, more articulate sound, particular in the treble, where the grain can make it a bit more fatiguing.  While BA earphones are usually known to be more detail-focused and bass-shy, (or to some people, "boring") the XBA-4 has a fun and engaging sound. 

 

 

My pic of the two would be the XBA-4, because it is better suited to on-the-go use and I like the level of detail. For rock it is particularly good. The IE80 is definitely a bit smoother and probably a better choice for electronic/hip-hop.


Edited by takoyaki7 - 4/13/12 at 7:38pm
post #4 of 38
Thread Starter 

thanks that helped me alot is there any other IEM that you could recommend?

post #5 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by takoyaki7 View Post


Good to see you back, man! Where've you been hiding the last few weeks?

 

BTW, to the OP: takoyaki makes a decent short synopsis of the two. I'll add that I find the XBA-4 to be a quite unnatural-sounding, but if you get used to it, it'll be okay. I personally find it disturbing, so I'd rather pick the EX1000 or even the IE80, but I don't know if they're the best choice for you. Overall, the IE80 has a pretty inoffensive, pleasant sound, so I'd choose the IE80 for your purposes.If you get the chance, though, audition the XBA-4. If you don't think it sounds unnatural, then it might be the better choice, as it is more detailed than the IE80.

post #6 of 38
Thread Starter 

thanks do you no any other brands that could suit me


Edited by Immortalmuso - 4/13/12 at 8:33pm
post #7 of 38

i own the ex1000 and xba-4. i feel they are very evenly matched. the xba4's have a sort of foggy quality to their highs i can't really describe, like there's something between me and the music, but it's doesn't obstruct the sound. the detail on the high end is tremendous. an earlier poster used the term "grainy", maybe that's a bit closer to what i mean. i think they're pretty comparable with the punchiness of the bass.

between the two, i think the xba4's are both the better value and the superior product.

post #8 of 38
Thread Starter 

:)

 

 


Edited by Immortalmuso - 4/13/12 at 8:54pm
post #9 of 38

it doesn't really matter, both the ex1000 and xba-4 are on sony's MAP list (minimum advertised price), so authorized retailers all have them at 499 and 349 respectively. amazon sometimes has them for less with third party retailers. i myself bought them direct from sony, as my job affords me a pretty heinous discount on sony phones.

 

if you're soliciting other ideas for a great IEM, check out takoyaki's sig - it's an IEM greatest hits list, basically. i see the westone 4's are on amazon for like 360 right now, that's really not bad. that said, i'm pretty satisfied with what i have.

post #10 of 38

Here's my full-on take (in order of personal preference):

 

Sony MDR-EX1000

The EX1000 is arguably one of the finest dynamic driver in-ears you can get. It has refinement, space, depth, and power, but is tuned to have slightly less-than-neutral bass punch and a more-than-neutral treble. That type of signature fits my personal tastes well. However, it doesn't isolate well for a closed setup.

 

Sennheiser IE80

The famous German firm doesn't really make bad products at all. Most of their products sound very pleasant to the ear. But they're rarely excellent values, either, because of firm pricing policies. The IE80 is essentially a mostly cosmetic refresh to the venerable IE8, intended to keep the dollars (or Euros/Marks, if you will) coming in until they release their new, very expensive flagship the IE800, in June. So yes, the IE80 is old tech wearing a shiny outfit --- if that gives you pause, don't consider it. Otherwise, it's a very pleasant-sounding product --- spacious and smooth, if a little bassy and lacking detail compared to the latest and greatest.

 

Sony XBA-4

My belief is that the XBA line is intended to leverage the production power of Sony by mass producing the little tin soldiers inside the XBA. Not wanting to bother with crossover circuits, they decided just to stack filtered drivers on top of each other. Discussed widely in other threads, many, including I, feel the XBA line has a measure of artificial disjointedness to its sound. Nevertheless, some people (people whose opinions I respect) like it, so it still has potential. It's wide and spacious, with airy but recessed vocals, and punchy bass. My personal feeling is that the price for these will come down soon enough, so it might not be the best time to get them. It's also a first generation product; I believe that even with a firm like Sony, their BAs need some more work.

post #11 of 38
Just my opinion but I think I would have replaced the XBA-4 with the XBA-3, then we have a more comparable foundation to compare with the other two (SQ-wise).
post #12 of 38
Thread Starter 

Its now between the sony mrd-ex1000 and the sennheiser ie80 i still dont know which one......

post #13 of 38

You must wait to see the new IE800 senn

post #14 of 38

  I would also recommend the W3 which is sort of a BA take on the IE80. Excellent highs and lows, a bit rougher but also more detailed. Great fit, great cable, I think they are really underrated and I much prefer them to the W4 (which I found too flat and unengaging). 

 

 

Another recommendation that may be a bit out-of-left-field is the ATH CKM-1000. Recently picked these up and am enjoying them immensely. Compared to the IE80 they are a little hotter in the treble and maybe a touch less bass, with slightly more forward mids. BQ is awesome too.


Edited by takoyaki7 - 4/15/12 at 5:46am
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by takoyaki7 View Post

 

Another recommendation that may be a bit out-of-left-field is the ATH CKM-1000. Recently picked these up and am enjoying them immensely. Compared to the IE80 they are a little hotter in the treble and maybe a touch less bass, with slightly more forward mids. BQ is awesome too.


Really? I didn't find the CKM1000 to be much better than the CKM99... the CKW1000ANV, on the other hand, did offer a little something more special in its more laid back tonality, good layering, and superior timbre. The pricing on the CKW1000 is a bit eh, though.

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