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[ REVIEW / COMPARISON ] Two Flagships Pass in the Night: Sony XBA-4 Review VS the MDR-EX1000... - Page 10

post #136 of 284

Thanks for the advice. Maybe I'll just hold off.

post #137 of 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post

 

Definitely would love some XBA-3 owners to chime in as to whether the treble sounds metallic :3

 

Hi, my setting is XBA-3ip to iPhone4s phone out (volume 6/16).

I feel its treble is veiled, very gentle, rolled-off.

I did plug to the 0404usb, and its treble sounds crisp and not veiled.

 

It seems the charts in p.1 (frequency response, impedance, output impedance) fit my situation.

 

I m really puzzled because the FR chart show XBA3 have a very good high frequency extension, but i feel the treble is rolled-off when i use it with the phone.

However, quite a lot of people said the treble is metallic and pronounced.

And when I use the iPhone's built-in equalizer (Bass Reducer), the treble isnt really that bad, it sounds quite good indeed. Clear but not too piercing.

Really confused. confused_face%281%29.gif

post #138 of 284

Just wanted to say thanks for all the replies. I'm probably going to pull the trigger on the IE8s then.

post #139 of 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandaz93 View Post

Just wanted to say thanks for all the replies. I'm probably going to pull the trigger on the IE8s then.

or just wait for 3 more months, a lot of new goodies are coming out this year, you might want to wait and than make your mind up.


GR08 is just around the corner ;-)

post #140 of 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post

Update:

 

Thanks to tomscy and whoever is behind the operation at Sonove, we have some pretty graphs!

 

I think that the tested frequency response for the EX1000 is a little off, as it isn't nearly as treble heavy as the graph would suggest. (The innerfidelity graph is a little more balanced.)

 

FR_MDR_EX1000.gif

 

holy cow these look like phenomenal headphones for vocal and opera

post #141 of 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skoobs View Post

@recording

FR_MDR_EX1000.gif

 

holy cow these look like phenomenal headphones for vocal and opera

That's probably the worst graph of the EX1000 I've seen. First off there's an obvious acoustic leak that was unfortunately overlooked, killing the bass, second the treble is shown in raw form (as is the ER4P), resonance of the ear aren't implemented, so that's not a response of usual real-time perception. 

 

better raw graph, if you must, the way sonove's should've looked in the bass. (except it's really stretched so bass boost looks really small)

 

 

 

The EX1000 is pretty flat. Bass is only very slightly boosted while having outstanding decay in the lowest regions, one of the best in terms of accurate bass response. Midrange is slightly dipped in 2-4k, not bad. The 5k-6k spike is the potential issue, while the higher treble spike at 9k is welcomed, as it isn't too big, staying accurate. This is a much better graph if you want to know how you're likely to perceive them, rather than the raw graphs above. 

 


Edited by Inks - 9/6/12 at 12:23pm
post #142 of 284

 a_recording, thanks for a very interesting comparison!

post #143 of 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by halcyon83 View Post

Hi, my setting is XBA-3ip to iPhone4s phone out (volume 6/16).
I feel its treble is veiled, very gentle, rolled-off.
I did plug to the 0404usb, and its treble sounds crisp and not veiled.

It seems the charts in p.1 (frequency response, impedance, output impedance) fit my situation.

I m really puzzled because the FR chart show XBA3 have a very good high frequency extension, but i feel the treble is rolled-off when i use it with the phone.
However, quite a lot of people said the treble is metallic and pronounced.
And when I use the iPhone's built-in equalizer (Bass Reducer), the treble isnt really that bad, it sounds quite good indeed. Clear but not too piercing.
Really confused. confused_face%281%29.gif

The iphone has an output impedance of 1.8 and the XBA-3ip is 12ohms, so yes, it should be slightly rolled off and also the bass (though with a paradoxical boost at 80Hz). Headphone impedance to output impedance should be a multiple of 8. So the minimum impedance phone that would be unaffected by FR issues is 14.4. Having said that: the effect should be so slight I am surprised you can hear it.
post #144 of 284

This is an excellent review. Well researched, well presented and with an opinion at the end.

 

I'm late to the party but I saw these in the shops when they were launched and balked at the ridiculously high RRPs. You could get TF10s, ER4P etc for what Sony were asking for with plenty of change to buy music.

 

Fast foward a year later and it seems like Sony has discontinued the XBA-1 to XBA-4 range (relaunched as the XBA-10 to XBA-40 range)...and local store have started discounting the old range. So much so that I'm tempted to pick one up to see if they're any good...especially since I no longer have a high-end IEM since ditching the TF10 and ER4.

 

Granted, the local prices haven't hit some purportedly low US and Canada sale prices. $99 for the XBA-3? Bargain.

 

Wish there was a place to demo these. Sony Australia are still offering the 14-day refund policy. :-) I could pick up the 3 and 4 and do a comparison.

 

Here are some interesting Sony pages:

 

XBA Microsite detailing the range: http://www.sony.com.au/microsite/sonyxba/product.html

 

Here's a sub XBA-4 page with Sony's own faux frequency charts: http://www.sony-asia.com/product/xba-4

post #145 of 284

This is probably the best headphone comparison review I've ever read. I even bought that Grimes song to do a similar A/B test with my MH1C and my RE0's.

post #146 of 284
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn_low View Post

Fast foward a year later and it seems like Sony has discontinued the XBA-1 to XBA-4 range (relaunched as the XBA-10 to XBA-40 range)...and local store have started discounting the old range. So much so that I'm tempted to pick one up to see if they're any good...especially since I no longer have a high-end IEM since ditching the TF10 and ER4.

 

If the cable on the XBA-x0 range is anything like the MDR-1R cable, it's probably a lot better. The XBA-x cable feels quite flimsy.

 

Definitely see if you can have a listen before buying them; they really aren't for everyone and the resale value on the FS forum here seems quite limited.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhima View Post

This is probably the best headphone comparison review I've ever read. I even bought that Grimes song to do a similar A/B test with my MH1C and my RE0's.

 

Thanks :3 I am glad to get another person onto Grimes hehe. I only found out recently she recorded all her first albums (including Visions) on Garageband! Whodathunkit.


Edited by a_recording - 12/27/12 at 2:49pm
post #147 of 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post

 

If the cable on the XBA-x0 range is anything like the MDR-1R cable, it's probably a lot better. The XBA-x cable feels quite flimsy.

 

Definitely see if you can have a listen before buying them; they really aren't for everyone and the resale value on the FS forum here seems quite limited.

 

 

Good point about resale. That crossed my mind too and I saw a killer deal on Senns IE80s for a little bit more than the XBA-4 so pulled the trigger. When they get here AND if the XBA-4s are still on sale with the 14 day moneyback, I'll pick up a pair and do an A-B.

 

Looking forward to more of your reviews.

post #148 of 284

I'm a little late to this party but I just wanted to say that you provided a brilliant review, a_recording! Not only did you provide a lot of solid and easy to understand information it was also well and entertainingly written. Despite the length it never grew tiresome. Stellar job!

 

I just got the XBA-1ip today. I know it's a bit of a step from the XBA-4 but I thought I'd dip my toe into the XBA pool first and see what I thought and the 1s were available at a good price. I haven't unboxed them yet but am quite curious...

post #149 of 284
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wantmyf1 View Post

I'm a little late to this party but I just wanted to say that you provided a brilliant review, a_recording! Not only did you provide a lot of solid and easy to understand information it was also well and entertainingly written. Despite the length it never grew tiresome. Stellar job!

 

I just got the XBA-1ip today. I know it's a bit of a step from the XBA-4 but I thought I'd dip my toe into the XBA pool first and see what I thought and the 1s were available at a good price. I haven't unboxed them yet but am quite curious...

 

Thanks ^^ Let me know what you think of em. I think the XBA-1 is actually a nice neat little unit, along with the JVC FXD80 it would be my general recommendation to friends who want something decent, comfortable and easily acquired. (Not the wild eyed ORDER FROM THIS OBSCURE CHINESE OEM kind of advice). 

post #150 of 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post

 

Thanks ^^ Let me know what you think of em. I think the XBA-1 is actually a nice neat little unit, along with the JVC FXD80 it would be my general recommendation to friends who want something decent, comfortable and easily acquired. (Not the wild eyed ORDER FROM THIS OBSCURE CHINESE OEM kind of advice). 

 

Well, I listened to them for a few hours today so I thought I'd share a few quick initial impressions. They are a good little unit and probably the best I've heard for the price I got them at ($50). They are the most comfortable IEM I've ever worn and I have the JH13s.

 

Bass- A good quantity but they are not bass heavy. Bassheads need to beware. But I think they render the bass faithfully in terms of what was recorded. I like the amount and quality but I'm one of those who wants to hear what was recorded rendered as accurately as possible. They even eschew the mid bass hump that afflicts the JH13s. It is rolled off though and there's really no sub bass to speak of.

 

Mids- definitely the strength. Voices, guitar strings and piano tones are lush and deep. They are placed front and centre and you get the impression that there's nowhere for a guitar or a singer to hide. The clarity is impressive. If a wrong note is hit you will hear it immediately as not only do they sound great but there's great separation of the song elements as well. No complaints there.

 

Treble- the most disappointing aspect for me. It was definitely rolled off and was easily noticeable. I particularly noticed it on the cymbals. They just didn't shimmer. It was funny that you mentioned the JVCs in your post as I have the JVC FXT90s. I much prefer their treble to the XBA-1s. The XBAs treble lacked the detail present with the FXT90s. The decay was also much quicker than with the FXT90s. Maybe it's not fair comparing a BA to an IEM but that's the only other quality IEM that's in the price range of the XBA. I do like the treble on the XBA. They have great clarity and air between the cymbals and other tones. But it's just a little lacking.

 

Soundstage- I've never been good it hearing much of a soundstage on any headphone. My brain just doesn't seem to process it so I'll offer no opinion.

 

So my conclusion thus far is that I am quite surprised by the XBA-1s. Sony has done an impressive job on an IEM that has only one full range BA. And they are particularly impressive at their current price point. I think you'll find few better or even as good at $50 (CAD). I'm looking forward to taking more time with them and listening to more and varied music with them. I would definitely recommend these to someone on the entry to the audiophile world. Or even a grizzled vet who just wants something different with no risk.

 

And yes, though I have dealt with a few obscure Chinese sites on my search for sound I certainly prefer just driving five minutes to my nearest Futureshop (huge Canadian electronics retailer) and picking up a quality set. As I did with the XBA-1s and the FXT90s.

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