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[ REVIEW / COMPARISON ] Two Flagships Pass in the Night: Sony XBA-4 Review VS the MDR-EX1000... - Page 2

post #16 of 286

When I had a quick listen to the EX1000 it sounded like a perfectly flat and boring IEM to me, luckily with no sibilances.

I totally agree with your review on the XBA4 though, and I have to say: don't pair them up with Sony's own players, the treble gets worse.

post #17 of 286
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xymordos View Post

When I had a quick listen to the EX1000 it sounded like a perfectly flat and boring IEM to me, luckily with no sibilances.

I totally agree with your review on the XBA4 though, and I have to say: don't pair them up with Sony's own players, the treble gets worse.

 

It seems strange to me that the pairing would be bad. It make me wonder what their target device was?


I suspect given the iPhone headset version that they were in fact targeting the iP4, or the other new generation Apple devices with headphone impedances less than 1 ohm.

 

Again though, I would suggest the foam hybrids. :)

post #18 of 286

A+

 

I had a good listen to the EX1000s today in-store using my DX100. You've explained the issues with it and the XBA series very well. I have the XBA3s. They are first universal IEMs I've purchased after audition, the reason being they are the only ones I've heard that did a good job reproducing instruments in a way that seems natural and didn't have nasty, piercing highs or some other major faults. The in-store demos had large tips on where I usually use small tips (my ears are weird), so the thought that the highs might be tamed considerably with smaller tips almost tempts me to consider a pair. However if I buy IEMs again, it will be customs I think.

post #19 of 286
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

A+

 

I had a good listen to the EX1000s today in-store using my DX100. You've explained the issues with it and the XBA series very well. I have the XBA3s. They are first universal IEMs I've purchased after audition, the reason being they are the only ones I've heard that did a good job reproducing instruments in a way that seems natural and didn't have nasty, piercing highs or some other major faults. The in-store demos had large tips on where I usually use small tips (my ears are weird), so the thought that the highs might be tamed considerably with smaller tips almost tempts me to consider a pair. However if I buy IEMs again, it will be customs I think.

 

Thanks Currawong! It's nice to see our resident Aussie expat give his opinion. Do you have any idea if the XBA series is doing well in the Japanese domestic market?

 

Also, I'm wondering by those comments if you tried the 4 and why you chose the 3 in the end?

post #20 of 286

In case anyone is interested.  The two cables for the EX-1000 Japan version part numbers and US cost.

 

 

PN: 183854511 CONNECTION CORD WITH PLUG  è RK-EX1000LP
                List price $150.93
 
PN: 183855211 CONNECTION CORD WITH PLUG è RK-EX1000SP
                List price $141.77
Reply
post #21 of 286

Wow!

 

Truly an excellent review.

 

Not only am I more interested in the EX-1000, but also the XBA4's.

 

My wallet does not thank you.  wink_face.gif

post #22 of 286

Thank you for the excellent write up. I love the EX1000's, for office use they fit the bill superbly. I have a strong dislike for DSP so I'll probably avoid the XB-4's.

 

KP

post #23 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post

 

It seems strange to me that the pairing would be bad. It make me wonder what their target device was?


I suspect given the iPhone headset version that they were in fact targeting the iP4, or the other new generation Apple devices with headphone impedances less than 1 ohm.

 

Again though, I would suggest the foam hybrids. :)

I certainly don't think that they're tuned for Sony's own mp3 players! XBA4 have hot treble, and the A series mp3 players also has a high mid/ treble leaning sound. Not a good pair. Some people may like it, but the sibilance for me was unbearable.

post #24 of 286

Finally found the time to cope with your wall of words and it was well worth the effort, so thanks for an excellent review that offers ample background information, profound technical knowledge and detailed listening impressions.

 

I also liked your level-headed conclusion, and though the XBA's metallic treble makes them a no-go for me, I can definitely see where you're coming from. smile_phones.gif

post #25 of 286
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

Finally found the time to cope with your wall of words and it was well worth the effort, so thanks for an excellent review that offers ample background information, profound technical knowledge and detailed listening impressions.

 

I also liked your level-headed conclusion, and though the XBA's metallic treble makes them a no-go for me, I can definitely see where you're coming from. smile_phones.gif

 

Honestly the metallic nature is just a tinge, but yes its fairly noticeable in some situations.

 

I honestly didn't mean to set out to write so much, but one thing led to another. Actually, it was a relief when at the end of the sound impressions, I decided not to write any specific A/B track comparisons except the two at the end. 

 

I would be really curious to see more measurements, like the XBA-3 measurements, done with different source impedances. It's always bugged me when people say "x and y need an amp" or "x is easy to drive" when the only two figures people are using are published impedance and sensitivity and perhaps filling in the rest with their minds when they listen. I know this rule works well enough for dynamic drivers since impedance stays relatively constant across frequency, but for BA's it doesn't seem to tell half the story.

 

I am even more curious as to how hybrid dynamic / BA's fare with impedance and different output impedances!

post #26 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

A+

 

I had a good listen to the EX1000s today in-store using my DX100. You've explained the issues with it and the XBA series very well. I have the XBA3s. They are first universal IEMs I've purchased after audition, the reason being they are the only ones I've heard that did a good job reproducing instruments in a way that seems natural and didn't have nasty, piercing highs or some other major faults. The in-store demos had large tips on where I usually use small tips (my ears are weird), so the thought that the highs might be tamed considerably with smaller tips almost tempts me to consider a pair. However if I buy IEMs again, it will be customs I think.

 

Thanks Currawong! It's nice to see our resident Aussie expat give his opinion. Do you have any idea if the XBA series is doing well in the Japanese domestic market?

 

Also, I'm wondering by those comments if you tried the 4 and why you chose the 3 in the end?

 

Hard to say how well they are doing. In Japan, the market here is so big that it's hard for something not to sell at least reasonably well, given enough marketing. The XBAs seem to work well with the iPhone, which is popular. My reason for choosing the XBA3s was partly size and partly I couldn't hear any benefit to having toe 4s for most of the music I listen to. It was interesting to read your write-up because you've found the source of the problem with the treble (the impedance), which is what I had guessed to be the cause.

post #27 of 286

For those people more used to Sonove's graphs, here are the results for the XBA-1/3/4 vs. ER4P:

 

AgJ94jSCAAA9DTO.gif:large

AgN1i4iCIAAx-VG.gif:large

AgS2lSzCIAEvWk5.gif:large

post #28 of 286
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post

For those people more used to Sonove's graphs, here are the results for the XBA-1/3/4 vs. ER4P:

 

That's interesting! I can't seem to find those graphs on the Sonove website. Do you have the link so I could see the XBA-4 frequency response graph?

post #29 of 286

Really enjoyed reading your well thought out review, a_rec. You did a great job describing these two, and I especially commend you on the XBA-4, which is a pretty tricky little bugger to narrow down sonically.

 

Have to disagree with Xymordos' post saying the XBA-4 doesn't pair well with Sony's players, however. I personally think the XBA-4 sounds good paired with the A865 Walkman. Would love to try it on the Z-series.

post #30 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post  That's interesting! I can't seem to find those graphs on the Sonove website. Do you have the link so I could see the XBA-4 frequency response graph?

 

They're only on his Twitter... I had to do a bit of stalking to get to these graphs, heh

 

Here it is though: http://twitter.com/#!/sonove_dame/status/145536701903798272/photo/1/large

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