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[ REVIEW / COMPARISON ] Two Flagships Pass in the Night: Sony XBA-4 Review VS the MDR-EX1000... - Page 16

post #226 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post

Today I had a chance to listen to the XBA-40 compared to the Westone 4R. They were actually quite comparable; both somewhat dark sounding earphones.

 

The XBA-40 was still a little bassier with the highs more rolled off compared to the 4R. The 4R sounded a bit more lively and balanced to my ears. In terms of actual soundstaging and detail retrieval though they were on par. This is great because it's a comparison I've been wanting to make for some time...

 

I own the XBA-4, and I really like them. But I'm wondering if they are at the same level than other earphones such as the SM3 or the Westone 4. 

 

First, what are the major differences between the XBA-4 and the XBA-40 ? Do they both offer the same amount of details ? Should I buy the XBA-40 instead of keeping the XBA-4 ?

 

Here, you seem to say that the xba-40 are comparable to the W4... But in what way ? Do they have the same amount of details, I mean, are they technically at the same level ?

 

And I have a last question : I'm going to buy the iPod classic, because my current Cowon J3's storage is full. The iPod Classic has an output impedance of 5 Ohms, and the XBA-4 have a 8 Ohms impedance. Is it a problem ?

 

Thanks :)

post #227 of 285
Thread Starter 

In the third post of this review I compare the XBA-4 and 40. I don't really think the 40 offers any more detail then the 4 - in fact the 40 probably offers less immediate detail because of the smoothing over of that treble peak.

 

I think the W4R and XBA-40 sounded technically on the same level, though the 4R sounded more musical with more treble energy; the 40 sounds diffuse and rolled off in comparison.

 

I'm not sure the classic and the XBA-4 would be a great combo but wouldn't really know without firsthand experience...

post #228 of 285

I just read the first pages of this thread and I just noticed the people saying the XBA-4 sound horrible with sony players. I don't know about your version, but the version sold in latin america has a sticker on the right side of the box that reads: "Can't be used with the following products: "WALMAN" Series NWZ-B160/160F....." and so on with a list of 13 others sony players from 3 different series. Haha, I guess they know about this issue. 

post #229 of 285

According to what I've read, the XBA-4 seem to react very differently from one music player to another. 

Some people say it sounds great with sony walkmans, whereas they have a high output impedance...

 

I also own an iPod nano 5G, and, though it has an output impedance of 5 Ohms, it sounds great. The sound is, though, not the same as with the J3, but it's not bad at all.

 

I don't know what is the output impedance of the MacBook Air I own, but, in comparison, the sound is much more dynamic with much more bass. 

So, I'm not really sure that the output impedance is a real problem, it's just that the XBA-4 sound very differently with each music player...

post #230 of 285
just got the xba-4ip from b&h for 99$ wow! i got comply t-200 foams and cut 1-mm of foam from the tip and removed the foam out of the iem tube and just wow. more texture all around the spectrum. i used the oem sony tips to measure against how much longer the comply foams were and made them the same length and shape overall.
post #231 of 285

damn, I missed that deal. :(

Reply
post #232 of 285

I'm enjoying the XBA-40 as I type this.  It's no match against the EX1000 in terms of resolution and finesse.  


Edited by HiFiGuy528 - 4/26/13 at 10:24pm
Reply
post #233 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiGuy528 View Post

I'm enjoying the XBA-40 as I type this.  It's no match against the EX1000 in terms of resolution and finesse.  
Could be the source. There really picky iems they sound not so special out of my e17 but sound beautiful out of my Sony a865
post #234 of 285

For me their pair very well with the Note 2 due to the low impedance of the headphone output, try also to remove the foam dampers in the tube, this can increase resolution also.

post #235 of 285
Thread Starter 

I would imagine removing the foam dampers would just make the XBA-4's metallic tone reappear with a vengeance. I kind of feel like the EX1000 has the edge in crystalline clarity but in complex passages the XBA-4's armatures are able to layer better / more coherently. Hence why I like the EX1000 / 7550 for more acoustic music and the XBA-40 for more studio / synthetic tracks.

post #236 of 285

Moving from EX1000 to XBA40, I first also found that the XBA40 has been too picky with sources like other headfiers have reported.

After 2 weeks using it I was about to offload the 40s but decided to test it one last time with "audionewbi"’s C5.

Having experiments with different tips for EX1000 before, I know XBA-40 should also sound differently with different tips and luckily I found the best tips that make 40s as good as EX1000, it is from Head direct stocks( the black bi flange pair).

Then when amped with C5 (and home made silver LOD / HM602), everything is magical, the mid is vey pleasant, the high is sweet, they are both pushed back with the low is still well controlled. The whole presentation is like being in a big studio and standing about 10 metres away, clear and layering sound nuances/instruments.

Strange things that having headdirect bi flange tips on XBA-30, make it sound worst! somethings is to do with tip materials that affect the phone sound waves/pressure.

post #237 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post

I would imagine removing the foam dampers would just make the XBA-4's metallic tone reappear with a vengeance. I kind of feel like the EX1000 has the edge in crystalline clarity but in complex passages the XBA-4's armatures are able to layer better / more coherently. Hence why I like the EX1000 / 7550 for more acoustic music and the XBA-40 for more studio / synthetic tracks.


lol I listen a lot of progressive Metal and Rock (Tools,Opeth,Jelly Jam ...) maybe is the reason that I have not noticed the metallic tone with a vengeance :)

 

Why not give a try on your XBA-4 and put back the foam if the metallic tone is more present ?

post #238 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaigonGrandFunk View Post

Moving from EX1000 to XBA40, I first also found that the XBA40 has been too picky with sources like other headfiers have reported.

After 2 weeks using it I was about to offload the 40s but decided to test it one last time with "audionewbi"’s C5.

Having experiments with different tips for EX1000 before, I know XBA-40 should also sound differently with different tips and luckily I found the best tips that make 40s as good as EX1000, it is from Head direct stocks( the black bi flange pair).

Then when amped with C5 (and home made silver LOD / HM602), everything is magical, the mid is vey pleasant, the high is sweet, they are both pushed back with the low is still well controlled. The whole presentation is like being in a big studio and standing about 10 metres away, clear and layering sound nuances/instruments.

Strange things that having headdirect bi flange tips on XBA-30, make it sound worst! somethings is to do with tip materials that affect the phone sound waves/pressure.

 

Is this the link to the tips you're referring to...? I was wondering which tips to get in order to improve the fit and sound of the XBA40....

 

https://head-direct.com/Products/?act=detail&id=144

 

btw i've had the XBA30 and XBA40 for a few days now and will be posting some impressions soon with my limited knowledge on how to describe what I can hear....will soon be able to compare their sound with the C&C BH and E11

 

It's interesting you found a very good synergy with the C5 which I have been contemplating for a while.... would be good to know how it compares to the E11 if the latter is available to you

post #239 of 285
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ETYMOTIC-ER4P-TO-ER4S-RESISTOR-ADAPTOR-3-5MM-PLUG-/290372905689?pt=US_MP3_Player_Cables_Adapters&hash=item439b92ead9
does anyone know if this will help the xba-4? convert to 16ohm, 32ohm?
which would be better for the e17?
post #240 of 285

The headdirect pic is not quite clear I could be wrong, I took the pic of my tips here, from memory it could be from REZero/RE0 stocks:

 

It is best that you test with this tips first to see any improvements before getting the C5, I have also tested XBA40 with other silicon tips http://www.head-fi.org/t/653564/review-xba-3-vs-xba-30-vs-xba-40/120#post_9330756
 

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