Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › [ REVIEW / COMPARISON ] Two Flagships Pass in the Night: Sony XBA-4 Review VS the MDR-EX1000 [Updated with 7550 and XBA-40!]
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

[ REVIEW / COMPARISON ] Two Flagships Pass in the Night: Sony XBA-4 Review VS the MDR-EX1000... - Page 6

post #76 of 286
Thread Starter 

I believe the armatures are made in Japan and the rest is made / assembled in Thailand, like a lot of what Sony makes nowadays (lenses, cameras, headphones, etc)

post #77 of 286

a_recording, nice review. The XBA-4 is much better than some people give it credit for. I think in some people's minds it was going to be the BA-version of the EX1000, but the two sound signatures are nothing alike (and I don't believe they were meant to be anything alike). When you have preconceived notions in your mind, usually you're setting yourself up for a letdown. I don't listen to the XBA-4 much because I enjoy other IEMs more (i.e. my ASG-1.2, W4, 1964-Q, CKM500, and not AF56 by Audiofly). But when I do pop the XBA-4 in it's always enjoyable to my ears. Again, nice detailed job.

post #78 of 286

Wanted to chime in with some thoughts on the XBA-4s that I purchased about a month ago.  When I first received these headphones I was pleased by the "punchiness" of the sound but wasn't immediately blown away.  I too noticed the "metallic shimmer", particularly on any songs with horns and certain female vocals (strangely enough, Taylor Swift's vocals seemed to be particularly impacted, but I digress). 

 

I am not usually one to fiddle with equalization of my sound (more out of laziness than any other reason) but on a hunch, I paired these buds with an old Caffeine amp that I had laying around, with the bass boost turned on.  I was immediately blown away by the sound - with the woofers fully engaged, the XBA-4s took on a whole new character and their fun factor immediately went through the roof.  I was able to duplicate the effect with a mild bass boost using software equalization on my player. 

 

The earphones respond very well to a low-end bass boost and the sound became noticeably fuller as the XBA-4s are capable of delivering both a very satisfying low-end and still retain clarity in the mid-range and the high-end.  Interestingly, with the bass boost, I have also noticed less of the "metallic shimmer".  I am not sure if it is being masked by the bass or if there is some kind of interplay between the frequencies, but suffice to say, I am now a very happy camper with these buds.

 

Something to try for those of you that are auditioning these buds or already have them, to see if a bass boost results in a sound signature that suits your preferences!

post #79 of 286
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markt1600 View Post

Wanted to chime in with some thoughts on the XBA-4s that I purchased about a month ago.  When I first received these headphones I was pleased by the "punchiness" of the sound but wasn't immediately blown away.  I too noticed the "metallic shimmer", particularly on any songs with horns and certain female vocals (strangely enough, Taylor Swift's vocals seemed to be particularly impacted, but I digress). 

 

I am not usually one to fiddle with equalization of my sound (more out of laziness than any other reason) but on a hunch, I paired these buds with an old Caffeine amp that I had laying around, with the bass boost turned on.  I was immediately blown away by the sound - with the woofers fully engaged, the XBA-4s took on a whole new character and their fun factor immediately went through the roof.  I was able to duplicate the effect with a mild bass boost using software equalization on my player. 

 

The earphones respond very well to a low-end bass boost and the sound became noticeably fuller as the XBA-4s are capable of delivering both a very satisfying low-end and still retain clarity in the mid-range and the high-end.  Interestingly, with the bass boost, I have also noticed less of the "metallic shimmer".  I am not sure if it is being masked by the bass or if there is some kind of interplay between the frequencies, but suffice to say, I am now a very happy camper with these buds.

 

Something to try for those of you that are auditioning these buds or already have them, to see if a bass boost results in a sound signature that suits your preferences!

 

Interesting observations! I would have thought the last thing the XBA-4 needed was a bass boost in fact. I'm curious, what source player are you using?

post #80 of 286

My player right now is an android phone (HTC Sensation XE) running PowerAmp.  I was surprised as well given the bass heavy nature of the XBA-4s but I've found the mild bass boost significantly tightened up the bass and gave it that extra kick that seemed to be missing with neutral equalization.  Maybe the woofers needed a little more signal to perform at their best?

 

To each his own though but as a point of reference, I'm usually a fan of a somewhat warmer sound signature.  Other headphones that I use regularly are custom molded TF-10s and B&W P5s but these XBA-4s are my current favorites and my go to buds for walking around and for traveling.

post #81 of 286

BTW, thanks for the excellent review a_recording, it was a primary factor in my decision to initially purchase the XBA-4s in the first place!

post #82 of 286
Absolutely fantastic review. It was worth every word. Looking forward to future reviews!
post #83 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by maia View Post

Does anyone know where these XBA buds are made (suposing all the versions are made in the same place)?

Sorry if this has been answered but couldn't find it in this thread.


MIne is made is Malaysia.

post #84 of 286
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vwinter View Post

Absolutely fantastic review. It was worth every word. Looking forward to future reviews!

 

Thanks! If I do do another review, it probably won't be as interesting just because so much of this one was spent on the quirks of these two pretty unique IEM's haha. But next up would probably be the JVC FXD80 when that arrives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by microsound View Post

MIne is made is Malaysia.

 

Wow! Thats interesting, two manufacturing origins? Maybe they switched after the Thailand flooding hmm..

post #85 of 286
Thread Starter 

Whoops, it turns out that this whole time there has been a graph available of the XBA-4's impedance, which Tomscy2000 posted on page 2. I updated Post #2 with this graph and some comments, which you can find at the bottom of the post. Very silly of me. Work in progress indeed.

 

As a general statement, the XBA-4 has less of an impedance swing than the XBA-3. In the absence of FR response measurements against different amplifier output impedances, I'm hesitant to say what this means in regards to the sound, as the XBA-4's overall impedance is lower anyway. If anyone else has a comment I'd be interested :)

post #86 of 286

great review !

post #87 of 286

Just got around to reading this review, and enjoyed it greatly. My compliments on your writing skill. Hadn't been interested in these before, but now...maybe. Thanks again.

post #88 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by 45longcolt View Post

Just got around to reading this review, and enjoyed it greatly. My compliments on your writing skill. Hadn't been interested in these before, but now...maybe. Thanks again.

I have to agree, I also though it was a great review.

 

I've always had a soft spot for Sony and it was great to read what the OP had to say about these 2 latest offerings. 

post #89 of 286

Hi guys, I'm considering XBA4 to pair with my iphone 4s and ipod touch. How is it compare to DBA2?

post #90 of 286

.. Edited ..


Edited by H20Fidelity - 6/22/12 at 9:34pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › [ REVIEW / COMPARISON ] Two Flagships Pass in the Night: Sony XBA-4 Review VS the MDR-EX1000 [Updated with 7550 and XBA-40!]