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Sony EX300's fell apart, MDR-EX600 vs MDR-7550 vs XBA-4?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello there!
About exactly two years ago I bought a pair of MDR-EX300's to replace my MDR-EX082's I got with my Walkman A series. I really liked those (especially the shape), but unfortunately they're impossible to find as most of them are fakes. So I got a pair of MDR-EX300's and I got to like them too, except in a way I felt like they didn't sound very spacious. I'm into sound quality but seeing as I haven't heard many earbuds before I also don't have much material to compare them with. My source is either my laptop or my Sony Walkman X, and in rare cases my phone. The music I listen to is mostly jazzy stuff with a lot of female vocals. Portishead, Ella Fitzgerald, Björk and other things along those lines.
The difficulties I'm having right now with choosing a new pair is mainly the country I live in. The amount of proper stores in Belgium is extremely small, causing me to only have a very limited range to choose from. I also don't have a credit card so can't order anything and have it shipped here from other countries.
What I have been considering:
Sony's EX310 (€41), EX500 (€80) or EX510 (€110)
BeyerDynamic (don't know which ones)
Sennheiser (again don't know which ones)
Shure (...)
Klipsch (...)
and some other brands.
I'm seriously lost. Usually I'm a Sony fan, and I like their products, but I don't want to lose out on sound quality either. I've had a look at Sony's new balanced armature IEM's, but I'm not really liking what I'm reading on them so far... Right now for some reason I do tend to lean towards the EX500, but I think that's more because they look better than anything else than an actual proper reasonable preference.
To have an idea of what I can get, you can find everything here: http://www.hoofdtelefoonstore.be/category/7421/oordopjes.html (use the brand selection things on the left). Most of those on that site and BeyerDynamic's from this site: http://www.redcoon.be/index.php/cmd/shop/a/ProductList/cid/68004/?searchCategory=&order=ctl_available&brand=142&price=all - aside those two retailers I couldn't really find any other store that offers anything but Beats or Skullcandy or other crap like that.
Any ideas? My budget can stretch quite a bit, up to a maximum of €250, but I don't want to do extreme things either considering I was always quite happy with my EX082 and EX300.
Thanks a lot!
- Ambroos
Update: see a few posts lower

Edited by Ambroos - 7/19/12 at 5:47pm
post #2 of 12

The JVC FXD80, GR07, UE TF10Pro, Sony EX600 are great buy under this price range.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hm. The only ones I can find in any store that ships to Belgium are the Ultimate Ears, but from the reviews I see they have a bit of a cold sound signature, and this scares me a little. The Sony EX600's are also an option, but someone said they sound like you're standing in a long hallway instead of in front of a wide orchestra. Any opinions on that?

post #4 of 12

The Beyerdynamics I have in my signature are really good quality and a nice sound, I find. Definitely a step up from EX300s.


I'd say they sound 90% upwards as good as my ie8s.






Edited by Dreamnine - 7/19/12 at 11:08am
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot for all the information. After quite a lot of reading, thinking and almost crying because I absolutely suck at making decisions I think I decided to spend a little more.


Now, I've managed to find the Sony MDR-7550's somewhere for €229 from a very reputable store. EX600's would cost me about exactly as much. Now I was wondering if the 7550's are worth the loss of the noise cancelling foam-filled tips over the EX600. In terms of sound quality I read the 7550 has amazing mids but most of the other things people are saying when comparing the two are meaningless to me. And then there's the XBA-4 that seems to be nice in some ways and not nice in others, but it's slightly more expensive at €250. I can't figure it out.


Is anyone able to provide me with a bit more information of how these two would differ from eachother in real-world usage? Are the standard S/M/L hybrid tips included with the 7550 enough or are the foam-filled tips from the EX600 much better? Or should I go with the newer XBA-4?


Thanks again!


Edited by Ambroos - 7/19/12 at 5:48pm
post #6 of 12
Originally Posted by Ambroos View Post



If you want vocals, the Hifiman RE262 will impress the hell out of you.

post #7 of 12
The foam tips only isolate slightly better -- don't let that influence your decision. The EX600 has a very wide stage and excellent vocal timbre, right up there with the flagship EX1000.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for that. How would you then compare the EX600 to the 7550? As far as I understand the 7550 is warmer, less sharp on highs but has a less wide soundstage. But the cable is less comfortable.


Grah, it's hard. I suppose everything is an upgrade to the EX300's, but since I don't have the money to buy things, try them out and sell them again I really want to make the right decision :P

post #9 of 12

The EX7550 are big step above the EX300 in term of soundquality with more detailed mids, crisp highs and balanced deep bass. If EX7550 compared to EX600 then EX7550 are better sounding with better imaging, more detailed mids and nice tight punchy bass. BTW what type of soundsignature you like(warm, balaced neutral, color airy or cold) and GR07 has balanced soundsignature with tight punchy bass, overall it´s little warm and offers fairly wide soundstage. The built quality , accessories, cable are also great under this price range. So i will highly recommend the GR07, EX7550 and if you want warm colored soundsignature then Klipsch Image X10 are also recommended.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Well I'm not really sure what exactly I like, I don't have much experience at all, probably because of my limited student budget. I quite like what I get from the EX300, and wonder what "better" will sound like because to be honest it gives me the best sound I ever heard.


I've looked into the VSonic GR07's, but they are impossible to find. I don't have a credit card which makes it extremely hard to import stuff from other countries. While it's a shame on one side it made my choice for the 7550's easier (I didn't even know they existed before yesterday, I had never ever heard of them). I found a very reputable store that has them for €229 (which is about half of the price of the EX1000) including extended warranty, which puts me at 3 years of warranty. I made the jump and ordered them!

post #11 of 12

I have the GR07s and they are great, you won't be disappointed. They are well balanced, with nice bass (not too much), and just overall very balanced. However I am already looking at the MDR-7550 for an improvement.. xD. I'll visit a store tmrw with the MDR-7550, and I can tell you my initial thoughts about them. I live in Hong Kong, which is like the capital of IEMs and headphones, so I'll have a wide range of IEMs to compare them with.

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply!


My 7550's arrived yesterday and I did some listening to it, my experiences can be found in this and my following post in the same topic: http://www.head-fi.org/t/559335/quick-impression-sony-mdr-7550/270#post_8554892


Thanks to everyone for the help!

- Ambroos

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