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SONY XBA-4 vs new XBA-40? - Page 3

post #31 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenpunk View Post

I recently purchased the XBA-40 and I have to admit I haven't been so pleasantly surprised  by an iem for quite a while.

Considering how cheaply they can be bought  through Amazon Japan +Tenso those are really remarkable.  I find it very hard to find fault with their SQ but their overall built quality and flimsy cable is another story. They are also quite bulky but THE SOUND...whoaa!

For the record my previous favourite iems are PFE232 and FX700.

 

PS: I use those with my European Sony Walkman Z which has a Zout of 27Ohms and somehow the pairing is just fantastic   confused.gif , even compared to when used with a Fiio E11 and straight from the HO from the MDAC.


I can also confirm that for me the best pairing for the XBA-4 is with a F Walkman, I have removed the foam damper in the nose, the resolution is amazing and for the price I'm very pleased with this IEM, a great sound basshead.gif

post #32 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenpunk View Post

but THE SOUND...whoaa!

 

If you care to expand upon a bit, it'd be great.  wink.gif

post #33 of 115

Meanwhile you can read this good review of the XBA-4, the signature will be similar with improvements for the XBA-40.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/632053/review-sony-xba-1-and-xba-4

post #34 of 115

I have both the XBA-4's and XBA-40's, and the improvement is striking.

Bass is just incredible on the 40's, never in the way, but when needed, such as a club track, boy does it rock.

It sounds as if you are in the club.

 

The highs are excellent, I think slightly lowered a bit from the 4's, but with the same amount of detail.

The mids on both sound the same. 

 

I think the biggest difference to me, is how the 40's handle bass and lower end sounds.

Extension seems to be improved, and the general feel is of full size mid-tier headphones, with excellent resolution, quick drivers, detail, and perfect bass. And sound stage is really big for earphones.

post #35 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlsan View Post

I have both the XBA-4's and XBA-40's, and the improvement is striking.

Bass is just incredible on the 40's, never in the way, but when needed, such as a club track, boy does it rock.

It sounds as if you are in the club.

 

The highs are excellent, I think slightly lowered a bit from the 4's, but with the same amount of detail.

The mids on both sound the same. 

 

I think the biggest difference to me, is how the 40's handle bass and lower end sounds.

Extension seems to be improved, and the general feel is of full size mid-tier headphones, with excellent resolution, quick drivers, detail, and perfect bass. And sound stage is really big for earphones.

 

Interesting, i'm pretty close to purchasing the XBA-40, but am not really a basshead per se. I love bass when needed, but not overbearing when it overpowers the song.

 

Did you happen to try the XBA-3s? I do have some XBA-30s in transit but am very curious about the XBA-40s. Especially with the marked improvements.

post #36 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by canikickit1 View Post

 

Interesting, I'm pretty close to purchasing the XBA-40, but am not really a basshead per se. I love bass when needed, but not overbearing when it overpowers the song.

 

Did you happen to try the XBA-3s? I do have some XBA-30s in transit but am very curious about the XBA-40s. Especially with the marked improvements.

 

To clarify, what I found with the XBA-40's was that the bass really only pumped on music that asked for it. Club music especially just worked really well with these.

When I went back to playing indie, rock, or classical then the bass was controlled.

Kind of interesting with classic 50's/60's jazz, the bass was more upfront on the xba-40's, but then again many Jazz recordings originally mixed the bass up as part of the presentation (with all the players/instruments getting a share of the limelight). At no time, from my listening, did the bass seem to overwhelm the other musical spectrum unless it was obviously intended to do so from the recording. 

 

 

 

I have both the XBA-3's and 30's but not really given much time to the 30's. From my initial listening there wasn't as much of a difference as with the 4/40's.

 

From the initial impressions, the highs on the 30's seemed to be controlled better, and the general sound just has a better presentation. I would pick the 30's over the 3's in a heartbeat. The xba-30's do have bass, just not the magical type found on the 40's  ksc75smile.gif

 

Just my impressions, others may hear differently.  

post #37 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlsan View Post

 

To clarify, what I found with the XBA-40's was that the bass really only pumped on music that asked for it. Club music especially just worked really well with these.

When I went back to playing indie, rock, or classical then the bass was controlled.

Kind of interesting with classic 50's/60's jazz, the bass was more upfront on the xba-40's, but then again many Jazz recordings originally mixed the bass up as part of the presentation (with all the players/instruments getting a share of the limelight). At no time, from my listening, did the bass seem to overwhelm the other musical spectrum unless it was obviously intended to do so from the recording. 

 

 

 

I have both the XBA-3's and 30's but not really given much time to the 30's. From my initial listening there wasn't as much of a difference as with the 4/40's.

 

From the initial impressions, the highs on the 30's seemed to be controlled better, and the general sound just has a better presentation. I would pick the 30's over the 3's in a heartbeat. The xba-30's do have bass, just not the magical type found on the 40's  ksc75smile.gif

 

Just my impressions, others may hear differently.  

Thanks for your input-

 

Would you say the XBA40s are more V-shaped than XBA30s?

post #38 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by canikickit1 View Post

Thanks for your input-

 

Would you say the XBA40s are more V-shaped than XBA30s?

I think the answer is a yes.


Well, pulled out both earphones, and did some a/b'ing, source Cowin Z2 (no effects):

 

Dylan's - Duquesne Whistle  - (folk)

40's - sound natural, no obnoxious thumping or other sign of bass bump, Dylan's nasal sound is perfect, folksy guitar picking is clear. Mids sound clear and obvious. Thump/thump of old style bass is part of the background as expected.

30's - sound natural as well, funny, bass is more upfront on the 30's. 30's do seem to have the better sound stage with this song. They just handle it slightly better.

 

Grimes - Infinite Love Without Fulfillment / Oblivion (club sound- female vocal)

40's - you want to get up and dance, really! Solid bass, pounding away, but Grimes vocals are clear and certainly nothing is lost. No sibilance on Oblivion.

30's - sound has less thump to it, but just as clear. Bass is still there, but takes a bit more of a back seat. This sounds remarkably good on the 30's. Again no sibilance that I can detect.

 

Tame Impala -

It's not meant to be (alternative rock/mid period Beatles type sound)

40's -

Sound starts off nice with the bass right up front, male vocals/guitars come in and are clear with nice sound stage as needed for this type of sound.

30's -

Guitars sound slightly better, vocals a bit more forward.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

With the Samsung Galaxy 3 (Poweramp):

 

Assemblage 23 - Vinyl Sessions (club/techno/IDM):

40's - Again they show their straight with this type of music - bass and bottom end are hard hitting, yet highs are crisp and quick. Vocals are buried in the mix (as what artist intended, from this sort of music)

30's - bottom end is not quite as hard hitting, but there. Vocals a bit more forward in the mix, mids more forward in general.

 

Frankie Rose - Intersteller (Sythpop/club - female vocal)

40s - Again, they just grab you with this sound, clean bass that goes deep and even rumbles when needed.

30's- Funny, the bass sounds just a bit on the sloppy side, but still,  the 30's handle this quite exceptionally. Mids cleaner and more upfront. Have to wonder if the 30's have a slight mid-bass bump.

 

The sound on the 40's is slightly darker than the 30's (as was true with the 3's and 4's), both seem to have the same detail. The 40's seem to suffer from microphonics more, perhaps because of the bigger housing (switched out the eartips to a smaller pair, and that helped some). Achieving a seal on the 30's was also easier because of the smaller earphone body.

 

Device comparison: The 40's sounded better on the Samsung. Output is defiantly different on the two devices, with the Samsung having a fairly strong output, especially for a smartphone.

The 30's sounded good on both devices, so to me anyway, not as source dependent as the 40's.

 

My recommendation, after my a/b'ing of the two, for most people go with the 30's. If you are into club/dance/techno/trance then go for the 40's, they will give you that extra kick.

Indie/rock/classical/jazz fans really should stick to the 30's.

 

The above are just my humble observations, take them all with a grain of salt. wink.gif

I do have to say, both are excellent earphones and compare quite well with earphones in my collection that cost me two to three times the amount I paid for them on Amazon japan.

 

Hope this helps.

post #39 of 115

thanks for the feedback Carlsan! I think I will give xba 30s a try. Do they have good sub bass? I see that you also have SM3s which I also had. Can you maybe compare them from lows to highs?

post #40 of 115
Xba3s have great subbass, which according sources, are better refined with the xba30s
post #41 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by aras View Post

thanks for the feedback Carlsan! I think I will give xba 30s a try. Do they have good sub bass? I see that you also have SM3s which I also had. Can you maybe compare them from lows to highs?

 



Haven't used them in awhile, I'll see if I can dig them out and compare.

Really have to say that a/b comparisons are the way to go, my memory was slightly different from what I was hearing.

 

I have a few other sources that I can use for comparison may give it a shot when I have some time.

post #42 of 115

The XBA-30s have great sub bass. They are loud and clear at 20 Hz. No distortion at all. Actually these are the first BAs that surprised me with their lows and how much air they move. The highs have amazing extension too. I can hear these at 18 KHz.

post #43 of 115

is cable still different between ip and standard model?


Edited by aras - 2/21/13 at 10:44pm
post #44 of 115

Excellent a/b comparison Carlsan! Thanks for taking the time.

post #45 of 115

Well, as I thought, the the XBA-40 responds MUCH BETTER, amazingly so, coming out of an amped source. Results are much improved for the xba-40 with the Objective 2 (to audioengine 2 to work computer via USB).

 

With the extra power, the xba-40 just shines with deep and extensive bass, clear mids, and sparkly highs.  Listening to Metric, dancy synthpop with a female vocalist, the music sounds as if its coming out of a good pair of full size headphones.

 

Compared to XBA-4 - bass extension and punch is just not at the same level. Mids are more pronounced, but the sonic spectrum seems to be missing the extra punch that this music deserves.

Compared to the XBA-30, the XBA-30 actually handles it this song better than the XBA-4. it has the extra punch that's needed at the bottom end but it does not compare to what I am hearing with the xba-40. This is my initial experience with these when I plugged them into my Burson Soloist at home. 

 

 

 

Guitar music:

Ty Segall Band - Slaughterhouse album: Death (Rock/psychedelia/metal) - song Death 

 

XBA- 30's- guitar feedback - sounds fine to me - Jimi Hendrix would be proud. Bass coming in (reminds me of the Doors for one split second) - punchy and appropriate, - faster speed of guitar work - everything sounds good - xba's keep up with the speed, vocals can be heard, mids sound good, Guitar solo is clear and crisp without any ear hurting decibels. Foot tapping song all around (and his is not my usual cup of tea for music - what I do for you guys!)

 

back to the 40"s

Feedback sounds deeper - more sonic extensions - like a live sound standing behind the mixing board.  Bass comes in but not overbearing - similar to above, vocals come in and sound just right in the mix, guitar speed is good, guitar sound is actually quite good. Guitar solo sounds like the 30's above, I think they both handle the highs in same way when amp'd.  Wow, excellent reproduction.

 

 

and finally the 4's 

Guitar feedback is closer to the sound of the 30's - still not bad at all. Song is handled good but not to the same sonic fullness of the 30's or 40's. All the parts are there, and sound good, but it's missing the wow factor of the 40's and the range of the 30's. Mids slightly further back, sound a bit more flat.  

 

This has to be it for now, have to get back to work....

 

New recommendation: amp that XBA-40, and sit back and enjoy!


Edited by Carlsan - 2/22/13 at 7:39am
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