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XBA-C10: Sony's Colorful, Low-Priced BA

post #1 of 76
Thread Starter 
On January 18, Sony announced a new entry-level balanced armature earphone, the XBA-C10. At first glance, the XBA-C10 seems to be based on the XBA-10, but comes with fewer accessories as it's missing the foam-stuffed isolation ear tips, as well as the carrying pouch, and doesn't use the more expensive model's PCOCC cable. It does however come in an assortment of colors and uses a new housing that utilizes Sony's "Delta-shaped Fit Assist Mechanism," which appears to be their take on Audio-Technica's Loop Support System. Best of all, the new XBA-C10 comes in at a very affordable price: it will have an MSRP of ¥4935 (~$55 US) when it goes on sale in Japan on February 10.

60ea7763_XBA-C10.jpeg
The XBA-C10 will come in four colors: black, white, red, and green.

676bc918_XBA-C10G.jpeg
Another look at the XBA-C10 in green.

ソニー、4,935円のアーマチュア型イヤフォン -AV Watch

XBA-C10 | ヘッドホン | ソニー
post #2 of 76
Nice looking smily_headphones1.gif
post #3 of 76

I was going to say that they look like they could fit two drivers in that housing...

I think they can and wouldn't be surprised to see a dual driver version as well.

 

Interesting that they don't want to use drivers that have a attached tube but just a hole...

...so I don't find it hard to think this is part of the reason the XBA-2 wasn't very good and that they would have a challenge making a dual XBA-C. Must say for the three years or whatever Sony spent working on making their BA drivers, they seem to have spent more time making them and not so much time spent making them work together well. But it seems they are correcting in the new ones and hopefully this series as well.


Edited by jant71 - 1/18/13 at 10:09am
post #4 of 76
Thread Starter 
I'm kind of surprised they're making this model at all. I mean, the XBA-10 is already sold at Amazon Japan for only ¥5000 or so. How much cheaper can these end up being? ¥3200? Is Sony merely producing this model to produce more of their balanced armatures in order to lower costs further?

EDIT:
Apparently Sony's rationale behind the tubeless design is that they claim it prevents reverberation in the air duct, thus allowing for a wider frequency response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sony View Post

ソニーのバランスド・アーマチュア・ドライバーユニットの特長

従来のBAドライバーユニットで採用されていた狭いパイプ状のエアーダクト構造ではなく、独自開発のフラット形状のエアーダクト構造を採用しました。これにより、振動板から鼓膜までの広い音道を確保でき、ダクト内の共振が取り除かれることで、周波数帯域が広がり、広帯域に伸びのある音楽再生が可能になりました。

Edited by kjk1281 - 1/19/13 at 7:07am
post #5 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjk1281 View Post

I'm kind of surprised they're making this model at all. I mean, the XBA-10 is already sold at Amazon Japan for only 5000 ¥or so. How much cheaper can these end up being? ¥3200? Is Sony merely producing this model to produce more of their balanced armatures in order to lower costs further?

EDIT:
Apparently Sony's rationale behind the tubeless design is that they claim it prevents reverberation in the air duct, thus allowing for a wider frequency response.

 

XBA-10 is 4632 yen at the moment, I wont be surprised if the C10 will get as cheap as about 2700 yen on release day

post #6 of 76

It's just amazing how Sony comes out with all these "UNIQUE" designs and yet provide one of the best IEMs for dance music. I wish I could just buy all the Sony IEMs and stack them on my desk.

post #7 of 76

Here we go Amazon.jp

 

¥ 3,980

post #8 of 76
BIG FAN of Sony, but I'm not interesting in XBA
post #9 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakkal View Post

Here we go Amazon.jp

 

¥ 3,980


That's a little close too the XBA-1, would grab a pair if they drop closer to ¥3000.

post #10 of 76

OMG! I had a dream about these a few months ago!!! LOL Deja vu!!! 

 

Back to subject, The design looks attractive and  looks like it's suitable for sports ksc75smile.gif Looking forward for reviews on these! popcorn.gif

post #11 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by jant71 View Post

I was going to say that they look like they could fit two drivers in that housing...

 

I think they can and wouldn't be surprised to see a dual driver version as well.

 

Interesting that they don't want to use drivers that have a attached tube but just a hole...

...so I don't find it hard to think this is part of the reason the XBA-2 wasn't very good and that they would have a challenge making a dual XBA-C. Must say for the three years or whatever Sony spent working on making their BA drivers, they seem to have spent more time making them and not so much time spent making them work together well. But it seems they are correcting in the new ones and hopefully this series as well.

 

 

We have seen side-firing BA from UE600 before, so it isn't that big of a surprise.

 

Sony re-tuned the whole XBA-x series to the new XBA-x0 series and so far seem to get the better of it. I only have the XBA-10 and XBA-1 to compare but XBA-10 definitely has much better balance as far as frequency distribution goes.

post #12 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

 

 

We have seen side-firing BA from UE600 before, so it isn't that big of a surprise.

 

Sony re-tuned the whole XBA-x series to the new XBA-x0 series and so far seem to get the better of it. I only have the XBA-10 and XBA-1 to compare but XBA-10 definitely has much better balance as far as frequency distribution goes.

 

Actually, kjk1281 said they seemed to be talking of widening the F.R. not flattening/balancing the distribution of it. So, if true, the XBA-1 was more known for being rolled off, even if balanced, and seemed to have fallen short of widening the overall F.R. vs. other makers current armatures. And I was talking about having just a opening/port vs. an attached tube not the placement. I'm familiar with the UE, btw...http://www.head-fi.org/t/348371/new-and-improved-ultimate-ears-super-fi-5-v2-0-huge-sound-in-a-tiny-package#post_4538999

 

On that note though, IMO, Sony fell short there regardless of the reverb/widening the response argument. They have a triple driver with two armatures facing upward and one down and they have to keep them spaced apart so they can't stack them and make better use of space. Three years of design I would think they could come up with top firing and side firing designs. Maybe have side firing on top and bottom and top firing in the center of your XBA-3 and it can be thinner. I am a Sony fan and have two Sony sources and two Sony Headphones currently but their effort in armatures thus far has been a bit disappointing even though they are fixing things in the XBA-XX. 


Edited by jant71 - 1/20/13 at 8:47am
post #13 of 76

Not really sure what you are referring to about the widening / flattening. I don't remember reading much about the new XBA series about the change they made. In fact, Sony is being quite low key on the change from old to new XBA and almost never promote the new series as they did with old series. In any case, I A/Bed the two and what is there on the XBA-1 is still on the XBA-10, but XBA-10 sounds less dampened acoustically. It is similar to that of grey vs. black filter on the PFE112, but on a smaller scale. This seems to consistent to the few impressions about XBA-4 vs. XBA-40 I have read over at Chinese forum as well. Might have to listen to a XBA-40 myself to confirm it though.

post #14 of 76

Not referring to any changes as what Ken and I brought up was before any changes and what I linked to is based on Sony's reasoning of their original design. The Sony design was no tube sticking out. Just a hole/opening. Ken translated the reasoning is about killing reverb and widening the response. I said, if that is the case, it seems to fly in the face of the other armature makers who are fine with attaching tube to the casing and don't seem to feel any noticeable unwanted reverb is caused by attaching a tube and I took the response being wider to mean less roll off /more extension on the ends. So, when they rolled their design out in the XBA-1, most all the reviews seemed to say that they are not any more extended with this design. Hope that clears it up a bit smile.gif.


Edited by jant71 - 1/20/13 at 9:03am
post #15 of 76

Oh, now I under that you are referring to.

 

One of the interesting thing I notice is the lack of foam damper on the C10 though (look at the AV Watch link in OP), which is definitely different for Sony as I know they just love to use foam dampening. I wonder whether you can see the BA itself if you look into the nozzle. If that's the case, the lack of a tube might make more sense.

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