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[REVIEW] XBA-3 VS XBA-30 VS XBA-40 - Page 7

post #91 of 280

It´s just puzzling why they are discontinuing the venerable EX1000 in EU/US markets. The XBA-40 isn´t even remotely targeting the same audience. Hopefully Sony will eventually use their custom BA drivers to make product in the EX range (neutral to V-shape signature). The XBA-40 is very much a "1.0 version" product.

post #92 of 280
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrln View Post

It´s just puzzling why they are discontinuing the venerable EX1000 in EU/US markets. The XBA-40 isn´t even remotely targeting the same audience. Hopefully Sony will eventually use their custom BA drivers to make product in the EX range (neutral to V-shape signature). The XBA-40 is very much a "1.0 version" product.


Hopefully that is a sign that a new flagship is in the pipeline. I just did grab an XBA-40 to try out but I was wondering when an EX1000 replacement would coming down the pipe. Hopefully the design will be rethought out as well to be better with isolation and wind noise and easier to fit. I also found one side(the right if  remember correct) of the cable always ended up unscrewing itself till eventually the sound started cutting out on that side. A new flagship with even better sound and a redesign would be very nice indeed.

post #93 of 280

"The perfect pairing for the 40s - FiiO E11 amp + XBA-40s."

 

haha that is awesome.  I recently got the Fiio e11 to boost clarity on my new sol republic tracks HD because I didn't like their darkness.  Wayy too dark.  Sure, lots of bass, but no detail at all.  I bought the tracks HD because i figured they had good reviews, and that my sony mdrex58v broke.  Man, I never realized how awesome the $20 earbuds were, still had great bass and good clarity, but the highs can get a bit screechy.  So unsatisfied, i bought its big brother, the mdrex61 thinking it was an upgrade; well it's not as detailed, and bass is weaker.

 

So now I finally ordered the good ol mdrex58v, still not here yet.  But then i saw the new xba-40 and i figured that I should probably spend a little bit more money since i spent so much already.

 

Basically, I have the fiio e11 and the xba 40 will be here in 1 or 2 days, and my question about pairing them together has been answered, THANKS DUDE!

 

 

p.s.  I now have an itching for the fiio e12, think its worth it?


Edited by chengsta - 3/30/13 at 12:22am
post #94 of 280
The e12 is very good, but if the e11 works well with your 40's, then you're set. Fwiw, I'm not aware of anyone yet who has tried the 40's with the e12.
post #95 of 280

Yeah, if it works well, I probably won't get the e12 unless something terrible happens to my e11.

 

Now there are only 2 things that I'm worried about:

 

Will I get it tomorrow? (saturday, and just cleared customs a few hours ago)

and is it legit?  (bought it from amazon http://www.amazon.com/Sony-XBA-40-Balanced-Armature-Headphones/dp/B00931SCCU/ref=sr_1_1?m=A3DAV8T1S4VQ9N&s=merchant-items&ie=UTF8&qid=1364627902&sr=1-1&keywords=xba+40) kind of expensive, but I couldn't bother myself to learn japanese for that tenso website lol.  EMS shipping.

post #96 of 280

Been listening to XBA-40 more... They sure are weird, I just don´t really understand what Sony was going for when they tuned these. These are made for electronica/top40 stuff if you ask me, but even then I prefer more air and above all more balanced sound. These are the darkest sounding IEMs I´ve ever heard. Even though these have way less bass than the Sennheiser IE800, these are like at least 3 times darker subjectively. I actually like the HD 650 for example, but these are just way, way too dark. No matter how hard I try to like some aspects of this IEM (and it does do some things really nicely), they simply are not my cup of tea at all. Even for electronica (with other genres it´s not even close) I feel the 7550 are in different league alltogether than these. It´s no wonder the street price for these tanked so quick. The dynamic driver Sony´s, if you are willing to live with the lack of noise isolation, are far superior products. Will most likely be selling mine soon (but I´d like to try them with O2/ODAC first to see if that would help).

 

 

 

PS: Shameless plug - actually if someone inside the EU is interested in buying mine, feel free to already PM me. I can sell these at a little less than my own cost getting them from Amazon.jp via a forwarding service.


Edited by vrln - 3/30/13 at 10:33am
post #97 of 280

Hmm sorry to hear about that dude.  I just got my xba 40's in the mail today.  I've paired them with the E11 and wow, they are nice.  Even though I've tried out several $100-$200 headphones before, recommended by people, these are by far the best I've heard.  I guess that means I've just gotten crappy products?

 

Anyway, it's true that they are dark, but they are pretty bright compared to other headphones I've listened to.  Yes they are dark, and its definitely sort of U shaped sound-wise, its not that bad.  It's hardly dark at all if you leave the Fiio e11 EQ setting to 0 though.  (maybe I've just never experienced 'bright' speakers/headphones/buds before?).

 

When people describe sound as 'sweet' I was like wtf does that even mean?  But now I get it haha.  The vocals have sort of a honey-sweet tinge to it that....you can taste with your eardrums if they had tongues 0_o. 

 

all I have to say is:  OH GOD THE BASS AND DETAIL.  I can really hear instruments;  I never knew what instrument separation was until now--I've just simply never experienced it even with the more expensive products out there.  The same goes with soundstage.  The entire tone changes a bit though when you change the e11 eq to 2, the girls sound a bit more manly and you can slightly hear a muffled bass undertone in all frequencies.  Kinda like if you change from your car stereo cd player to the radio, everything is more bassy.  However, some people like it that way.  For me, it doesn't matter.

 

I still think the 2nd best buds out there though is the sony mdrex58v, and it's only $20.  It's just as clear, but not as detailed, brighter, and bass is about the same as the xba 40, just not as detailed/controlled, and the highs are noticeably more hissy.  Soundstage is also almost non-existant.  But hey its still better than the other high end headphones/buds I've had haha. 

 

I can tell you this right now though, the xba 40's are going to stay with me for a long time.

post #98 of 280

Personally I have no issue with the treble and wouldn't describe those as dark either, and that 's compared to my PFE232 and GR07, which both have very good treble presence and extension. confused.gif

I am still very impressed by those newly BA drivers from Sony. They must be really fast as those are very detailed but the sound remains incredibly smooth. 

post #99 of 280

It´s all very subjective - they just aren´t my cup of tea. That´s just how this hobby is. Also it´s likely that my source (PCStep) is making things worse. It seems to have a highs roll-off and a pretty dark sound signature - ideal for bright cans, but the XBA-40 is just not a good match at all. Maybe I´ll keep the XBA-40 until I get the O2/ODAC, who knows... If you enjoy the XBA-40, don´t let my opinions bother you. The only ears that matter to you are your own :)

post #100 of 280
Thread Starter 
I definitely think the higher the zout of the source the less dark it becomes. The c&c bh amp with a zout of 2 definitely brightens the 40s and ups the clarity at the expense of bass impact. I definitely prefer hearing vocals with the c&c bh rather than the e11. However, the e11 still usurps the c&c bh on smoothness, bass, and imagery.
post #101 of 280

I just got mine today as well. I can appreciate what they are trying to do. They do isolate quite well and are easy to fit. The XBA-40 are still source and tip dependent. Certainly a good value for the SQ. A bit darker and smoothed than I prefer. Still, good extension, separation, a big stage, and fairly cohesive. Not as aggressive as I prefer nor as sharp of note as other armature based phones. Nothing to complain about, nice accessory kit, packaging and SQ for the price. The signature makes me think of a midway blending of a Westone 2 and a SM3 v1. No complaints and good to try but not quite what I want so I'll be selling mine on as well(feel free to PMwink.gif).  

post #102 of 280
Quote:
Originally Posted by jant71 View Post

I just got mine today as well. I can appreciate what they are trying to do. They do isolate quite well and are easy to fit. The XBA-40 are still source and tip dependent. Certainly a good value for the SQ. A bit darker and smoothed than I prefer. Still, good extension, separation, a big stage, and fairly cohesive. Not as aggressive as I prefer nor as sharp of note as other armature based phones. Nothing to complain about, nice accessory kit, packaging and SQ for the price. The signature makes me think of a midway blending of a Westone 2 and a SM3 v1. No complaints and good to try but not quite what I want so I'll be selling mine on as well(feel free to PMwink.gif).  

With what did you pair the xba40s with? I am wondering what amp would be best with the xba40s. There has to be an amp that can provide the least amount of darkness to the IEM, with the spacious quality intact and the bass impact as well. I want this over the fxz100s as the bass is muddy and not very to my likin gat times, but the impact of the fxz100s is to die for in my opinion, as well as the quality that gives the impact a prominent presence in addition to the mids and highs. I believe the fxz100s are a bit v/u shaped, so the xba40s won't be much different other than the highs, which would be pretty disheartening fo rme if htey are not as bright as some iems.

 

Edit: When you mentioned they are not as sharp as some ba phones, does this mean ones in the same or similar price bracket as the xba 40s? or the bit pricey iems like the westones? I also like to hear sharp notes but that is what I have the ckn70s for, if you do not mind the silibance/tinny mids during open box. The fxzs provide a similar smooth signature, too smooth like the ck10s, but probably more so.


Edited by vlenbo - 3/30/13 at 12:47pm
post #103 of 280
Quote:
Originally Posted by canikickit1 View Post

I definitely think the higher the zout of the source the less dark it becomes. The c&c bh amp with a zout of 2 definitely brightens the 40s and ups the clarity at the expense of bass impact. I definitely prefer hearing vocals with the c&c bh rather than the e11. However, the e11 still usurps the c&c bh on smoothness, bass, and imagery.

I believe the amp requirement of the XBA-40 are a bit more complex as in my case they sound sligthty brighter out of my Walkman Z (Zout of 27Ohms) than from the E11. The bass remains unchanged though.

post #104 of 280

I've just plugged the xba 40's into my ipod nano 7th gen and wow, it sounds really really thin.  Brighter, but weaker and the highs hurt your ears, with no EQ set.  Definitely keeping the amp. 

 

I heard though that you could buy in-line resistors to change the sounds of your headphones.  They're cheap as hell too, maybe a 3-5 ohm one will help with the sound.  I definitely like it the way it is.  Also, I read upon a mod that someone did on the xba 4 version:  remove the foam from inside the housing and everything cleared up, bass unaffected.  It might be the same with the 40's, though I haven't run across anyone who's done that to their 40's.

 

But then again, you shouldn't have to do that much just to get good/preferred sound out of a head set.  If you don't like'em, I guess you should move on.  I wish you the best of luck in your quest of sound.

post #105 of 280

You need less then 1Ohm for XBA-4/40.

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