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Could they be fakes (Sony XBA30ip)?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi all, this is my first post, please be kind!


After reading MANY reviews on this and other sites, I eventually decided to buy a pair of Sony XBA30ip earphones - I wanted best-possible sound quality combined with good quality remote operation of my iPhone. Today they arrived, and I have to say my heart sank when I plugged them in and fired up my best CDs. They sound *rubbish*! Honestly, after reading reviews which described 'huge sounstage' and 'crystal clear detail', I was really looking forward to something spectacular, but rather than feeling like I'm on stage with the performers, it sounds like a cheap transistor radio is playing inside a sealed plastic lunchbox. It's *so* bad I'm wondering if they're fake. I compared them to my pair of Bowers & Wilkins P5 headphones and they're WORLDS apart, but I guess that's like comparing apples to oranges. However, I also have a £20 pair of Sennheiser CX160 earphones which were bought as a temporary measure until I decided on the 'proper' earphones, and they're also MUCH better than the XBA30s. I'm pretty sure I'm not just used to the sound of my other headphones - this isn't just a nuance thing - they really are pretty awful (I've experimented with all the buds to ensure the correct fit and seal; they fit well and securely).


I bought them from Amazon.co.uk (still advertised) and they were shipped from Hong Kong. I'm about to contact Amazon to arrange a return, but thought I'd write here to see if anyone has alternate advice. If you do have any helpful comments, I'd be very grateful!


Thanks a lot,



post #2 of 5

I had this problem with some fake monster turbines i had bought from amazon about two years ago. Now amazon claimed they were not fake and that in order for a product to be sold on amazon and its vendors that the product has to be approved. But after doing research based on the packaging and the suppied storage container they were fake. So its just a matter of finding other reports and stories. But i find that china only tends to replicate products that are flying off the shelves. Which the xba line isnt really flying off the shelves. If you did get a fake pair i feel bad and im sure amazon will be more than glad to accomidate you. BTW go for the xba-3's or 30's from everything ive read and heard the 3 and 30's sound better and less harsh and less source dependent. Good Luck bud!

post #3 of 5

I imagine they're either fake or defective if they sound that bad to you. Maybe you can post some pictures of what you received (box, earphones, etc.)?


I know at least the XBA-4 was faked, so I wouldn't be surprised at all if there are fakes of the newer generation as well.


Another possibility is that you aren't getting a good enough seal with them. Perhaps you can try using the tips from your Sennheisers on the XBA-30 if they fit on the nozzle.

Edited by PeterDLai - 8/1/13 at 1:33pm
post #4 of 5

XBA 3/30 & XBA 4/40 do sound tinny, so thats a sound many of us are not familiar until we hear it. I had this problem initially and couldnt bare it at all. But now it's probably 'opened up', cause the sound is something I like. I use comply tips (that has removed the harshness).


I dont think they are fake, unless you bought it from a 2nd or 3rd party (some are authorized and some are not) seller from Amazon. Only way to tell if they are fake

1. Observe the box

2. Observe the IEM

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks all for the feedback so far. Audiobreeder - I wouldn't call the sound 'tinny' - that suggests a weak bass and a bias towards the high end, but in fact it's the high end that's completely missing from my XBA30s. It's just not there at all. That's what I meant about sounding like it's stuck in a plastic box - it's all hideously muffled and rubbish. It's not a subtle difference that might be down to my taste or what I'm accustomed to - all cymbals, tambourines etc - they're just completely not there. Absent!


The packaging looks genuine to me - it's a very well-made box - and the product itself does look good too. If they *are* fake, then it's a very god job. But there must be something wrong with the earphones. Now I'm wondering... could they have been affected by any kind of scanner coming through customs?


I'm really disappointed, as you can see! I wanted to like them so much. But if Amazon will take them back, I think I'll return them and try to find something more popular in a local store.


Cheers, and thanks again for the opinions.



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