If an IEM isolates poorly and causes so much hassle, for example, heavy, chunky, wind noise, and so on, I would not call such thing as an IEM because an IEM has to be portable; being compact, isolating, and comfortable to the user are essential for outside usage ....If listening XBA-H3 is preferred at quiet place, like home, or if the listener has to sit down in limbo instead of moving around, I'd rather use my Logitech's 5.1 surround system on my computer.
This thing is just my XBA-30 which isolates poorly even when I put the comply foams on; yet, it cannot be used for outdoor nor gym. Also, It's bulky for such 3 BA IEMs while one reason of using BA is to make smaller size IEM. Why don't integrate 'em into a TWFK configuration ( correct me if I'm wrong) so the size would be smaller. I assume that Sony loves making huge and bulky high-end earphones without thinking that compactness is important as well.
Of course it's an iem - it fits in your ear. As far as isolation goes, I would rate the H3 as good, not the best but still pretty good. If you think it's not, it's probably the tips or the seal. Using them with the Sony Hybrid tips (not the foamed ones), I was listening to some music at fairly low volume and BARELY heard the phone ringing from 3 feet away. I have some Bose QC 20's for flying (yes, I know the difference bet active NC and isolation but there is definitely not a problem with the H3's). They also compare pretty well to my UM2's.
No reason to complain about them being bulky as you can easily see how bulky they are before you buy them. They are perfectly fine for walking and commuting and I would certainly prefer these to a cheap 5.1 system at home.. You obviously would not want to use them for a strenuous workout, but then again, I fail to understand why anyone would want to use a >$300 iem for a strenuous workout anyway. I use several different "sport" iem's that cost $50-$100 and find them perfectly adequate for running and gym workouts. Finally, it's definitely not good for your health to wear super isolating phones or high volume music while jogging on the street, cycling, etc.
Edited by hockey_magnet - 4/3/14 at 8:29am