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Sony XBA-H1 and XBA-H3 Hybrid Dynamic and BA IEM - Page 122

post #1816 of 2904

Wow, haha is it really worth 300 bucks?? Looks amazing..

post #1817 of 2904

I paid about 400 for mine after taxes and shipping, and I'd say yeah, they're worth it. Listening to them right now, they have a separated, non-fatiquing sound that could help protect your hearing. 

post #1818 of 2904

the price is back to $350, that was an  amazon price mismanagement that happens from time to time.

post #1819 of 2904

the $249 price is still there. I just picked up the last one (3 hours back :L3000:) in stock that Amazon itself had ...the new ones will ship in about 3-5 weeks (as per what I see on the site) 

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B00FJISZ28/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new

post #1820 of 2904
A link to my post comparing a number of great phones, including the H3!

www.head-fi.org/t/664613/review-aurisonics-asg-2-comparisons-added-k3003-xba-h3-s-em6/4695#post_10442202
post #1821 of 2904

Thanks for the vindication Unity. As a sony iem only guy I thought my wonder at the H3 was only because I was a sony iem etc, and it's price rivals were giggling in the background. I'm pleased you cant doze with them; last time I did that I broke the connection on my last sony DAP and 16gb of my favorite music went up in smoke. I'd buy 'em again. 

post #1822 of 2904
What DAP was it? I sleep with my iPhone 4 and GR07's all the time and love it biggrin.gif
post #1823 of 2904
Quote:
Originally Posted by oechikr View Post
 

Wow, haha is it really worth 300 bucks?? Looks amazing..

IMHO this is easily the best buy in high end iem's. I paid $350 and I think it competes with iem's more than double that price. The only downside is, yes, the size, but they are not uncomfortable at all, just not a good choice for hard exercising or sleeping on your side. I'll keep these for a long time and would buy them again tomorrow if I lost them.

post #1824 of 2904
I will have the H3 for review in a couple of days. This is going to be exciting!
post #1825 of 2904

You'l never guess, it was a sony F 639. Why didn't I put in on a computer?

post #1826 of 2904

I just got these following the Amazon deal. They were on my wish list but wasn't in a rush at the MSRP $350, but that price drop was awesome so I pulled the trigger. So far, the sound is extremely good - but I haven't done enough listening to really give an in-depth opinion. The one thing I will say though, which was a concern due to some of the Amazon reviews, was the comfort. A few reviews had mentioned that they hurt their ears, so I was a little concerned, but so far I have to say they feel pretty good to me, and more comfortable than other smaller in-ears that I have enjoyed in the past. Overall I'm psyched w/ them and looking forward to more testing.

post #1827 of 2904

Review title: Sony XBA-H3: Crank it up to 11

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

 

 

 

 

Before I start, I'd like to thank James and Eke for letting me borrow these. James, whom I had never talked to before until recently, graciously let me borrow his gear for a week while it was touring in the states, on a tour managed by Eke.

 

I must also forewarn that I do not generally like Sony as a company for personal reasons. Regardless, I have tried to evaluate these with as little anti-Sony bias as possible. :tongue:

 

So, it seems like Sony's smartphones (along with most smartphones for that matter) have been getting bigger and bigger recently. Apparently, Sony thought they should do this to their IEMs as well. Welcome to the XBA-H3, by far the largest IEM I have ever worn. I don't think pictures quite do the H3s justice as to just how big they are. Regardless, they're pretty darn comfortable with a shallow insertion, and they don't feel like they're going to fall out of your ear anytime soon. After a couple hours of use, I'm now feeling slight pressure against part of my ears, with some redness, but nothing that hurts enough to make me want to take them out.

 

The cable is not the best in the world. The cable exits the IEM parallel to the shell, and then curves around and over your ear; they don't have enough memory to where you can form the cable exactly to your ears like you can with the "standard" Westone, UE, etc. cable, but don't have enough give to wrap around and conform to the ears on their own like the RHA MA750s did either. This weird cable makes it awkward to try and put away in the case, since you have to smash the cable so it's back to being completely parallel with the housings. I'm also not a huge fan of the cable either, but regardless it doesn't feel like it will break any time soon. I really, really like the strain relief on both the 3.5mm connector and the earpieces themselves.

 

While I'm around here, a quick word about the microphone. I talked to a few people with these in, and they all said the microphone's quality was pretty mediocre at best. One girl said it sounded like I was "mumbling through a tube". Compared to the Ultimate Ears UE900's microphone, where I could talk to people while standing next to a busy road and they could hear me clearly, this one sucks. Nobody is buying these for the microphone though, so let's continue.

 

The housings themselves feel like they are pretty nicely built, no ultra-thick bullet proof materials here, but they should withstand a good amount of wear and tear, probably more than most audiophiles will ever subject their gear to. 

 

Because there are fairly large vents on the sides of the housing around the dynamic driver, the isolation with the stock hybrid tips is hideous, and with my franken-tips (Klipsch stems put on the nozzle, followed by Meelectronics tri-flange tips cut down to bi-flange) the isolation is better, but don't expect these to replace your earplugs anytime soon. I'm guessing I can get ~16dB isolation with this setup, maybe a bit more? Stock it's probably around 12dB. I didn't notice a massive difference between these and the stock hybrid tips sonically.

 

Now if you can't tell by now, I'm nitpicking the hell out of these IEMs, as I usually do with all the gear I try. If you've stuck through it this far (good job), I'll get on to the sound quality now where these really shine.

 

Upon first putting them into my ears, I was slightly disappointed by their sound. The bass extends into the lower midrange quite badly, making them initially sound a bit like some of those low-fi "enhanced bass" headphones that consumers buy like hotcakes. Despite this, the bass really isn't at basshead levels like some other IEMs I've heard. I would call the bass moderately elevated, with a bit of a mid-bass hump, slight sub-bass rolloff, and again, some bleeding. I get the feeling there is a slight disconnect from where the subwoofer/woofer/whatever ends and the BAs take over. Maybe enough to where there's a slight dip somewhere in the midrange that would match up with the crossover between the BAs and dynamic driver.

 

Oops, I've gone and done it again... I've sat here and complained about how bad they sound too. I must just hate the H3s, huh? Not at all. Absolutely not. Once I cranked up the volume and listened to the H3s even more, I became addicted to their sound.

 

The rest of the midrange is fairly uneventful, up until the upper midrange/lower treble where there's a slight emphasis that not only adds a bit of crunch/bite to recordings (which I think a lot of headphones seem to lack, as most headphones/earphones I've listened to as of late have a bit of a dip here) and emphasizes female vocals. The treble sounds quite smooth without being void of detail. These are no detail machines, but there seems to be a polite emphasis in the upper treble to give them a bit of clarity/detail and give cymbals a nice lively sound, without ever hurting your ears or sounding metallic like I've found all TWFK IEMs to sound to some extent or another. I love the treble here; it's incredibily rare for me to hear an IEM that doesn't sound painful or dull, but strikes a delicate balance somewhere in the middle. Usually this combination of a thick lower midrange, emphasized upper midrange and easygoing treble leads to an earphone that doesn't sound all that clear to my ears. However, the H3 defies this and continues to sound relatively clear given its overall tonal balance.

 

Presentation wise, the soundstage on the H3s is not too big or expansive, but the instrument separation is good. With the H3s, both male and female vocals seem to be put placed nice and forward, with instruments sitting close behind.

 

So what is my final conclusion on the H3? I absolutely love the sound of these, it's just too bad that the whole package is a bit disappointing. The poor isolation and wonky cable would probably limit my real-world usability for these earphones. This sound signature isn't for everyone, but I personally really enjoyed it. If they didn't bleed into the midrange as much, isolated better, and the housings weren't as long as my ears are wide, I would insta-buy these. I am still tempted at the current $249 sale price on Amazon though.


Edited by mechgamer123 - 4/11/14 at 6:51pm
post #1828 of 2904
Quote:
Originally Posted by mechgamer123 View Post

Despite this, the bass really isn't at basshead levels like some other IEMs I've heard.

Care to list some?

Sweet pics and review BTW!
post #1829 of 2904
Quote:
Originally Posted by mechgamer123 View Post
 

Review title: Sony XBA-H3: Crank it up to 11

 

The bass extends into the lower midrange quite badly, making them initially sound a bit like some of those low-fi "enhanced bass" headphones that consumers buy like hotcakes.

 

....

 

I get the feeling there is a slight disconnect from where the subwoofer/woofer/whatever ends and the BAs take over.

 

Great review, thanks for the interesting read! :smile_phones:

 

Have you tried the tape mod? I agree with your description above, but think that the tape mod alleviates the problem.

post #1830 of 2904
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnityIsPower View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mechgamer123 View Post

Despite this, the bass really isn't at basshead levels like some other IEMs I've heard.

Care to list some?

Sweet pics and review BTW!

If I remember right, the ASG-2 had more sheer bass impact. Other than that, just a lot of lower end IEMs like the Sony MH1, Yamaha EPH-100, and the bassiest of everything I've ever heard, the Hisound Wooduo.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mechgamer123 View Post
 

Review title: Sony XBA-H3: Crank it up to 11

 

The bass extends into the lower midrange quite badly, making them initially sound a bit like some of those low-fi "enhanced bass" headphones that consumers buy like hotcakes.

 

....

 

I get the feeling there is a slight disconnect from where the subwoofer/woofer/whatever ends and the BAs take over.

 

Great review, thanks for the interesting read! :smile_phones:

 

Have you tried the tape mod? I agree with your description above, but think that the tape mod alleviates the problem.

And thank you again! Does the tape mod reduce the amount of slam/impact in the bass though?

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