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Sony XBA-H1 and XBA-H3 Hybrid Dynamic and BA IEM - Page 152

post #2266 of 2453
Quote:
Originally Posted by joey99 View Post
 

That's an excellent comparison .. thank you.

I've been wanting to see a comparison between these as I also have a 846 coming ... and my IE800 arrived yesterday. So I'm hoping to do a 3 way comparison soon. 

Looking forward to it, I was trying to decide whether to go with the IE800's or the 846's so I'm interested to see what you think. I went with the Shure's based on other reviews, including complaints about the cables and poor isolation compared to the Shures more than concerns over sound quality - also re the cables, just can't see spending that kind of cash when cables aren't user replaceable as they are really the most vulnerable part of the whole deal

post #2267 of 2453
Quote:
Originally Posted by hockey_magnet View Post
 

H3's vs Shure 846

 

Edit - I did the comparison below at work - got them home in a quieter environment and swapped out the Black Olives for the grey Silicone sleeves. The silicone sleeves were better then the rotten (IMHO) black olives. Once again, getting the remaining black olive off the nozzle was very scary - really Shure, you need to fix this. who wants to feel like their $1000 iem's are going to break apart just getting a sleeve off? I did find that the sleeves I put on after getting the installed ones off came off much more easily.

 

Anyway, the main thing I noticed was that the vocals on the Shure now seem quite a bit better than they did during my earlier test and are significantly better than the H3 for vocal clarity. Still like the H3 for a warm relaxing sound though. The 846's are somewhat more fatiguing (which agrees with some other comments I've seen) but I would not say this is a problem for me, just an observation. Going to try a few more tips and check some reviews to be posted soon on the Sensaphonic custom sleeves before I order those.

 

 

Asked earlier if anybody had heard them both. Since there was no reply, I went out and blew $1000 on the 846's to see for myself. My very early impressions:

 

AB'd from an iphone 5, Comply's on the H3's, Black Olives on the Shures.

 

Right now, I'm actually finding the H3's more comfortable - The 846 memory wire is very stiff, plus I don't think the Shure tips are as comfortable. I was able to get a good seal with both, just easier on the H3. I think a big part of this is the Shure Black Olives - not a big fan, had them before and they just don't feel good in my ears. Obviously, though, you can't lie on your side with the H3's. Speaking of tips, I had read on a 846 thread the tips were hard to remove initially. Man they were right! I had to swap a medium for a large on one ear and was terrified I was going to break the nozzle - like it was glued on. Hopefully it's just because it was on there for 3 months (the 846's were manufactured in March).

 

Packaging: Shure wins big but so they should at triple the price. My biggest complaint about the H3's packaging was that it seems like  the case is too small (bought a Pelican 1010 micro case which works better.

 

Build: Obviously the Shures seem better built - (stainless nozzles, etc.) but the H3's IMHO are very solid. The H3's joints are beautifully matched and finished wheras the Shures' joint seam is a bit rough when you run your finger over it

 

As above, the H3 cable is much more comfortable - with the Shure's the entire cable is stiff whereas the H3 cable is very soft and flexible - neither one has an issue with microphonics

 

Sound: Only tried the Shure blue filters so far

 

Based on the source the H3's hold up pretty well - maybe another story with better source and higher than 320 files. The Shure's are quite a bit more efficient - volume was about 20% higher on same settings but to  me this doesn't matter at all.

 

Bass: Overall the Shures hit a lot harder, much more crisp and clear. The H3's sound deeper (lower) and more relaxed.

 

Treble: I honestly did not notice a huge difference between them, they were both excellent, although overall the Shures had better clarity

 

Mids: Shures had quite a bit more clarity and the mids were more forward

 

Separation and soundstage: Surprisingly the H3's were very competitive in both these areas. I think the Shures' separation may be more precise but compared to the the H3's they didn't stand out and to my untrained ears the H3's have a wider soundstage but the Shure's are deeper; but I suppose once you have very good separation you're not going to notice much of an incremental improvement.

 

Isolation: No contest, as expected the Shure's are much better

 

Overall: As I said, the H3's hold up pretty well. I did not expect a $1000 iem to be 3 times  or even 2 times better than the H3 but I was still surprised. When I replaced my Westone UM2's and Bose QC20i with the H3's, I heard things in the music that I was not hearing before. With the Shures vs the H3's I'm  getting a bit of that but not nearly as much.   That said, I will probably keep the Shures and try different tips as well as maybe the Sensaphonics custom sleeves ( but that adds another $250 to the Shure's price.)

 

 

Hope this makes sense - I'm not an audiophile and my ears are getting old, so others may not agree or hear what I'm hearing :) 

Do you use the tape mod that people have mentioned? Nice to know the H3 holds its own quite well! Been wondering whether I should tape mod my H3's...

post #2268 of 2453
Quote:
Originally Posted by satish89 View Post

Do you use the tape mod that people have mentioned? Nice to know the H3 holds its own quite well! Been wondering whether I should tape mod my H3's...

Try it! You can always remove them if they don't work for you. Just make sure that the hole that you create is really tiny. Good luck!
post #2269 of 2453

No tape mod. I tried it briefly but didn't really care for it. I liked the sound out of the box but why not just give it a try yourself?

post #2270 of 2453

For some reason I had myself thinking it was a permanent thing... So after realising how silly that was, I tried the tape mod - at first it seemed to muffle out the bass entirely, but this morning I reapplied with half strips of tape (I'm just using scotch tape from the office) and it seems to have made a world of difference. I think I actually made too small a hole the first time, this morning I made the holes on the new strips of tape ever so slightly larger and suddenly - bass is tighter, but because of that massive 16mm driver still hits hard.

I'm now convinced - size of the vent hole is everything! The only caveat is applying thin enough strips of tape so that they don't irritate your ears while wearing.

post #2271 of 2453
Can anyone please take a picture of the tape mod? Hehe
post #2272 of 2453

I would, but my tape mod is like the worst piece of ghetto engineering ever - survivors of nuclear war from vault 101 could make a better tape mod than the one I'm currently using. Planning to redo it again with thinner strips of tape later today.

post #2273 of 2453
Quote:
Originally Posted by joey99 View Post
 

That's an excellent comparison .. thank you.

I've been wanting to see a comparison between these as I also have a 846 coming ... and my IE800 arrived yesterday. So I'm hoping to do a 3 way comparison soon. 

Looking forward to this! 

post #2274 of 2453

Just a little preview ... only just had the IE800 for a few days so don't want to comment too much yet .. but the Sonys H3 certainly hold up well against something cost more than twice as much. At the moment, I'm not sure which one I like more as I'm still trying out the different tips on the ie800 and it sounds very different with each.

The first thing that you notice immediately though is just how small the IE800s are! the body of them are smaller than the finger nails on my index finger.

post #2275 of 2453

After a week of listening using a DX90, these IEM do wonder for me, really pleased and surprised with the progress made ​​by Sony :smile:

post #2276 of 2453
Quote:
Originally Posted by joey99 View Post

Just a little preview ... only just had the IE800 for a few days so don't want to comment too much yet .. but the Sonys H3 certainly hold up well against something cost more than twice as much. At the moment, I'm not sure which one I like more as I'm still trying out the different tips on the ie800 and it sounds very different with each.
The first thing that you notice immediately though is just how small the IE800s are! the body of them are smaller than the finger nails on my index finger.

Any prequel impressions (even if via PM)? - I'm quite close to hitting the button on the H3 as a cheaper portable / on the go setup, but - would like to know specifically how the treble holds out on the H3 vs the IE800 (I love the IE800 treble, so clear and extended compared to any other IEM I've heard!)

Thanks smily_headphones1.gif
post #2277 of 2453
Quote:
Originally Posted by joey99 View Post
 

Just a little preview ... only just had the IE800 for a few days so don't want to comment too much yet .. but the Sonys H3 certainly hold up well against something cost more than twice as much. At the moment, I'm not sure which one I like more as I'm still trying out the different tips on the ie800 and it sounds very different with each.

The first thing that you notice immediately though is just how small the IE800s are! the body of them are smaller than the finger nails on my index finger.


damn these ie800 are sexy!!

based on reviews they are better than 846 and even k3003

post #2278 of 2453
Out of topic but the IE800 indeed offer much better treble compared to many other IEMs but I have never tried the SE846 or any Shure , Westone products
post #2279 of 2453

I'm having a bit of a dilemma with my IE800s Vs the H3. I've just been tip rolling all night with both iems using this song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ullaTrrryA

I love female vocals especially this kind of music that make voices really stand out.

 

After trying all sorts of silicons tips from my other iems .. I found the best balance for the H3 was from the large Heaven IV tips (purple) ... gives it a very nice lushness the mids without muddying up everything else. Then tonight I found these weird double flange tips I got from an old Yuin OK2 which made the H3 sound almost exactly the same as the IE800! It made everything almost too clear with a huge soundstage just like the IE800. To my ears, they sound almost the same with these tips with only very slight tonal difference ... At the moment, I'm finding it hard to justify the cost of the IE800 when I can make the H3 sound the same while I can't make the IE800 sound more lush with female vocals. But for me I prefer the purple Heaven IV tips that give it a bit more softness.

 

post #2280 of 2453
Quote:
Originally Posted by joey99 View Post
 

I'm having a bit of a dilemma with my IE800s Vs the H3. I've just been tip rolling all night with both iems using this song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ullaTrrryA

I love female vocals especially this kind of music that make voices really stand out.

 

After trying all sorts of silicons tips from my other iems .. I found the best balance for the H3 was from the large Heaven IV tips (purple) ... gives it a very nice lushness the mids without muddying up everything else. Then tonight I found these weird double flange tips I got from an old Yuin OK2 which made the H3 sound almost exactly the same as the IE800! It made everything almost too clear with a huge soundstage just like the IE800. To my ears, they sound almost the same with these tips with only very slight tonal difference ... At the moment, I'm finding it hard to justify the cost of the IE800 when I can make the H3 sound the same while I can't make the IE800 sound more lush with female vocals. But for me I prefer the purple Heaven IV tips that give it a bit more softness.

 


try triple flange if u have any.............it will make it more clear,it always does with any iem.

the problem with double and triple flange is fit and pain if they don't fit properly otherwise after trying double/triple flange u will never go back to regular tips.

 

plus they also reduce bass and that could only be good considering its h3

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