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Sony XBA-H1 and XBA-H3 Hybrid Dynamic and BA IEM - Page 42

post #616 of 3252
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaician View Post

I don't think I've ever really posted my impressions of a headphone on here, but I have to admit that I've been waiting with baited breath for the H3, so I guess it as good a place to start as any.
I bought it as a future backup headphone, but as of now it is my most expensive headphone, so I can only compare it to what I've heard in the past and what I expect from headphones.
I'm not the in boxing type, but I waited so long for these that I had to take a couple shots.
Japan has a release date of 10/25, but if you pre-ordered from the Sony store directly there was a delivery date of the 17th. Plus for ordering direct from Sony.
A couple of shots of the H3.
 

Thank you for the pictures. And I'm looking forward to your sound quality impressions. 

Did they come with 2 cables ?


Edited by f198 - 10/19/13 at 7:56am
post #617 of 3252
The H3 was a fairly logical step in my headphone progression. I owned a UE custom long ago, but decided against further BA purchases due to repair costs (young and reckless with headphones). After gaining some years and experience I decided it was time to dabble again in the world of high end headphones.
I started researching and was really interested in the recent BA/dynamic hybrid trend.

I guess I should make a disclosure here that I'm a bit of a basshead now. Not always been one, but I do like a solid bit of bass in my music enjoyment.

That said, the H3's were welcomed on the 17th of October.

With little fanfare they were delivered and opened. The outer packaging was little to speak of, but the inner boxing, and accessories were very nice. I've been using Sony tips with the audio-technica solid bass series (cks99i/cks1000) so I was used to the normal ones, but they included new urethane filled hybrid tips with the headphones.

A bit of an aside, those tips would not stay put at first, but with a bit of usage, they are some of the best tips I have ever used. A combination of singe flanged silicon tips and foamy tips, they isolate as well as they feel comfortable, a definite thumbs up.

The headphones themselves were unboxed and summarily subjected to a round of testing.
Having been through the whole CKS1000 burn-in process (do a search) I realized that some headphones were absolutely useless without a burn in period.
The H3 are in that group. With no burn in, it seemed that huge swaths of the spectrum were missing the music I was listening to. A bottle scary from a new investment, it having had a similar experience with the cks1000, I thought it par for the course.
Directly from an iPhone and using the equalizer, I was able to eke it what I thought was nice sound from the drivers, but still shy of what I thought I paid for.
I set up them up overnight with a fairly bassy song t at least work out the dynamic driver.

I the morning I took a listen to them and was surprised by what I heard. The opposite of what I heard the previous night, listening with the equalizer seemed to limit them, and cutting the equalizer seemed to lead to a fuller, richer sound. Setting the eq to off, they seemed a bit neutral/bass shy. From a basshead perspective, with songs that were heavy in bass, they would play just as I expected with the ATH solid bass series, but with unaccentuated bass songs, you would be loath to hear the low end at all. Ok, that's an exaggeration, but I was used to a nice rumble, and this was a very polite thump.

The soundstage was very surprising in that it was so wide that it was easy to forget that you had iems on. Maybe it was a function of the high drivers, but it was easy to forget where the sound was coming from.
Compared to the night before, the highs had also seemed to mellow a bit and it was a little more non-fatiguing.

Right now I am listening to them straight from the iPhone with a 10band equalizer program on the iPhone (eq10). Using it to make a bit of a v-shape, I realized the worth of these iems. They are seemingly neutral (to me) but with the 16mm dynamic driver and super high BA tweeter, have the ability to become whatever you want them to become through a little bit of eq.
The settings I have now have the same unadulterated crystal clear highs, but the lows completely undistorted while being lower than any other phone I've ever listened to. "Omen [R3 mix]" is a particularly nice test (google).

For those who don't want to eq, I think using an amp and or higher quality dac with these will achieve a similar effect. They seem to be able to do near anything that you want them to do, and for the price point, the only real negative besides the two-tone cord (debatable) is the fact that they stick out of your ears like the TF10's worn normally. And with no way to wear them differently. They are worth it sonically, so I have no reserves about wearing them proudly.

Hopefully anyone the fence about them will take the plunge, or at least take a test listen. For me they are a gateway to customs, but only for looks and comfort. I could easily see myself stoping here if everything was based on sound quality alone ( of course I say this before getting the customs I want).

In any case, give the XBA-H3 a try, they are a truly amazing piece of kit for the going price, even before the inevitable price drop they will see in time.
Edited by Kaician - 10/19/13 at 9:03am
post #618 of 3252
Quote:
Originally Posted by f198 View Post

Thank you for the pictures. And I'm looking forward to your sound quality impressions. 
Did they come with 2 cables ?

Yes, they came with two cables. One straight cable, and one cable with a one button remote that is android and iOS compatible.
post #619 of 3252

As it seems, some German shops already have the XBA-H3 in stock, so I couldn't resist ordering a pair. Will do a short comparison to the EX1000 / MDR7550 / XBA-3 / XBA-4 when I get them.

 

Unless they sound decidedly bad, that is, in which case they'll be going back. ;) 

post #620 of 3252
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaician View Post

The H3 was a fairly logical step in my headphone progression. I owned a UE custom long ago, but decided against further BA purchases due to repair costs (young and reckless with headphones). After gaining some years and experience I decided it was time to dabble again in the world of high end headphones.
I started researching and was really interested in the recent BA/dynamic hybrid trend.

I guess I should make a disclosure here that I'm a bit of a basshead now. Not always been one, but I do like a solid bit of bass in my music enjoyment.

That said, the H3's were welcomed on the 17th of October.

With little fanfare they were delivered and opened. The outer packaging was little to speak of, but the inner boxing, and accessories were very nice. I've been using Sony tips with the audio-technica solid base series (cks99i/cks1000) so I was used to the normal ones, but they included new urethane filled hybrid tips with the headphones.

A bit of an aside, those tips were would not stay put at first, but with a bit of usage, they are some of the best tips I have ever used. A combination of singe flanged silicon tips and foamy tips, they isolate as well as feel comfortable. A thumbs up.

The headphones themselves were unboxed and summarily subjected to a round of testing.
Having been through the whole CKS1000 burn-in process (do a search) I realized that some headphones were absolutely useless without a burn in period.
The H3 are in that group. With no burn in, it seemed that huge swaths of the spectrum were missing the music I was listening to. A bottle scary from a new investment, it having had a similar experience with the cks1000, I thought it par for the course.
Directly from an iPhone and using the equalizer, I was able to eke it what I thought was nice sound from the drivers, but still shy of what I thought I paid for.
I set up them up overnight with a fairly bassy song t at least work out the dynamic driver.

I the morning I took a listen to them and was surprised by what I heard. The opposite of what I heard the previous night, listening with the equalizer seemed to limit them, and cutting the equalizer seemed to lead to a fuller, richer sound. Setting the eq to off, they seemed a bit neutral/bass shy. From a basshead perspective, with songs that were heavy in bass, they would play just as I expected with the ATH solid bass series, but with unaccentuated bass songs, you would be loath to hear the low end at all. Ok, that an exaggeration, but I was used to a nice rumble, and this was a very polite thump.

The soundstage was very surprising in that it was so wide that it was easy to forget that you had iems on. Maybe it was a function of the high drivers, but it was easy to forget where the sound was coming from.
Compared to the night before, the highs had also seemed to mellow a bit and it was a little more non-fatiguing.

Right now I am listening to them straight from the iPhone with a 10band equalizer program on the iPhone (eq10). Using it to make a bit of a v-shape, I realized the worth of these iems. They are seemingly neutral (to me) but with the 16mm dynamic driver and super high BA tweeter, have the ability to become whatever you want them to become through a little bit of eq.

For those who don't want to eq, I think using an amp and or higher quality dac with these will achieve a similar effect. They seem to be able to do near anything that you want them to do, and for the price point, the only real negative besides the two-tone cord (debatable) is the fact that they stick out of your ears like the TF10's worn normally. And with no way to wear them differently. They are worth it sonically, so I have no reserves about wearing them proudly.

Hopefully anyone the fence about them will take the plunge, or at least take a test listen. For me they are a gateway to customs, but only for looks and comfort. I could easily see myself stoping here if everything was based on sound quality alone ( of course I say this before getting the customs I want).

In any case, give the XBA-H3 a try, they are a truly amazing piece of kit for the going price, even before the inevitable price drop they will see in time.

Thanks for the impression and if you don't mind I would like to read your detailed comparison of H3 and CKS1000. Thanks in advance
post #621 of 3252

xba h-3 best universal iem in the world.

post #622 of 3252
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

As it seems, some German shops already have the XBA-H3 in stock, so I couldn't resist ordering a pair. Will do a short comparison to the EX1000 / MDR7550 / XBA-3 / XBA-4 when I get them.

Unless they sound decidedly bad, that is, in which case they'll be going back. wink.gif  

I knew I could count on you James, I just knew it.
Edited by vwinter - 10/19/13 at 12:10pm
post #623 of 3252
Quote:
Originally Posted by HairyHeadMara View Post

Thanks for the impression and if you don't mind I would like to read your detailed comparison of H3 and CKS1000. Thanks in advance

I've heard, and am of the opinion of the CKS1000 being one of the best single (dynamic) driver headphones out. Especially where bass is involved. Very resolute.

With that being said, there is no comparison. The CKS1000 sounds very nice, but it always sounds like it's reaching for something, but that something is just out of its reach.
If it gave up the low end, it could better reproduce the highs more faithfully, but seeing as it's a solid bass series iem, that would be counter intuitive.

The XBA-H3 has a larger 16mm dynamic driver, a full range BA driver, as well as a high specific super tweeter BA driver. If it didn't outperform the CKS1000, and by a nice margin at that, it wouldn't be worthy of either the price or its new current position as high-res audio earphone (frequency response based?)

You can rest assured that it will at least perform to its MSRP. And when it drops (expectedly) below that, it will be an absolute steal.
Edited by Kaician - 10/19/13 at 8:55am
post #624 of 3252

Excited to get my H1s now, initial impressions seem to be good, they're bound to sound better than my Carbo Bassos and they have better build quality by the looks of it. Educational discount means I got them for very slightly cheaper than what Amazon.co.uk were selling them for as well (Amazon don't have them in stock yet anyway in the UK but still). 

post #625 of 3252
Can the H3 be worn as a regular down iem and not over the ear? Also does it have a mic?
post #626 of 3252
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaician View Post


I've heard, and am of the opinion of the CKS1000 being one of the best single (dynamic) driver headphones out. Especially where bass is involved. Very resolute.

With that being said, there is no comparison. The CKS1000 sounds very nice, but it always sounds like it's reaching for something, but that something is just out of its reach.
If it gave up the low end, it could better reproduce the highs more faithfully, but seeing as it's a solid bass series iem, that would be counter intuitive.

The XBA-H3 has a larger 16mm dynamic driver, a full range BA driver, as well as a high specific super tweeter BA driver. If it didn't outperform the CKS1000, and by a nice margin at that, it wouldn't be worthy of either the price or its new current position as high-res audio earphone (frequency response based?)

You can rest assured that it will at least perform to its MSRP. And when it drops (expectedly) below that, it will be an absolute steal.

 

Nice to read that the H3 would be a definite upgrade to the cks1000's. You've got the H3's firmly planted in my radar now :)

post #627 of 3252
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaician View Post
......
Compared to the night before, the highs had also seemed to mellow a bit and it was a little more non-fatiguing.
......

Thank you for the review .

So they are on the bright side and a little fatiguing ?

And what you can say about isolation ?


Edited by f198 - 10/19/13 at 10:00am
post #628 of 3252
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaician View Post

The H3 was a fairly logical step in my headphone progression. I owned a UE custom long ago, but decided against further BA purchases due to repair costs (young and reckless with headphones). After gaining some years and experience I decided it was time to dabble again in the world of high end headphones.
I started researching and was really interested in the recent BA/dynamic hybrid trend.

I guess I should make a disclosure here that I'm a bit of a basshead now. Not always been one, but I do like a solid bit of bass in my music enjoyment.

That said, the H3's were welcomed on the 17th of October.

With little fanfare they were delivered and opened. The outer packaging was little to speak of, but the inner boxing, and accessories were very nice. I've been using Sony tips with the audio-technica solid bass series (cks99i/cks1000) so I was used to the normal ones, but they included new urethane filled hybrid tips with the headphones.

A bit of an aside, those tips would not stay put at first, but with a bit of usage, they are some of the best tips I have ever used. A combination of singe flanged silicon tips and foamy tips, they isolate as well as they feel comfortable, a definite thumbs up.

The headphones themselves were unboxed and summarily subjected to a round of testing.
Having been through the whole CKS1000 burn-in process (do a search) I realized that some headphones were absolutely useless without a burn in period.
The H3 are in that group. With no burn in, it seemed that huge swaths of the spectrum were missing the music I was listening to. A bottle scary from a new investment, it having had a similar experience with the cks1000, I thought it par for the course.
Directly from an iPhone and using the equalizer, I was able to eke it what I thought was nice sound from the drivers, but still shy of what I thought I paid for.
I set up them up overnight with a fairly bassy song t at least work out the dynamic driver.

I the morning I took a listen to them and was surprised by what I heard. The opposite of what I heard the previous night, listening with the equalizer seemed to limit them, and cutting the equalizer seemed to lead to a fuller, richer sound. Setting the eq to off, they seemed a bit neutral/bass shy. From a basshead perspective, with songs that were heavy in bass, they would play just as I expected with the ATH solid bass series, but with unaccentuated bass songs, you would be loath to hear the low end at all. Ok, that's an exaggeration, but I was used to a nice rumble, and this was a very polite thump.

The soundstage was very surprising in that it was so wide that it was easy to forget that you had iems on. Maybe it was a function of the high drivers, but it was easy to forget where the sound was coming from.
Compared to the night before, the highs had also seemed to mellow a bit and it was a little more non-fatiguing.

Right now I am listening to them straight from the iPhone with a 10band equalizer program on the iPhone (eq10). Using it to make a bit of a v-shape, I realized the worth of these iems. They are seemingly neutral (to me) but with the 16mm dynamic driver and super high BA tweeter, have the ability to become whatever you want them to become through a little bit of eq.
The settings I have now have the same unadulterated crystal clear highs, but the lows completely undistorted while being lower than any other phone I've ever listened to. "Omen [R3 mix]" is a particularly nice test (google).

For those who don't want to eq, I think using an amp and or higher quality dac with these will achieve a similar effect. They seem to be able to do near anything that you want them to do, and for the price point, the only real negative besides the two-tone cord (debatable) is the fact that they stick out of your ears like the TF10's worn normally. And with no way to wear them differently. They are worth it sonically, so I have no reserves about wearing them proudly.

Hopefully anyone the fence about them will take the plunge, or at least take a test listen. For me they are a gateway to customs, but only for looks and comfort. I could easily see myself stoping here if everything was based on sound quality alone ( of course I say this before getting the customs I want).

In any case, give the XBA-H3 a try, they are a truly amazing piece of kit for the going price, even before the inevitable price drop they will see in time.

 

 

Thanks for the impressions on the H3. Very nice indeed! Now I'm excited to get my pair.  Thanks again. :beerchug:

post #629 of 3252
Quote:
Originally Posted by gavinfabl View Post


No. But you get 90 seconds free on iTunes to listen. Or if it sounds any good, I will buy it. smily_headphones1.gif

  


Edited by stimer - 10/19/13 at 11:17am
post #630 of 3252

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