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Need help in buying XBA-H1 IEM

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi,I think some of you guys listened to the XBA-H1 IEM. :)


I'm planning to buy this IEM's.;)


As these IEM's cost more here, Can u tell me about your views on these IEM's before I can buy :confused:.


1. How is the sound quality.??

2. Does this IEM's Contains too much BASS or just the right amount??

3. Are these IEM's can be used on smartphone (Xperia series)  (I think it won't be a problem because it got 40ohm Impedance).

post #2 of 5
Hi, you can find ton of info on the h1 and h3 thread but for a quick answer:

When amped, the mids and highs benefit with clarity partially from the bass being more controlled. The bass has a bloat from my Galaxy S3 vs more control on the e7 and even more on a desktop unit. They're warm sounding phones that pairs well with a bright source and POWER.

2) To a non bass-head, yes. To a bass-head, it could probably use more so it's an in betweener. Depends on the music you want to use them for. Hip hop, rnb, rap, electronic all sounds great with the mids being slightly recessed and a mid-bass boost. Orchestra, rock, and jazz with bass instruments do not do as well. Particularly orchestras, which is the reason I sold mine.

3) It should. Never had experience with Sony phones so I couldn't tell you how well it pairs.
Edited by Soundsgoodtome - 11/24/13 at 3:34pm
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi, Thanks for the reply. It helped me a lot, but I'm not sure weather they sound good with the following genre's.


Can u tell me weather they are good from ur experience.


I listen to


1.pop(One Direction, BSB).

2.electronic/house(Alesso, David Guetta etc...).

3.rock(linkin park & avril lavinge etc....).

4.Some other Genre's and Local Music (Telugu).

post #4 of 5
Yes, they'll do those genres well if you don't mind a mid bass boost to the sound. Nothing drastic but a present boost.
post #5 of 5

Here is a compilation of the impressions from the XBA-H dedicated thread.

Also the H1 seems to shine with a very good amp.




It's taken a while to get over the Atrio MG7, the bass was truly out of this world. The XBA-H1 is cannot really be described as a bassy IEM when compared to the Atrios, far more balanced. The sound of the hybrid drivers is really something special, all the bass rumble that's missing from the usual array of single or dual BA IEMs, and the balanced signature and lack of obvious flaws that usually plague the cheaper dynamic IEMs. The bass here can be described as above average, only a few DBs higher than is strictly "audiophile", quality is quite good, tracks with multiple bass lines are not muddled or lacking. Dubstep sounds excellent, I always thought this kind of music would be better suited to the insanity-crisis level of sub-bass of the Atrios, but now I realise it was too much. Also, the bass doesn't intrude where it shouldn't, jazz piano and strings sound as they are supposed to, really surprised with this, I can't hear any bleed into the mid-range. Metal and hard rock is perfect, I can't stop listening.

It's tough to review the mids and highs, there simply isn't much to complain about. There are no sharp peaks, no recessed mids, no harshness. Instrument separation is very good overall, maybe some room for improvement in the highs. Detail retrieval is excellent, this definitely due to the BA driver, no muddiness or veil here. The dynamic driver is very well integrated, this isn't a BA+subwoofer deal (remember the super.Fi EB?), it's as if there is no crossover at all. Soundstage is pretty good, not overly broad, but intimate. Definitely a "front row" presentation.

I'm really, really impressed with the signature overall, I can't believe how far budget IEMs have come. I tried really hard in the past to love BA's, tried nearly all of them, the XBA-3 came close but still sounded unnatural and strained. The XBA-H1 sounds effortless, and correct. I'm already looking to pre-order the H2 and H3!

There is no doubt about it, the Atrios are only mildly bassier than the XBA-H1, not the earth shattering amount I had imagined (aural memory is quite poor). The XBA-H1s on the other hand are much more detailed than the Atrios, it's really quite substantial. I can't believe I listened to the Atrios for 6 months and didn't notice how much was pushed into the background. I think I subconsciously accepted the compromise for the price and level/quality of bass, which to be honest is still second to none (in fact I came back to the Atrios after selling back in 2011 because I couldn't find anything better). The H1 still rocks pretty hard in the bass department, it should be enough for bassheads, but I cannot say for sure, it depends on how much bass you want.

If you are choosing between the two, and one isn't heavily discounted for some reason, go with the XBA-H1.

This will be the end of the Atrio comparison, they are up for sale here. I cannot pretend that they have the same value after trashing them as above, so I have cut the price to less than half retail, only £60 delivered for two day old Atrios, in the UK they are normally £125.

I'm looking seriously at the H2 and H3, so I will update soon if/when they arrive.




Out of the box these are the best cans I've used. I've had Muse, The Louis Lester Band, Andrea Bocelli, some dance, classical tunes and whatever I can throw at them. And this is first 30 mins only.

I love the tone. Mid and treble is excellent. Bass is how I like. Punchy. Personally I wouldn't buy the more expensive version after hearing these. Using them straight out of my iPhone 5S. I also wouldn't bother amping these with the iPhone 5S.

I would describe these as musical too. Quite taken aback to be honest. More later.

The H1's create this image of having big loudspeakers and yet that are not that in reality. The sound stage is great.

….they are not perfect but who gives a damn when you feels so great listening to music with these.




My impression after 2-3h is that there is plenty of quick-impact as well as presence to the bass, and there is [enough] reverb/decay to make the H1 feel musical... plus, it might tighten a little over time. I noticed that drums in particular hit quick and hit hard vs. other 'phones I've heard. I haven't got any pricey IEM's to compare with, though. The definitive impression I have is that it is musical AND balanced, somewhat favoring musicality over even-handedness.


Listening to that track on YouTube, my feeling is that the H1 is not quite as "! ! !" (immediate?) as you are asking, but for a dynamic gets quite close. Maybe Gavinfabl can make a comparison. Perhaps someone can evaluate the H1 next to the GR07 in the near future? 


H1 coming across VERY warm on Inception/Dark Knight Rises soundtracks (which are warm/lush already). It has musical, authoritative bass that doesn't crowd the spectrum, but when it's there, it's HUGE. My analysis: the laid-back ZX701 (same as ZX700) has me spoiled... The difference is less apparent with current pop music. The EX300 had big lows capable of rumble,  but in comparison was terribly veiled.


P.S. I'm not a Sony fanboy - it's just that they have largely been easy to obtain, and I've been eyeing hybrids for a while...


My impressions of the H1 don't add anything to what's already been said here: lush, musical, energetic, versatile, seductive, relatively detailed. Here are some other IEMs I was looking at. Would've been nice to compare hands-on. After almost a week, I've decided this one's a keeper.




I picked the H1's today and after an afternoon listening to them I would say compared to the xba-3's they have a much better soundstage ,better (slightly north of neutral but not by too much) bass and more natural highs, but don't have the detail or separation that the xba-3's have. Overall I would say they're a solid side-grade and well worth the money, but not necessarily a definite upgrade.

I finally decided to throw the tips I was using on my xba-3 (generic wide bore) onto the H1 and wow, I don't know why I didn't do this before. They've suddenly become a lot clearer and more open, I still wouldn't put them quite on the same technical level as the xba-3's, they lack that last little bit of separation and imaging that makes the xba-3's special, it's a lot closer than I initially gave them credit for. Combining this new revelation with the improved bass, treble and soundstage makes the H1's a definite replacement for the xba-3's in my daily use.


I'll have to go buy another set of tips tomorrow so I can do some better comparisons between the two, but I would recommend the H1 owners in the thread to try out some wide bore tips on them if they haven't already =).





I have had these for 3 days now and I'm impressed.

I bought them from the online Sony.it store and they got here from Belgium in a day and a half.

I have never had sub20€ headphones and I have previously owned the Brainwavz M3 and Sunrise Xcape IE.

The brainwavz broke long ago but i remember them being decent for the cost, the xcape broke a few weeks ago after months of not working properly =(

So here goes my opinion but please bear in mind that I'm horribly illiterate as far as audio quality is concerned.

They sound really ******* good, the bass especially, it's detailed, tight and fast. It really makes the other two iems I have had pale in comparison.

The one thing I really miss about the Xcape is the soundstage. I wouldn't say that the h1 have poor soundstage, it's just not nowhere as good as it was in the Xcape.





Had a quick walk and listen with my H1 using stock tips and then some wide mouth tips. Stock = dark/warm sound that is very luscious and smooth. Wide mouth tips the treble and upper mids open up. Both tips have a wonderfully open sound with a very nice sound stage and instrument placement. Isolation is better than the EX/MDR series and wind noise is less while the microphonics are less than the XBA series. BTW I am comfortably wearing these over ear which reduced the bit of cable rubbing noise I was getting wearing them hanging down.

My initial impressions are that these will be definite keepers. I have been using my Bose QC20 almost exclusively since I bought them because of their excellent comfort and isolation (close to zero microphonics plus ambient noise), even my UE900 have been languishing in their case. This sound is vibrant enough and the lack of microphonics and wind noise good enough these may become my new daily IEM. I need to see how they work on the train and walking around downtown before I will commit to this completely but my initial listen has been very positive!

oK sitting Walmart as I type this using the H1. Isolation is not as good as my QC20 but it is good enough to block out most noise. I do think my QC20 will still end up being my transit IEM of choice.

I would say these have great bass that is on the softer (not boomier) side as compared to the punchier harder bass of the XBA3. The mids are a nice blend between the XBA and the EX/MDR series and the treble is not as metallic as the XBA3 and nicely in between the MDR7550 and the EX1000 in regards to brightness. I am noticing a bit of grain though somewhere in the upper mids/lower treble. I also a hearing static on my Nokia 920 which is not something I have an issue with. I am listening to a bunch of old classical pieces that may actually be poorly recorded so some of the static might be from them I will post results on this going forward.

btw I also recieved a pair of MA900's today for about the same price as these. For those wondering about whether a full size open headphone is worth getting over an IEM. The MA900 is excellent entry into full size headphones. I own several full size cans and the MA900 competes very well with what I own while offering a nice warm alternative to my other headphones

Eric the M200 is more linear and neutral than the H1. I no longer have the M200 on hand so can't say which is more detailed but I think the M200 was a bit smoother. The H1 on the other hand has a warm lush sound to it that is very enjoyable and I like the sound stage and instrument placement.

the H1 wins hands down for comfort and isolation.

I have several new headphones on hand plus the H1 and I do think it's a bit bass heavy but in a way that is quite enjoyable. Comparing it to the AKG K545 the extra bass and warmth is enjoyable as is the whole signature. The K545 is a much more balanced sound which is better most of the times but the H1 is just a warm treat. The cool thing is that the BA handles the treble really well so you don't loose out on the high end even though it's warm and lush.

d marc0, listening to AC/DC today and Led Zeppelin and I found the bass was OK for both bands. There was a couple songs where is bordered on being to much but it seemed fast enough. The warmth of the headphones signature might be an acquired taste though. Personally I found  the warmth helped take the edge off some of AC/DC's tunes and made some of the Zeppelin tunes sound more immersive but I had other tracks that had the opposite effect. 


OK I went through all the tracks listed above and liked my H1 on some tracks and not on others. When I liked them it was because the warmth of the H1 added to the listening experience and when I didn't it was due to the opposite effect or because the treble sounded a bit to harsh or metallic.

I did try switching to another headphone on these tracks and will add that the H1 is not a detail oriented IEM.




Ok some very quick impressions after some casual listening and comparing tracks to my xba3.

In short I am hard pressed to tell the differences between them, they are extremely similar, at times I feel like the H1 may have a richer/fuller sound but then I feel like the xba3 might be a little more clear, then I think they sound the same.

Its gonna take a veteran to really point out the subtle differences between them, Im gonna keep listening to them tonight and tomorrow and then go back to the xba3 and see.

So how are they? Great! They have nice clear bass, the highs are nice, the detail is very good and separation is good as well, the soundstage is good, maybe better a tiny bit than the 3? One thing for sure is that these things go LOUD! I can listen to my 3's max right now, the H1's? Hell no, they are LOUD lol

If you have the xba3 or 4 I dunno if this is an upgrade, if you have a cheaper iem these will be an upgrade, one thing to note is that the xba3 debuted at $300, these are $150, that says a lot.

Someone asked about the re400, its similar to what I have to say about the xba3 vs re400, the H1 has punchier bass, better clarity, better soundstage slightly, about the only thing the re400 beats either are in detail and thats slightly.

As for build/comfort/isolation/looks:

They look great! The red/black is neat, they are a bit beefy, thicker than the xba3, seems like they are about the same as the xba4.

As for comfort they are ok, they fit great and snug for me but keep in mind so do the xba3 which some had trouble with so take this with a grain of salt, I think the 3 is more comfortable to me as of now but lets see.

Isolation is great just as my xba3, about the same I say.

As for build they are plastic but feel very well made and strong, the cable is serrated and im sure will hold up, the jack is the same as the. 3 which is a good thing.

So if you have the xba3 or 4 is it worth the upgrade? As of now, no; perhaps with more time my opinion will change but they sound very very similar.

Re400? I like the sound signature of the sonys better but thats preference but build quality is no question, if build is important to you the sony is where its at.

Coming from a $60-$100 iem? Chances are yes! Just as the xba3 they are fantastic iems which are very well rounded, great for all types of music and enough bass for most people. So worth $150? Yes, no question.

Will I keep them or stay with my xba3? I will put a bit of time into these and see how it goes then decide.

Hope this helps, not the most technical as I am a bit of a newb to the headphone world but I tried my best. Any questions hit me up.

Wow the bass on these are really noticeable, not as in super boomy but with my xba3 I hear the bass and its just blended in with the music, with the H1 its like I am noticing the bass on every song and its very prominent, not a bad thing but its interesting.


Initial impressions of the XBA-H1 compared to my Carbo Basso in layman's terms.



Well, as probably expected, they are better to my ears in every department. The bass isn't that much different quantity-wise, but it seems much better quality bass. Again, this will probably get better as they burn in but so far so good.


Sorry that I can't really express things in technical terms as I'm simply not as audio savvy as some on this forum, but one thing I do know is they are an improvement over what I had before and they definitely sound awesome to me. 


Any recommendations / links to some tips I can try out that work well?


the bass is more pronounced on the H1 for me(compared to XBA3), its like I notice the bass on every song I play!

The soundstage I agree on as well, its so cool and immersive.

By dark, what does that mean? I think the xba sounds a bit more clear to me which is very important to me.





i had meelectronics a151 before and they massacre h1 in terms of details,instrument seperation and vocals!!

yes h1 have very good warmth and soundstage though

I wasted money on xba h1 and they can't even compete with offerings half the price and sound muddier than shure s4 and even shure 215 are way better and balanced

yes I am with u on indivisual choice but the problems are more.
1-warranty on sony earphone is questionable
2-the earphone sounds muddier than a dynamic driver so whats the ba driver doing there?
3-i have got sony mh 1c and they kick h1 in arse
4-me a151 cost only 30 dollars so no comparison can be done
5-time will tell but let me tell u this,these buds are gonna die an early dfth as they are lacking in all departments as if the ba is not even working

 I would advice to go to a store and try these before buying as they seem to be way overpriced-the specs are good on paper but h1 sounded like a bloated iem actually

while i agree tastes are diff but the point of any such high value iem is clarity,,,,without it there is really no point in having a hybrid iem with a dedicated ba driver,,,i should have just bought something from mdr series instead.

in some time when more reviews on h1 come u will agree with my point that they are way too pricey for what they offer and my only mission is to tell more potential buyers to be careful and try these before buying them and not be tricked by the balanced armature part of this iem as they have very less clarity

but i will be frank here,,,i never had an experience with any mdr models except for the bundled with player,,,maybe was mdr x90 or something.

but i was mainly after this as it was supposed to be balanced due to hybrid nature but on the contrary its not,,,and in my opinion sony will slash the prices pretty soon or bring out the models like h10,h20,h30 like it did with original xba series.


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