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B&W C5 and Sony XBA-H1

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I am currently using Sony EX500 IEMs and I want to upgrade to better sounding IEMs. I am looking for phones with large soundstage, rich detailed tight bass, good detail mids and good detailed highs. I have ordered the Sony XBA-H1 after reading reviews but I have been looking at B&W C5 phones which are reported to have a large soundstage, great bass and good mids and highs but they are £50 more. Which of those two IEMs would members recommend? My source gear is an iPhone 5S. Please advise.
post #2 of 14

I have never heard the Sony XBA-H1, so I can't comment on that, but I have the B&W C5.

 

The C5 has quite large soundstage for a simple earphones. They are quite good on revealing details, with addictive mids. I'd say it's a mids-centric earphones. The bass is quite tight, but at times can feel a bit bloated. Thankfully, you can set the distance you want these to sit from your eardrums using the some sort of mount it has for comfort purposes. Set it very close to your eardrums, and the bass feels very punchy, and a bit bloated, good if you're a basshead. Set it a bit farther and the bass would feel tighter and less punchy, which is what I usually do.

 

My complaint with it is the highs can feel harsh with some recordings, and probably not first class in terms of transparency. Do note that I do not realize these flaws before I got myself my full-sized cans.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 62ohm View Post

I have never heard the Sony XBA-H1, so I can't comment on that, but I have the B&W C5.

The C5 has quite large soundstage for a simple earphones. They are quite good on revealing details, with addictive mids. I'd say it's a mids-centric earphones. The bass is quite tight, but at times can feel a bit bloated. Thankfully, you can set the distance you want these to sit from your eardrums using the some sort of mount it has for comfort purposes. Set it very close to your eardrums, and the bass feels very punchy, and a bit bloated, good if you're a basshead. Set it a bit farther and the bass would feel tighter and less punchy, which is what I usually do.

My complaint with it is the highs can feel harsh with some recordings, and probably not first class in terms of transparency. Do note that I do not realize these flaws before I got myself my full-sized cans.


How robust are the C5 IEMs? I remember spending a lot of money on Panasonic IEMs and the left speaker failed within a few months of usage.
post #4 of 14

I've been using it for about 8 months now, on the go I just put in in my bag. They got squished by my laptop, and I don't even use the small included traveling pouch meant to protect them lol. And up to this point, no problem at all (apart from the little exoskeleton thing became a bit soft, probably because they receive a lot of weight in my bag).

post #5 of 14

i accidentally bought a pair of H1 without realizing that it doesn't have a mic/remote on it ...:mad:

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
I went ahead and bought the B&W C5 IEMs. The packaging is very nice but it was a pain taking the phones out of the packaging. So far I am quite happy with them.

The bass is very good and so are the mids but I find the treble a bit on the harsh side as mentioned on here. The soundstage is good but I feel there was no difference between the soundstage on my Sony EX500 IEMs and my new B&W C5. Maybe I need to listen and compare.

The only problem I have from them is that when I insert the plug into my iPhone 5s it looks slightly to one side as if the plug on my C5 is ever so slightly bent.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artmuzz View Post

I went ahead and bought the B&W C5 IEMs. The packaging is very nice but it was a pain taking the phones out of the packaging. So far I am quite happy with them.

The bass is very good and so are the mids but I find the treble a bit on the harsh side as mentioned on here. The soundstage is good but I feel there was no difference between the soundstage on my Sony EX500 IEMs and my new B&W C5. Maybe I need to listen and compare.

The only problem I have from them is that when I insert the plug into my iPhone 5s it looks slightly to one side as if the plug on my C5 is ever so slightly bent.

 

Congratulations on your purchase mate, I'm sure they won't disappoint. But it seems that you've got a faulty product, try contacting B&W to confirm and if necessary, switch them.

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

It's strange because when I unplug the C5 phones and look at the plug it doesn't look bent yet when I put them into my iPhone 5s they look slightly out of line with the iPhone. It doesn't appear to affect the sound quality though but am I being paranoid in thinking that this very slight bend on the plug is affecting soundstage? As the soundstage on the B&W C5 sounds the same as the soundstage on my Sony EX500 phones which were half the price.


Edited by Artmuzz - 1/22/14 at 2:15pm
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Ok, I plugged my B&W C5 phones into my iPad Air and for some strange reason they don't look bent. So it must be the design of the iPhone 5S earphone socket that gives the slight bend appearance to my C5 IEMs. Strange.

 

Looks like I am not the only one with that problem.

 

 

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1479297


Edited by Artmuzz - 1/22/14 at 2:31pm
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artmuzz View Post
 

Ok, I plugged my B&W C5 phones into my iPad Air and for some strange reason they don't look bent. So it must be the design of the iPhone 5S earphone socket that gives the slight bend appearance to my C5 IEMs. Strange.

 

Looks like I am not the only one with that problem.

 

 

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1479297

 

Does the soundstage width differ from your iPhone5S to the iPad?

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 62ohm View Post
 

 

Does the soundstage width differ from your iPhone5S to the iPad?

 

I don't really have music on my iPad Air to test but I connected my B&W phones to my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 with the scoobycontrol patch which uses the wolfson DAC and my B&W C5 phones sound have a more live meaty feeling to them. The B&W C5 phone plug doesn't look bent either on the Galaxy Note 2.


Edited by Artmuzz - 1/22/14 at 3:38pm
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artmuzz View Post
 

 

I don't really have music on my iPad Air to test but I connected my B&W phones to my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 with the scoobycontrol patch which uses the wolfson DAC and my B&W C5 phones sound have a more live meaty feeling to them.

 

There's the FiiO E18 amp/dac for Android if you're intrigued, and it supports the Galaxy Note 2.

 

Overall, how do you find the B&W C5, if I may ask? Do you like them?

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 62ohm View Post
 

 

There's the FiiO E18 amp/dac for Android if you're intrigued, and it supports the Galaxy Note 2.

 

Overall, how do you find the B&W C5, if I may ask? Do you like them?

Cool I will look into it. 

 

The B&W C5 IEMs are very good. The sound quality is very hi-fi and I love the bass and mids on it. I cannot understand a lot of the reviews that said the bass was too much because I find the bass just right. My only criticism is that the highs can be harsh like you said before. The stereo crosstalk on those phones are also very good and instrument separation is good too. They more or less have the same signature as my Sony EX500 IEMs but the C5 sounds more richer especially the bass.


Edited by Artmuzz - 1/22/14 at 3:48pm
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artmuzz View Post
 

Cool I will look into it. 

 

The B&W C5 IEMs are very good. The sound quality is very hi-fi and I love the bass and mids on it. I cannot understand a lot of the reviews that said the bass was too much because I find the bass just right. My only criticism is that the highs can be harsh like you said before. The stereo crosstalk on those phones are also very good and instrument separation is good too. They more or less have the same signature as my Sony EX500 IEMs but the C5 sounds more richer especially the bass.

 

Good to hear you like them. Regarding the bass, to me they are a bit too much but I can reduce them by increasing their distance to my ears as mentioned in my previous post. Enjoy your new pair of earphones mate!

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