It's still my first impression of Xiaomi's Piston; right now, I am burning it with Dragon Force songs on loops. But anyway, Piston beats XBA-30 in every departments; the bass, mid, treble, clarity, and fit. Bass is what I expect from dynamic; big and punchy on low ends but never sounded so bloated. The XBA-30, of courses, loses in the bass quantity and quality; it sounds a bit boomy but lack of the texture that I would expect from a BA. The XBA-30 bass and MID are overshadowed by that harsh and peaky treble! While the Piston mid is clear but not too forward like FXT90, the mid of XBA-30 sounds softer but became recessed due to, again, that harsh treble. The sound depends on the fit while the fit is already terrible due to its design, which is vertical, bulkiest, and having nozzle pointing upward.
Again, the main problem of XBA-30 is that !%^@!^ peaky treble that won't go away when I stuff with foams or T-comply tips, or even when I lower the volume to the lowest, the peaky treble is still there. I wish its tweeters were malfunctioning! The emphasized peak treble that produces “tizzing” sound makes it sounding harsh, fatiguing, and unrefined. Worse, the high overshadows all the frequencies...making it difficult to catch the sound and details from guitar, drums, even vocal. XBA-30 will ruin most acoustic guitar songs, trumpets, and some songs that repetitively highlight cymbals and hi-hats. Most of the time I get headache and I often pause the songs or skip ‘em immediately…. I couldn’t imagine the taste of metallic tinge from XBA-3,its predecessor, would like and to know that Sony had fixed the problem, the treble is still offending.
Unburned, the piston still can present the instruments clearer than that XBA-30 while avoiding the "tizzing" noise from murdering one's ears, .....but still from out the box, the piston's treble is slightly unrefined so I am burning 'em and see the outcomes. However In XBA-30's case, the clarity is actually presented in the wrong way since details from tizzing sound are emphasized instead of the instruments. I actually enjoy bright sound but the XBA-30’s treble is just vile. Piston that costs $30 including the shipping totally clobbers and put XBA-30 to shame....and that even $100 costlier! I'd be pissed if I paid full retail price for this piece of dookie,
Edited by Gandasaputra - 4/2/14 at 12:43am