Pros - Tight, Deep and Impactful bass, Engaging Vocals, Detailed and Clear
Cons - The treble could be slightly more extended but mileage may vary, Bulky
This is my first ever review on Head-Fi and I felt that I just had to write a review about how awesome these earphones are. I will be sharing my views about the sound quality and the comparison with other iems that I have heard.
So for the sound quality...
The bass is deep, Very deep, although you won't be expecting a SUPER strong mid bass punch. I feel the mid bass punch is significant enough but Bassheads looking for that SUPER mid bass punch MIGHT not like it but it depends on your preference. This earphone like mentioned is more for sub bass pleasure.
The vocals aren't too far away neither too near, it has a good distance to it. The vocals are relatively smooth but has enough energy to engage the user. I like it alot.
Treble is pretty good in my opinion. I like the treble to not be too overly extended making it non fatiguing and that's what this iem does. The presence is there, it's crisp and the clarity is pretty good compared to the iems I have.
Now comes the comparison of different iems I have tried: Sennheiser Momentum in ear: The sony xb90ex has better sub bass but the mid bass between the 2 are about the same. If i were to find an exact difference, I would say the xb90ex has a tighter bass while the sennheiser's has a fuller impactful bass. Mids on the xb90ex are definitely better in clarity, positioning distance (due to recessed mids on the senns), and engagement. However lastly, the treble extension on the senns are much better than the xb90ex, the senns have more crisp and detail. OVERALL SOUND: The xb90ex overall sounds much clearer while the senns sounds abit thick as if the sound is going through a layer of wall. This could be because of the upper bass making sound chesty.
Rock Zircon: I dont really know why people dont compare these 2 earphones together as they are both considered basshead earphones. To me, the rock zircon has a stronger mid bass and a stronger sub bass, In fact the rock zircon are so bass heavy you can literally feel/hear the thumping bass of the songs.I am confident to say that the rock zircon is one of the MOST BASS HEAVY EARPHONE EVER. (Like legit not kidding) These are what you call true basshead earphones with good treble extension and stable mids for its price range. I would choose this over maybe audio techs cks solid bass series or senns cx3.0.( BUT please always give a demo of them before buying!)
Here is a link to a rock zircon review i found online: https://audiobudget.com/product.php?brand=ROCK&id=Zircon
And now I have come to the end of this review. I hope that my first review has helped anyone in making a better decision of buying earphones but also remember to trust your ears before buying rashly!
Pros - Bass, Mid and Treble too, 'soundstage', clarity, flat cables, work well w/o Amp
Cons - Price, 'Chinese vs Japanese' made, no mic, no warranty outside Japan
Solid built with flat cables and 7 included tips (3 foam S-L, 4 regular XS-L). No mic so maybe not always the best with a phone (if you need the mic that is). Attractive without being ostentatious. $78 and change from an Amazon seller - NOT $26 as this site shows (when I left the review). Amazon JP has them for around $50, but I don't know the ins and outs of international shipping from Japan. $50-75.00 feels about right for this set of in-ear headphones.
Mine are Chinese made. People claim the Japanese built models are superior. If this is the sort of thing that keeps you awake at night then maybe these aren't the in-ear headphones for you.
Mostly I use these in-ear headphones with an unamped iPhone/iPad or an amped iPod. I listen to rock (Queens of the Stone Age/The Kills), metal (Mastodon/Early Man), hip-hop (Killer Mike/Freddy Gibbs/Danny Brown), and some misc. electronic (Flying Lotus) type stuff. I also use these headphones with a Playstation Vita.
Sound wise I really like the Bass - foam tips with a good seal is needed for the best bass IMO. Deeper Bass than expected without drowning out the Mids and Highs. Much bigger sound than I've experienced from in-ear headphones - compared to my old Sony Fontopias and budget MEE in-ear w/mic. Passive noise isolation (again foam buds and a tight seal). Sound great without an amp, but an amp basically takes everything good about these buds up a notch. My Topping NX1 does sound a little noisey with these guys though - faint hum in quiet moments. The cable can be a little noisey too when it rubs against something hard and textured like a jacket zipper.
Why are these only in Japan? These in-ears are the second pair of Japan only Sony headphones I've bought in 10 years. Show the USA some love Sony!
Cons - Somewhat muddy. CKS-77x better, without sacrifice of bass.
Waited a while to write this, wanted to give them some burn in time. Thoughts haven't changed though.
Just wanted to let people know this does not have the best clarity. Don't get me wrong, it's very good, and I think worth the money. The bass is HUGE (provided you get a good seal), with minimal sacrifice of other freqs; I get a little nauseous if I turn it up on something too bass heavy (and I love/need bass).
However, there is definitely noticeable lack of clarity in highs and mids. AKA: sounds a little muddy. Again, good sounds, and wide range--not cheap crap (I honestly dont understand people comparing these to crappy JVC HAFs and the likes).
I write this coming from the AT CKS-77x, which has more bass than you need as well, but has much better clarity in the highs and doesn't sacrifice bass. You can definitely FEEL the power of the larger drivers in the Sony and the amount of air it moves, but that's really about it. The CKS-77x definitely has crisper sounds, and without the sacrifice of bass. Check them out.
On the other hand, these are hands down the bassiest <100$ IEMs Ive tried. Large but comfy, moves lots of air, good range, could be clearer. Can't go wrong with them if you're looking for bass.