Sony XBA-10/N Gold | Balanced Armature In-Ear Headphones (Japanese Import)

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A genuine product of Sony Japan. In a Japanese retail package.

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100+ Head-Fier
NOTE: This is my first review and I'm a budding audio enthusiast. This is no pro review, just a newb trying to put audio nuances to words.
These are my first pair of Balanced Armatures and I am truly in love. The sound is supremely crisp with surprisingly good imaging. 
Read on for a short run down of the Sony XBA-10's.
Amazing Details : Like the reviewer above has mentioned, these have wonderful details. If it is present in the recording, it will be heard.
Imaging :   These have a very peculiar sound stage, in the sense, it will present everything in a very linear manner. Not the biggest soundstage but you will still hear everything and it will be well resolved. Me like.
Treble : These have very nice highs that tend to sparkle. It is also well extended.
Mids : These really shine here. Vocals have a very flowy nature to them and are presented very well.
Bass : The bass is detailed and it is fast. It is not boomy, it won't rattle your eardrums. But, it is very precise. Bassheads will probably not dig this but I find them perfectly enjoyable.
Build : I would not call these the most sturdy pair of earphones. The earbuds lack any sort of strain relief. I handle them very delicately and so far so good! 
Favorite Songs on the XBA-10s : Jazz sounds especially good on these, 'Flamenco Sketches' from 'Kind of Blue' sounds marvellous and captures a deep melancholy in the Sax.
Also, the Track 'Dani California' by RHCP sounds fantastic. I heard details on this song that I had never heard before. The snare hits sound awesome.
I got these for a really good price of INR 2300 (Around 35 Dollars). If you can get these at that price, just snap them up. It is amazing value for the money.
So there you go, hope this proves helpful.


New Head-Fier
Pros: Lots of details, sparkling treble , very lightweight, heavily discounted
Cons: Barely there bass, fitting problem with silicone tip -Comply foam settled this problem, odd design shirt clip
I bought a gold coloured Sony XBA 10 in a retail store in Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia for about 42 USD about 2 month ago. Fairly old stock with original box but plastic wrap still half intact- means it never been open before. They are made in Thailand. True enough the earphone and all the accesories are still intact inside. Many pairs of Sony silicone/ hybrid tip. Unfortunately even with the best fit hybrid tip, the earphone is still wobbling around inside my ears, so I end up using my Comply foam. Still slightly wobbly but better fit now. The body of earphone itself is so small with diameter of less than 1cm. Any pulling movement on the cable can easily loosen the ear tip. The supplied shirt clip does help but unfortunately the design of clip itself is not very friendly.
The clip is quite large, oval in shape with 3x2cm dimension. No spring mechanism ,it use different trick to function but still effective.
Almost non existent strain relief on the earphone itself.Not so important due to extreme light weight of the earphone.  Red ring indicate right side earphone. Small Comply foam initially used for Soundmagic E10. Fit 5mm inner diameter. Outside diameter about 11mm.The cable is flat type , quite tough but not really tangle-free.
1. High in details and good treble. More suitable for vocal heavy music . Pop rock and metal are  also suitable.
2. Extreme light weight , very comfortable to use for long duration.
3. Flat type but tough cable, complete with chin slider and odd looking but functional shirt clip.
4. I bought it a very low price , BNIB
from local store. Immediate enjoyment!
5. Unique sound signature from balanced armature driver
1. The light weightness causing problem with fitting. Comply foam and shirt clip did partly help with proper fit.
2. The usual problem with single balanced armature driver- not enough bass. It is there but still below average in quantity but still satisfactorily tight , but not thumping. Not really a big problem just make me looking further up - probably XBA 20 or XBA 200 (if it exist).
In pure sound quality I will rate XBA10  just below my second best IEM , Audio Technica IM50. IM50 has bigger bass but not as tight as XBA 10. IM50 has more balanced sound so it is suitable for most music type even EDM and rock/ metal. For vocal heavy / pop music I still prefer XBA10 since it reveals more detail. Unfortunately when compared to FXT90 both IM50 and XBA 10 are still slightly inferior SQ- wise. Neverthelss this XBA10 is still a very good entry level to balanced armature driver IEM.
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Reactions: Gandasaputra
Awesome. I'm writing up my XBA-20 review and I have something to say about that gaudy cable clipper and the right tips for XBA series - V-Moda's vibrato tips. I have the XBA-1 and I love for its non-fatiguing sound, so the XBA-10 should be the same. 


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