- Jan 31, 2009
I did another listening today, driving the sony's straight from my iphone 4 (listening to the same lossless tunes as last time). Unfortunately the xba-4 were sold out down to the demo unit (they're selling like hot cakes apparently) so I could only compare the 1,2 and 3s.
On purpose, I haven't reread the impressions I posted from the last 2 listening sessions so as not to influence my mind. If I remember correctly though, it appears my impressions were different today from last time at sony store yet closer to those I had at the fujiya festival, in particular in regards to the bass. Since I used my iphone at fujiya and today while I used an amp at the sony store, I can only suppose that impressions are highly dependent on the source/amplification (thus reflecting the concerns from some in regards to the very low impedance of these iems).
Anyhow, to make it short:
- the xba-1 live in the midrange, typical single full range driver, not sure it sounded very different from my se315. Rolled off up top, rolled off down below but reasonably present while not boomy. I wasn't particularly excited by the xba-1 but at the price, they surely sound good.
- the xba-2 didn't sound too good to me this time (i thought i liked them better than the 3's at the sony store). It was similar in the highs to the 1's but the bass was quite boomy / overblown.
- the xba-3 are different ball game, the highs extend so much farther and have really nice sparkle without sounding edgy or strained. The bass was clearly cleaner than the 2's which is the opposite of what I thought at the sony booth i believe.
- I really wished the 4's were there, I will go yet again to finalize my choice. The 4's appear to be the most popular at this store though so they must be doing something right...
Last, in terms of comfort, I am still a bit concerned if these won't hurt after a while. Really, only the xba-1 fit nicely (I have only used the standard plugs, I believe there's a foam alternative?). The 3's felt bulky and the 4's are even bigger. I have very small ears compared to most so this probably isn't any issue for others.
I also have small ears... could the xba-4 fit in your ears without problem?