[Newbie Review] Sony XBA-H3
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definitionz

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Hey guys!

I'm not exactly a new member, but not an active one either. I usually jump on head-fi to read reviews on headphones or IEM's I'm interested in.
I could only find 2 threads on the Sony XBA-H3's and after testing them for a bit, thought they deserved some more justice.
Anyway I'm not very technical when it comes to Head-Fi language so this will be a review from an average joe with a love for audio.


Packaging: Pretty basic, nothing special here. Came in a box that has a lid which opens from the side.
The carry case is quite nice, almost like a large wallet, but it's also hard to put the IEM's into the case.
I've actually put them into my UE900's carry bag.
 

 
Sound Quality:
Simply Amazing...
It has an overfull fullness sounding quality. Deep round bass with the mid and low range. High's aren't shrilled at all so I can listen to them all day without tiring my ears out.
Soundstage is great, I listen to many different genre's of music but predominately prefer electronic music.
At home I plug them into my EMU-0404 USB audio interface, and on the go I plug them directly into my iphone.
Overall this is probably the best piece of audio equipment I have bought... and I've bought many.

Sony XBA-H3
Logitech UE-900
Future Sonics Atrio M5
Sennheiser Momentum
Sennheiser HD-25 II
Shure SRH-840
M-Audio Q40
Beats By Dre Studio
 
I probably like the sound signature of XBA-H3's the best. It has the best of both worlds by using the 3 drivers.
With the 1.6cm dynamic bass driver... It really is bliss for bassheads like myself.

Songs that I used to test: (maybe not the best choices, but they're songs I enjoy)
Tech N9ne - Nothin
Avenged Sevenfold - beast and the harlot
My Chemical Romance - Black Parade
Michael Buble - Feeling Good
Andrew Rayel - Aeon of revenge
Zatox & Villain - Action
 
Structure:
They are big... But very light.
They have the over the ear design and then plug them into your ears.
To a stranger... they might think you have a pretty cool hearing aid on :)
The actual earpiece itself looks like plastic with a nice finish, but after touching them, they're definitely not plastic so I'm not exactly sure what they're made out of.
I have noticed a small hole on the side of the piece, and I'm assuming that's so the piece will act like a bass chamber just like a subwoofer.

Price: Expensive for the regular people out there.
Costing a little over 300 dollars... it is pretty steep.
But if you are willing to invest in this price range. You will not find a better IEM.
One thing I don't understand is... How are the predecessors Sony XBA-4 more expensive then these XBA-H3's?
 
There are a few other threads up on head-fi but thought I'd add my 2 cents to the pile.
 
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joey99

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I also have a H3 coming and at the moment have the UE900 too .. and an ATH-IM70.
what do you think of the H3 compared to the UE900 ?
 
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vyaschady

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Thank you, excellent review. I always like reviews from average Joe's better. Its more real.
 
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djvkool

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  Thank you, excellent review. I always like reviews from average Joe's better. Its more real.
 
WOW!!...great way to compliment your fellow HeadFi-ers...
 
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Hello, I wonder where can I be able to buy the Sony XBA-H3 in 2017. It's as if every new model has disappeared from the markets. I think it's quite a shame that Sony decided to kill the series this quickly.
 
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Hello, I wonder where can I be able to buy the Sony XBA-H3 in 2017. It's as if every new model has disappeared from the markets.
Well, if you really want, you can find them on eBay, but why would you want to? The new N series sounds as good or better, and is a much better form factor, comfortable and big sound. :)
 
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Well, if you really want, you can find them on eBay, but why would you want to? The new N series sounds as good or better, and is a much better form factor, comfortable and big sound. :)
I have seen the N series, but it is simply not my cup of tea. Oh well that's too bad that the only way to buy them is on eBay. I guest I will just have to wait for Sony's next line of premium In ears, whenever that is suppose to happen. Thanks for the reply!:smile_phones:
 
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I have seen the N series, but it is simply not my cup of tea. Oh well that's too bad that the only way to buy them is on eBay. I guest I will just have to wait for Sony's next line of premium In ears, whenever that is suppose to happen.
Fair enough, you are kind of missing out, they sound fantastic, but if you prefer the older form factor I wouldn't hold your breath - I doubt that having worked very hard to reduce the size that they will ever go back to those "USB stick" style... never know though. :wink:
 
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Fair enough, you are kind of missing out, they sound fantastic, but if you prefer the older form factor I wouldn't hold your breath - I doubt that having worked very hard to reduce the size that they will ever go back to those "USB stick" style... never know though. :wink:
Haha I agree that the XBA H and A/Z series did look like USB sticks portruding from the ears when being worn. However it looks...interesting(and cool) to me... Anyways I hope Sony introduces a new line soon.:ksc75smile:
 
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Haha I agree that the XBA H and A/Z series did look like USB sticks
If you seriously want to buy something then I strongly recommend the A3 over the H3, they made good improvements in the sound. The N3 mainly copies the A3 sound in a smaller package.
But indeed always interested to see what Sony come up with next - looking at your username, :wink: I am all in on Sony, overears and IEMs, they make the stuff my ears like. :)
 
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If you seriously want to buy something then I strongly recommend the A3 over the H3, they made good improvements in the sound. The N3 mainly copies the A3 sound in a smaller package.
But indeed always interested to see what Sony come up with next - looking at your username, :wink: I am all in on Sony, overears and IEMs, they make the stuff my ears like. :)
Indeed, I would imagine the A3 being significantly better than the H3. I was simply asking for the sole purpose of collecting the H3. I do currently have the A3 on my radar. Just saving up at the moment.:ksc75smile:
 
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Anyone ever got the original cables reterminated to balanced?

The original black and red cables are mighty fine and I was hoping if anyone ever tried to and know a place where it could be done.

Thanks in advance!
 
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Hello, I wonder where can I be able to buy the Sony XBA-H3 in 2017. It's as if every new model has disappeared from the markets. I think it's quite a shame that Sony decided to kill the series this quickly.
You can check classifieds here, or, ask me, lol. I have a pair I never use. Pm me.
 
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gerelmx1986

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Anyone ever got the original cables reterminated to balanced?

The original black and red cables are mighty fine and I was hoping if anyone ever tried to and know a place where it could be done.

Thanks in advance!
The original cable is unbalanced, the grounds joined at the Y-split

Perhaps you can try buying an aftermarket cable like the fiio LC-4.4D or one thing f th sony upgrade cables kimber Kabel or MUC-M12SB1 or contact a cable maker like plussound
 
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I kinda like the red and black cables of the H3.
But thanks for letting me know that the cables are unbalanced. Right now I use it balanced (double 3.5 connectors) off the prehistoric PHA3.
The original cable is unbalanced, the grounds joined at the Y-split

Perhaps you can try buying an aftermarket cable like the fiio LC-4.4D or one thing f th sony upgrade cables kimber Kabel or MUC-M12SB1 or contact a cable maker like plussound
 
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