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Sony EX1000, is it really that awesome?

  1. kevms89
    Been on here for years, love everything headphones and I have learned so much on these forums, Sony is always a brand I have been partial too and I have everything from the XBA series to the XB series and even a few EX models I believe.

    My favorite has probably been the XBA3/30, perfect size and awesome sound, currently I have calmed down on my personal headphone craze and I am currently using a Sony XBA 40 which I love but even know there is one IEM that stays in my mind...the EX1000...

    So is it really worth what it goes for now a days? Was $1000 when it cane out and they are about $400-700 now, now a days all I use my iems are on my iphone x, from what I hear the EX1000’s are picky with sources so I probably wont get the full potential from my iphone.

    With that being said they are legendary and to get them brand new and to have a great pair like that, at some point I’ll get a nice hi res player or something.

    2 questions though, can they still be used on a normal day to day basis with an iphone? Also are comfortable? The over the ear design seems a bit odd, im used to straight up in ear.
  2. SilverEars
    EX1000 was $500 when it first came out, and it was one of the priciest universal at the time. I think the draw for many is that it's a single dynamic driver as there are plenty of BA drivers out there.

    It's not a practical iem as the fit is awkward, and it sounds best when not deeply inserted or isolated well. So, it's not practical as deeply inserted iem that isolate at top level. It's for those really into the SQ and use it as a transportable (not requiring top level isolation) in stable listening environments, not ideal for on the go. Main point for fit is that it's not ergonomic for on the go.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
    junix likes this.
  3. BananaOoyoo
    I just got mine a couple weeks ago, and while I don't want to make any hasty statements on how good the EX1000 is, I think most will agree that:

    1. It is competitive with other, newer flagship products (though the sound may not be for everyone)
    2. It's a fantastic value, considering that most TOTL IEMs currently available are in that >$1000 range

    As @SilverEars mentioned, it's not the most practical IEM given the weird(?) fit and poor isolation, but if those aren't huge concerns, then I think it's definitely worth a try. I haven't had any problems using it with my iPhone, but I haven't tried it outdoors or anything.
  4. kevms89
    Ah ok I knew it was really expensive at the time haha

    Man even with all that I still want it lol, I do believe it does have a legendary aura around it so I may be bias.
  5. SilverEars
    I think at one time, there wasn't much demand due to not being so hyped like now. So, it was decently priced like $275 or so in the used market. Much better than original retail.
  6. kevms89
    Could you compare the sound through the iphone to any other high end iem? I deff want them but it would kinda suck to not get the full potential from just using an iphone.

    As far as fit I can always keep my XBA40’s and use the 1000’s at home, especially since they expensive and valuable.

    Btw how much you pay for them?
  7. BananaOoyoo
    Umm... well to start, there's a bit of background noise (less than my Andromeda, more than the Viento), but it's serviceable. My personal opinion is that I don't care enough about whether I get 80% or 100% of an IEM's potential when I'm out and about, so I'd be perfectly fine using it with my iPhone on the go.

    That said, I haven't used them with my iPhone much because I haven't taken them outside yet, and when I'm at home, I'd rather use them off one of my amp/dac combos instead.

    If you can find one used, I think there's minimal risk in getting one to try - the demand for them seems high enough nowadays to easily recoup the costs (maybe minus shipping/PayPal fees).
  8. kevms89
    Awesome I think im gonna get them, I just found a post of yours on the for sale forum, you can get a brand new pair from where you live? I might deff be interested!
  9. WCDchee
    Before you jump on it, perhaps take this into consideration.

    I won’t go into the functional flaws such as the lack of isolation, poor fit, etc, those have been made very clear by others.

    I would like to however comment on the sound. Over the past few months it seems that the EX1000 has been extremely hyped up. I’m not quite sure why, but it seemed that a couple of users ranked the EX1000 really high up their lists, and lots of people seem to be following suit.

    I’ve heard extensively almost every single flagship for the last few years, have owned my fair share, and reviewed some of the best on the market. And I will say this. The EX1000, while it remains an extremely good earphone, is NOT in the leagues of the new flagships to my ears.

    It’s open backed design leads to it having a large, open and airy soundstage which few closed IEMs can claim to compete with. It also has a very balanced and neutral sound, almost reminiscent of a HD800 in an IEM form to my ears (including the thing about the soundstage).

    That said, in terms of its speed, resolution, refinement, transparency and precision of imaging, it clearly falls short of The TOP IEMs like the dita dream, TIA fourte, U18t, and the likes (trust me I have them and use them extensively).

    To me, a mark of a good IEM is how well it scales with upstream gear. My favourite earphones have always improved tremendously with improving upstream amplification and DACs. The EX1000 I actually thought would improve with better upstream equipment due to its large driver and relative difficulty in driving. In reality however, the improvement was less than substantial, and the more my upstream equipment scaled up, the further the EX1000 seemed to lag behind the competitors.

    Don’t get me wrong, the EX1000 is a great IEM if it suits your usage pattern. A good IEM will always be a good IEM regardless of the competition and age. But the truth is that it is a dated design, and has since been surpassed by many others.
    FangJoker likes this.
  10. AudioDwebe
    While I found the sound to be truly excellent, I had issues with the fit (as others have mentioned) and got rid of mine. I couldn't keep the iem in my ear no matter the tip used.

    edit - I just picked up the Japanese version from a local head-fi'er and the cable is different than the Japanese import version which I previously had. My old one might have been missing the memory wire because the thicker part just below the iems damn near kept flopping around, which made it nearly impossible to keep the iems in place.

    The current pair, which was purchased in Japan, stays in place much better.

    And the sound, quite extraordinary. Huge headstage, almost wrapping behind the ears, pinpoint imaging and deep, deep bass when the recording calls for it.

    It caused me to notice bits and pieces in some favorite recordings I hadn't noticed before (man, I always hate reading that statement from others and now I'm doing the same...sheesh), which is saying a lot since I've run through some much higher priced iems within the last year or so. A couple totl iems from famous makers, to boot.

    Happy with my repurchase.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
  11. kevms89
    May I ask a question about sound, I have never owned an over the ear headphone, only iem, I have been interested in something like the Sony MDR1R, would that be a big drastic change in sound from an iem?
  12. pbui44
    In terms of soundstage, instrument separation, and overall sound presentation, going to an over-ear, like a Sony MDR-1R, from an IEM can be a huge drastic change in sound. In general sound signature from bass-emphasized IEMs, like the Sony XBA-40, there is probably not a drastic change in sound, mainly as both MDR-1R and XBA-40 follow the general Sony house sound. I would mainly be concerned with usage, as the MDR-1R has a large headband and sort-of large earcups, but not much of a concern going to a Sony over-ear from a Sony in-ear.
  13. kevms89
    Hmm...makes me want the EX1000 even more now lol
  14. Tawek
    In my opinion ex1000 needs perfect synergy from wm1z
    I prefer than se5ult, obravo eamt2c, piano forte x-g
    With lpg one of the worst synergy EVER!!!
    With ak120tyt just ok

    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
  15. FangJoker
    EX1000 is good if you don't mind EQing constantly to get it to sound good. If you are sensitive to treble then it may not also be for you. The treble made my ears feel that they were bleeding until I played with the EQ and toned it down. Fit can also be a concern as well.

    I feel that it has been extremely been overhyped in the past few months due to a couple reviewers who people trust having them ranked high. One of the reviewers I trust most of the time except with the EX1000. It is nowhere near a totl IEM. I would not buy it, but you seem like you're going to buy it no matter what and it's your money so good luck and hope that it's for you. It was definitely not for me. It's a bit boring too. Just like how the noble K10 is just too neutral and boring.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018

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