Sony Walkman custom firmware (non-Android)
Nov 11, 2020 at 4:41 AM Post #1,501 of 6,582

kova4a

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Posts
4,466
Likes
1,158
I've said it before and I'll say it again - for me the Z5 is kinda redundant given the existence of N3 at half the price. They are almost identical. The Z5 is bit bassier and a touch fuller sounding, but it's like having a slightly different tuning of the same iem rather than being an actual higher-tier product that warrants the higher price. In fact, I consider the N3 the better tuned of the two. Add to that the finicky fit of z5 and it's just redundant.
 
Nov 11, 2020 at 4:51 AM Post #1,502 of 6,582

aceedburn

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 21, 2016
Posts
1,024
Likes
2,124
Location
Kuala Lumpur, MY
I've said it before and I'll say it again - for me the Z5 is kinda redundant given the existence of N3 at half the price. They are almost identical. The Z5 is bit bassier and a touch fuller sounding, but it's like having a slightly different tuning of the same iem rather than being an actual higher-tier product that warrants the higher price. In fact, I consider the N3 the better tuned of the two. Add to that the finicky fit of z5 and it's just redundant.
Maybe so. But I have zero fit issues. Some people may have those issues but I actually find them very very comfortable. Who cares how they look on you. The sound is the most important factor and comfort. So it ticks all those boxes for me. Couldn’t be happier with it. Especially with the balanced kimber kable.
 
Nov 11, 2020 at 4:58 AM Post #1,503 of 6,582

kova4a

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Posts
4,466
Likes
1,158
Maybe so. But I have zero fit issues. Some people may have those issues but I actually find them very very comfortable. Who cares how they look on you. The sound is the most important factor and comfort. So it ticks all those boxes for me. Couldn’t be happier with it. Especially with the balanced kimber kable.
Well, I'm glad you like them. But fit aside, the n3 sounds almost exactly the same (even better as it is a touch more neutral), so if you're set on spending $500+ on a sony iem, the ier-m7 will be the better deal
 
Nov 11, 2020 at 5:10 AM Post #1,504 of 6,582

aceedburn

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 21, 2016
Posts
1,024
Likes
2,124
Location
Kuala Lumpur, MY
Well, I'm glad you like them. But fit aside, the n3 sounds almost exactly the same (even better as it is a touch more neutral), so if you're set on spending $500+ on a sony iem, the ier-m7 will be the better deal
Maybe. But I bought the Z5 2 years ago for much much less than that. And if the N3 sound is more neutral as you say, I’m glad I got the Z5 then.
 
Nov 11, 2020 at 5:26 AM Post #1,505 of 6,582

gerelmx1986

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Posts
12,023
Likes
4,801
Location
Germany
What are the differences between ex1000 and ex800ST? I know both of them were made in the non-hi-res era so maybe they won't perform the same as new offerings that are HRA capable
 
Nov 11, 2020 at 5:32 AM Post #1,506 of 6,582

Redcarmoose

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Posts
23,178
Likes
21,382
Location
.
Maybe. But I bought the Z5 2 years ago for much much less than that. And if the N3 sound is more neutral as you say, I’m glad I got the Z5 then.

This week has been a fairly intensive test of 1) Trying to EQ the XBA-Z5 to have the frequency response of the XBA-N3. 2) Just doing side by side tests to evaluate quality between the two.

At the end I truly believe there is an area of technical skill the XBA-Z5 still holds above and beyond the N3. While the N3 did do a spectacular jump up with MrWalkman MK2, the N3 still suffers from issues making it both still great but still really a mid-fi IEM indicative of it’s asking price.

Where the XBA-Z5 didn’t show the big jump in sound quality from firmware changes, the Z5 has a very remarkable lower midrange detail ability that shows it’s really the flagship it is. Back in 2014 the XBA-Z5 was priced accordingly for Sony Flagships. I do have better fit with the N3 but still have more respect for the Z5 as being the real deal. I’ve never heard the M7 or M9 but look at those as having BA bass. I’m not saying BA bass is bad in any way; but just stating that people will buy the XBA-Z5 for the bass quality. The N3 is great and does have many features making it kinda like a baby IER-Z1R. But the N3 has a section of it’s bass response which is simply missing detail. The N3 due to this ends with other abilities which are special. Still playing the same music on the same equipment was only really a 1/2 way good test as I had no way to truly level and obtain equal volume levels. Yet there was still a quality that showed why so many still value the Z5 even all these years later. And if someone was gentle with the MMCX, as well as liked the Z5 fit and signature; there is still really nothing like it. IMO


DE9912F7-F067-4B59-9655-6889A46A1CBE.png
8AF165F1-989C-48A5-B148-18B080731BF1.png


It was listening to both flat then trying to make the Z5 closer to the N3 then going back to flat on both. In conclusion there were still abilities the Z5 had regardless of EQ. I’m not really a fan of EQ anyway.

I was using the 1A with MrWalkmanMK2 and ended just repeating the opening theme over and over. In the end my test showed to me with-out a doubt the XBA-Z5 was still able to handle the orchestra transitions and dynamics better. Strangely too as much as we view the N3 of having this big soundstage, the Z5 was still way better, especially in the lows.
 
Last edited:
Nov 11, 2020 at 5:52 AM Post #1,507 of 6,582

WilcoRoger

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Posts
733
Likes
557
So how did this get hijacked from Sony firmware mods to earphone discussion? I hate to point out, but there's a whole dedicated section on head-fi dealing exclusively with earphones and headphones. Maybe consider to continue that discussion over there?
 
Nov 11, 2020 at 6:06 AM Post #1,508 of 6,582

Redcarmoose

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Posts
23,178
Likes
21,382
Location
.
So how did this get hijacked from Sony firmware mods to earphone discussion? I hate to point out, but there's a whole dedicated section on head-fi dealing exclusively with earphones and headphones. Maybe consider to continue that discussion over there?
We are using the MrWalkman Firmware. The MrWalkman Firmware especially MK2 seemed to have an amazing response with the XBA-N3.

It seemed to make it a bold new IEM. So, sorry if it seems off topic. It’s software which is taking the N3 to a profound place, making it something of greater value. That’s the value of MK2, in it’s daily use.

You may think they are not interrelated but, the folks in the N3 thread maybe would have the same issue? It’s an in-between style of thought. Not only that but this Firmware would make someone want the N3.

Note:
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/sony-walkman-os-fw-mods-non-android.943661/post-15966767
You prior post has absolutely nothing to do with firmware? You asking us if we agree that IEMs make more difference than the DAP. Is that not off topic?
 
Last edited:
Nov 11, 2020 at 6:37 AM Post #1,509 of 6,582

seanwee

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Posts
4,478
Likes
2,592
I would really like to try either the IER-Z1R, or the Shure KSE1200.
The KSE1200 is a beaut! Id love to try them as well!
It was in my bucket list as one of the iems i wanted to try out the most due to all the reviews claiming it to be the most detailed iem there was.

And when I finally got a chance try it, it didn't even sound good. I'm not talking about good for the price, it just didn't sound good period. I tried both the KSE 1500 and KSE 1200.

It was the most monumental dissapointment of an iem in my 8 years of audio.
 
Nov 11, 2020 at 6:40 AM Post #1,511 of 6,582

seanwee

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Posts
4,478
Likes
2,592
Nov 11, 2020 at 6:42 AM Post #1,512 of 6,582

Damz87

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 28, 2019
Posts
2,856
Likes
11,250
Location
Australia
What are the differences between ex1000 and ex800ST? I know both of them were made in the non-hi-res era so maybe they won't perform the same as new offerings that are HRA capable
The EX800ST is bassier, more laidback and a little less resolving. I also found the EX800ST to sound a little hazier in the midrange compared to the EX1000. The EX800ST is a great IEM though, especially for the price.
 
Last edited:
Nov 11, 2020 at 6:45 AM Post #1,513 of 6,582

kova4a

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Posts
4,466
Likes
1,158
We are using the MrWalkman Firmware. The MrWalkman Firmware especially MK2 seemed to have an amazing response with the XBA-N3.

It seemed to make it a bold new IEM. So, sorry if it seems off topic. It’s software which is taking the N3 to a profound place, making it something of greater value. That’s the value of MK2, in it’s daily use.

You may think they are not interrelated but, the folks in the N3 thread maybe would have the same issue? It’s an in-between style of thought. Not only that but this Firmware would make someone want the N3.

Note:
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/sony-walkman-os-fw-mods-non-android.943661/post-15966767
You prior post has a absolutely nothing to do with firmware? You asking us if we agree that IEMs make more difference than the DAP. Is that not off topic?
Yeah, that's why I'm sticking with the non-plus Reloaded firmware on my a35 as it focuses and tightens the sound a bit, which offsets N3's inclination for overall smoothness.

And personally given my choice in music which lately is a lot of acoustic stuff I still find the N3 superior to Z5. I agree that Z5's slightly more V-shaped sound might be a bit better with orchestal music but the thing is, if I was going to listen predominantly to orchestral pieces, then my choice would be sennheiser ie800 which is vastly superior to z5 in this regard.
 
Nov 11, 2020 at 6:47 AM Post #1,514 of 6,582

Redcarmoose

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Posts
23,178
Likes
21,382
Location
.
It was in my bucket list as one of the iems i wanted to try out the most due to all the reviews claiming it to be the most detailed iem there was.

And when I finally got a chance try it, it didn't even sound good. I'm not talking about good for the price, it just didn't sound good period. I tried both the KSE 1500 and KSE 1200.

It was the most monumental dissapointment of an iem in my 8 years of audio.

In my review on the IER-Z1R 20 days after it was released I actually thought it was detailed? Though really while it has detail, it's not a forward mid-range IEM, nor the most detailed IEM in hindsight. Yet it was the most detailed I had heard at the time. Though if someone has the XBA-Z5 it's kind of a progression in that direction, which at least makes it pertinent.
 
Nov 11, 2020 at 7:12 AM Post #1,515 of 6,582

MrWalkman

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 9, 2020
Posts
2,576
Likes
8,947
Location
Space-Time
Yeah, that's why I'm sticking with the non-plus Reloaded firmware on my a35 as it focuses and tightens the sound a bit, which offsets N3's inclination for overall smoothness.

And personally given my choice in music which lately is a lot of acoustic stuff I still find the N3 superior to Z5. I agree that Z5's slightly more V-shaped sound might be a bit better with orchestal music but the thing is, if I was going to listen predominantly to orchestral pieces, then my choice would be sennheiser ie800 which is vastly superior to z5 in this regard.

So DMP-A30 doesn't sound as good as the Reloaded firmware?
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top