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Sony XBA-N3AP and XBA-N1AP — Impressions thread

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  1. Ralphee
    The latest additions to Sony's Hybrid Balanced Armature lineup. Feel free to share your thoughts on these.

    XBA-N3AP: http://www.sony.com.sg/electronics/in-ear-headphones/xba-n3ap

    XBA-N1AP: http://www.sony.com.sg/electronics/in-ear-headphones/xba-n1ap
    pedronet and SoundTown like this.
  2. JustJoseph
    Looks interesting. The dynamic driver is used for bass and mids while the ba is used for highs so it'll sound different from the usual dd for lows and ba for mids/highs. Also looks like they're much more smaller and comfortable than the previous xba series. It may be a bad thing tho, because now they lack the big ass 16mm dynamics that gave the previous xba series the acclaimed huge soundstage and bass rumble
  3. XERO1
    XBA-N3AP = GBP220 = $299
    XBA-N1AP = GBP150 = $199
  4. henrymyf
    How about them compared to XBA-Z5?
  5. B9Scrambler
    I love that whack design! Price seems reasonable as well. 
  6. pedronet
    Sub'd! I can't wait to see some impressions.
    Just to see if i got this right, it's one dynamic and one BA on both models right?
  7. Ralphee

    Yes, both models feature similar dynamic driver sizes (9mm), but the XBA-N3AP adds a LCP diaphragm and an acoustic tube, hence the slightly thicker housing of the dynamic driver. I'd guess that the BA drivers are identical on both models (perhaps tuned differently?), considering their similar frequency response up to 40.000Hz.

    I was quite happy with the sound of the "comparable" XBA-A1 (9mm Dynamic driver + single BA), which has quite an analytical sound signature, slightly V-shaped with sufficient bass and not over-emphasized treble. If Sony improved on that sound, the new XBA-N1AP will certainly become a "no-brainer" for the money.

    I'm really curious if the N3AP will be a significant step up from the N1AP, considering its similar layout.
  8. SoundTown
    I had recently got myself the XBA-H1 for SGD $20 (USD $15-ish) used, so I wonder how that'll compare to the N1. Also had never heard the A1 so I'm gonna be having a long long demo session with the entire past and new line-up at a local Sony store when the N1 and N3 come around.
    Smaller housing and drivers will be interesting, may very well have a smaller sound stage as a result like JustJoseph said.
    One last quip, why 'N'? for the model names? So 'H' for 'hybrid', 'A' for 'A-grade', 'N' for... 'New'?
    Then what's the next one gonna be called in 2018? Dibs on 'X', since 'Z' and 'C' were already taken lol
  9. JustJoseph

    I agree with you. The A1s are quite underrated, overshadowed by their monstrous A3 and Z5 brothers. Lots of people don't know that A1 sounds quite different from the dark, warm, transparent, rumbly bassy, huge soundstaged iems in the series. They are well balanced and don't stand out in any way, which could be said to be their biggest strengths; for they are good for almost any genre and extended listening sessions because of their smooth, musical and treble rolled off sounds. This is the kind of balance that ciems aim to achieve. However, many other iems have such a sound signature, making them easily overlooked. With proper marketing, they can sell well to a large audience, but not stand out in a market where everyone seeks to be "special". This is unlike A3, Z5 and old dynamic lineup which are iems with monstrous strengths combined in a single package which no other has managed to top thus far.

    But maybe this is the kind of consumer sound Sony needs to gain a larger market share. Too long have they catered to a niche market in a niche market.
  10. pedronet
    Thanks for the clarification [​IMG]
    I never tried the XBA hybrid series from sony but i'm aware of the differences between the XBA-H series and the XBA-A. I just don't get it why aren't they all available outside Asia.
    I'm really curious about the XBA-N1AP. I would like something less V-shaped and more like bass enhanced with upper mids emphasis (female vocals [​IMG]). Also wondering if the price difference of the N3AP is worth it. But then again, aren't we all curious? [​IMG]
    Looking forward to it!
    I was expecting something smaller and less protruding as compared to the Z5.
    Also these should have been shipped with the 4.4mm jacks for the newer Walkmans.
  13. dweaver
    Surprised the higher end model doesn't have a dual BA. Still interested in how they will sound.
  14. Ralphee

    My thoughts, exactly, pedronet. First the XBA-2/3/4 vs. XBA-20/30/40, then the XBA-H vs. XBA-A series. It seems like a repeating pattern: all the noteworthy "upgrades" were merely available in Asia. Well, at least the N1AP and N3AP will be available in Europe. Let's guess what will happen to their successors...
  15. oxygen1
    So XBA-N3AP and XBA-N1AP are standalone newcomers and not upgrades at all to XBA A and XBA Z lines? Are they gonna own get their upgrades this season then?
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