Sony XBA-N3AP and XBA-N1AP — Impressions thread
Dec 18, 2020 at 11:51 PM Post #1,816 of 1,983

jibberish

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Got my N3 delivered today. Still putting the set through it's paces, but I'm swooning right now, they sound incredible. I will post some thoughts once I experiment with tips, might swap out the cable too.
 
Dec 19, 2020 at 10:01 AM Post #1,817 of 1,983

Redcarmoose

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Dec 19, 2020 at 3:06 PM Post #1,818 of 1,983

F700

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The N3 in its stock proposition surely has similarities with the BL-01, an IEM you like a lot and I don’t. We agree on the fact that the N3 requires tips rolling at the very minimum in order to open up, if I am not mistaken. It would be interesting to graph the N3 after tips rolling. I am not « hearing » this FR-curve with my set and the JVC Spiral Dots. It’s less V-shaped (eventhough the graph suggests something else) and cannot be compared to the BL-01 by any means in terms of bass control, mediums presence and treble finesse. As usual, to each their own, but I am very glad you are enjoying the BL-01 so much. At that price, you have a real winner in your book :thumbsup:
 
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Dec 19, 2020 at 5:49 PM Post #1,819 of 1,983

F700

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Listening to the N3 tonite with the Dethonray H1 and the xDuoo X10T II seems like:

1CFFC2F3-B7E6-4885-B833-138E264F6E51.gif
 
Dec 19, 2020 at 6:20 PM Post #1,820 of 1,983

Scuba Devils

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I couldn't resist and opened the balanced cable for a quick peek tonight - the N3 still unopened. Love the feel of the cable, only a few more days!
 
Dec 19, 2020 at 6:54 PM Post #1,821 of 1,983

F700

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I couldn't resist and opened the balanced cable for a quick peek tonight - the N3 still unopened. Love the feel of the cable, only a few more days!
Tictactictac...boom!!
 
Dec 19, 2020 at 7:10 PM Post #1,822 of 1,983

Redcarmoose

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The N3 in its stock proposition surely has similarities with the BL-01, an IEM you like a lot and I don’t. We agree on the fact that the N3 requires tips rolling at the very minimum in order to open up, if I am not mistaken. It would be interesting to graph the N3 after tips rolling. I am not « hearing » this FR-curve with my set and the JVC Spiral Dots. It’s less V-shaped (eventhough the graph suggests something else) and cannot be compared to the BL-01 by any means in terms of bass control, mediums presence and treble finesse. As usual, to each their own, but I am very glad you are enjoying the BL-01 so much. At that price, you have a real winner in your book :thumbsup:

Well, strangely it was just slight changes that made the N3 seem to become corrected for me? One was using the medium bore DUNU Blue L tips. The new tips did tighten up the bass and brighten and expand the N3 imaging. Also the N3 success was getting.more detail to it from a new DAP software. But getting back to tips here; it was my experience with changing the tips which was really a wake-up in my journey here. The fact that forever the Sony Hybrid Silicone tips were my go to without question. And the same DUNU Blue tips actually did not change the Z5 in a good way at all? It was basically a question of if the tips could also bring parallel benefits to the Z5. The outcome simply shows how the Z5 and N3 differ.

I guess my views on both the N3 and BLON BL-01 is that they do share a close tuning. When the graph on the BL-01 came out people questioned BLON quality control and were simply not sure the graph was representative of the IEM. I now believe both graphs represent the one aspect graphs show for both IEMs. Both IEMs scale up, both are tip dependent and both seemed to wake up with balanced and power. Maybe the only reason balanced seems better is the more juice.

The graphs were posted here only due to myself being surprised how much they parallel each other and to the fact that they seem to represent what I hear. The 3K frequency is a big difference.........and of course (the 3K BL-01 bump) is at that critical place in our hearing..........so that obviously is something to note. Also not coincidentally, but I’m sure by design........the iER-Z1R and XBA-Z5 both show a specific (near to the same) dip at 3K when over placed next to the BLON graph.

9FDFF9ED-5F17-4B3D-A2E3-0CA98B21F221.png
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Dec 19, 2020 at 7:56 PM Post #1,823 of 1,983

F700

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Well, strangely it was just slight changes that made the N3 seem to become corrected for me? One was using the medium bore DUNU Blue L tips. Those to me would seem to be helpful to move the frequency all slightly to the right? They did tighten up the bass and brighten and expand the N3 imaging. Also the N3 success was getting.more detail to it from a new DAP software. But getting back to tips here; it was my experience with changing the tips which was really a wake-up in my journey here. The fact that forever the Sony Hybrid Silicone tips were my go to without question. And the same DUNU Blue tips actually did not change the Z5 in a good way at all?

I guess my views on both the N3 and BLON BL-01 is that they do share a close tuning. When the graph on the BL-01 came out people questioned BLON quality control and were simply not sure the graph was representative of the IEM. I now believe both graphs represent the one aspect graphs show for both IEMs. Both IEMs scale up, both are tip dependent and both seemed to wake up with balanced and power. Maybe the only reason balanced seems better is the more juice.

The graphs were posted here only due to myself being surprised how much they parallel each other and to the fact that they seem to represent what I hear. The 3K frequency is a big difference and of course at that critical place in our hearing so that obviously is something to note. Also not coincidentally, but I’m sure by design........the iER-Z1R and XBA-Z5 both show the pretty much exact same dip at 3K when over placed next to the BLON graph.

Thanks for your explanation. Your previous post makes more sense to me now. Still, the BL-01, with all the tricks I had at hand remains an IEM that doesn’t fit soundwise. It’s not very important actually. You are passionate about sound and the reproduction of it, like I am. We are experimenting, a lot, you and me, with tips, cable, sources and are coming to different conclusions about this IEM.

Still, we love the N3 and that’s great. Both of our reviews seem to have (re)-awaken interest among the head-fiers. Maybe it’s not the case, maybe there is no N3-revival, but the dedication and the passion we have invested into our reports are not without positive consequences.

Graph surely is an useful material to give insights about the sound signature awaiting the potential customer, but a graph remains a graph. The graphs of my IEMs collection are looking very different and weird sometimes. I also am liking different sound signatures, like you do. To be honest, I don’t care about graphs at the end of the day. My brain and by extension my ears (or the other way around) just like or dislike what I am throwing at them. Saying that, as stated before, graphs are very useful and thanks for showing them to us.

Now, I have a question for you.

How could you describe differences between the N3 (with your settings) and the Dunu SA6? I am very interested in the SA6, but I have some reservations about bass impact and the mids?
 
Dec 19, 2020 at 8:06 PM Post #1,825 of 1,983

F700

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Anything out there under $300 that can even touch N3's performance and quality with a similar tunning? Closest I've found was N40, but it's nowhere near as good.
It seems difficult. BL-03 still is a great set after a few mods, but this is not the answer you were expecting I guess. The ISN H40 is a candidate.

https://penonaudio.com/isn-audio-h40.html
 
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Dec 19, 2020 at 8:17 PM Post #1,826 of 1,983

Redcarmoose

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Thanks for your explanation. Your previous post makes more sense to me now. Still, the BL-01, with all the tricks I had at hand remains an IEM that doesn’t fit soundwise. It’s not very important actually. You are passionate about sound and the reproduction of it, like I am. We are experimenting, a lot, you and me, with tips, cable, sources and are coming to different conclusions about this IEM.

Still, we love the N3 and that’s great. Both of our reviews seem to have (re)-awaken interest among the head-fiers. Maybe it’s not the case, maybe there is no N3-revival, but the dedication and the passion we have invested into our reports are not without positive consequences.

Graph surely is an useful material to give insights about the sound signature awaiting the potential customer, but a graph remains a graph. The graphs of my IEMs collection are looking very different and weird sometimes. I also am liking different sound signatures, like you do. To be honest, I don’t care about graphs at the end of the day. My brain and by extension my ears (or the other way around) just like or dislike what I am throwing at them. Saying that, as stated before, graphs are very useful and thanks for showing them to us.

Now, I have a question for you.

How could you describe differences between the N3 (with your settings) and the Dunu SA6? I am very interested in the SA6, but I have some reservations about bass impact and the mids?

Yes, maybe my new-found passion about the N3 did start a couple new purchases. I do know of maybe 4-5 which reported to me that they newly purchased the N3. And why not? I mean once your able to get the IEM where you want it with tips, cables and firmware/DAP........they are pretty close to untouchable for the money. Not only that but they are amazingly listenable for long periods and forgiving if used with bad recordings. That one feature can’t be said for a bunch of expensive IEMs. But to me both the N3 and BL-01 were not gifts out of the box. Again I tried and tried to like the N3 in out-of-box form, only to find it too sleepy. The BLON can suffer from the same issue but the darn mids and highs with the BL-01 can come off totally cheap and stupid. The BLON actually takes more work with a SPC cable, power and inverted tips to get good. Anyone who has the BL-01, I would highly suggest to not give up. It’s cranky but after some love becomes really something. IMO

The DUNU Studio SA6 is the total antithesis of the N3. And with that they end up perfect complimentary IEMs. One is day and one is night, and their existence ( living together :) ) substantiate what they truly are. That or the individual can’t get their head around the SA6 brightness and opposite stance? It’s maybe going to be a grand learning experience for the buyer or failure. IMO It is what it is here. Though the longer I do this the more I’m into contrast. I think at the start you just want a sound signature you can relate to. Then later challenges start to become cool.

The SA6 has this controlled bass that’s still BA bass. There is a created cavity where the bass BA drivers resonate Into.......and create bass body. Still that body will never approach the reverberations and decay of DD drivers. The gift of what’s going on with the SA6 (if you get onboard) would be the detail. Just lots of very precise detail and that treble detail pretty much spread out a little farther in a way to the N3.

The N3 May come off more cohesive. It’s like having a black dog and getting a new white dog. But the brightness should not scare people away as it’s all done really really well. After doing a bunch of tests I also started to note that there was a bunch of high frequency in the SA6 which somehow is not noted on daily listening. There was a recording artifact that was a dirty knob or microphone cord buzz which lasted one second in a song.........with the SA6 having ability to show that?

I’m fairly inexperienced with graphs yet still the two would seem farther apart than this shows?
0ED8CCAA-3660-41FB-9FE6-A05B7F231A53.png
 
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Dec 19, 2020 at 8:20 PM Post #1,827 of 1,983

HerrXRDS

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It seems difficult. BL-03 still is a great set after a few mods, but this is not the answer you were expecting I guess. The ISN H40 is a candidate.

https://penonaudio.com/isn-audio-h40.html
Yes, the H40, that's what I wanted to say. Had 3 of them cause the first two had problems. Great sound, I like them but they aren't a match for Sony's sound, especially bass. Also had some driver flex and the obvious build quality issue. Still searching.
 
Dec 19, 2020 at 8:24 PM Post #1,828 of 1,983

F700

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Yes, the H40, that's what I wanted to say. Had 3 of them cause the first two had problems. Great sound, I like them but they aren't a match for Sony's sound, especially bass. Also had some driver flex and the obvious build quality issue. Still searching.
Good luck with your search in that case and sorry about the faulty units.
 
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Dec 19, 2020 at 8:40 PM Post #1,829 of 1,983

F700

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Yes, maybe my new-found passion about the N3 did start a couple new purchases. I do know of maybe 4-5 which reported to me that they newly purchased the N3. And why not? I mean once your able to get the IEM where you want it with tips, cables and firmware/DAP........they are pretty close to untouchable for the money. Not only that but they are amazingly listenable for long periods and forgiving if used with bad recordings. That one feature can’t be said for a bunch of expensive IEMs. But to me both the N3 and BL-01 were not gifts out of the box. Again I tried and tried to like the N3 in out-of-box form, only to find it too sleepy. The BLON can suffer from the same issue but the darn kids and highs with the BL-01 can come off totally cheap and stupid. The BLON actually takes more work with a SPC cable, power and inverted tips to get good. Anyone who has the BL-01, I would highly suggest to not give up. It’s cranky but after some love becomes really something. IMO

The SA 6 is the total antithesis of the N3. And with that they end up perfect complimentary IEMs. One is day and one is night, and their existence can substantiate what they are being both owned by the same person. That or the individual can’t get their head around the SA6 brightness and opposite stance? It’s maybe going to be a grand learning experience for the buyer or failure. IMO

The SA6 has this controlled bass that’s still BA bass. There is a created cavity where the bass BA drivers resonate into and it does create bass body. Still that body will never approach the reverberations and decay of DD drivers. The gift of what’s going on with the SA6 (if you get onboard) would be the detail. Just lots of very precise detail and that treble detail pretty much spread out a little farther in a way to the N3.

The N3 May come off more cohesive. It’s like having a black dog and getting a new white dog. But the brightness should not scare people away as it’s all done really really well. After doing a bunch of tests I also started to note that there was a bunch of high frequency in the SA6 which somehow is not noted on daily listening. There was a recording artifact that was a dirty knob or microphone cord buzz which lasted one second in a song. The SA6 had the ability to totally show that?
We share the same experience in that case (about the N3) and it’s good so.

I gave the BL-01 to a friend of mine for x-mas as a present. To be honest, I have sufficient mileage to know if a set deserves the effort or not. The BL-01 wasn’t, even if I dare switching cable and tips.

Based on your impressions, the SA6 won’t fill my bill I suppose. I will try to get them on loan nevertheless. Thanks for your feedback, much appreciated.
 
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Dec 19, 2020 at 9:38 PM Post #1,830 of 1,983

Redcarmoose

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We share the same experience in that case (about the N3) and it’s good so.

I gave the BL-01 to a friend of mine for x-mas as a present. To be honest, I have sufficient mileage to know if a set deserves the effort or not. The BL-01 wasn’t, even if I dare switching cable and tips.

Based on your impressions, the SA6 won’t fill my bill I suppose. I will try to get them on loan nevertheless. Thanks for your feedback, much appreciated.

Also I forgot to mention that the great part about the SA6 besides the bass is that is it never ever gets even close to metallic sounding or steely. The SA6 never walks towards nasal sounding which is something to try and keep in mind when leaving the Hybrid world.

Also you may find improvement with OCC “copper” instead of SPC; which is included.
 
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