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Sony XBA-N3AP and XBA-N1AP — Impressions thread

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  1. Redcarmoose
    That’s actually a good question, I will do my best. Also I will be able to listen to both back to back which I have never done. Maybe I could do that tomorrow for you?

    Though as I write this, I have extensive familiarity with the two. Both I use 4.4mm balanced, with the included stock cable with the N3, and currently using the Mee Adaptor set going 4.4mm to MMCX with the DM6. Also note I’ve only just started using the DM6, maybe over a week; probably close to 150 hours of burn in on the DM6. Also the DM6 seemed to change more after burn-in of 50 hours.

    They are probably the same value overall in my mind though slightly different in construction and sound. The N3 is maybe the more refined sound. It can actually be a sleeper sounding boring at first but then revealing more and more with each new hour of use. The DM6 is kind of a “Wow“ right out of the box. Both are great fitting which sets them apart from most headphones in their realm. Literally they are both fantastic fitting. I use Sony Hybrid Tips with the DM6 and RHA double flange tips for the N3, shown in the photo.

    The DM6 is an amazing value, and it’s new to me, which could enhance my opinion at this point. The DM6 offers an amazing sound for the money, but if you read the DM6 thread, a posted response graph shows a slight hole in the response curve. This character makes snare drums sound a little thin and cheap. Stuff is not filled out and not fleshed out in that small area of the response. But it’s qwerky and doesn’t always ever show. I can go days listening and not notice it listening to electronic music. Vocals can at times also fall into that funny area with the DM6, so it’s safe to say they may not do vocals that well. The rest .......absolutely amazing. The DM6 has a charming way of continuing to scale up and up and can even get better with good desktops. I don’t remember the N3 being able to scale that much? But the N3 has a smoother more together response graph......at least it sounds like it does, I have never seen an N3 graph. So N3 vocals are better. And the N3 is truly everything you read about in this thread. They are maybe a better all-rounder. I like both for what they do, so it would be hard to choose one over another. From memory the DM6 bass does not go exactly so low as the N3, but it’s super low BA bass so it has it’s own character. Somehow the BA bass does not have the decay issues you can notice with other BA only IEMs. The DM6 bass is nice. The N3 maybe slightly smoother than the DM6.

    Somehow both end up with a warm signature with the DM6 having slightly more soundstage if I remember right. But the N3 is a more conservative signature where more elements are in place, the right place, making the DM6......sound slightly crazy, but fun.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
    monsieurfromag3 likes this.
  2. audiohurric4ne
    That is actually really helpful. thank you for the quick reply, very nice of you. i think ill go with the n3 since ive got a good deal on them(i think) and really liked the sound when i tried them. to me it sounded better than the king pro and it03 that i compared side by side in the store. only thing is i dont have any balance input lol is there any cheap, good standard cable for n3 that you can recommend ? also is usd200 for the n3bp a good deal ?
  3. Redcarmoose
    Yes, 200USD is fantastic, and I paid more for them right at the Sony Flagship Store in Tokyo Japan, where normally stuff is a good price.

    The N3 has a multitude of names, but it comes basicly normal 3.5mm or
    4.4mm. If I understand your post your getting the 4.4mm and need another 3.5mm additional cable to plug into 3.5mm?

    If 3.5mm is your cable quest, I don’t have any answers as normally I’m changing to 4.4mm.

    I listened to the King Pro and DM6 back to back at a shop while purchasing the DM6, liking the DM6 better than the King Pro and using my IPod Touch 3.5mm single ended to test stuff. Not to be negitive, but you will find a photo a couple pages back of someone ruining their N3 IEM while changing MMCX cables around.....be careful. I’ve never changed mine. That is one reason it may be better to pay slighly more for 3.5mm if your application IS 3.5mm. Then you just simply leave the cables in place.

    Though too, you will read of folks upgrading to a nice aftermarket cable on this thread and getting an even better liked sound after cable change-out.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
    monsieurfromag3 likes this.
  4. udesign48
    lol I paid only $170 for a used N3AP pair
  5. dannyvstheworld
    Mee audio has a set of balanced cable and adapters, and for $80 you get a 2.5mm balanced cable, as well as adapters for 3.5mm balances, 3.5mm SE, 4.4mm balanced, so it’s a pretty solid option if you just want to try out the balance output.

    But be cautious the cables doesn’t look or feel that great, a bit cumbersome, a bit microphonic, and a bit plastic. I also can’t detect significant improvement in sound quality compared with the stock cable, probably a tiny bit warmer and softer but I can’t be sure.
  6. Ritu
    Anyone using N3 with sony walkman models A25 or A55. If yes, how is the performance?
  7. gazzington
    Thinking of getting a set of these for use at work. Im pondering between these and campfire comets. Anybody have experience of both?
  8. HerrXRDS
    Has anyone got to listen to N3 and Kanas Pro? How do they compare? It seems like both are pretty close to the Harman curve.
  9. dannyvstheworld
    Can’t say much about the sound because I haven’t spent enough time with Comet, but Comet needs much more power than N3. Comet also has a better cable. Comet is a bit smaller, seals better for me, almost too good that it creates the vacuum feeling with silicone tips, but that’s just me.
  10. Raketen
    Only used a little mostly in LDAc receiver mode. I like it so far. Seems to be driven adequately and what I find to be slightly exaggerated dynamic sound of A55 (almost a little DSP-ish) particularly in treble works pretty well with the N3 IMO. But this is only a few hours of listining I did last weekend, and I am not a critical listener so OFc YMMV. Enjoying the DAP so far too, especially as an LDAc receiver used with my phone for streaming audio.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
    Ritu likes this.
  11. Ritu
    Thank you for your reply.
  12. gazzington
    Is the Sony XBA-N1AP pretty good for its price range. Mainly a metal listener
  13. kova4a
    |Well, I don't know about the N1, but the N3 is quite good for metal. In fact I would pick it over my flc8d as it is more forgiving to bad recordings and to your ears as the usual high volume level that lends itself well to metal and rock music doesn't lead to ringing in your years.
    monsieurfromag3 likes this.
  14. Lohb
    You'd go for N3 if you can afford it, more refined treble up top and better low-end for drum texture downstairs.
  15. kova4a
    Some Sony love
    IMG_20190112_123142.jpg IMG_20190112_122854.jpg
    AeroSatan and Redcarmoose like this.
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