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Sony XBA-N3AP and XBA-N1AP — Impressions thread

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  1. rendyG
    How is the isolation on these? I´ve seen crin´s measurements and I think this may be the one I´m looking for (speaking about tonality).
    Just ordered one in opened box for $210, looking forward to hearing those at monday :)
  2. kova4a
    Well, nothing special, but decent. The vent holes are facing the ears, which is always better. It never hurts to check all of the EU Amazon stores when looking for something - I got a brand new one last month from the Spanish Amazon for 190 euro
    monsieurfromag3 likes this.
  3. Feilong4
    How much worse is the isolation in comparison to an Etymotic?

    I have an ER3XR but was looking at these for a more fun sound and resolution.
  4. kova4a
    Well, that's not really a fair comparison as the etymotics are the most isolating iems around. So I would have to say a bit above average, but the sony obviously can't isolate on par with a deep inserting totally sealed BA iem like ety.

    The N3 is still a huge step forward for sony given their previous models with close to no isolation and picking wind noise like crazy. Of course, the new ier models will surely be better as they are fully sealed, but they still won't be keeping up with ety.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
    Redcarmoose and Feilong4 like this.
  5. HerrXRDS
    Just got the N3. First impression, holy mother of mid-bass, it has a lot. And this is coming from someone who uses EQ on FH5 or IT01 to raise the bass a few dB. Have to spend a few days with them to see if I keep them, some parts I like, others not so much.
    Vitandus likes this.
  6. nort ycagel
    How does these (XBA-N3) compare to the Jays Q jay?
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  7. Raketen
    Quite different. N3 kind of a relaxed/warmish v-shape that is comparatively darker in uppermids but with good detail, lot more lower bass. q-Jays comparatively neutral-bright, flatter bass with a peak in uppermid/low treble area, more energetic (quite sibillant for me if I don't use foam tips). Presentation maybe a little more open/spacious sounding on qJays but N3 has good imaging just more 'intimate'. Personally prefer q-Jays for signature (and small size/ridiculous build quality) but N3 is easier to recommend as an all-rounder IMO (as long as the extra bass isn't an issue).
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
    nort ycagel and monsieurfromag3 like this.
  8. nort ycagel
    Thank you very much. What about the N3 compared to the FH5? Both should have a V shape signature.
  9. Redcarmoose

    I’ve sat in a shop and listened to the FH5 but own the N3.

    To be honest I really have not spent more than 15 or 20 minutes with the FH5, but I figure I could know what it is in that time.

    And yes, they both have a V signature. They are also both hybrids. The FH5 are suppose to be comfortable but just be aware they are way bigger, and heavier. I look at the N3 as small and low weight. Due to ergonomics the N3 just seems to fit way, way better. The N3 is one of the best feeling IEMs to wear, as they feel like nothing and never move around, always staying right where you place them. But fit is also an individual thing. As far as sound goes I liked the N3 better, though I was not actually directly comparing them while listening to the FH5. I was putting the FH5 against everything new that was just released at the same time, the TFZ King Pro, Queen, BGVP DM6 and a couple of KZ IEMs which model names escape me. I even like the N3 better than the IT04 but it may be I simply like the Sony house sound?

    The FH5 is a more dramatic listen on first test, where the N3 is more of a sleeper. The N3 is subtle and reserved in a way, maybe more sophisticated. It’s charms are qualities that seem to be revealed the more you listen. It’s remarkably coherent and cohesive at times with nothing out of place, if you can adjust to the bass. It actually does vocals well for what it is. Though in the end I almost look at the N3 as slow, but not slow in a bad way, but slow in a good way like old Hi/Fi speakers slow way, as compared to 1980s brighter speakers. It’s natural sounding.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
    monsieurfromag3 likes this.
  10. HerrXRDS

    I have both, I only got the N3 few days ago The FH5 is the more neutral of the two. N3 has a big mid-bass emphasis and not as good resolution and details in the lows as the FH5. FH5 does lows wonderfully, it's elevated and goes deep but it's quicker and keeps clarity to distinguish different drums and bass lines, with N3 I'm having problems on certain tracks even if I try to EQ, N3 has more quantity and sounds like a big ol speaker with Dolby enabled to make explosions sound nice in movies, FH5 sounds like you're hearing the band. For the mids and highs it's a toss-up as both perform really well. The N3 is the more cohesive of the two in this area, little warmer vocals and slightly darker sound. The FH5 is not that much brighter either, just slightly, both are at the same level of comfort in mids and highs to me when listening. The N3 has more recessed vocals, I would say even more than E4000 but they sound really nice and natural. The FH5 has a slight hump in the 2K region, vocals sound more in your face, colder but still on the warm side and with more details, like I can hear lip smacks and subtle breaths that are usually more masked on the N3. Trumpets, flutes and everything else in the 2k region is also more in your face on the FH5 where on the N3 all instruments sit placed at the same level. FH5 manages to pull more details of the two. Other than the difference in lows, I think the mids and highs are pretty close in general signature and quality, both on the warm side, amount of sparkle and brightness, not as far apart as other IEMs.

    Soundstage is very similar in depth and width, both about the same amount of openness which is pretty average, nowhere near the ZS6 or E4000/E5000

    Comfort wise, the FH5 are the most comfortable IEMs I've had, wore it for days with no problems, I normally have problems with cable down and the N3 is no different, my ears hurt after one hour and I'm still trying to find something that works.

    Build quality Sony cable is pretty crapy, Sony body OK, tips are stellar. Fiio has better quality all around.

    I think the FH5 is better, I think the E4000 for half the price is better, but that's because I don't like that boomy old school Dolby movie big mid-bass, if you're into that, the N3 is not a bad choice.
    Also, Electronic, EDM, Pop or anything with synthetic bass sounds wonderful on N3, I listen to metal, folk and other stuff with more natural bass so I don't prefer the N3 for that.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  11. duppex
    Any help would be much appreciated as I am new to (IEM)

    I want to purchase XBA-N3BP, to use with my Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Phone. Would it be recommended I go for the XBA-N3BP, and purchase a 4.4m Balance to 3.5mm adapter to fit in the phone?. Or should I purchase the Sony XBA-N3AP, as using XBA-N3BP, on a phone may not get the most out of Balance Earphones?

    Is there a good 4.4m Balance to 3.5mm adapter someone could send me a link to, the only one I can find, please see link below.

    Lastly, does anyone have a tried a tested link to a store that sells the XBA-N3BP and ships to the UK?, I can only seem to find the XBA-N3AP her in the UK stores, Sony Centre/Amazon.

    Sorry for the Noob questions, but I think the questions will help many new people like myself who want to start collecting good quality Earphones.

    Many Thanks
    dmusicd likes this.
  12. Nostoi
    I believe the only difference between the BP and the AP is the inclusion of the 4.4mm cable in the former. That would be wasted on your phone, so you might as well get the UK version. In any case, you can always upgrade the cable later on if you move to a balanced DAP.
    dmusicd likes this.
  13. duppex

    Thanks for the fast reply. I was swaying towards just getting XBA-N3AP, due to easy of availability here in the UK, and as you said I can always get a balanced cable down the line if needed.

    Regarding the Sony XBA-N3AP, is there any tried and tested good alternative standard cables you can recommend, as I would like to have a better quality back-up.

    Also any recommendation on good quality foam ear tips.

    Again, Thanks for the heads up.
  14. Nostoi
    I'm not too sure about standard cables for the Sony, as I only use balanced. But I'm a fan of Forza cables; they're excellently made, very musical, and not overly expensive. Their cooper series cable would probably be excellent for the N3AP.

    Don't use foam tips, I'm afraid, so not sure about that. I find the N3AP is already quite bass-oriented so tend to try to balance it with someone like the JVC Spiral Dot, which to my mind works really well.

    Regards to old Blighty.
    dmusicd and monsieurfromag3 like this.
  15. rendyG
    OMG, the N3 would be so good without the THIC bass :D Clean midrange and extended treble without any sihnificant peaks/dips is really nice.
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