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Sony XBA-N3AP and XBA-N1AP — Impressions thread

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  1. kova4a
    Yeah, the gr09 is darker with flatter and tighter low end and somewhat more focused sound overall. I got the plastic version of gr09 though - it's sort of a middle ground between the ceramic gr09 and the 37th Anniversary edition. The ceramic version is a bit brighter and clearer than the plastic one, while the anniversary edition is slightly less clear and controlled than it. In comparison the n3 sounds more neutral and spacious due to its more present and extended treble. It's a bit looser but this allows its natural timbre to stand out more. Personally, I would pick the sony over the gr09 any day of the week.
    jant71, Feilong4 and WhatToChoose like this.
  2. silencieux.le
    I just sold my N3 to my friend and I definitely love how the N3 sound. Now I want to get the N1 for a cheaper price. Do you guys recommend it or another in ear? I know that the N1 has more bass with lesser mid and treb than N3 but is it a big difference?
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  3. sic22
    I've had my N3s for about two weeks and have conflicting opinions. They sound much better than any other IEM I've tried but I just can't stay with them. I'm a sucker for great detail without sibilance, and that's practically what the N3s aim for, but the clarity just isn't quite there for me. Seems too congested and overly smooth. The bass is also much too boomy for my liking but pretty much everything else is gorgeous. Both issues have been bothering me more and more and I've already started looking at other options.

    Here's where I'm stuck: try new tips or find a replacement?

    A) After reading most of this thread, I've found that people like JVC Spiral Dots much more than the stock triple comforts. Can anyone comment on the effect of the JVC Spiral tips? Are they really worth it?

    B) What are some leaner/faster alternatives? Mainly looking at the FiiO FH5, looks like more detail while keeping the balance. Also looking at the ety ER4PT (can't afford ER4XR), FLC 8S and Moondrop Kanas Pro.
  4. Redcarmoose
  5. MetalheadGeek
    The Sony's and the FH5 are on my short list for Metal/hard rock. Both have an MMCX so I can use my Shure BT2 cable. Can you provide some more detail into the differences between the two? For me I like bass that is visceral, deep and with slam like a live gig but doesn't congest or overly darken the mids. Mids that are warm to neutral and treble that sin't fatiguing. My source is a Cayin N3. I'm coming from the Shure SE215 and the Thinksound TS02. My metal choices are melodeath/prog/some death and black.
  6. rendyG
    From memory neither of the two were fatiguing, N3 has probably the nicest and cleanest treble I´ve heard in iem. FH5 lacks some air, but for metal, you dont need air..
    FH5 has more forward mids around 2k, which is actually great for guitars and screams.
    The gamechanger for me was the bass of N3.. it is slow and muddy compared to FH5 and it just couldn´t keep up with some faster bass kicks. FH5 has emphasis on sub bass and thank god it is relatively fast (not as fast as graphene IT01 tho).
    For metal I 100% recommend you the FH5, also it can be tuned to your preferences with filters, check FH5 thread...
    WhatToChoose likes this.
  7. WhatToChoose
    I found similar results with the N3. The N3 bass is stellar for slow, melodic tracks, but with metal it is quite sluggish unfortunately
  8. MetalheadGeek
    Thanks @WhatToChoose and @rendyG for the feedback. I'll give the FH5 a go. If the mid spike is too much, I find EQing down works better than up.
    WhatToChoose likes this.
  9. duppex
    Just a quick heads up for anyone like me who is a Bass Head and new to mid/high-end Earbuds, and considering purchasing the Sony XBA-N3AP.

    I am no Audio File and this is just my opinion but I was very disappointed with these Earbuds.

    I have an average ear size but none of the included tips fitted comfortable for me. I also found the Bass very underwhelming, even when playing deep house tracks.

    I ended up selling them and purchasing the Sony WH-1000XM3, which I am very impressed with.

    I think these Earbuds are very good but designed for people that appreciate a clear and detailed sound with a flat/balanced Bass signature.
  10. Share2Care
    How do the LZ-A6 compare throughout?

    Much Appreciation! :)
  11. WhatToChoose

    Very intriguing review, I would have thought the N3 bass would be too much for most people. It is gorgeous bass for all but the fastest of metal tracks. Also quite surprising that none of the included tips fit, the Sony hybrids are known for comfort and fit, and the triple comforts even more so. Good to see you found something you liked though, the reviews for your headphone selection appear quite consistently high.

    I do enjoy running into people who understand that less bass =/= higher resolution, reducing bass is a consistent way to trick a ton of people on these forums that the IEMS are "airy, detailed, and sparkly."
    Vitandus and monsieurfromag3 like this.
  12. Share2Care
    Does anyone have any thoughts please?!

  13. TooPoorForHiFi
    Another vote for the DM6 here.
    Redcarmoose likes this.
  14. audionewbi
    Now that you own the Z1R, dont you think Sony missed the tunning compared to how good N3 sounds?
  15. johnn29
    I sent my XBA-N1AP into oratory1990 on reddit for him to creative some EQ curves in his lab grade HMS.

    Harman target: https://www.dropbox.com/s/5bxbpb216avrvjj/Sony XBA-N1.pdf?dl=0
    Oratory1990 target: https://www.dropbox.com/s/8g779c2o9oj1kfx/Sony XBA-N1 (oratory1990).pdf?dl=0

    More info: https://www.reddit.com/r/headphones/comments/9o2f5n/psa_oratory1990s_list_of_eq_presets/

    Basically you can correct the N1 to sound virtually the same as the N3. If you're following the harman target after EQ the preference rating is 95/100 for both the N1 and N3
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
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