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Sony XBA-N3AP and XBA-N1AP — Impressions thread

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  1. aisalen
    Happens to me too, I just lucky that I still able to found the missing piece. I tried many of my unused tips but unable to get a good seal. I am still waiting for my order from japan through ebay just to make sure that I have a backup just in case it got lost again.
  2. Audiophile2019
    Couldn't agree more, bro.. N1 is definitely better than N3 for my taste.. :)
  3. Lohb
    Interesting, I'm pretty treble sensitive and just found N3 more 'extended/sparkly' than N1 in the upper regions.
  4. DJ_JonnyV
    Hey fellas, haven't posted on here for a while. Recent work changes have me trading in a 2.1 desktop audio setup back to some IEMs. Very intrigued with the N3s based upon the extensive research I've done on them. A buddy at work was swearing by the Tin Audio T2s, so I picked up a pair of T3s and that's just not getting the job done. My last higher end set of IEMs was the Westone W3s, which I wish I never sold now! Anyway, I have two questions. First, anyone ever compare the W3s to the N3s and do they have somewhat of a same ballparkish sound signature. And, two, being based in the U.S., where would be the best place to pick these up? I have an aversion to Amazon and looks like there are a lot of importers from Japan selling these on ebay. Any thoughts here? Thanks!
  5. Raketen
    In the past I've imported a handful of IEMs from well rated JP based sellers on eBay with no significant issues- once or twice they've looked more like 'open box return' than the listed 'new' (did not attempt returns).

    Downside of importing, there is some risk of customs fees. Also since the N3 is not officially sold in the US if you have any issues there likely won't be any support or return policy (for instance with the totally adequate but cheapo feeling stock cable). Current ~260ish price seems fair athough not rock bottom (exchange rates- once were briefly ~$220).

    Also suggest picking up a set of wide bore eartips if you order... not a necessity, but some people here mention preferring slightly brighter sound w/ them.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  6. udesign48
    I bought iSine 10 and I confirm iSine 10 is not better than N3AP...thankfully, I paid only $50 for my iSine 10. I think that's how much it actually worth.

    Etymotic ER4SR is on par with N3AP or better if you pair it with a powerful amp.
    Here's how I rank IEMs based on accuracy of their sounds:

    0. Etymotic ER4SR
    1. Sony N3AP
    2. Sony XBA A3 and iSine 10
    3. MEE Audio P1
    4. Sony MDR EX600
    5. 1More Quad and iBasso IT01
    6. MEE Audio Planamic
    7. Sony XBA A2
    8. CRAP IEMs - Audio Technica E40, MEE Audio P2 (real crap, don't buy this), Audio Technica LS50i, Sennheiser IE60
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  7. daveyostrow
    I don't completely agree with this ranking A3 is def above the N3. Probably the A2 as well.

    N3 is like the A line they are fitting in a better/smaller design. Maybe the amp you are using is making all the difference.
  8. redrol
    I am getting either the A3 or the N3 next. What is better?!
  9. Raketen
    Did you have the Cypher cable for iSine? By most reports I've read they don't sound right without the EQ it provides (design philosophy was somethign like: make the lowest distortion driver they can, and then tune it with EQ)
    udesign48 likes this.
  10. aisalen
    In my experience paired with WM1A, my ranking are the ff.:
    1. Sony N3BP
    2. Ibasso IT03
    3. Sony XBA A3 (Already sold)
    4. KZ ZS6

    On the way is Final E5000, let's see if it can tap the N3 which is the best for me at the moment. I like it more than my HD600/650 and Jot/DV 336SE desktop setup.
    udesign48 likes this.
  11. udesign48
    Thanks for that review. Now I can skip iBasso IT03. IT01 is nice but it's on par with MEE Audio P1 which is just an ok IEM.
    N3AP is very close to HD650... when I pair N3 with balanced cable and output, it sounds incredible... especially with Pono dual 3.5mm balanced.

    and you can totally skip iSine 10, 1More Quad. They sound muddy and blurry compared to N3.
    In my opinion, they're total waste of money... not even good for casual listening.
    A3 has wider sound stage but very fake bass.. it sounded so fake to me. I sold both A3 and A2.

    Etymotic Research ER4SR has some nicer details to offer. Other than that, I'm interested in trying IE800s and XBA Z5.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
    backdrifter likes this.
  12. udesign48
    I tried their Reveal VST plugin.. the result is not that different. Honestly, it's still behind N3. iSine 10 has wide and holographic image but it's still not realistic... when compared to N3, it's not detailed enough. I think iSine 10 has very blurry and muddy sound signature just like 1More Quad.
    Raketen likes this.
  13. Raketen
    I think IER-M9 is a good "neutralisation" of the N3... loses on the deep bass, but seemingly more even response IMO, share's n3's slightly dark but detailed sound & good presentation.

    Don't think I could ever recommend something that expensive* over N3,ER4,MD+w/IEMatch,FD01mod- but, along with Andromeda, for people w/ money to burn maybe worth the premium.

    *(price isn't THAT bad if you can get it from Japan, especially secondhand)
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
    udesign48 likes this.
  14. udesign48
    Yeah, I think I'll add IER-M9 to my wanted list.

    So, following IEMs are going to be improvements over N3:
    - IE800s
    - IER-M9
    - AKG K3003
    - Shure SE846

    But they're extremely expensive... lol
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
  15. aisalen
    Already received my E5000, initial observation is that it is darker and bassy than N3 but the detail retrieval is great than in N3 and so is the soundstage, I just notice that it is very hard to drive so DAP is a prerequisite to drive it. Now it becomes my number 1.
    Raketen and udesign48 like this.
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