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Sony XBA-N3AP and XBA-N1AP — Impressions thread

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  1. Raketen
    I would say IER-M9 is a natural upgrade, but not for bass... probably would want to stick to hybrid or DD (maybe even one of the planar IEMs). ICYMI: check out Crinacle.com's graph comparison tool for whatever suggestions you get.

    Considered full size headphones? Potentially much better value proposition IMO.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  2. mredmond
    I actually am coming to IEMs because I had tired of full size headphones for long listening sessions at work for various reasons. But it is true that they are a better value proposition.

    I know I can't expect the world from IEMs, but it seems like they have gotten pretty amazing since I last looked at them, hence my trying to learn what all is out there in this rapidly growing market now. And hence my curiosity as to whether there was a noticeable and appreciable step up from the N3 that was still in the same vein of sound but still less than $1k. After trying some BA only, I know I want to stick to DDs or hybrids because of the bass.
  3. Lohb
    I see Fiio FH5 is a hybrid and similarly ranked (B= to Sonys B+) and priced in crinacle's big list.

    Anyone tried both ?

    Really liking a small amp I picked up recently for N3, an "oldie but goldie" Neco Dual-mono V4 with an obscure and natural-sounding DIP-8 amp chip...wonder what other portable amps have good synergy with N3 that people are using...Vorzuge Pure or Duo I/II etc ?
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  4. Vitandus
    I owned both. Recently sold the FH5 when I picked up the FH7. The former had a boom-ier bass compared to the FH7 and the XBA-N3. The FH5 was also less detailed than the FH7, which is similar to the Sony.
    mredmond and Lohb like this.
  5. DrKrFfXx
    How do you rate the N3 against the FH7?
  6. redrol
    In my opinion (ONLY MINE) the FH7 is not really close to the N3 in terms of tonality and overall accuracy of sound. I'd take the N3 (or the Z5 for that matter). Or hell, even the 800ST over the FH7.
  7. gazzington
    Is your moondrop better than the n3 and z5?
  8. redrol
    Which moondrop? A8, yes in my opinion. KPE is actually VERY good compared to high end Sonys. I'd say though the KPE is not better, but its damn close for less than half the price.

    My 2 TOTLs are the A8 and the Z5. I haven't sold the 800ST or the KPE because both bring something different to the table and are extremely satisfying and good.
    Raketen likes this.
  9. gazzington
    I'm interested in either the z5 or A8. I have ex1000 which sound amazing and fearless s8f.
  10. redrol
    According to some of my friends that own the S8F and the A8, both IEMs have similar abilities, the S8F is tuned 'exciting' and 'fun' where the A8 is natural and balanced. I've bought a bunch of excited tuned IEMs and it is not for me at all. The Z5 is very similar to the A8 signature with deeper bass (16mm dynamic) and slightly less extended top end.. BUT plenty of satisfying detail. I'd say the Z5 like the a8 but the tonality is shifted slightly lower and warmer. The A8 has absolutely incredible bass but its not pushed so as to be neutral. If you add some EQ in that area you can get very near the Z5 levels of slam.

    I do feel you can't go wrong with either IEM at all. Both are incredible.

    Here is @crinacle 's graph review tool (thanks Crin!)
    graph (1).png
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  11. Vitandus
    Sound is very personal. Details, bass response and speed, and brightness much better on the FH7. The Sony is much more mellow and not as detailed. Depends on the mood.
  12. kova4a
    Honestly, for me the z5 is kinda redundant as it sounds almost exactly like the n3 but costs more, picks up wind noise and its design is less user-friendly. And even regarding the sound for me the slightly more neutral sound of the n3 is better. I only auditioned the moondrop A8 for a limited amount of time, but it is a totally different beast, colder with thinner notes and a lot less forgiving overall as it pushes the details in your face unlike the more forgiving sony models. Overall, one might say that on a technical level and given its detail retrieval A8 is superior but its sounds definitely isn't for everyone. For me its note presentation lacked weight and the sound overall was a bit too diffuse - it just didn't sound as natural as the sony.
  13. redrol
    I don't agree re the A8 tuning.. and the graph I liked shows that I should be more right than wrong. But we all have different ears. I hear the a8 having very similar tonality compared to the Sonys. Matter of fact, your impression strikes me as if something was off in the audio chain.
  14. kova4a
    Well, I'm not going to argue but I did hear them back to back as the n3 is my daily beater, so no issue with the audio chain. It is possible that the thicker notes of the n3 and its somewhat more focused sound to some extent created the perception of greater tonal difference next to the thinner a8, but even if we consider them somewhat similar in tone (which I don't agree with), their presentation is definitely not similar.

    edit: And I'm not bashing on the a8 or anything - it's extremely good. I'm just saying that it doesn't sound like z5 as the z5 is a bit thicker than the n3.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
    redrol likes this.
  15. Soundizer
    Can anyone provide input on the audio quality of the
    When paired with Sony A55 vs Sony ZX300 - WALKMANS.
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