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Sony XBA-N3AP and XBA-N1AP — Impressions thread

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  1. Soundizer
    Many thanks. Which Sony centre did you contact and how much did you pay for the balanced N3? Was IER M7 available from them?
    Sorry for so many questions.
  2. Reeshar
    Ah sorry. Me being a bull in a china shop. It has to be said that there's a huge step-up in price from the A55 to the ZX300, so obviously you have to decide on the price point that works for you.
  3. Reeshar
    I just used the online store which is actually fulfilled by a real store:


    and click "Buy online".

    The balanced version isn't available in the UK. I ordered a Kinboofi balanced cable from the US using Amazon UK. Get the one with MMCX connectors:

    8 Core Silver Plated Copper & High Purity Copper Hybrid Braided in Ear Earphone Cable (MMCX, 4.4mm Plug) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07GQRGCLS/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apap_w2X6ggLAezjFv
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
    Soundizer likes this.
  4. Hinomotocho
    As my primary set up is 4.4mm I use my IT01 (3.5mm) for my tablet (movies), BTR3 and with my S10 phone for music on the go or exercising. The IT01 is a perfect fit and has a decent sound but I'm feeling it lacks the sound signature I prefer. I have had many Sony iems through the years and recently sold my Z5 (sadly as the fit just wasn't right with my ears) but enjoy the dynamic hybrid sound.
    I am considering a secondhand N3 to replace my IT01. I know a while back a couple of people were rating the N3 as preferable over the IT01 but was wondering if me using them unbalanced with the sources I listed I would still get a decent sound out of them? I know the benefits I got from getting a balanced upgrade cable with my Z5 made a massive difference.
    I appreciate any input please.
  5. mredmond
    I get excellent quality with the N3 using the stock 3.5mm cable with my phone and laptop. It is a very easy to drive IEM. (Though if you want to EQ the bass up to to basshead levels you will need an amp, however for normal use basically any good source is adequate alone.) It is sold as both 3.5mm (XBA-N3AP) and balanced (XBA-N3BP), so you may be able to find a used stock balanced cable out there too if you want both cables.

    I also recently gave a brief comparison of the Z5 and N3 in the Z5 thread if you are curious: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/sonys-new-2014-flagship-iem-xba-z5.733404/page-328#post-15116802
  6. Hinomotocho
    Thanks, I appreciate the quick reply
  7. Lohb
    Hi, anyone buy spinfits already...which model did you find worked best with N3 ?
    I see a few model codes.
  8. ScottPilgrim
    Gas costs too much anyway. :D
    udesign48 likes this.
  9. Hinomotocho
    Different design and weight to the Z5, but I was wondering how the fit is in comparison? For me using the Z5 over-ear design with a Sony upgrade cable without the ear hooks was hopeless, regardless of tips they wouldn't behave for me. I know a few people have had issues with the N3 but I was wondering how the design is for most people, does that big dynamic driver part of the housing sit well or can it end up pulling them out of your ears? It's hard to find pictures with an angle to see how they fit in the ear.
  10. mredmond
    The N3 is significantly smaller than the Z5 and a totally different design. It is very easy and comfortable to use like a traditional earphone. It is also easier for me to get a solid seal with the N3 than the Z5. I don't know how you could ever use the Z5 without over ear hooks, but the N3 is designed to be used without them. Some have said they can use it with over ear cables, but I have found I can't get a good seal or good sound with the N3 going over ear.
  11. Hinomotocho
    Thank you again for your response.
    I always used the Z5 with my Sony balanced cable which meant the thin cables ran down behind the ear and offered next to no support like the orginianl thick guide/cable. If the Z5 had the design of the M7/M9 I would probably have used them until I was old and deaf.
  12. cfc7
    Using the N3 cable down, always with the clip and had absolutely no problem with the fit, seal and comfort.
  13. Hinomotocho
    I just bought a secondhand N3 (without cable) from another member and I'm waiting for delivery. For now I just want a fairly cheap cable - is anyone able to direct me to a low priced/reasonable quality cable please? Aliexpress perhaps.
    I intend to wear cable down so I assume that the cables with the curved guide design will not be appropriate?
    mredmond likes this.
  14. tomaslam
    I'm using the N3 with the MUC-M12SB1, the build quality is super good but the cable is a bit sturdy, not soft as other cable. I bought myself the N3 2 weeks ago, without cable too & only cost 100$. What a steal deal
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
  15. Hinomotocho
    Nice cable, I had the non-Kimber balanced one when I owned the Z5, but quite a bit more than I want to spend.
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