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Sony's New 2014 flagship IEM - XBA Z5

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  1. Inks
    Measurements. Looks pretty bad, sibilant, bass bloated, limited bandwidth and high distortion. Z7 measures a lot better, though it lacks some treble extension. Maybe it measures better with a more shallow fit and vent mod, but I don't see it dethroning the EX1000 as the best Sony IEM. Or maybe the real gems are the A3 and or the A2. 
     
     
    z5_review_10.jpg
     
  2. wateryakcat
    Maybe stop looking at measurements and start listening earphones, and then tell if they are bad?
     
    BlinkST likes this.
  3. xedjflowx

    Let him be. He's an expert on his own opinion.
     
  4. tranhieu
    Thanks Rin.
     
    Sorry guys, but my listening experience matches Rin's measurements fairly well. Unless they require some montrous power source to drive, but out from my Ipod touch 4 the bass is heavily bloated, it's like hearing someone punching on a pillow with your face underneath. Treble sure is there, quite present, but dont get me talk about their detail retreval. The only nice thing about the Z5 is their midrange, which is quite smooth and has a bit sweetness in it, definitely better than the peaked upper midrange of the A3. Other than that, I can't see why you have to pay the premium for the Z5 while the A3 already has more than enough bass. 
     
  5. wateryakcat

    Your impressions is very similar to my impressions with H3.
    But after some time they sounded much, much better. Hope this is case with Z5 too. From bad start to hopefull future. :D
     
  6. Kunlun
    Huh, the woo audio guy was hyping these to the moon. I think we'll need additional views to really help settle things. In the meantime, I'm glad I got an ie800 rather than waiting for the z5 as my universal fit set.
     
  7. Ivabign

    Because half the people walk around with a banana on their head is no reason for me to walk around with 2 zucchinis in my ears - the one thing I couldn't handle with my H3s' was the fit and how they felt like ailerons - I felt that if they had a sharper leading edge, I could achieve liftoff.
     
  8. cn11
     
    Not to go off topic, but you should also seriously give the ASG-2.5 a listen... I like it better than anything I've heard in the 1,000-1,800 range (which comprises of the Ref.1, Parterre, SE846, and LAB 1). More than anything to date, it's the one IEM I could live with for a long, long time. It is significantly improved over what I heard a while back with the ASG-2 (which I was not terribly impressed with). 
     
    So to go back on topic, I have been hoping the Z5 will work at the same level of satisfaction... Agreed that we need some more observations to really get a concrete picture of the sound. I remain cautiously hopeful...
     
  9. Kunlun
    Your input is always welcome with me. I'll definitely have to check those out.
     
  10. cn11
    Thanks man, likewise!
     
  11. HiFiGuy528
     
    Current IEMs in my collection.  Let's start with the Sonys since this is a Sony Z5 thread.
     
    - MDR-EX1000, EX700SL, MDR-7550, MDR-EX800st, XBA-4, XBA-40, XBA-3, XBA-2, XBA-1, XBA-H3, XBA-H2, XBA-H1, and a bunch of XB models
     
    Etymotic:
    every model
     
    Sennheiser:
    IE-800
     
    AKG:
    K3003
     
    Klipsch X11i, x10, x7i
     
    Beats:
    every model and color
     
    Noble Audio:
    Noble 4 & 6
     
    RHA:
    T10i
     
    Logitech:
    UE900
     
    Sony XBA-Z5 left a solid impression when I used it at CanJam.  Will have it here in a week along with Z7.  I need the PHA-3 now :frowning2:
     
  12. Caedus
    I just tried z5 at the local sony store last week. The bass is quite impressive (much better than my ex1000); however, treble and mid range are quite a let down for an iem at this price range.
    In comparison to xba h3, z5's sound is more balanced and z5's bass is better controlled.
     
    I will try it again next week since the demo may need more time to finish the burn-in.
     
  13. thatonenoob
    Currently auditioning the Final Audio Lab 1.  I don't know how to feel about the XBA-Z5 now....[​IMG]
     
    My ears are so confused.
     
  14. omastic
    Well, measurements do tell some story. I agree it does not say the whole story and you should not base your opinion without first listening to an earphone, but It does not make any sense to completely disregard it. Even IEM manufacturer goes by measurements when designing their IEMs. See, it is not some kind of voodoo magic that goes behind designing this earphones. It is science and engineering. So there is nothing wrong with measurements. In fact, so far my listening experiences have been pretty well matched with the frequency response graphs of all the IEMs I have owned thus far, which is quite a few to be honest.  
     
    I am still looking for an opportunity to audition the Z5, A3 and A2. I absolutely love my H3. If the Z5 is significant upgrade I think I am am sold........
     
  15. wateryakcat

    I completly agree with you, but Inks bash anything if he doesn't like measurements without listening actual thing.
    I realy loved H3 sound, but hated looks and fit. So Z5 or A3 is no go for me.
     
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