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Sony's New 2014 flagship IEM - XBA Z5

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  1. vlenbo
    It's a reworked version of the Sony Xba-h3. If Jant71 could chime in, it would help.
    And pardon my earlier comments guys. I am still bitter about sony's earlier products. It'll go away for sure. I still have hope that they can improve on their original mistakes with their old lineups with this new earphone series. The A3 should be a great update to the H3s. The Z5 should blow competition away if they have done their homework, which I highly believe.
    Let's hope for the best. [​IMG]
  2. jant71

    Halfway between the H3 and Z5 but a better design as it uses a 12mm driver. Sony came up with a 12mm driver that is suspended differently and gives about the same surface area of the 16mm driver it replaces. First version of this in LCP but not coated in anything like the Z5. A3 uses the linear drive armature but not the magnesium supertweeter. So, probably the old supertweeter teamed up with the new armature and first gen 12mm LCP. Sony's goal is to eventually replace the 16mm and make smaller models. Z5 is not there yet and neither is A3. The future should bring a better A3 set up that will be a better smaller Z5.
    Provided the linear armature is an improvement in sound(or what is the point of it otherwise) and the 12mm LCP is tuned a bit better than the H3's 16mm(yet to be seen), the A3 should be/could be a step(not major but still) above the H3 and at the original H3 price and smaller than both the Z5 and H3. Should be the most popular model in the end unless Sony messed them up somehow. Don't see how Sony wouldn't want to A3 to do well.
    BlinkST likes this.
  3. vlenbo
    I appreciate it, amigo.
    I wish I did that much research, haha. Thank you for clarifying jant. [​IMG]
  4. Kunlun
    Great post, jant. Thanks.
  5. jant71
    Thanks guys. Just remember since I first saw the newer XB's that first used the new driver where they talked about it. Interesting to see eventually where the design goes. Maybe the EX style from the 600/800/1000 through these A3 and Z5 will be really changed up in a way outside of just being smaller and other tweaks.
    Faster than I thought for the H3 to be replaced and added to with the A3 and Z5. They could have taken longer and not put out these phones. Cool to have a quick H3 improvement though we'll see just how much smaller and better or different sounding they may be. More excited by the A3 than I was for the H3 which I never pulled the trigger on.
  6. violencer
    can't copy from pdf but here is what they say:

    Nothing about that A series have unique or new type of BA.
  7. BlinkST
    "Experience an immense feeling of spaciousness with the XBA-Z5, similar to that of listening to live music in a theatre. It comes with a unique HD Hybrid three-way driver system."
    Uh-oh. This is $1,000 dollar territory; the current H3 doesn't sound anything like that. No spaciousness like a theater or like a 3-way system (The voice placement isn't grounded, and the bass isn't powerful enough). I guess Sony has found a worthy successor to EX1000.  
    At least from what I've heard about the EX1000.
  8. mochill
    Then these might be worthy :sunglasses:
  9. gerelmx1986
    Sony XBA-H3 aren't that bad in soudn, they are the most spacioys IEMs i have heard on my life, and they do sound like a 3-way system, very fine detailed nuances of music, even room reverb
  10. ascension278
    Was at the flagship Sony store in Beijing yesterday. Tried the z5 and z7. In China, both are the same price. I am no technical reviewer expert but the impressions I got over the one hour audition was that it is similar to the h3. I tested it our from my LG g2(okay not outstanding), zx1(very bright sucks balls imo), out from the uda-1 amp (great but I prefer the z7).

    If I would describe, the z5 is kind of like listening to speakers in your ears. The bass is quite addictive and I was listening to edm from my phone. But the vocals fall short of the z7. In my opinion I don't think it can beat 334!(was impressed sorely by it when I auditioned)
    * I got only like 85% seal so YMMV

    At this price range I ever only heard dita the answer. I would go for the z5 as it suits my sound sig more. Is it a clear upgrade from the h3? That I'm not so sure
  11. mochill
    Need to listen In a quiet environment :wink:.. And seal is important and tip selection and source files :blush:
  12. gerelmx1986

    Build quality compared to XBA-H3?, how does it feel, solid, flimsy?, the Fit, was better than XBA-H3? or you had to periodically readjust them?
  13. Fidelity King
    Is the z5 a ported design like the ex1000 and h3?
  14. mochill
    Yes it is , that's why I think it should be used indoor :wink:
  15. lomenhk
    Had a chance to listen XBA-A3 and XBA-Z5 yesterday at local HK Sony Store, here is my primary impression:
    - Appearance and build quality: 
    I personally like the new design/shape of Z5/A3 above H3. However, the build quality is a bit disappointed. It is still sturdy but not as detailed as H3. I hand on it and just feel it looks like a piece of cheap plastic (not the feel of magnesium/metal), except its shape and design looks good. It is definitely not the build quality of earphone costing HK$5K/US$700. It is a drawback.
    - Sound performance
    The source I used is my personal ZX1, test with various J-pop, english and Cantonese Pop, no amping, and base on my impression of H3 I have listened 6 months before.
    Definitely an improvement of H3. I can hear the treble has become more smooth and detail than H3, and no more congested and fall back mids like in H3. The whole soundstage has become more widely opened. Bass is still tight and deep as H3, quality seems the same. I think the improvement mainly focus on treble, mid and the sound stage. If anyone who did not pull the trigger on H3 last year, I can say A3 is the right one this time.
    Compared to A3, Z5 provides a wider and clean soundstage, more detailed highs and mids, more analytical, and tight and deeper bass! Very rich sound. I would say a 10-15% level up. it sounds like A3 but all high, mids, low and timbre are all refined to another level. It does have the 'Feel the Air' characteristics. It is airy, which is lack of in A3. Looks like the magic coating that Sony put onto those drivers works.
    I pretty enjoy Z5 above A3, but the build quality and the price difference between Z5 and A3 - HK$2K/US$260 is kind of drawback indeed. Its predecessor - EX1000, its build quality is much, much higher than Z5 if compared.
    Thanks for reading :)
    joey99 likes this.
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