Summary: If i rate the W4 is 10/10, Xba-4 is 8/10. The W4s are Ok at every expect but lie down a setback note from the W4s ability. Only one thing which the Xba-4 is better than the W4 that is: the Xba do not have the zz zzz sibilance sound..
The biggest issue on this new Sony flagship iem is having a freak noise when playing music and the smaller one is no-unique sound signature.
Summary: Tested the XBA4 vs. the EX1000. So, this might be not the most fair comparison, but shows where (all?) multiway drivers lacks.
No doubt, there are highs, mids and deep tones, the only thing that's hard fo find is music.
Especially if you like voices and wide / open soundstaging. Compared to the non BA, one way dynamic predecessor top model EX1000, I instantly get hitted by the extreme differs in overall sound quality and musicality.
Summary: Hi I spent sometime at the local Sonystyle demoing these and thought I'd share my n00b impression.
I'll start off with the conclusion for those who don't want to read the full review.
"These are great in-ear-monitor (IEM) with a VERY strong bass presents, with clear and fine detailed mids and treble (highs)!"
The XBA 4 means there are 4 balanced - armature drivers each responsible or the different frequency of music (high, mids, low, ultra low).
Pros: Sound Stage, instrument separation, clearity, and value!
Cons: Bass could be a bit too much for certain musics. Lack of earbud chocies compare to Shure.
Summary: I'm no audiophile and these are my first audiophile grade headphone(Sony claim it so).
Comfort-It is amazing! I thought a 4 BA with such big housing will cause discomfort but no! I was wrong, it is very comfortable. It comes with 4 hybird eartips and 3 noise isolation. It shouldn't go wrong but I hope it can be a little longer.
Isolation-Pretty good! Isolates much of the noise from the outside.
Sound-It sounds great! Nothing is over powered.
Summary: To get the most out of these i use them with normal buds, as the foam ones reduce treble as per usual with foam, without foam in nozzle as it reduces clarity and with the cable over ear because it allows for the earphone to be in a better position.
I bought them from harvey norman for $197 AU, which is cheaper than ebay, hence why i bought them.
For normal retail price (AU $450) they aren't worth it, but for $200? I couldn't buy them quick enough.
Pros: Great treble, bass, vocals are pretty good, good isolation, very comfortable.
Cons: Treble can sparkle due to spike in frequency response at about 6-7khz*, build quality could be better, no shirt clip.
Samsung Galaxy S2 (International), IPhone 3GS, IPad 2, Macbook Pro > Creative Sound Blaster Digital Music Premium HD
Highs: Bright and detailed highs. Decay at a much later stage, and because of that, you can hear much more, e.g. like the end vibration of cymbals. But also because of this, there's some sibilant due to the extension of the highs compared to UM3X. Different tips help though.
Mids: Westone UM3X is definitely better here.
Pros: Sound stage, Separation, details, bass and price
Summary: I have owned the XBA-3 and XBA-1 beforehand and now I own the 1 and 4 only. As far as multi-driver IEMs go I don't think you'll find a more consumer oriented set than the Apple In-ears and the XBA line.
The package includes the earphones, the same fitting kit included with all the rest from the line (4 sizes of standard universal tips, and 3 sizes of "hybrid" tips that have a ring of foam inside the flap of the tip to provide more isolation), magnetic fake leather...
Pros: Instrument separation, imaging, soundstage, clarity, sound quality under certain conditions
Cons: Size, thin and non-removable wires, short nozzles/tips, sound quality is heavily dependent on the source
Summary: Along with the summary below, I have a review thread comparing the Sony EX1000, 7550, XBA-4 and XBA-40 here:
The XBA-4 has quite a comfortable design. Despite the large size of the earpieces they fit in my ear well and the light weight makes them quite comfortable.
Pros: Good comfort, strong isolation, holographic instrument separation and uncanny imaging
Cons: Very dark, thick sound, metallic shimmer to the highs, hard to wear cable up, cable tangles easily, needs low impedance source
The best around for sound! Strain relief not so good.
15 November 2013
Summary: Will keep this short, decided to road test them properly before reviewing, had these for 9 months now. Build: Very high standard, has taken a lot of abuse. However, an internal break in the cable at end of plugs strain relief is the reason for only 4 stars. Don't think the strain relief is up to much, replaced with a Neutrik 3.5mm jack - much better! Just be aware this and be careful not to strain the cable - dropping player with plug in, taking out of pocket etc...
Summary: I brought these after my sennheiser Ie80s stopped working after very little use so I thought I would try the sony option. boy was I happy they sound a lot better the bass is the best I have heard all round they are great very clear.