Conclusion: Sony’s XBA-4iP in ear headphones offer one of the best sounds we have experienced, but the appearance and hefty price tag may put off some buyers. However, overall they are an excellent choice for music enthusiasts.
Summary: Plenty of the biggest brands are getting on board with the new balanced armatures tech this year. Brands like Sony, who recently showed off their entire 2012 headphone range – including seven in-ears that tote balanced armatures. The XBA 4iPs are the top of the range and are a pair of in-ears that squeeze four miniature drivers into each, admittedly chunky, enclosure. These are some of the finest in-ears we've ever heard – a crisp, hugely punchy and thrilling listen.