Summary: I got a set of XBA-3s a few months ago and I liked them a lot, but I had been wary with them because of the somewhat steep price. Then I found at a local audio-store super discounted XBA-1s and I though those would be a really nice gift for my friend who still used crappy earbuds.
Pros: Extremely clear sound for less tha $100, Small and comfortable, semi-flat cord, super lightweight, Accesory set
Cons: No strain relief, thin cord, don't isolate that much noise, not bassy
Summary: Along with the summary below, I have posted a Youtube review of the Sony XBA-1. If you like the video, please check out my channel for more reviews
The XBA-1 is very practically designed, with a narrow nozzle and a thoughtful selection of tip sizes with Sony's great hybrid tips.
Pros: Good wearing comfort, lightweight, isolating, mellow sound signature with clear mids
Cons: Blunted bass and treble, grain to the sound, not everyone likes J-cables
Summary: These earphones are massively comfortable and clarity and soundstage is amazing for its price (but im not a total expert on IEM's so maybe there's something better out there). Best used for people that want clarity and listens to rock, acoustic, EDM, classical, live etc for the best experience.
Pros: Good Soundstage, Extremely Comfortable, Clarity is amazing for its price
Cons: Bass goes deep but a bit muffled, needs long burn out for full experience.
Conclusion: The XBA-1iP balanced armature headphones may look the part and talk the talk on the packaging, but when it comes to the overall listening experience they’re quite average. A lack of low-end response leaves the mid-levels to dominate.
Pros: Good sound isolation, various earbuds for more tailored fit
Cons: Proper seal can easily be lost when on the move, expensive, mid-heavy sound that can be tinny/crunchy, lack of low-end bass even when good seal is achieved