Rated 5 out of 5 by EventHorizon Very well executed
There are as many opinions as people on this planet. So, I will speak for myself. I can not call myself audiophile but I do have many hobbies and building custom DAC, headphone amplifiers, speakers, modding headphones are part of my list. I was looking for good in-ear headphones. XBA-3 did fit my bill. So, I will not be writing about great value or headphones in similar price range. My observation is about sound only. In short - XBA-3 are GREAT! Very neutral, no excess bass or anything else. They sound clinical. So, garbage IN - garbage OUT. Make sure what you are using something what has at least SNR 95dB and has enough power to drive them. You will hear any imperfection in you music source. It's exactly what I was looking for. Because when you have good setup, you will appreciate quality of these headphones. Wide soundstage, one of the cleanest and even frequency response (at least for my ears). Nice artificial leather case. Excellent selection of ear-tips (I love one with foam core and silicon shell). I just wish them to be smaller but three drivers need space, so I am no complaining.
April 11, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by jayebyrd great earphones and great purchase
great detailed sound. I'm listening to a lossless file of ella and louie on my ipod classic 160 and the sound is deep ,detailed and enveloping. The earphones create a huge sound stage that carries you into the music. I have many earphones and these are the best of the lot by a long shot. A great recording made better by great earphones.
February 22, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by Prfs Worst buy I've made in years
It took me a long time to get some money to buy some good headphones. I found the sony Xba-3 in a Portuguese site for € 205. When I opened the box, the first thing I noticed was the build quality.
The headphones are lightweight and made of plastic and the cable is thin and weak. I connected it to my Sony Xperia arc, and I was just disappointed with the sound. I also have Sony headphones (MDR-EX310LP, which cost me € 45). The sound on the XBA-3 is much lower than in EX310Lp and has no bass at all.
The highs have more clarity than in EX310lp but the sound in MDR-ex310lp is much more balanced, the bass is deep and clean without muffle the mids and treble, although I need to pay more attention to hear some details compared to the XBA-3.
Of course I had to test the sound on my computer, I have one of the best sound cards on the market (creative sound blaster x-fi titanium HD). The sound in the Xba-3 improved greatly as well as the MDR-EX310Lp. The headphones are quite sensitive to the equalizer, but when I tried to adjust the bass, they began to distort, and I began to hear vibrations in the left earpiece which only stopped when I put my finger on it.
The MDR-EX310lp proved quite balanced sound, the treble as also defined but not as defined and separated as the Xba-3( you need to pay a bit more attention to the music tho ear some details that you can ear in the xba-3 more easily), but in return they reproduce clean and deep bass.
The sound in the Xba-3 begins to mix when increasing the volume!!!.
I just did not returned it because I could not but I have already put them on sale on the Internet and if i sell them i will buy the SHURE es215.
In short: these headphones do not reproduce balanced sound as mentioned by Sony, you only will listen highs, some mids and no lows, the bass is nearly nonexistent (even my old Philips who I used to use with my Sony Ericsson w995 produce better bass and cost me only 15 €!) and have poor quality of construction.
Bad advertising and definitely not worth € 205, and will probably be the last I'll buy from Sony.
January 19, 2013
Rated 2 out of 5 by jmotyka Not at all what I had expected.
Let me start by saying I am an audiophile, I have owned many different IEMs in my search for the perfect sound (or what is perfect for me). I was over at head-fi and was reading all the glorious reviews on the xba-3's, I decided I'd give them a try and had my parents by me them for Christmas. I get my xba3's excitement, I use my HTC one with a fiio amp. They sounded pretty darn good! But I would occasionally hear a clicking noise out of the left ear when bass and sub bass frequencies would hit(and not at loud volumes either) and it only happened every so often until it started doing it more and more often even in lower volumes. Now its doing it non stop in both ears. I did some research and this is a common problem with the xba line. I also found out that this can be an issue with balanced armiture drivers period. Balanced armitures cannot handle bass at medium to higher volumes. But I have other multi BA driver earphones that don'thave this problem. Seems Sony has a major problem on their hands. I submitted mine for warranty and they are honoring my warranty. I'm just worried I will have the same issues with my replacements. I wish they could just replace them the the xda-h1's or even xba-h3's seeing as those are hybrid BA and Dynamic drivers that way the dynamic driver can handle the bass. I sure as heck can't afford to purchase another $200-300 pair of earphones. Sony if you get this my warranty reference number is (e59702070) if you could please exchange my xba-3 with the xbah1 or xbah3 I would greatly appreciate bit, and I hope I can right a glowing review. I love your products and always have. I'm just not happy with the xba-3s. Thank you for taking the time to read.
February 21, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by kingofart really?
i got this yesterday and i hooked up with my galaxy s4. i found that with low frequency or somewhere around this headphone made serious distortion i didnt change low frequency volume. i was totally disappointed and wonder if online review are so untrustable ..
used HD600, HD555 ,HD497 Sennheiser and lots of heaphones .. i never had this problem before. i pluged this headphone with my iphone 4s . there was not a problem however i cant change my cellphone cuz of headphone~~~~ thats the point.
June 9, 2013