Rated 4 out of 5 by studawg Very good for $100
Comparing any earbuds to headphones is just ridiculous. Earbuds are small and discrete, that's the design, intent and you're nuts if you think they will ever sound the same, in this price range.
The Sony XBA-H1 are for reproducing music as it was recorded, as every high-end earbud should be. They do a very good job in the mid range, which is the mark of real audio reproduction. They are close to my Sennheiser, but the low end is not there. My Audio Technicas at $75 are good too, but the H1 mid range is better.
If boomy, fake bass is what you're after, try Bose or Beats.
The Apple EarPods are toys. Not in the same world at all. If you like those, don't waste your money on any high end gear.
Bottom line, faithful music reproduction, low end is a tad muddy but the mid and high end are very smooth and accurate. Separation is very good also. For MP3 and AAC files there's no need to spend anymore than $100 anyway.
Give these a try, Sony has been making pro gear for many, many years. They figured it out!
October 4, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Zennrix Excellent Sound for the Price Range
These headphones offer incredible sonic performance for the price paid. The balanced armature driver offers magnificent clarity that cannot be matched by any dynamic anywhere close to this price. The mids are smooth and more forwards than the rest of the spectrum, but the frequency range is reasonable flat and pleasant. Highs are sharp and clear without being overly tinny or distorted and bass is smooth and accurate without being boomy. My main concern is the design. The cable is a unique two tone semi flat design, which while looks appealing, is far from tangle proof and has an extreme amount of flex memory (retains shape of bends and folds). The housing is solidly built of durable matte plastic and chrome but is extraordinarily large. It may be quite uncomfortable for people with small ears. In some case they may not fit at all, but this can be counteracted by using third party foam tips such as Comply Foams. Aside from this, while the price is a bit steep, it is difficult to not recommend these headphones.
April 17, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by tcsting1 Good ear buds
These are good ear buds. Not the best, but then the price would suggest good, not great. I use them most for plane travel.
- great for travelling due to their small size and nice carrying case
- these overpower most noise, even in a plane
- cord is nice and often lies flat so reduce wild tangles
- pretty comfortable and not rough even after a 4 hour flight
- base is weak, but it's an ear bud, so no shock there
- overall sound quality when compared to more robust headphones from Sony is a bit off. Definitely not terrible sound quality and certainly better than all competitors at this price point, but you never forget you are using earbuds. I would rate the sound capability as good. But reasonably, good is the best anyone can get out of an earbud. The physical limitations can't evaporate.
Overall: I am very glad I got these for travelling. Easy and small I can fit them in a shirt pocket and not worry. These are not my main in house earphones though, they don't have the same capabilities of over the ear headphones.
September 26, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by MuffenMan Great earbuds
Both bass and treble sound great and with excellent depth and presence. I was skeptical after my experience with the 2-drivers but I'm glad I got these. As a testament I'm actually back buying a new pair to replace the ones my dog chewed up (this is now two pairs of earbuds he's chewed up in a month and a half, a new hiding spot is in the works.)
I'm angry to have to drop this kind of cash again but I do feel these are worth it.
December 23, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by Clarky Interesting
First of all, we all have different likes and tastes. So, this is my side of the story. After reading the reviews on Sonys store, I felt that these headphones were going to be really good. I used apples EarPods and headphones almost the entire time I have had my devices. I thought it might be time for a change and experience sound from another developer. I received the headphones in the mail a little after I purchased and opened them right away. Plugged them in my iphon and turned on my favorite song. I definitely heard a change. The sound was light like a feather. The bass was very faint, the vocals were a bit improved. I looked for answers on the internet and a ton of others were saying the same thing. No solution was found and I truer listening again and I forced myself to listen to the music for a couple hours. I really thought of returning them. Music for me has a richness and deep feeling, and the hybrid 2-way, took that away. I then listen to a podcast to hopefully save the product from being returned and the voice was a rich and clear. So I convinced myself to keep them so when I'm on the buss to class I can use the noise canceling feature to block out the noise and listen to my favorite podcast. Plus in there computer I have good quality sound from that using the headphones. But when I play music I have to use the EarPods for better quality.
Voice improvements on podcasts
Uncomfortable for long listening periods
Overall sound is dampend
August 15, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by soundpersononthego solid sound
Pretty comfortable -- built strong -- good balanced sound.
October 15, 2014