Rated 4 out of 5 by jetairways XBA 1iP Headphones
This armature headphone features a lot of good sound....whether i played Rock or Jazz, the sound was excellent...but Bass was missing...could not hear to the level that i could in my other Sony Dynamic Driver headphones...I expected more bass for the price that i payed for these...
December 24, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by DJtheDJ Great mid-tier BA based IEM
I think the people that give these bad reviews have never had experience with single balanced armatures or even multiple armatures. The bass is very clean with a good texture and impact, it sounds the way its truly intended because most IEM artificially boost the bass. The mids are forward and are lush and warm and the highs are laid back yet still have good detail. As for the soundstage its average with decent width and depth and the imaging and separation are also quite good.
For the $62 I paid these are a great pair of BA based IEM's and will work good for anyone thats not a big basshead. The warmth along with the detail makes these a really good IEM in their price range.
June 28, 2012
Rated 2 out of 5 by Stuck At the same price, no match for the EX310s
I'd been waiting to see what Sony could do with balanced armature design since they have, in my opinion, already laid claim to the dynamic driver crown with their monstrous 16mm EX1000s.
These are not my first experience with balanced armature earbuds. Some "audiophiles" claim they are measured by a different metric, something I don't agree with. It either sounds good at it's price point, or is surpassed. These, sadly, fall into the latter category.
The XBA-1's feature only one full range driver. They offer piercingly bright mids and relatively clear highs, but the bottom end is missing in action. Without the low end to provide balance, those bright mids and highs border on shrillness.
On the positive side, they are quite comfortable. Their small size and light weight make them easy both to pocket and to use, though the plastic bodies of the buds do definitely lend an air of cheapness to them. They also finally bring a flat cord to Sony's earbud line - something that has been sorely lacking for quite some time - which do a fine job allaying the tangles and knots that are inevitable with repeatedly pocketing earbuds. Sony also supplies a decent case for storage in keeping with their other high end earbud offerings along with several sizes of silicone tip for the ideal fit.
If these buds were judged by merit alone, I'd consider them fair, but Sony has priced these at the same level as their dynamic driver MDR-EX310's; those are more worthy of consideration.
An interesting first effort in balanced armature design for Sony. While hardly a failure, their price forces me to recommend these only to those looking to expand their collection. For a set of daily drivers, look elsewhere.
April 7, 2012
Rated 3 out of 5 by Drewbacca Maybe I got a bad pair...
First, the great - the tangle free cord is one of the best cords I've seen on any headphone I've ever used. The design is also pretty stellar, and the fit of the earphones, along with the huge variety of eartip sizes are fantastic.
Now, the not so great - I expected way better sound from all these reviews. I'm convinced I got a bad pair, because everything sounds, well,muddled. The detail is there, for sure (I hear e.v.e.r.y. instrument), but all those details just sound muddled. Vocal "s" syllables sound more like "sshhhhhh" than a crisp "ssssssss." Hi-hat hits sound the exact same way. It's like the difference between a low and high quality MP3 - this sounds more on the low end.
Overall it's far better than your run of the mill headphones, for sure, but I think my exact pair might be defective. I'm used to that stellar Sony quality at the amazing Sony price. Hopefully my hunch is true, because I'd hate to see that this is just how they sound. I've had too great of an experience with Sony to be turned away.
February 25, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by danalx great sound detail
For all those who complain about the lack of bass, try to use the extra small earbud (red ones) in the package and stick them well in the ear. The bass will be perfect, detailed and punchy. Also the mids will be better. I use them on my HTC One X with Beats Audio turned on.
July 23, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by beatbox66 Great balanced armatures
I got these as a Klout perk and they work as advertised. I have to be careful when outside because it cuts out a lot of noise :)
April 27, 2012
Rated 2 out of 5 by AndyShedd Run away... run away...
This is Sony's attempt to get you onto the Balanced Armiture bandwagon. They offer 2, 3, and 4 driver models which feature real bass, treble and all of the above, respectively. I do give Sony nods for the more than complete set of earplugs. I didn't notice any difference when using the enhanced noise-isolation earplugs with added foam but the standard plugs gave an excellent fit. Two stars for lack of bass and real treble. Other cheaper Sony earbuds do a better job. No need to upgrade there.
October 10, 2012
Rated 4 out of 5 by VinceC One Flaw
No inline volume control like the MDR-E829V for making microadjustments to the volume.
March 25, 2012