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Old 01-23-2014, 06:55 AM
Jeven Jeven is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Great Britain & Northern Ireland
Posts: 877
Default Sony XBA-H1 Review

I got these because I was dissatisfied with the way the XBA-2 sound. Whilst that iem does have the properties of a BA phone, ie. crisp highs, nice details etc. it falls apart on some tracks and the bass wasn't very good quality at all. It wasn't a cohesive sound and on some songs it sounded like I was listening to 2 tracks not one. And the treble, while good on some types of music, could be a little splashy on others.

The XBA-H1, from what I'd read, solves that problem by being a hybrid iem - it has both a dynamic driver and a balanced armature transducer.

I paid 100 for these from a shop - would've cost me 91 on Amazon but I didn't want to wait, plus I've got a 2 year guarantee. The RRP is $150 in the US.

Their specifications are -
-Type – Closed, hybrid
-Power handling capacity 100 mW
-Driver unit Hybrid 2-way (9mm dynamic + Balanced Armature)
- Frequency response 5-25,000 Hz
-Sensitivity 105 dB/mW
- Impedance 40 Ω (at 1kHz)
-Cord type Approx. 1.2m, OFC Litz cord (Y-type)
- Plug- Gold-plated L-shaped stereo mini plug
-Weight 7g (without cord)
-Supplied accessories – Hybrid silicone rubber earbuds (2SS/S/M/L), Foamed silicone earbuds (2S/M/L), Cord adjuster, Clip, Carrying pouch.

The cable is rather nice, flat and appears to be tangle resistant. The red and black seems to be emulating the look of some custom cables but is not replaceable.

The housing of the phones is quite large but not ridiculously so; they fit my ears with no issues. The jack is like that of the XBA-2.

One good thing is that Sony have got rid of the assymetrical (neck) cord which was a pain to use.

These sound amazing for the price. They have all the detail, clarity and highs of a good BA but also the deep timbre and rumble of a solid dynamic iem. And it sounds cohesive, not messy at all. I was surprised by just how high I could turn up the volume with no (at least to my ears) distortion. 'Musical' is perhaps how I'd describe them, but that term doesn't really mean much. Highly enjoyable is more subjective and apt.

The mids and treble are about perfect to me - I've never heard an iem with such good bass but which didn't overpower the rest of the frequency range. So far I've listened to a mix of rock, classical and vocalists and the XBA-H1 hasn't missed a beat.

In terms of what I've listened to before, these are the best without question. That includes various BA, dual BA and dynamic driver iems. I've found that I just needed hybrids.

When you think that Sony originally tried to sell the XBA-2 for 189 - and they are vastly inferior - I'd consider 100 or less to be great value and far more realistic from Sony.

panem et circenses

Last edited by Jeven; 01-23-2014 at 07:11 AM. Reason: added photos
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