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Sony XBA-3 - 3 Drivers Balanced Armature In-ear Headphones

4.1 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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  • Triple balanced armature driver array (mid-range, woofer, and tweeter) for powerful bass
  • Double layer housing for smooth frequency response
  • Long-term comfort and natural in-ear fit
  • Noise blocking design
  • Secure fit and noise attenuation
3 new from $349.99 2 used from $200.00

There is a newer model of this item:

Sony htc770 Sound Bar Sony Extra Bass

Technical Details

  • android-phone-control

Product Description

Sporting three Balanced Armature driver units (full range, woofer and tweeter), these audiophile-friendly in-ear headphones are buffed out for serious sound. Tune into a dramatic soundscape of clear, sparkling highs and deep, bottomless lows with these XBA-3 Balanced Armature in-ear headphones. With a full-range driver, woofer and tweeter, these premium headphones sport three Sony Balanced Armature driver units precision engineered to optimize your music.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 3.5 x 2.1 x 6.7 inches
Item Weight 4.5 ounces
Shipping Weight 5.6 ounces
Manufacturer Sony
Item model number XBA-3
Customer Reviews
4.1 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #7,133 in Electronics > Headphones > Earbud Headphones
#64,055 in Electronics > Portable Audio & Video > MP3 & MP4 Players & Accessories > MP3 & MP4 Player Accessories
#68,579 in Electronics > Home Audio & Theater
Date first available at January 9, 2012

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've been a headphone audiophile for years. At present, my headphone rig consists of a HRT Music Streamer II + High Resolution USB D/A Converter running through a HeadRoom Desktop headphone amp with "Max" electronics (full class A) powered by a HeadRoom power supply. Most of my listening is CD material that's been ripped to FLAC using a bit-perfect program (dBpoweramp) that also will capture the 20-bit encoding on HDCDs and output it as 24-bit depth files (20 bits and 4 zeros of "padding"). In all this is a pretty good rig that will really let you hear what headphones can do. I'm telling you this because I believe you've got to know what people are using to drive headphones if you're going to evaluate their evaluations. ;)

Off the bat, I'll fess up to being an AKG fan, which will tell people of my general bias. I like the sound of their AKG K 701 WHITE HEADPHONES, which are incredibly accurate headphones with a fairly neutral response curve. Some accuse them of being lean on bass, but that's not correct. They have plenty of bass, but it's musical and integrated, not over-emphasized (more on this below).

Having said all that by way of disclosure, on to the Sonys.

The build quality is adequate. Sony bills these as having some magnesium in them to help suppress vibrations. The cord is really flexible and has a somewhat flattened profile rather than a circular one. There is relatively little microphonic cord noise from the cord bumping things compared to other IEMs I've used.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Though they are pricey and short on trimmings, the Sony XBA-3 in-ear headphones deliver where it matters most: they sound fantastic, competitive with the best headphones available at a similar price.

The build quality of the headphones seems excellent; they feel solid and metallic in the hand, though they're not heavy, and they're impressively small (significantly smaller than UE TripleFi 10s, for instance) and good-looking objects. The cable itself is a bit lightweight and flimsy-feeling, but it drapes well and isn't too rigid; the plug is heavy and seems well-made. The only major design issue is the asymmetrical cable -- the right earphone is on perhaps 20" of cord while the left has only around 8", leading to a bit of a strange chin-strap look compared to standard Y-style cabling. (You can avoid this by routing the right headphone's extra cord behind the neck, a better-fitting option that is mentioned nowhere in the documentation.) It would've been really nice if the cable split were adjustable, since it's not going to be to everyone's taste. Similarly, it'd be nice if over-the-ear cable clips were available as an option -- like all in-ear phones without them, the XBA-3s can pop out with an accidental tug.

Accessories are a bit chintzy considering the price (as is the packaging and unboxing experience, which would seem appropriate for a $20 pair of headphones but is egregiously cheap-feeling at this price). The included leatherette carrying case feels fairly cheap and crushable compared to other manufacturers', and the XBA-3s don't include an airline attenuator or cleaning tool, only a cord winder and a bunch of spare earpieces in various sizes.
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Verified Purchase
Sound: These may not be the fancy West-somethings, but for about $160 less they'll do nicely! I use them with a FiiO E17 (Toshiba satellite and Sansa Clip as sources) on the higher gain setting (12db) and they deliver the goods in spades! To me, they generate enough, or more than enough bass, in fact I thought there may be bass bleeding up, but it actually seems to be some of my recordings. After listening to some Emerson Lake and Palmer flac files, everything came through very clean, and the synth solo on "Lucky Man" was simply astounding! Without being quantitative, I found articulation in the mids and highs are typically impeccable as with other BA IEMs.
Fit/Build Quality: Sony doesn't have to skimp on build. Flat cables don't tangle. Junction reinforcements are robust. Asymmetric leads are not the problem I feared at all. Right angle jack snaps tightly into the E17 with a reassuring "click". I sleep with these every night without a problem...enough said.
Packaging: Normally I don't give a crap about packaging, but Sony seems to be obsessive with this. all I want is a vessel to deliver my purchase safely with a minimum of fuss and falderal. I was flabbergasted with the extremes Sony engineers went through to present these IEMs for the sake of "The Unpacking Experience". It was like a plastic origami, anal architect's wet-dream! The 15 minutes it took me to separate the plastic from the paper could have been infinitely better spent listening to great music. Please, stop pandering to this audience!
With that said the XBA-3s allow me to enjoy music without braking the bank. At $189 a real good deal on triple BA's!
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