Sony XBA-3 - 3 Drivers Balanced Armature In-ear Headphones
- 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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For the build quality, it is adequately constructed - it comes with a L shaped jack connector and relatively thin but light cables (in comparison to the Shure SE series cables). Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
So u have a pair of xba 3, they sound ok. Heres the secret! They are balanced armatures which means clarity and transparency is there no they are extremely present. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Rarr arrr
Really great sound even comparable to my Sennheiser over the ear. If you get a good seal than these things really bump and have crystal clear mids and highs. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Shaun D.
the headphones have strong metallic tingling when rock music is played, equalizer has to be used to fix this, on i-products the best selection for that is R-B or hip-hop in EQ... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Joe Jazz
Disappointed with the product even for discounted price. Yes you get semi ok bass and upper tones are great but it almost sounds fake. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Fil-ski
I bought these headphones to replace a 10 year old pair of Etymotics that I loved. The Sony earbuds have a far superior sound quality and are very comfortable. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Derek Jurovich
These headphones are terrible product. I've always been a fan of Sonys products and have exclusively owned Sony brand earbuds for for the 15 years or so, with mostly high degrees... Read morePublished on August 1, 2014 by aktvst
Okay I've had these over a year now and the sound is VERY different from the single driver Sony in-ears, even with the three-driver ear buds attached to the... Read more
Good: My first Sony IEM with (iPhone Mic) and it was a nice surprise. Overall happy with the sound signature. I have had these IEMs for over 9 months now. Read morePublished on April 25, 2014 by oadolojan