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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars much better than old XBA-2's, 13 Jan 2014
By 
Tim (far far away) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sony XBA-H1 In Ear Headphones with Unique Hybrid Balanced Armature Driver System (Electronics)
I have owned and enjoyed a pair of Sony XBA-2's for a couple of years (2 x balanced armature) which have such amazing clarity they almost make up for lack of bass. So this review is a comparison: XBA-2 v XBA-1H - is it worth shelling out your hard earned cash for an in-ear with both dynamic AND balanced armature speakers?

First off: XBA-1H's have definite bass and lower midrange which the XBA-2's lacked, and it's a measured bass and not thumpy. The high end of the 1H's actually is nearly as crystal clear as my old XBA-2's, and quite frankly the big improvement at the low end with these new 'buds is worth a tiny bit of high end loss. It's worth reading around Balanced Armature v Dynamic if you are interested.

These Sony XBA-1H's without a shadow of a doubt destroy any in ear phones which rely on only 1 dynamic speaker - dynamics simply cannot respond fast enough for high end performance compared to balanced armatures. No other in-ear can possibly measure up, Sony have wiped out almost the entire market, just like that, nothing else by any other high street name can compare.

For those of you who care: earbud fit is great (like you are not wearing them), tangle free flat cord, Sony build high quality.

Bottom line is these are amazing - I'm a very pleased bunny. But don't pay over 80

ps: I tried the XBA-H2's in the shop - super expensive, they were very good but not much better & I simply couldn't justify spending that much money when the entry level hybrid earbud was so good..
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good price, good sound, good quality! But worth spending the extra cash?, 3 May 2014
By 
Joseph Green - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony XBA-H1 In Ear Headphones with Unique Hybrid Balanced Armature Driver System (Electronics)
I bought these earphones to replace my Sennheiser CX400ii which I have had for about 3 years before they spontaneously stopped working, not what I expected from a set costing 60+ new (although I used them for 2-3 hours EVERY day)! Don't get me wrong, the quality from those little guys were fantastic - very clear with good bass. But can you justify spending an extra 30+ to get these XBA-H1s instead of the Sennheisers (they've come down significantly in price)?

Quality:

From the start it's hard to tell that the Sennheisers cost as much as they did. I found the cable to be made out of a thin rubber which felt like it would snap or break if bent too hard. I also thought the join to the 'Y' part of the earphones was never that strong and a small tug would snap it like a stick [turns out this is what had failed (not snapped, it was something internal)].
The earphone it's self was of fairly good quality. Felt like hard plastic to me, but thats fine as long as it does the job.
4/10.

The Sonys are far more 'heavy duty', should I say, than the Senn's. The thinnest part of the cable is more than twice as thick as the thickest part on the CX400ii! The 'Y' section seems well held together (don't know what's going on behind the housing). I would like to see more of where it connects however (such as on the input at the other end). The cable is quite robust.
The earphones are quite chunky, and I suppose that is good as far as quality goes! They're, according to Sonys website, made from plastic over magnesium. I would agree with that, they are super tough!
9/10.

Fit:

The CX400ii were perfect for my ears (mine are quite small if I'm honest), and fitted like a glove for hours on end. The small figure meant I barely noticed them, although they had to be pushed in quite firmly for them to stay in place.
9/10.

The Sonys on other hand cannot really be described as 'discrete'! They are significantly bulkier than the Senn's due to the nature of having a balanced armature. However, they just fit! They are fairly light meaning they don't cause ear-ache (as the standard Apple ones do), or fall out too often. They are all supplied with an array of foam and non-foam ear buds from XS-XL. However I found that the ones already attached were perfect for me (medium, non-foam).
The only gripe I have is because the the majority of the earphone is not actually in the ear canal, they tend to dislodge themselves every now and again, requiring me to adjust them to suppress any background noise from the environment I'm in. Although I don't find it too much of an issue, just being picky if I'm honest (maybe it's because the Sennheisers were pretty much perfect!)!
8/10.

Sound:

For earphones that small, the CX400ii were great! I've not used a huge range of earphones in my life, but I'll know a bad pair should I come across them! The music was as clear as the source you got it from (YouTube conversion in my case ;)
The bass was boomy enough (We Will Rock You actually made my vision go fuzzy!).

The Sonys, however, provide much clearer and more defined sound than the Senn's. I put this down to the BA driver. It's only marginal, but the difference is there (I'm not exactly disappointed with the Senn's!) I know what people mean when they say that a 200+ pair is only slightly better than the H1s! The sound really is something to behold!
I would like to see some of the sound leakage reduced; I'm always conscious of people behind me hearing my tunes. However I just turn the volume down as these do a superb job of isolating external sounds.

So can you justify spending 30 more on these over the Senn's?
In short - no.
I can't see these are 50% or so better than the Sennheisers. However, I would justify spend a little (I use that term lightly) extra if I knew I was getting a little extra, and with these, I definitely am!
If it was my choice, and you had a bit of extra cash, go with these. Any day.

Hope this helped!

.... I'm also available for motorcycle reviews!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More clarity than you could ever have a right to expect for the price..., 12 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony XBA-H1 In Ear Headphones with Unique Hybrid Balanced Armature Driver System (Electronics)
I am by no means an audiophile but I am as fussy as I can be with a limited bankroll.

The crispness and quality of the mid range, along with the very punchy but controlled bass mean these earbuds have exceeded most of my expectations. I had briefly used a pair of earbuds with balanced armatures and although I was impressed with the quality, I could not accept the loss of bass. The hybrid nature of the set up here does just that providing you with a clarity of sound which is just miles ahead of most products twice the price.

All my other earphones just sound muffled now, in comparison.

For good or bad these earbuds are good enough to get my mid-range sennheiser over ear and in ear phones relegated to a listing on e-bay.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Headphones!, 27 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony XBA-H1 In Ear Headphones with Unique Hybrid Balanced Armature Driver System (Electronics)
I love these headphones and the sound quality is excellent. You get good bass and the highs and mids come through really well. They look great and feel really comfortable. The non tangle wires work well and they fit nicely in the supplied bag to give them a little protection.

If you are are serious about music and willing to pay extra for a set of good headphones then I would highly recommend.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great IEM to downgrade to, 31 Jan 2014
This review is from: Sony XBA-H1 In Ear Headphones with Unique Hybrid Balanced Armature Driver System (Electronics)
Having sold my Earsonics SM64s, I was looking to downgrade without a huge loss in quality from what I had been used to. If there was something that frustrated me about the 64s, it was that they lack oomph from the bass - somewhat rectified when I paired them with a Fiio E11 portable amp. But that just wasn't a practical option for me and I'd get frustrated having to carry that around with me on the go.

I did some research and was intrigued by Sony's H line with the hybrid drivers. Sounded like a good idea so I took a punt on them and have been listening to them for the past couple of weeks.

I really, really like these. Music sounds fun, exciting and engaging provided you get a good fit. The foamed tips don't muffle quite like the Complys can so that's a big thumbs up to the Sony engineers. Bass is thick and warm but not bloated. Mids are lush and even though the highs aren't quite as crisp and snappy as I'd like, these are 99 IEMs and there are going to be compromises. That being said, they aren't bad or that recessed even. Just not what I'd consider perfect.

I'd happily recommend these to someone wanting their first 'decent' IEM or even someone like me who was looking to downgrade and streamline their setup. Maybe in time I'll try the H3s and see if they are worth the extra 100.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great earphones, 1 Nov 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony XBA-H1 In Ear Headphones with Unique Hybrid Balanced Armature Driver System (Electronics)
Brilliant earphones straight out of the box. They do have a slight bass emphasis but it is really good controlled bass. Vocals aren't drowned out by the bass though, which is great and the highlight of these H1s, great vocals, bass and lovely lush mids.

Really happy with them. I bought them to replace the EX510s which I rate as one of the best Sony mid range earphones ever. They're kind of like an ex510 with ever slightly less detail in the trebles and with better bass.

Amazon pricing is the best out there. I believe Sony and other retailers are asking 99 for them. I paid 79 which is more reasonable. I would have liked and kind of expected an iPhone remote to be included at this price however but no dealbreaker for me. Construction is second to none and the cabling is I can confirm tangle free.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceeded Expectations, 12 Jun 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony XBA-H1 In Ear Headphones with Unique Hybrid Balanced Armature Driver System (Electronics)
If you're an Audiophile then this won't be of interest. If, like me, you just enjoy the music you like then you'll enjoy these Headphones. I use an iPhone for portable music and the only time I use it to listen to music is when I'm on holiday and I've just had three weeks. On getting my iPhone I quickly moved on from the standard Apple headphones and bought a set, similar to these, for 20. I thought they were good, I heard things in my music I'd not heard before, which made me smile. Music I'd been listening to for 20 and 30 years, hearing instruments or singers in the background I was never aware of. Then, after two years, I decided to upgrade and spend a little money and after a little research decided on these XBA-H1's. I am absolutely blown away by them. I've heard even more things in my music I wasn't aware of and I wouldn't have thought that possible. My taste in music ranges from Classical and the 70's through to today, so in my three weeks away they got a good work out. Excellent. They come with a variety of Buds to fit most Ears. If I had one criticism, they earphones are stored in a soft pouch
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars XBA-H1, 12 April 2014
By 
Amazon Customer (Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony XBA-H1 In Ear Headphones with Unique Hybrid Balanced Armature Driver System (Electronics)
Tried these with the wrong buds and thought ..."oh no"...ordered some comply TX 200's and thought..."oh yes". once you have the right buds on them these earphones are fantastic, Imagine what the more expensive models sound like. The bass seems there in abundance and does not put a step out of place, the high's and middles all sound great as they would with in earphones.

The STD silicone buds, do not do these justice, you also get a set of foam buds. (I found these in the box after I bought the comply's...ha ha...doh!) BUT the comply's are better so...ha ha!!...and I find with my ipod classic 120gb I have to reduce the volume...(I did update the firmware to the US version to increase volume years ago). You have the ability to reduce the cable split ( Y cable design) and you get a little clip to reduce movement, which with the Comply's they stay in and do not move. These are great earphones and would not hesitate in buying these again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent headphone, 5 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony XBA-H1 In Ear Headphones with Unique Hybrid Balanced Armature Driver System (Electronics)
Firstly, I love its design, the red and black color.
Secondly, it is packaged very well, coming with very very nice pouch.
Finally the sound quality is amazing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Outstanding, 2 Jun 2014
By 
Mr. S. Holmes - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony XBA-H1 In Ear Headphones with Unique Hybrid Balanced Armature Driver System (Electronics)
I purchased the Sony XBA H1 Earphones for a friend
These are truly outstanding they are an absolute joy to listen to
Whether listening to orchestral sound tracks or spoken word these earphones do not disappoint
Highly recommended
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