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Customer Review

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to balanced armature headphones, 16 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Sony XBA-C10 XBA Active In-Ear Closed Headphones - Black (Electronics)
I have owned many pairs of in-ear headphones from Sony over the past few years so I have a pretty good idea of what to expect at a given price point. These headphones sound much better than you would expect for the price - especially at Amazon's discounted price (vs the RRP).

Before you choose these, you need to be aware of a couple of important points about balanced armature headphones.

You need to make sure they form a good seal in your ear canal otherwise they will sound weak, tinny and quiet with no bass. This is true of all in-ear headphones, but especially important for balanced armature drivers. 4 different sizes of ear tips are provided, so with experimentation you can find the ideal fit for your ears. If you don't get a good seal with the standard size (medium), try a smaller size before trying a bigger size! The smaller size may allow them to sit further in the ear creating a better seal. You'll know when you get a good seal because it will feel like you have your ears plugged up with water!

A tip: Pull your ear lobe down gently while inserting the earphone as far as it will go, then let go of your earlobe. This may allow you to push the earphone in more deeply without it being uncomfortable. (Of course, make sure your ears are clean first...)

Balanced armature drivers are designed for natural and clear sound - they don't drive bass as hard as some other in-ear headphones (such as the Sony MDR-EX50). They are not designed to. If you really want a lot of bass you can buy balanced armature headphones that include subwoofers, but the price tag increases accordingly. These are entry level single driver headphones.

However, I find these headphones do provide enough bass for my liking once I seat them correctly in my ears. Vocals sound fantastic - better than any other in-ear headphones I have owned. Sound does not distort even if you crank the volume a bit.

They are very sensitive. If you have an audio source that is typically too quiet, you will find you can get a bit more volume with these headphones.

If you want to try out a pair of balanced armature headphones but are shying away due to the price tag of most of the competition, give these a try. You will be impressed if you give them a chance.

Sony do make a series of these with an increasing number of drivers for better sound reproduction (the price increases accordingly), so if you like these then also take a look at the XBA-1, XBA-2 etc series. (although if you start with these, you'll want to upgrade to the XBA-2 because the XBA-1 is similar).
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Feb 2015 16:37:12 GMT
Thanks this chimes with my experience, I would also add I much prefer these to the Soundmagic E10s
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