Top critical review
10 people found this helpful
Absolutely fantastic! (but...)
on 13 January 2014
I have ordered my Sony XBA-4iP after a really deep research and I had a very high expectations.
When they arrived, at first I was very disappointed with the sound quality. It was very sharp, without any energy and the bass was barely there at all. And then I have read a very useful reviews, saying that these headphones need some 'warm-up'. And this is totally true. After roughly 10 hours, they started to sound better and better. The bass appeared and then became deep and vibrant. The bass/mid/treble levels stabilised. They sound absolutely astonishing!
They are worth every penny! Be patient, don't judge them right after you get them out of the box. Wait, give them some time to 'warm-up'.
UPDATE - DAY 3:
All the above was true, as long as I kept them connected to my stereo system with the equaliser set-up properly. Today though, I connected them to my iPhone to listen to the music on my way to the office... they sounded awful :(
No bass, the treble so loud and sharp that they were painful to listen to. I tried all the available iPhone equaliser settings and nothing. The sound was terrible. I'm taking away two stars for what I've heard today. I'll give them a few more days to 'run-in' before I decide what to do.
THE VERDICT - 1 WEEK+:
Ok, I kept them playing non-stop for more than a week. They improved, but not drastically. They can sound very, very good, when equalised properly, but connect them directly to your iPhone or iPod and you may be disappointed.
It's obviously a matter of preference, but for me they lack bass and have too much treble. The high tones can be so intense, they are sometimes painful. I'd prefer 30% more bass and 15-20% less treble (but as I said it's my personal preference).
They are by no mean a bad headphones, the sound is incredibly clear and very detailed (which for me makes them sound a bit unnatural). I would say the kind of music matters here. I mostly listen to the electronic music and I don't think they are a good choice in this area. Rock sounds much, much better.
Here is a quick summary from me:
+ extremely well built
+ quite big in size, but very lightweight
+ very comfortable
+ brilliant isolation from the outside world
+ the remote works well with Apple devices
+ the sound quality can be very good, when properly corrected with the equaliser
- not enough bass (as for me)
- too much treble (as for me)
- need a proper 'run-in' (leave them playing 24/7 for a week or so)
- not good for all types of music
I hope that helps.