Pros Absolute clarity and great sound spectrum. They are very comfortable and convenient to travel with. By far the best earphones I have purchased.
Cons The only real con is that I have built my mp3 collection on 192kpbs (a long time ago!) and it's now way too low quality. I hear all the flaws in the sound. Other than that, they might be a bit expensive. I had a great deal at 150$ at Sony Store.
Summary I would consider myself as a big time audiophile. I also travel a lot and big headphones are not convenient or suitable for me. I have been looking a long time for the best in-ear headphones but I don't want to pay 500$. I have owned multiple Sony, Bose, Sennheiser in-ear headphones and none would even get close to the XBA 4 in terms of sound balance, quality and price vs value. I am truly impressed by the clarity of the sound, especially when you listen to a high quality mp3.
Of course it's impossible to expect Beats like bass and I don't really think it's good anyway. With the right settings, you'll get a nice well-balanced bass. Treble might a little high sometimes but it doesn't affect the sound quality.
Before the purchase I have tried the Bose Quiet Comfort 20, the Sennheiser IE 80 and the Denon AHC400. For sure sound perception is something personnal and although the Sennheiser were nice, they are not worth the double price. I had the XBA 4 for 150$ on sale at the Sony Store. At this price, it's a most definite no brainer
Pros Excellent and well balanced range of sound. Even when listening to pop or rock music it the bass does not drown out all other ranges, which is a plus to me.
More than decent noise blocking performance
Cons The price tag is a little high.
Summary I do not describe myself as an audiophile since I do not have the technical competence, but these ear-in sound great. I had been on the hunt for a good pair of ear-in headphones. I got a couple of ear-ins in the budget price range that are decent but that did not completely satisfy me.
I finally decided to look for something in the higher price range and these guys did deliver. They are not cheap, but if you can spend the money they are a good investment.
Pros Producing an excellent range of sound, the XBA-4 revolutionary design has exceeded as a replacement for my Aiwa HP-D9 bought in the early 1990s.
Cons The price-tag is always an issue in our economically challenged time.
Summary Let me first state that I'm not an audiophile. I'm your average consumer, spoiled with my Aiwa HP-D9, a 60-mm U-bass flute headset design, Amorphous Diamond Coated Diaphragm, and 15mm diameter Neodymium magnets driver units. However, time took its toll, and the protective coating cracked, exposing its linear crystal oxygen-free copper cord. Its end was in sight. But what about the sound? I tried the XBA-4 at a SonyStyle store, and initally the base was noticeably missing. The store manager kindly explained that noise from TVs and others may have drowned much of the base sound. Perhaps, I didn't wear the ear-buds properly. The XBA-4 is my first ear-bud phone! At home, I discovered the missing base sounds, and rediscovered my entire 200+ cd collection with clear treble, smooth vocals, and solid base sound, all transfered @320kps to my iPod touch. The XBA-4 has surpassed my Aiwa HP-D9. I love my XBA-4 now. If you're considering purchasing Sony's XBA series and price isn't an issue, then focus on the XBA-4. Its sound will blow you away, and once you hear it, many others will pale in comparison.
Pros The vocal+wooper+sub. woop.= really good!
Cons twitter: I think it depends on the people's favor, but to me, the twitter sounds (like cymbals) was not good. Although it sounded interesting at the first time, but after minutes, it was really hard to listen. It sounds like when you rub the vinyl?
Summary I am really big fan for the xba1 and 2(although i think 2 is literally only for the hip hop or bass-major sound). However, from 3, the twitter made the quality of the BA earphone series down. Hop the second one's twitter is better this.