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CNET First Look
Sony's excellent noise-isolating headphonesSony's audiophile-grade XBA-4 in-ear headphones deliver highly refined sound, with potent bass, airy treble, and excellent noise-isolating performance.
Hey, guys. I'm Justin Yu, headphone editor for CNET.com. Today, I'm taking a first look at the Sony XBA-4 in-ear headphones. Sony's newly designed earbuds features Sony's Microsized balanced armature drivers, four in each ear to be exact. The XBA series is the first to feature these drivers that accomplish a sufficient amount of outside noise reduction to block out all of the annoying sounds in your daily grind. Being the flagship model in the XBA line, the guts incorporate four separate drivers: a full-range, a twitter, a whooper and a super whooper for extra bass and these gun metal sober ear pieces here are enough to separate these headphones with a high-tech design profile and the housing is made of tough magnesium aluminum alloy with an ABS outer housing to suppress vibrations in your ear. The headphone cable stretches about 21 inches from the right ear bud to the straight plug at the bottom but the left is only 7 inches long which means you will need to drape these over the left side of your body in order for a comfortable fit. Sony also generously supplies a black plastic cord adjuster to organize the cable and prevent tangles. Now, the wire itself does not have a remote control on it but you can pick up the XBA-4 IP. That's $20 more and then it includes an inline remote along with a microphone for a full range of track navigation controls on your iOS device. Now, according to CNET reviewer Steve Gunberg, the headphones also sound as great as they look. The four drivers do work together well to offer an equal helping of deep bass, natural sounding mid-range and smooth troubled detail. Heavy distortion in loud volumes is also an issue for these headphones which does make them ideal for genres that are heavy on base like electronic or hip hop. With bright sounds, a secure comfortable fit and a generous collection of accessories, the Sony XBA-4 do sound excellent and are worth your dollar if you can swallow the price tag. You can read more detail on CNET's review but that's gonna do it for me. I'm Justin Yu. These are the Sony XBA-4 in-ear headphones and that sounds good to me.