• Driver unit: Triple Balanced Armature
  • Impedance: 16 ohms
  • Frequency response: 5Hz – 40,000Hz
  • Ports: 3.5mm
  • Pros:
  • Price
  • Performance
  • Cons:
  • None

Big Sounds In A Small Package

Besides the PlayStation, Sony is also a company that is very well-known for their line of audio and visual products. Their headphones are used throughout the world to help create the music you know and love today, as well as to listen to it. This time around, we’ll be taking a look at the Sony XBA-300AP, an affordable triple balanced-armature set of IEMs that aims to blow you away.
The XBA-300AP is the first in Sony’s line of High Resolution-compatible earphones. Despite sporting such a compact design, the earphones sport triple balanced armature drives, which includes a full-range drive, a HD Super Tweeter and woofer for bass.

Not only that, the XBA-300AP also sports 4-wire silver-coated OFC cable with L/R ground separation for crosstalk reduction. The best part of all however is the fact that the cables on the earphones are also removable, allowing you the option of pairing the XBA-300AP with other cables, such as Sony’s own MUC-M Series cables. This opens up a lot of possibilities, especially for the hardcore audiophile crowd.

At its base configuration, the XBA-300AP is an amazing all-rounder pair of IEMs. The low and mid trebles are crystal-clear, while the highs are not too high-pitched that it hurts the ears. Bass levels are pretty acceptable too, although for these pair of earphones, it’s clear that the focus is on the trebles and vocals.

Being fitted to support Sony’s own Hi-Res Audio technology, you can also tell that there is a difference when using a standard MP3 player, and one of Sony’s new Walkman devices. In the case of the latter, alongside Hi-Res audio files, or lossless audio, the soundstage of the XBA-300AP is considerably improved. Making songs sound almost live-like, it’s certainly a great pairing between the two devices.

If you’re also looking for a 2-in-1 solution that comes with a microphone to answer phone calls, the XBA-300AP also comes built in with one as well. During our tests, the call quality was quite good, with the mic quality being pretty decent as well.

The best part about the headphones of course is the fact that it is priced at a relatively affordable price compared to similar options from other brands. Triple balanced-armature headphones don’t come cheap, so the Sony XBA-300AP headsets can be considered a steal, for what you’re paying for.

CHIP CONCLUDE: Affordability, modularity and performance. What more can one ask from a pair of headphones? The Sony XBA-300AP sounds as impressive as can be expected, while not breaking the bank. Definitely one to consider if you’re looking to expand your cache of audio gear.

(previously published in issue March 2016)

Sony XBA-300AP