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Sony Headphones Owners Thread


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@Stereophilus

 

The track that I posted is particularly bad, but I can hear the distortion in short spots on many recordings of various origin. Opera, even some ABBA tracks have these spots.

It may be just a spot of harshness, not ringing, but still annoying. 

 

What would be your advice? To live with it?  Contact Sony and see what they say? 

 

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After starting this thread   I would now add to this one.   Owing to recommendations, I purchased some refurbished XM4's from Sony via ebay.   $279 delivered and they look brand new.  

1 hour ago, aussie43 said:

@Stereophilus

 

The track that I posted is particularly bad, but I can hear the distortion in short spots on many recordings of various origin. Opera, even some ABBA tracks have these spots.

It may be just a spot of harshness, not ringing, but still annoying. 

 

What would be your advice? To live with it?  Contact Sony and see what they say? 

 

I think it’s a design limitation of the headphones.  You might try Sony - possibly they will offer to exchange your headphones, but I think the issue will still be present in the new pair, to a greater or lesser degree.  My suggestion is to try a headphone design focussed on audio rather than noise cancelling.  I also would suggest trying (using the music you have posted) before buying to avoid disappointment. 

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I think you got a Headphones built on a Friday. I had the series 1 of these for ages and they sound great and yes they do play better in NC mode, but never had there been distortion.  I would send back the cans.

Cheer

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14 hours ago, arthurp said:

I think you got a Headphones built on a Friday. I had the series 1 of these for ages and they sound great and yes they do play better in NC mode, but never had there been distortion.  I would send back the cans.

Cheer

 

I can play with mine for days and hear no distortion if I avoid certain type of music.

Have you tried to play the tracks I posted links to? No distortion?

 

Yes, it is possible that I have a Friday or Monday job.  I bought them from Kogan cheaper than everywhere else, so maybe Sony sells rejects to him cheaper. Who knows. Or maybe they leave the QC to customers.

Edited by aussie43
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Interesting observation: I notice the distortion on that first track is comparatively worse at lower volume levels.  If I listen via Bluetooth at high volume the distortion is barely noticeable, but at low volume, the issue seems more frequent and more intrusive.  This leads me to consider possible distortion generated through poor digital attenuation in the computer used.  It would be instructive to try a headphone amplifier for volume control (running max volume out of the computer), or trying different wired speakers to see if the distortion is reproduced at lower volume levels on a different transducer.

 

Also, I’m still not hearing any issue with the second track, which further suggests a possible “upstream” issue.

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Not entirely reading all the posts so far and apologies if this is already considered.

To OP - have you checked you have the latest firmware installed on the XM3?

There have been several changes to the software and firmware, each revision having an effect on the sound quality (good and bad). 

I know there was a decrease in NC performance from a firmware 'upgrade' a few months ago but there are also 'improvements' to the DSEE sound equaliser.

You might want to research some of that before you go upgrading.

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2 hours ago, WasM said:

Not entirely reading all the posts so far and apologies if this is already considered.

To OP - have you checked you have the latest firmware installed on the XM3?

There have been several changes to the software and firmware, each revision having an effect on the sound quality (good and bad). 

I know there was a decrease in NC performance from a firmware 'upgrade' a few months ago but there are also 'improvements' to the DSEE sound equaliser.

You might want to research some of that before you go upgrading.

Yes, I do have the latest FW version.

But this is about distortion in the mechanical parts. I am testing the HPs in a wired mode, with power OFF. The FW plays no role.

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I have found videos on Youtube showing vocal ranges of various singers. Pavarotti, Bocelli, Elvis, Sinatra, Callas, Bartolli etc. 

The videos are compilations of short clips from other videos, and go from low tones to the highest.

My HPs start distorting around F4 which is 350Hz and goes on all the way to the highest F6. It seems that the noise is coming from the right cup, but not sure.

But when I generate and play a sweep of sine tones in that range it is clean. So it must be some harmonics or something.

And it is the same story in every video - they can't be all bad recordings.

I am sending them back.

Edited by aussie43
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  • 4 weeks later...

I’m finding the module inside the right ear cup can press on my ear. It becomes really uncomfortable. I’m a slim guy with a standard head and ears btw haha. 
 

Has anyone else experienced discomfort and how long can you comfortably wear them?

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  • 4 months later...
Posted (edited)
On 13/08/2020 at 8:33 PM, TheWretchedWorld said:

OK initial impressions
XM4 have ever so slightly better NC it is noticable but not by a huge amount not worth losing sleep over as an XM3 owner (this was tested switching between them playing jetliner white noise from my studio monitors so best case scenario, the XM4 may pull ahead more when it comes to cancelling more random sounds but I haven't really tested this) I ran the acoustic optimiser on both right before using

They both have a very similar sound signature. XM4 have a little bit more sparkle and air and bass seems tighter and more controlled (this gives me the impression that there is actually less bass but switching back and forth id say the quantity is the same its just that XM3 its a little looser.) They sound a bit bit less congested as a result
I was able to feed the same audio to both of them at the same time. Samsung phones have this nifty dual audio feature so I quickly swapped between them playing the same tracks volume matched.

TLDR XM4 are an improvement all round with lots of new features one of the most overlooked ones being that they pause when you take them off your head. Better battery life also.
Microphone sounds the same between both (a lot of people complained about unit to unit variance in terms of mic quality on the XM3 mine have been fine)
Noise cancelling is only slightly better
Sound quality is improved but it still retains that similar bass heavy sound signature. Tighter bass and more air and sparkle in the high frequencies (more resolving for lack of a better word) so if you didnt like the XM3 you wont like the XM4. (My XM3 pads have slightly more wear so take this with a grain of salt)

Probably not worth the upgrade as an XM3 owner if you are paying retail for them..... But if curiosity gets the better of you there is a difference albeit not a huge one.

 

 

 

After starting this thread

 

I would now add to this one.   Owing to recommendations, I purchased some refurbished XM4's from Sony via ebay.   $279 delivered and they look brand new.

 

Downloaded the Sony Headphone App to my Fiio M11pro and the Bluetooth connection was up in a jiff.      Yesterday and today I have been tweaking and getting use to the various options on the App.    The quality of the sound is super impressive.    Clear and detailed.  

 

I have it set to Noise Cancelling for the most part.   Serenity Now!!!!

 

I am not an Audiophile Headphone guy by any stretch.   But I suspect most folk wanting some quality, light weight, Bluetooth enabled headphones with noise cancelling, for travel and the like, would not go wrong buying these beauties.

 

Extremely happy with the purchase and look forward to getting out in the yard for some gardening/DIY business.

 

Regards Cazzesman

Edited by cazzesman
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