The Sony XBA-S65 is part of the XBA (short for eXperience Balance Armature) range of earphones which use a balanced armature driver instead of conventional dynamic drivers which use air and make the earphones larger physically. This is primarily done for size reasons, but also less power drain due to the way it functions. The XBA-S65’s feature water resistant capabilities as well, they are washable and sound permeable (IPX5 / IPX7 Standard).
• Balanced Armature Technology
• Clear sound reproduction
• Numerous accessories included as standard
• Around the ear design for fitting and placement
• Almost no soundstage
• Virtually no bass
• Very bad cord noise issues which distracts from the good points
Power handling capacity stands at 100mw, the sensitivity is 106db and frequency response is 6Hz – 20,000Hz .
As with all headphones designed for portable media players, these have a standard gold-plated (not silver plated) 3.5mm headphone jack. Included are four sizes of earbuds, cord adjuster, and pouch.
The design of the Sony XBA-S65 is completely different. Using a rubberized yet adjustable loop system that goes around the whole ear, while the driver sits inside, a design I have never ever seen before. Combining, the colour combinations of black and red which makes these really stand out. The pair I received were white in colour. These do sit in your ears as normal earphones, but there soft outer design also makes these flexible.
The build quality of the Thailand-made Sony XBA-S65 is high. The construction is mostly of high quality plastic, and the main body is of a bright white finish. The wiring is flexible, but firm. Unfortunately, these have a lot of cable noise when moving while listening to music which distracts you.
I tested the Sony XBA-S65 with 320kpbs audio quality MP3 files. Overall the sound of these is average and has almost no bass and almost non-existent soundstage, no matter how well isolation is obtained. Unfortunately, these do have pretty severe cord noise when using these on the move, which is a real disappointment.
Audio reproduction is not very good with these headphones which really detract from their design. Additionally, these cost $129 RRP.
The Sony XBA-S65 look fantastic in their packaging and feature set, but unfortunately when it comes to performance they don’t perform much better than a pair of $60 headphones. The main reason these are only single armature, not dual or quad drivers. The price of these is way too high compared to other headphones on the market that are cheaper and sound a lot better.