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Sony XBA-1

Single Full-Range Professionally Tuned Balanced Armature Driver and Multi-Layered Chamber

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Sony XBA-1

Single Full-Range Professionally Tuned Balanced Armature Driver and Multi-Layered Chamber

$29.99

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Lossless Digital Music Player and Balanced RE-400 In-Ear Headphones

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The Sony XBA-1 is distinguished by its single full-range balanced armature driver. Unlike other balanced armature in-ear monitors that use stock armature drivers, Sony has specially designed, tuned, and produced their own balanced armature unit constructed for music reproduction. To further improve the excellent sound of the exclusive driver, Sony has created a uniquely crafted inter-chamber composed of a liquid crystal polymer that securely holds the driver in place and reduces vibration distortion. The outer chamber is composed of ABS plastic which further inhibits vibration and unwanted resonance.

The XBA-1 is finished off with comfortable silicone ear tips that also isolate noise. The soft ear cushions allow these in-ear headphones to be used for extended sessions with minimal fatigue on users. Overall, the XBA-1 delivers crisp and clean sound with precision and control.

Product Features:

  • Balanced Armature In-Ear Headphones
  • Feature uniquely crafted balanced armature drivers professionally tuned for music reproduction
  • Micro balanced armature driver made in Japan especially designed by Sony
  • Double-layer housing feature Liquid Crystal Polymer inter-chamber and ABS outer chamber for complete vibration reduction and tonal neutrality
  • Comfortable silicone ear tips provide a comfortable and secure fit as well as comprehensive noise isolation
  • Remarkably lightweight for extended use with minimal user fatigue
  • Available with iPod/iPhone in-line control and mic and Advanced Model

Technical Specifications:

  • Balanced armature drivers
  • Frequency response: 5-25,000
  • Impedance: 24 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 108 dB
  • Power handling capacity: 100mW
  • Oxygen-Free Copper cable
  • Gold-plated 3.5mm (1/8") stereo mini jack
  • Authorized Internet Dealer
  • 1-year Manufacturer's Warranty

Product History:

Sony XBA-1 thumbnail
(newest, current model)
Sony MDR-EX310LP thumbnail
(previous model, replaced by Sony XBA-1)

Sonic Electronix Insights (Scale from 1-5, 5 Being the Best)

Comfort & Ergonomics
Rates how comfortable the headphones are, taking into account build quality and materials used. Judged on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being uncomfortable and 5 being so comfortable you could sleep while wearing them.
Overall Audio Quality
Overall rating of how well the headphones perform with 1 being an unimpressive audio quality and 5 being the absolute best.
Hip-Hop, Rap, EDM, Dubstep & Pop Optimized
How well the headphones perform for hip-hop, rap, EDM, dubstep and pop music genres with 1 being not recommended and 5 representing headphones that were designed with these specific genres in mind.
Rock & Alternative Optimized
How well the headphones perform for rock and alternative genres with 1 being not recommended and 5 representing headphones that were designed with these specific genres in mind.
Instrumental & Classical Optimized
How well the headphones perform for instrumental and classical music genres with 1 being not recommended and 5 representing headphones that were designed with these specific genres in mind.
Optimized for All Genres
Rates how well the headphones perform for all music genres with 1 being not recommended and 5 being top-of-the-line music reproduction.
Build Quality
Overall Construction quality of the headphones. This rates on a scale of 1 to 5 the overall construction quality of the headphones with 1 being the poorest quality and 5 being as close to indestructible as a pair of headphones can get.
Design
Overall design of the headphones. This rates on a scale of 1 to 5 the overall design of the headphones, including construction, sound quality and accessories with 1 being the lowest and 5 being top-of-the-line.
Isolation
Rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being no isolation and 5 being complete isolation, this gives you an idea of how well the headphones seal your ears from your surrounding environment.
Value
Value refers to the quality of headphones (how they sound, how they're built, etc.) for the price.

Sound Signature

Sound Staging & Imaging
Sound Staging and Imaging refers to the ability of a pair of headphones to create the placement of instruments and vocalists in a recording. A small sound stage is very difficult to determine where the instruments are in relation to the vocalists, everything sounds like it's coming from the same place. An extra large sound stage separates the instruments and vocalists so that you can clearly tell where each is on the sound stage.
Clarity/Detail
Refers to how clear the headphones audio reproduction is.
Tone/Timbre
Refers to the quality of a music note that distinguishes different types of sound production (voices, musical instruments, etc.).
Bass
Refers to the bass performance of the headphones. Rated from Light bass to extreme bass.
Bass Detail
How accurately a headphone can reproduce bass notes; a culmination of attack, speed, decay and clarity. Attack is how precisely it can begin a bass note without delay. Speed is the ability to continue to attack an array of bass notes without lagging. Decay is the length of time after a bass note ends that the sound is still heard. Clarity is how easily all bass frequencies are heard. It gives perception of loose, tight, or muddy bass.

Headphone Design

Headphone Type

This is the design of the earpieces on the headphones. Some headphones go inside the ear, while others rest on the outside of the ear. This helps you know exactly what type of headphones you will be receiving.

In-Ear: The ear buds go into the ear. Most often, the right and left ear buds are two separate pieces.

Enclosed-Ear: Usually are found on the larger headphones. They rest on top of the ear and have padding for comfort, as well as enclosing the ear to the speaker. This type of headphone helps to filter out surrounding noise.

On-Ear: This type of headphone involves the speaker sitting gently on the ear without going in the ear or sealing it off.

In-Ear
Headband Type

Headphone type refers to the construction of the headphones.

Around the Ear means that the headphones wrap around the ear to provide a secure fit. This is most often seen in active and sports headphones.

Around the Neck means that the headphones wrap around the neck. This is also seen in active and sports headphones.

Earbuds means that the right and left sides of the headphones are separated and will fit securely into the ear. These are small, compact, and user friendly.

Over the Head headphones mean that the right and left speakers are connected with a support that goes over the head and rests on top. This is the typical headphone type.

Earbuds
Specifically For
Some headphones can use an IR Transmitter in your vehicle, while some can be plugged into your media device and be used on the go or at home.
Home/Portable
Headphone Application

This is the application that the headphones are designed for. Each application has unique features that make it perfect for particular uses.

DJ: These headphones are durable, loud, and will often allow for one ear listening.

Gaming Delivers explosive sound and allows you to communicate with others.

Home Hi-Fi: These audiophile headphones are engineered to produce high fidelity and accurate audio.

Home/Office: These headphones are designed to produce rich, brilliant sounds that the artists would appreciate.

Sports: Designed for active use. These headphones are made to stay in (or on) the ear during workouts.

Kids: Feature noise limiting technology so that your little ones don't damage their ears listening to music too loud.

On-the-Go: On-the-go headphones are lightweight and often fold up for easy storage and portability.

Student: Compact and rugged enough to survive life in a backpack; inexpensive enough to not hurt the wallet of a student.

Studio: Reproduce music perfectly without any coloration. Look here for reference quality studio monitoring headphones.

Traveler/Airplane: These headphones are compact, lightweight, and have a portable design.

Home/Office

General Features

Noise-Canceling
Noise Reduction technology removes unwanted noise from a signal. Background or ambient noise can be removed to produce clearer speech and enhanced hearing. Typically these Active Noise Canceling (ANC) headphones are powered and use batteries to activate the noise canceling technology. Also referred to as Noise Reduction or Noise Cancellation.
No
Device Controls & Compatibility
Refers to the devices the in-line controls are compatible with.
Built-In Microphone
This means that the headphones or earbuds have a built-in microphone. This can be a microphone on the cord, built into the headphone, or even a boom microphone. These mics can be used for music devices like iPods, for Smartphones to make and receive calls, or for gaming purposes.
No
Smartphone/Tablet App Available
These headphones have a companion app available from the manufacturer. These apps are generally available on both the Google Play Store and iTunes for Android and iPhone use. They usually include an equalizer and other controls to give you complete control over your music.
Equalizer/Tunable
This means the sound of these headphones can be customized to your listening preference through either an app or on-board controls.
Headphone Connection
This is how the headphones connect to the audio source.

Corded means that the headphones use a cord to transfer the audio signal.

Bluetooth means that the audio signal is transmitted from your device to the headphones via a Bluetooth connection.

Corded or Bluetooth means that the headphones can be used as corded headphones or as Bluetooth headphones. They have an input in one or both earcups for use as a corded headphone while they also have a built-in battery for use as Bluetooth wireless headphones.

Wireless means that the audio signal is transmitted wirelessly to the headphones.

Corded
Volume Adjustment
Volume Adjustment means that the headphone (independent of the source) can adjust the playback volume. Many headphones and ear buds have in-line volume control, which allows adjusting the audible volume from a switch on the headphones cord. Other headphones have a volume knob on the headphone can.
No
Bluetooth Version Compatibility
Which version of Bluetooth the device is compatible with. Is it important that the both devices being paired are the same version of Bluetooth. For example, a Bluetooth version 2.0 cell phone can be paired with a compatible version 2.0 headset.
aptX Codec
Refers to whether these headphones feature aptX Bluetooth audio streaming.
Jack Size
Refers to whether the headphones use a 3.5mm or 1/4" headphone jack connection.
Jack Angle

The Jack Angle refers to the angle of the input jack on the headphone cable.


Straight Jack: Straight plug with no angle.


Angled Jack: Angled plug, usually a 90 degree angle.

Swivel Jack: A swivel jack is able to swivel between a straight plug and an angled plug.

Included Adapters
Refers to the connection adapters included with the headphones like 3.5mm or 1/4" input adapter as well as airplane adapters that let you use your headphones with airplane specific headphone jacks.
Detachable Cable
Refers to whether the cable can detach from the headphones. If a pair of headphones has a detachable cable, the cable can be replaced with a longer cable, one with (or without) a microphone or if you accidentally damage the cable.
Color Shades
Primary color shades of the headphones.
Material
Refers to materials used to build the headphones. Most headphones are built from some combination of plastic and metal to give you a durable pair of headphones.
Ear Cushion/Earbud Material
Refers to the material that the ear cushions/earbuds are made from. Ear cushions and earbuds are available in a variety of materials, ranging from basic rubber eartips to plush leather ear cushions intended for maximum comfort.
Replaceable Ear Cushions
Refers to whether the ear cushions can be removed and replaced. Often times on heavily used headphones, the ear pads can wear out long before the actual headphones. Headphones with replaceable earpads often last much longer than headphones without replaceable earpads.
Protective Case
Refers to whether a pair of headphones come with a protective case.
Weight (oz.)
This is the weight of the unit in ounces.
Water Resistant
This refers to the level of water resistance of the fitness tracker. Some fitness trackers are water resistant and can be used while swimming, while others are only splash proof or should not be used near the water.
Child Safe
Refers to whether a pair of headphones are designed specifically for children. Child safe headphones feature volume limiting technology so that your child canít damage their ears while listening to music.
Foldable
Refers to whether a pair of headphones can be folded up. These headphones feature hinges in the frame above the earcups that allow the headphones to neatly fold into a much more manageable size. Folding headphones are perfect for anyone who spends a lot of time traveling and needs a compact pair of headphones that can fit in their bags.
Ear Hooks
These headphones feature hooks that wrap around your ears for a secure fit.

Gaming Headphones

Compatible Systems
Refers to what system(s) these headphones are compatible with.
Wireless Type
Refers to the wireless connection type used by these headphones.
USB Connection
Refers to whether these headphones can be connected via USB.
Noise Cancelling Microphone
Refers to whether the microphone eliminates ambient noise for crystal clear conversations.
Detachable Microphone
Refers to whether the microphone can be detached from the headphones.
Microphone Impedance
The opposition to electric current, a higher impedance means a higher electrical resistance. This is measured in ohms.
Microphone Frequency Response
The range of frequencies the microphone will pick up (lowest frequency to the highest). Bigger is better, meaning the wider the range, the better.
Surround Sound
Refers to the surround sound type used by the headphones.
Separate Game & Chat Volume Controls
Refers to whether the headset has separate volume controls for the game and chat channels.

Home Wireless Headphones

Hub Connection Type
Refers to how the hub connects to your home stereo system
Wireless Type
Refers to the wireless connection type used by these headphones.
Wireless Range
The maximum distance the headphones can be from the hub and still work in feet.

Audio Features

Driver Type

The physical design of the driver in the headphones.

Balanced Armature:
A balanced armature driver uses a coil wrapped around an armature which is held in between two magnets until it is stimulated by an electrical current. When stimulated, this armature is magnetized which causes it to rotate one way or the other around a pivot point which moves the diaphragm to create sound. Balanced armature driver headphones are generally earbuds and can have multiple drivers in each earbud.

Dynamic:
Dynamic drivers are the most common driver type. They feature a permanent magnet, usually neodymium, a voice coil and a conical diaphragm to drive your music. A dynamic headphone driver looks pretty much identical to any typical home theater speaker.

Electrostatic:
Electrostatic drivers are made up of an extremely thin membrane, usually a coated PET film, stretched between two metal plates. An electrical signal is applied to the metal plates to create an electrical field which, depending on its polarity, draws the speaker diaphragm toward one of the plates which forces air through the perforations in the diaphragm which generates the sound wave.

Planar Magnetic:
A planar magnetic driver is made up of a large membrane suspended between two sets of oppositely aligned magnets. An electric charge is applied to the membrane to induce movement and produce sound waves.

Balanced Armature
Impedance
The opposition to electric current, a higher impedance means a higher electrical resistance. This is measured in ohms.
24 ohms
Sensitivity
An efficiency or sensitivity rating tells you how effectively a speaker converts power into sound. The higher the number, the more efficient the speaker and the louder it will play with the same input power. An efficient speaker helps you maximize your available power. Most sensitivity ratings measure the speaker's output with 1 watt of input, 1 meter from the speaker. Some speakers' sensitivity is measured with 2.83 volts of input, instead of 1 watt.
 
Efficiency (1w/1m) is not an accurate indicator of a subwoofer's output capability and should not be used as a comparison to other speakers or subwoofers to determine which one is "louder".
108 dB
Power Output
Refers to the power output rating (in watts) of the headphones.
Frequency Response
The range of frequencies the speaker will reproduce (lowest frequency to the highest). Bigger is better, meaning the wider the range, the better. The optimal range is 20 - 20,000 Hz (which is the range of human hearing).
5 - 25000 Hz
Audiophile
Audiophile headphones represent some of the finest headphones available. Audiophile headphones produce genuinely outstanding sound quality as well as extraordinary build quality, components and comfort. They are truly the finest headphones available.
Built-in Amplifier
This refers to whether the headphones have an amplifier built-in.
Amplifier Recommended
This refers to whether a separate headphone amplifier is recommended for use with a specific pair of headphones. It is highly recommended that any headphone with an impedance greater than 100 ohms be amplified.
Pass Throughs
Refers to whether a pair of headphones has an output to connect to another pair of headphones.

What is in the Box?

Main Product
The main product in the box.
Accessories
Accessories included with the headphones
Paperwork
Paperwork included with the product.

Warranty and Return Policy

Parts Warranty Duration
1 year
Labor Warranty Duration
1 year
Warranty Provider
Manufacturer

Summary of Customer Ratings & Reviews

Rating Distribution

5 Star
50%
4 Star
45%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
5%
1 Star
0%

Average Attribution Rating

Durability
4.3
Value
4.5
Features
4.2
Design
4.6
Usability
4.6
Jerry

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Beat value

August 30, 2013

Sound is true and clear. Like everyone else says, it lacks excess bass. This could be easily fixed by turning up the bass in equalizer or bass mode for players.

6 of 9 found this helpful

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steelcifer

Taylor, AZ

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Sony XBA-1

January 9, 2014

Great headphones and fantastic price. Plenty of ear pieces to swap out with other family members. Fits snug in the ear for total sound or back it out a little to hear whats going on around you.

4 of 7 found this helpful

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Jason

Canada

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Great value

December 9, 2013

This earphone is amazing. Have a exellent bass and I like it during I listening the rock.

3 of 5 found this helpful

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ramses

miami, florida

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
great product!

November 25, 2013

Oh man the product was great! Everything new as described! Came before promised I will be buying again!

4 of 7 found this helpful

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crisk

new york, ny

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
As an old Sony fan.... Disappointed

September 18, 2013

Not only it hasn't enough Bass, but wire carries (not insulate) annoying friction sound (and pounding sound from motion). My previous Sony earbuds completed insulated these. They may be ok for music, but to listen to audiobook is extremely annoying.

3 of 5 found this helpful

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beast

St Louis, MO

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
sony earbuds

September 17, 2013

These headphones are so comfy and with all the extra attachments you can vary how much sound you want into your ear. I love these headphones because I can use them for hours without my ears to start hurting. The quality of sound on these head phones are amazing.

4 of 7 found this helpful

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rick

katy texas

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
sony earbuds

March 24, 2014

quick shipping,reasonable price. good sounding earbuds!
thank you,
rick

3 of 6 found this helpful

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Alex

Chicago, IL

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Ok but not the greatest

March 16, 2014

It looks good and the sound is pretty clear, but it drops off in the lowest bass notes, and the treble is uneven but on most songs that's not a problem, it's annoying on some though.

3 of 6 found this helpful

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Calpike

Washington, DC

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Good earphones, but not great design

November 28, 2013

I use these at the gym with an iPod. I can't comment on the microphone because I don't use it. They sound great -- no emphasis to bass or treble, just "normal". The cable is just the right length to fit in my shorts pocket and not get caught on machines. My only complaint is that the left ear cable is much shorter than the right ear cable. Clearly, that's a design feature for people who use a clip to secure the cable to their shirt, but I don't want to do that.

2 of 4 found this helpful

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Chuck

New York

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Not the best for Sony standards but still very good headphones

August 25, 2013

This XBA-1 is the successor to the MDR-EX310s, which were the previous gen $100 price range Sony headphone. Unfortunately, the sound quality does not compare to the EX310s. Perhaps its because the change from dynamic drivers to balanced armature but the bass isnt as rich, max frequency is weaker, not as clear mids or highs. For the price that Sonic has them for, they are a terrific buy.

3 of 6 found this helpful

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Scott

Mansfield, TX

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Reliable Quality

January 22, 2013

The Sony XBA-1 single balanced armature driver in-ear headphones are reliable and are very good quality ear buds. They are noise cancelling and provide a clear tone to any music you listen too. These are a higher end product where you wont be disappointed.

4 of 8 found this helpful

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Dimon

Israel

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Good choice

January 3, 2014

Great sound (listen to the instrumental and electronic music), good sound insulation, decent quality, a wide range of nozzles,wire through the neck.
Great choice for the money

3 of 7 found this helpful

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DP

Vail, AZ

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Sony earbuds

November 30, 2013

I love them! The sound is great and they are comfortable.

2 of 5 found this helpful

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mickery

Nashville, TN

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Hi Fi, Easy Price

September 17, 2013

These are audiophile earbuds at a low end price. You can spend as much as you want on great earphones but these give you the most for your buck. These are for listeners who like nuanced voice and music. Clear and responsive. Of course if you are a thump lover you will want to boost your bass levels. These are comfortable to wear and the buds seal well. I have no idea how Durable they'll be; I always lose mine before I find out. Basically these are 4-star earbuds for 5-star listeners.

3 of 7 found this helpful

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JL

S.L.C., Utah

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Clear

September 17, 2013

These single-balanced armature headphones are definitely very nice and clear. Because they are "single" balanced armature headphones, they are lacking some bass if that's a question in your buying choice. If you just want precise and clear... buy 'em! They were delivered in perfect condition as well.

3 of 7 found this helpful

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Fax

Va.

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
The only 5 star ear phones in my opinion

August 10, 2013

I'm glad to see these at Sonic & even happier to see the price. Best buy sells them for a much more expensive price. I've always owned the best Sony earphones because I wear them at work every day. I've owned these for about 1 year. There the best I've ever owned. exceptional sound quality, The ear pieces help to reduce any noise from the wire touching anything. They do have a neck chain style cord but they don't mention that on the box. that's a must have feature! I do recomend extended warrenty because the cord is long & even after wraping it up with a supplied spool they may cause the cord to wear out in less than 4 years of everyday use, which I normally get from ones with a short cord. I could say more good things about them but I think I'm running out of room.

3 of 7 found this helpful

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Tim

AZ

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Sony XBA-1 in-ear headphones

July 7, 2012

I have used these headphones for listening to high quality music and they are awesome in reproducing a full, rich sound. Frequency response very balanced. Excellent for the money and comfortable too.

5 of 11 found this helpful

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Darrell

Canada

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Darrell Mullins

April 15, 2014

Great set of buds, very clear and comfortable and great sound even at loud settings no buzzing of distortion

3 of 8 found this helpful

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seba

Chile

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
buen producto

November 19, 2013

suena decentemente, tiene mucha potencia, espero que dure mucho tiempo.

2 of 6 found this helpful

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A-Rail

San Fran, Cali

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
True Audio Reproduction

December 21, 2012

I really love the balanced armature. There is no driver that performs quite like it. Sony certainly did it right with this one, and a very affordable price point.

P.S. a headphone amp is HIGHLY recommended on this one. ;)

3 of 8 found this helpful

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Accessory Tools and Products

Accessories added

HIFIMAN HM-700

Lossless Digital Music Player and Balanced RE-400 In-Ear Headphones

Your Price $119.99

Limitless Creations Earbuds Case

Universal Thermoformed EVA Ballistic Nylon Shell Case for Earphones w/ Soft Inner Lining

Your Price $4.99

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Product Summary

Manufacturer

Model Number

XBA-1

UPC

027242819504

Weight

0.12lbs

Internal SKU

xba1

Internal Product ID

49569

Sonic Electronix Wiring Guide

Wiring Diagram Legend

Warning: The image depicted shows the resistance change when wiring multiple subwoofer terminals. Please refer to your subwoofer's owner's manual for the proper wiring of its terminals. Sonic Electronix, Inc. is not responsible for damage caused to your audio system or vehicle due to improper installation. Please call tech support at 1-877-289-7664 if you require additional assistance.

Product Name: Sony XBA-1