Plenty of the biggest brands are getting on board with the new balanced armatures tech this year. Brands like Sony, who recently showed off their entire 2012 headphone range – including seven in-ears that tote balanced armatures.
The XBA 4iPs are the top of the range and are a pair of in-ears that squeeze four miniature drivers into each, admittedly chunky, enclosure.
These are some of the finest in-ears we've ever heard – a crisp, hugely punchy and thrilling listen. They'll pump detailed sound into each of your gloriously spoilt lugholes.
Yes, £400 is a lot, but you can get these for as little as £250 these days which is a really great deal. The XBA range includes cheaper alternatives but if you take your music seriously, these Sony's are seriously worth it. That's why the XBA 4iPs are rated best for in-ear excellence in our Top Ten list of best headphones.