xqPro 3.0 & XBA-C10 

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Two methods of listening to music, first a rather nice Bluetooth speaker that can also work with a 3.5mm lead. Second a pair of earbuds from Sony that seem to stay in place without swelling the ear canal as so many do for me.

xqPRO 3.0

This arrived out of the blue as things sometimes do, however with no contact details I could do nothing with it. Sometime later the company’s agency rang me and it could be looked at.

It is rectangular and larger at the top than the base. 12x10.5cm against 9x7cm and the area in between 5cm at the front and 2.5cm at the rear is the speaker grill with two 35mm drivers facing forward. There is also a passive woofer to enhance bass sounds.

When you first switch on you get a melodic piano chord and when you switch off ‘Good Bye’. The top is shiny black and as the volume control shows through in red and you need to touch this it will very soon be covered with fingermarks, they realise this and provide a cloth as well as a drawstring bag to allow you to move around with it.

The stated time between charges is stated at 8 hours and the closest I got was 7 hours and 53 minutes, near enough. However the higher the volume the less time you get and at 80% this drops to nearly half. Full recharge from exhausted is around 3hours.

The rear has an on/off slider, micro USB lead for charging and auxiliary input. When you turn on a blue LED shines through the centre front of the grill. Behind the volume - + there is what is described as a multi function button and it will say the battery state. Other things it can do is play/pause and initiate a pair with a new device. The lady’s voice is quite welcoming.

When paired with most devices sliding two fingers to the right will select the next song and sliding to the left the previous offering.

If you pair with a smartphone then you can answer calls on the xqPro. There is a small manual with the first 13 pages in English and it also explains what the various blue or red shades of the LED signify.

The 3watt speakers give a good clear sound assuming you keep the device you are paired with quite near to it.

The xqPRO 3.0 is available from the link below for 150 euros.

Sony XBA-C10

These earbuds are on a 1.25metres lead. The gold plated plug is of the ‘L’ variety to take up less space, the top 30cm from the buds is split and then in a single lead for the 95cm to the plug. There is of course a fitment that allows you to have less lead split.

As with most earbuds I find having the leads emerge forward of the ear and then tucking them over the ear excludes extraneous noise such as rubbing on clothing.

A shirt or pocket clip is included and how to fit this is shown in the multi-language operating instruction sheet. Sony also include a no tangle device that allows the cord to be wound and unwound without having a boy/girl scouts diploma in knots.

As stated in the introduction I quite often find that my ears swell after a while with earbuds in the silicon buds here did not seem to cause this for me. Three further pairs of buds are supplied so whatever the size of your ear canal you should be suited.

As always when testing earbuds I use a range of units and files, for me anyway I found the amount of bass generated exactly to my liking. The sound as a whole was clear and clean and just the correct amount of external noise was reduced when out and about.

Using them while typing I had a zero noise keyboard.

The Sony XBA-C10 delta shaped stay in design earbuds are available from the link below for £40.98 including delivery.

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