Pros: Style , Comfort , Bass extension is pretty realistic and smooth , Nice midrange , can be modded and scales up relatively well for what it does
Cons: Grain , clarity , frequency balance , build quality
Hmmm , first review on Head-Fi :D
Alright little information about me , I am 16 from India ..... recently got into HiFi , although I once had the ESP-950 which my Dad bought when he visited the states a long , long time ago anyways my journey began in 2012 fall when I was in the process of finding the "one" headphone yes "one" :P
Well that was the 650 , before that my first headphone or proper headphone was the v6 which died on me so naturally I had to get a replacement and the only possible or viable option was the zx700 which "wasn't" that different from the v6 according to many but ...... this is where things get interesting
That is enough , lets talk about the good stuff first .......
In terms of comfort these are fantastic , the clamping is not present at all as a matter of fact sometimes I complain it to be too loose for a proper seal (That is because of time but its nice to mention) , the headband has generous padding but not the same case with the earpads , maybe for saving some money on the foam they made the clamping loose so that padding would not be a concern but with the thin earpads comes excellent sealing , the isolation is commendable compared to the competition , its better than my HM5 (FA-003) known to have good isolation and the Ultrasone HFI-450s.
The build quality isn't bad but certainly I would not go around shaking it or giving it a hard time , I am sure things will snap off and eventually it might break but its not bad .......
Hmmm what else , yeah the SOUND , now you might wonder why the Uppercase , well two things can be assumed either its too good or too bad , for now that is a mystery :P
This part will be precise if you guys want a casual overview of the presentation then you might want to check out the video I did on my YouTube Channel - Right below
Ok for the people who want a brief opinion ......
Lets respect the ascending order of frequencies shall we :)
Bass - I am not a basshead by any means but it lacks in extension , its not loose but nor is it tight .... its having a very poor presentation in general which is just not acceptable considering the other aspects of sound , there is not much else to say here
Mids - Hmm this is the place where things get interesting , according to Tyll from innerfidelity this is the place where it excelled ... now the very respected m50s are said to be recessed these on the other hand are brutally accentuated , its not smooth or anything like that its just filled with number of uneven spikes around the 3-6 Khz region which make it a tin can in some songs it just sounds like a hollow metal container being hit by a stick continuously some songs like "So lonely" by The Police are close to unbearable , Police songs are usually mastered with a lot of High frequency extension anyways but with the bump before the presence region its brutal I mean its bad , I wish I had something good to say but ..... no my Treble heavy HE-300s are better with Police :P
Treble - No detail , with the mids they are overshadowed completely , if you listen to songs from Best Coast the Indie rock band (They make music with heavily mastered bass ) I don't know how but it sounds pretty good the mids suddenly become bearable mainly because of the bass , maybe and the presentation as whole is pretty good but ......
Instrument separation - Now I think the word Soundstage should be completely eliminated it confuses me :P , anyways separation is not good it is supposed to be reminiscent to the classic 3-Blob and I don't disagree there .... it just sound terrible , not well defined and even if it was the lack of fidelity makes me wanna listen less
So now its obvious I don't like it and if I end this abruptly I am sure people will not like that so .......I have a lot more to say , now some may say "Hey man you had the v6 so ......... you said they were similar" yes that is true but I never got to compare them and my v6 were always EQ'd with an iPod , I was just a normal listener at that time so I really don't remember the flat sound , some may ask what about gaming with 7.1 ... no , I would not use them for gaming maybe I would if comfort was more important than sound for me , yes this brings us to another thing what was my source ? It was the Xonar Essence STX , all my tracks were lossless with some being 24/192 as well , although I used it in the gym with mp3s and they were just fine with that too , now this is not a biased review at all I own them , so what else to get ? Well , I have a lot of answers .......
Not the m50s (They deserve another "special" write up)
I would say go Ultrasone HFI-450 at the loss of some roll-off up top and a bit bass emphasis in the bass if you want neutral then the HM5 (FA-003 - one of the best closed under 300 IMO) The Uptowns are said to be good as well although never tried them , there is one last thing about the zx it plays nice with EQ ......
Conclusion - So its obvious I don't like it , now here its not a case of preference or signature preference its about sound , its not good ...... I don't know why Tyll liked it ? That will remain a mystery for me , anyways you can find me on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/user/MrTechAgent and of course constructive criticism is appreciated , hope you guys liked it take it easy and have a good one :D
Just changed the pads of the zx700 with some Brainwavz pads ......not a huge difference but certainly better than stock , bass seems to be more refined at the lack of some extension the crazy spike before the presence region seems to be muted now , overall this has turned out to be good ....more opinions coming soon
Update (June 2014)
I think I was a bit rough , over the days I have gained respect for the sound , before I start I have done some mods so , its not the stock sound .....
The ZX shines when it comes to bass and mids , fantastic texture and extension , the most realistic I've heard in the range and above .kills everything
The mids and great , quite intimate and warm and wonderfully clear sounding ....its just a great headphone ...classic Sony signature , love it !