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Zero Audio ZH-BX300/500 - New Budget JDM Single BA IEM?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

These two models caught my eye with their low price:

 

(Prices were taken from e-earphone.jp)

BX500 7180 ¥ (~$85 USD), Official Website: http://www.zeroaudio.jp/zh-bx500.html

BX300 4480 ¥ (~$54 USD), Official Website: http://www.zeroaudio.jp/zh-bx300.html

 

Yet, despite their low prices, the two models appear to be very well built, both cased in very handsome aluminum housing with robust-looking strain reliefs from top to bottom.

 

BX300_01

Similar in appearance to the UE700

 

BX500_01

Oooh. Shiny.

 

BX500_05BX500_04

Strain reliefs look decent to me. With the UE triple flanges, they look mildly similar to the HF2/5.

 

They also seem to be using armature technology with the BX300 appearing to use a SR Siren armature and the BX500 a Single BA.

 

BX300_02

I can't read the Japanese, but that looks like an SR Armature to me!

 

BX500_02

Renderings always make things look nice.

 

BX300_03

 

BX500_03

16 kHz is a pretty conservative number. Maybe they like being truthful, instead of stamping 20-20,000 on everything like every other manufacturer.

 

I looked up some impressions online; my Japanese is non-existent, so whatever I've read has come from liberal interpretations of Google Translate and whatever I could glean from reading the few Kanji characters in the text.

 

The BX300 was described as possessing a sparkly high end, but perhaps a slightly muddy low end. Not very descriptive, but hopefully somebody with better Japanese than I do can help us out here!

 

Not unexpectedly, the higher end BX500 was put under more scrutiny. The overall impressions of this IEM are that it is mid-centric, but weak in the upper treble and voluminous in bass but not necessarily very detailed. (Sounds similar to descriptions of the Philips SHE9850 and Shure SE210). Vocals are supposed to be slightly sibilant but not too bad.

 

Again, I can't read Japanese, so take my "translations" with a grain of salt. But they certainly look nice to me!

 

Compared to the ER4P:

BX500_06_Chart_01

 

Attached to the ER4P-S 24 ohm adapter and pitted against the EX1000:

BX500_07_Chart_02

 

The bang-for-the-buck market has thus far been thoroughly explored only by the Chinese, but if these two IEMs sound as good as they seem, I might be taking some more trips to Japan from now on!


Edited by tomscy2000 - 2/16/11 at 4:00pm

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post #2 of 12

That looks like a siren transducer?

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

yeah, that's what i think too. anyone who knows japanese want to help us out?

post #4 of 12

It just says balanced armature.

post #5 of 12

How annoying. I was in Yodobashi earlier today and could have checked these out probably.

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

Well, hopefully we can hear your thoughts the next time you go... I just think they look really solidly built for the price, which is always a good thing. Hopefully they have adequate sound.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

How annoying. I was in Yodobashi earlier today and could have checked these out probably.

post #7 of 12

I was searching for a cheap BA earphone at yodobashi, and I tested the BX500. I can say from a quick listening, that the frequency response definitely is mountain shaped. The voices are very clear, and I found that the instrument separation is good too. I think that for a entry level headphone or a 2nd or 3rd multi purpose headphone it is an excellent choice. The quality is very good too, the housing is very beautiful and the eartips assembly very well in the flange. The cable is thin, but it feels good too.

 

 

post #8 of 12
I've had the BX500 for more than a year and really like them. Signature reminds me a bit of a slightly more balanced x10. Good lows for a single BA, slight mid emphasis, and slightly rolled off highs. Smooth and non fatiguing,

Fit and finish is great, except the zero brand paint is rubbing off on the housings.

I am really curious how these would stack up against the new A161p...
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

The BX500 has been resurrected from the dead! tongue_smile.gif --- It does have a good response curve for a single BA and an exceptional price. A comparison with the A161 would be a good idea.

post #10 of 12
I would be curious to pick up the a161 but fear it would be redundant. A comparison with the x10 might be good as well because thats a similar signature to the bx500 imho.

Also i should add i had he a151 and enjoyed them but found them a bit grainy on the high end.

As the a151 used the siren, but the a161 uses the ED I an curious what drivers the bx500 and x10 have
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by takoyaki7 View Post  I would be curious to pick up the a161 but fear it would be redundant.

 

Well, assuming the BX500 uses a Knowles driver (it's not impossible that it can use a Sonion driver, but most people use Knowles), it'll either be the ED or BK. You have a 50% chance of hitting the jackpot! tongue_smile.gif

 

The X10 uses a KG926, which is a custom-made driver from Sonion, most likely a Klipsch-specific variant of the 2300 series from them.

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
The new 'Carbo Tenore' and 'Carbo Basso' look nice too.

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