Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Sony MDR-ZX700 vs MDR-Z1000 - Early Impressions...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Sony MDR-ZX700 vs MDR-Z1000 - Early Impressions...

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

...It is a good job I got a fairly hefty bonus from work this month, paying full retail for both of these... but, in its own way, it has been totally worth it :)

 

Now, with anything I mention below, it has to be said that these are early impressions, with the Z1000 only having about 20hrs on the clock, and the ZX700 - less still (only about 2hrs) - so, this is mostly for those who cannot wait to find out which pair they should be looking to get...

 

[As a caveat, the reason for posting in this forum, rather than the 'full sized headphone forum is that I am reviewing these on a portable basis...]

 

Starting with the Z1000, as others have mentioned, the build quality really is top notch - when you put them on, you can 'feel' the quality, fitting snuggly over your ears, with the head-band applying just the right amount of tension to get a good seal - comparing to the Sennheiser HD25's vice-like grip of your ears, the Z1000 is like a satin pillow around your ears...

 

Moving to the ZX700, whilst the 'phones may essentially look the same, the all-plastic construction means a more flimsy fit and feel, add to that that the ear-cushions are much less plump on the ZX700 vs the Z1000, they still appear to seal away from the outside world in an adequate fashion, however - moving your head too far in any direction unsetles the tonal (and literal) balance of the ZX700 - that being said, although we're talking purely cosmetics, I have to say that I prefer the ZX700's brushed metal appearance on the Sony logo over the mirrored (well, shiny) one on the Z1000 - Makes me wonder if those 'caps' can be transferred between the two cans....  Hmm...

 

Weight wise, the Z1000 is understandably heavier feeling with its plusher, and metallic parts - whilst in the hand, although it doesn't feel so different on the head (other than the previously mentioned lack of padding on the ZX700 compared to the Z1000)... 

 

The only other thing to mention (which has been covered in other threads) is that the cable is fixed on the Z1000 (with a straight jack) whereas on the Z1000 it is removable / changeable (although oddly, on the Z1000 the short - portable cable is terminated in an L type jack - not showing much consistency there!!) - The cable of the ZX700 feels thinner (but the cable of the Z1000 feels somehow squishy, like it is padded!!), than the Z1000's but is still apparently non tangle, with both feeling much as another poster (sorry, I have forgotten who) akin to a USB cable...  Very good!! 

 

At this early stage, unfortunately any sound quality 'review' will be very short, more like bullet points - I am a relative believer of burn-in (whether literal, or psychological) and am more than well aware that neither pair is anywhere near any magic mile marker...

 

What I can say with assurity is that neither of these headphones will suit bass-heads, so definitely not 'cans to recommend to those coming from the 'Beats' type headphones - as an easy comparison, the Sennheiser HD25 sound like bass monsters compared to these, as if someone has skewed up an EQ - however, before you run away from the thought of these - the bass that is produced is of a high quality, and these are certainly bassier than the likes of the Beyer DT250 / T50 that I have been using recently - but nowhere near the B&W P5, which is just a bit of a bloat-fest!

 

Very early impressions are that the bass of the ZX700 is granier, less defined, and with potential distortion compared to the Z1000s which are cleaner sounding, the mids of the ZX700 are colored / boosted which can make vocals sound a little nasally, and instruments - unnatural - you get none of that with the Z1000 - and, with the treble, the ZX700 are a little muted (and again, grainy) when compared to the Z1000 - Soundstage, no comment really, people say that the soundstage is lacking - to me it is okay (on both pairs) - I'll grant you its not earth shattering, but its certainly not two dimensional as you would expect from some of the more negative reviews...

 

Only one very quick paragraph re the sound - I know that sucks, seeing that that is what Head-Fi is all about, however - as I mentioned at the top, there is not enough burn-in on either to form any conclusive opinions...

 

...One killer question which I am sure will be asked over and over regarding the two headphones in question - "Is the Z1000 worth 4x the price of the ZX700?" - looking at this from a portable perspective (I may well look at this from a home rig perspective on a different day) I have to say "no"... 

 

As much as I appear to have berated the ZX700, they still show the market that there is good 'sound to pound' value to be had - The Sennhiser HD25 sounds bass heavy (bloated / lumpy), with thin midrange, and boosted / sharp treble when compared to the ZX700, and if you consider thatt the HD25 has been the reference point for all things Head-Fi for year after year, amd additionally consider that the HD25 costs more than the ZX700, then unless you are an extreme bass-head there really is no competition...

 

...Why don't I recommend the Z1000 for portable? - The fit is better, and the sound [tonally - and with regards to distortion] is nicer than that of the ZX700 but in all but the most demanding of portable circumstances you just won't need the extra sound quality that the Z1000s can offer you...

 

I am sure that the home rig discussion will yield a very different outcome, as I can hear that the Z1000s have lots of potential on tap, and - if you can afford the Z1000 they will serve VERY well for on the road usage, however - if you're using a moderate setup, and cannot lay down the money for the Z1000, the ZX700 could well see you right...

 

Apologies for the useless and probably inane rambling, however - I hope this starts to give a clue as to the relative merits of the ZX700 and Z1000 - If anyone has any specific questions, I will try my best to update the thread...

 

Thanks for reading :)

post #2 of 24

Thank for your impressions. I'm looking forward to updates on how the sound changes.

 

Would you say the ZX700 seem tough and durable?

post #3 of 24
Top notch Duncan, very well laid out and extensive. To be honest, I find that I may opt to use the ZX700 for my daily commute because like yourself I don't think I will appreciate the discrepancy in the sound and combined with the fact that it's lighter and I'm pretty scared to damage/lose my beauties. biggrin.gif
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiComm4 View Post

Thank for your impressions. I'm looking forward to updates on how the sound changes.

 

Would you say the ZX700 seem tough and durable?



Hi ChiComm4...

 

To me they feel a little flimsy, however - this is coming off of the back of the bulletproof Z1000s, so I may be being unduly harsh - Much the same as the sound, I have a feeling that the fit / durability report may be a work in progress...



Quote:
Originally Posted by rovex View Post

Top notch Duncan, very well laid out and extensive. To be honest, I find that I may opt to use the ZX700 for my daily commute because like yourself I don't think I will appreciate the discrepancy in the sound and combined with the fact that it's lighter and I'm pretty scared to damage/lose my beauties. biggrin.gif



rovex...

 

Depending on if you've already taken your Z1000s out of the house or not, there is another plus point to the ZX700 that i've just noticed...  They don't suffer from wind noise half as much as their more expensive brothers :D

 

post #5 of 24

Feel free to update at anytime.

post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 

It is a good job I said that they were 'early' impressions, because pretty much everything I said up there is not correct lol...

 

The Z1000s massively outclass the ZX700s (extra apparent when amped decently) - as such, I cannot face taking the ZX700 out on the road, and am just running the risk, taking the Z1000s wherever I go...

 

...However, seeing that this thread fell on its face, until one or the other Sony's become FOTM, I'll keep my opinions to myself ;)

post #7 of 24

That's probably because the there's already another Z1000 thread and that Sony's are not glamour enough for audiophiles.

post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duncan View Post

It is a good job I said that they were 'early' impressions, because pretty much everything I said up there is not correct lol...

 

The Z1000s massively outclass the ZX700s (extra apparent when amped decently) - as such, I cannot face taking the ZX700 out on the road, and am just running the risk, taking the Z1000s wherever I go...

 

...However, seeing that this thread fell on its face, until one or the other Sony's become FOTM, I'll keep my opinions to myself ;)

 

 

I'm interested in your opinion.  I recently purchased the Skullcandy Aviators for on-the-go purposes, but they're actually way too small for my massive head, so I'm looking for a new portable.  How's the isolation of the Z1000?  I see in your sig you still say you use the ZX700 as your portable?  
 

 

post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi Raccoon...

Yup, I have to retract that post a little bit I guess - To me the ZX700 aren't so bad for out on the road, and the Z1000 sound so good on my home setup that I cannot justify the risk of losing / damaging them out on the road...

With a bit of bass-boost, I feel that the ZX700 offer better value (albeit without a bowl shaped EQ) than the Senn HD25, which sounds shouty - and thin in comparison...

In other news, to these ears, the Z1000 comfortably outclasses (and out-tones) the MDR-SA5000 - the only thing the SA5000 does better is soundstage (but the tonality of the Z1000 makes up for that to these ears)...

As to isolation, not as good as the Senn HD25 for either Sony (and the ZX700 feels looser on the head also) - but by no means bad - oh, and external leakage is very very low - so, you really won't annoy those around you if you feel the need to crank it a bit biggrin.gif

Hopefully not going to offend anyone when I say this, yet you would need Nelly the Elephant sized ears to find the ZX700 too small (where their earpads aren't as plump as the Z1000s, they have more room to fit those XXL ears!!)
post #10 of 24

Thanks, Duncan.  One of these are definitely going to be mine in the future.  

post #11 of 24

Well, I just ordered the ZX700.  I should have these wrapped around my massive head by Wednesday :)  I'm hoping I don't love them too much though 'cause that'll mean I'll also eventually buy the Z1000.  My main use case is portable use which is why I went for the low end model.

post #12 of 24

I was thinking about going to the AKG K 601 phones but how do you think the K601 compares sound wise to the zx700? They cost more or less the same here but none of the shops near me stock any of these. Im really starting to hate my Denon's and im back to using my old senn hd555's

post #13 of 24

Thank you for the comparison. I think I will get the ZX700 for my girl, and if I like them, the Z1000 for myself.

beerchug.gif

post #14 of 24

I'm in a similar istuation - getting a pair of ZX700's for cheap for a friend, and of course "borrowing" them a little to see if they inspire me to also buy a pair of ZX700's - or upspend to the ZX1000's.

 

Duncan, how would you compare the two in terms of any potential sibilance issues? I've heard the ZX700 a few times and always been a little worried about particularly hot tracks.

post #15 of 24
I see that you also have P5 in your hand. How does Z1000 sound compare to P5?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Sony MDR-ZX700 vs MDR-Z1000 - Early Impressions...