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Sony's New 2014 flagship IEM - XBA Z5 - Page 29

post #421 of 3861

To him, they are $1499 good.

post #422 of 3861

heard the z5 couple days ago, (mind you the store had only just got the demos in and they are pretty fresh, and not burnt in at all)

 

I have to agree with the shopkeepers, sony have got something special again. Once every couple generations they make something magical and this is the next breakthrough

 

From my short impressions (20mins) out of an ak240, comparing mainly with the asg 2.5 since they are very similar in many respects.

 

Bass

Slam was impactful, powerful. Exactly what you would expect from a dynamic driver. I daresay the impact is greater than the asg2.5 if we assume the level of control is the same among both. (meaning if i turn up the 2.5 bass port to match the z5 in terms of impact and the 2.5 will be slightly muddier overall, but if I keep the bass port closed to achieve similar bass control, the z5 has a bigger slam). 

 

Decay is long and extension is deep, very deep, slightly edging out the 2.5. And they do not bleed into the mids from what I heard.

 

Mids

Vocals were less intimate, a bit more coarse on the z5. People who've tried AS will know their house sound is intimate and smooth vocals, sounding like they're right in front of you. With the z5 I get the impression im standing a few rows back, voices are a bit more coarse, a matter of taste and preference for most people.

 

Personally I prefer the asg2.5 here.

 

Treble

(not much of a treble person myself). I didnt recall much difference between the asg in this regards. Treble on both the iems are less aggressive, more laid back compared to say 846s. Both are have good clarity and feel somewhat airy, with the z5 edging out ever so slightly in the latter.

 

Build qualty

the z5 is very light, sturdy plastic construction. Cables are thick and rubbery at the headphone end and have a slight memory effect. It slowly slims down to an almost flat cable after the Y splitter. Uses an mmcx connection but the stock cable has a thicker outer plastic ring encompassing the mmcx connector with 2 lines that stick out to ensure that the cables are slotted in the correct orientation. Looks kind of like this, " -o- " (meaning aftermarket mmcx cables may be loose when used with these, havnt tried)

 

Conclusion

I think these iems would be an excellent pickup. my only gripe with them is the way sony always makes them stick out of your ear just like all their other iems and the non standard cable connection. If they end up like other japanese iems and drop in price in the next year or so, perhaps i'll pick these up as they sound very good. but right now they're too similar to asg 2.5s to warrant a purchase for me.

 

What I will say is personally, I prefer this sort of sound signature over the 846 and ie800 and I wouldnt hesitate to take the z5 over them. When it comes to 2.5 and z5, that would be a pretty difficult decision for me in terms of sound quality and signature, but I prefer the 2.5 for better ergonomics and a standard cable connection imo. (however the sony's are 100usd cheaper here at retail price so that's always something to consider)

 

Also I cant comment on how these will sound after some burn in, perhaps i'll return in a week or 2 to see how they've progressed. But bottom line is that i'm very impressed how these sound out of the box.


Edited by DatGuy - 11/4/14 at 10:27pm
post #423 of 3861
Quote:
Originally Posted by DatGuy View Post
 

 

Build qualty

the z5 is very light, sturdy plastic construction. Cables are thick and rubbery at the headphone end and have a slight memory effect. It slowly slims down to an almost flat cable after the Y splitter. Uses an mmcx connection but the stock cable has a thicker outer plastic ring encompassing the mmcx connector with 2 lines that stick out to ensure that the cables are slotted in the correct orientation. Looks kind of like this, " -o- " (meaning aftermarket mmcx cables may be loose when used with these, havnt tried)

 

 

While I'd overall agree with your summary, you've got it wrong regarding construction. As opposed to XBA-H3 which is entirely made out of plastic, Z5 is a sandwich of magnesium and plastic - back and front plates are made of magnesium.

 

Z5 are fun sounding and will probably become my main day to day IEM, but they are definitely not the most accurate around. Haven't heard SE846 but owning IE800 I consider them more proficient and accurate.

post #424 of 3861

ah thanks for pointing it out. I didnt really notice the magnesium ends. and I agree not the most accurate but certainly fun in many regards.

post #425 of 3861
Quote:
Originally Posted by axismundi View Post

While I'd overall agree with your summary, you've got it wrong regarding construction. As opposed to XBA-H3 which is entirely made out of plastic, Z5 is a sandwich of magnesium and plastic - back and front plates are made of magnesium.

Z5 are fun sounding and will probably become my main day to day IEM, but they are definitely not the most accurate around. Haven't heard SE846 but owning IE800 I consider them more proficient and accurate.

The whole Z5 body is made of magnesium, just the middle body in different matte finish wink.gif

Sony japan had a special inside story site of Z5 in japanese, it showed the raw magnesium body.
http://www.sony.jp/headphone/special/park/kiseki/insidez5/

Z5 works best with the extra balanced cable and PHA3, I personal feel it even sounds better than PHA3ed Z7 in balanced mode, maybe just with a smaller sound stage.

But the soundstage of Z5 is already very wide in terms of IEMs. My Z5 is still under 100 hr runin time, but sofar no audible vocal frequency missing like the H3, with no fatique treble boost, gives warmth vocal and powerful punchy bass, I am quite loving it, punchy but still clear and detailed sounds.
post #426 of 3861

I think the upgrade cable (non-Kimber) makes an audible difference.  When I heard the Z5 at CanJam, Nao's personal Z5 had that cable.  My production version isn't as impressive as his.  Still great though, just not as impressive.

 

http://www.sony-asia.com/product/muc-m12sm1

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post #427 of 3861
Quote:
Originally Posted by DatGuy View Post
 

heard the z5 couple days ago, (mind you the store had only just got the demos in and they are pretty fresh, and not burnt in at all)

 

I have to agree with the shopkeepers, sony have got something special again. Once every couple generations they make something magical and this is the next breakthrough

 

From my short impressions (20mins) out of an ak240, comparing mainly with the asg 2.5 since they are very similar in many respects.

 

Thanks for your impressions. I'm really eager to try them out now. I visited a Sony Store here in Singapore a couple of nights ago, but they didn't have the Z5/7 in stock yet. I hope they'll arrive in time for the Black Friday weekend.

post #428 of 3861
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiGuy528 View Post
 

I think the upgrade cable (non-Kimber) makes an audible difference.  When I heard the Z5 at CanJam, Nao's personal Z5 had that cable.  My production version isn't as impressive as his.  Still great though, just not as impressive.

 

http://www.sony-asia.com/product/muc-m12sm1


That wire must be good. Considering it's only $110, I didn't realize such a cable would provide a memorable difference provided you only listened to it earlier as an audition. Would you suggest the aftermarket cable @ $110? Would a third party cable give the same results? Are there third party cables that are better or will I be satisfied with the differences in audio @ $110 for that Sony cable?


Edited by xedjflowx - 11/5/14 at 7:38pm
post #429 of 3861

Nao probably has a special uber version Z5 for himself ;)

post #430 of 3861

It's worth spending extra USD110 for the MUC-M12SM1.  It enhances the sound in all areas!  Slightly larger soundstage, better clarity, tighter and deeper bass than the supplied cable.  I only paid USD75.50 at the Hong Kong Sony Store as a one-off discount.  The sound of Z5 improved noticeably after burning in for 120 hours.

post #431 of 3861
I am talking with a Sony rep to see if I can review the Z5. Not sure it will happen or not but I have my fingers crossed as I bought the Z7 and love it. If I do get a loaner to review I will do a complete A/B comparison between them both as well as a stand alone review of the Z5 by itself.
post #432 of 3861

Anyone compared to se846???

post #433 of 3861

So, the whole lineup (A1,2,3,Z5) is officially on sale here in China and can be tried at flagship stores. I spent a few minutes with a brand new A1 (the store guy was actually unpackaging them and handed them to me before even attaching the anti-theft tag), and came away a little surprised: I have no idea if it's the lack of burn-in, but the bass is very contained and precise, almost lacking, which is quite different from what I recalled about my brief time with the H1.

 

I will try to play around with it and the other models again in the following days and let you guys know, but there is a little problem: I am very new to the audio world (I'm usually reading reviews, not writing them) and the only thing I can reliably compare these to is my pair of Klipsch S4.. not very useful I'm afraid. So if someone more experienced is in China as well, come check them out as well!

post #434 of 3861
Quote:
Originally Posted by LazerBear View Post
 

So, the whole lineup (A1,2,3,Z5) is officially on sale here in China and can be tried at flagship stores. I spent a few minutes with a brand new A1 (the store guy was actually unpackaging them and handed them to me before even attaching the anti-theft tag), and came away a little surprised: I have no idea if it's the lack of burn-in, but the bass is very contained and precise, almost lacking, which is quite different from what I recalled about my brief time with the H1.

 

I will try to play around with it and the other models again in the following days and let you guys know, but there is a little problem: I am very new to the audio world (I'm usually reading reviews, not writing them) and the only thing I can reliably compare these to is my pair of Klipsch S4.. not very useful I'm afraid. So if someone more experienced is in China as well, come check them out as well!


Yeah,,i am a new bird like u too but lets be honest..............klipsch s4 is......:etysmile:

I hope u can loan out something like re-400/havi b3/ostrcy kc06/gr07/vsd3 to compare with a1.Its the only new model available in india:mad:

post #435 of 3861
Quote:
Originally Posted by monoboy View Post

Anyone compared to se846???

Soon Pete. ☺ If I do decide to keep, you can get a demo. These are in my list for sure... Probably in a month or so.
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