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LZ-A2S

Rating:
4/5,
Tags:
  1. B9Scrambler
    LZ A2S: Entirely Underwhelming
    Written by B9Scrambler
    Published Aug 21, 2016
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Great Build - Excellent Mic Performance - Comfort
    Cons - Sound Quality
    Greetings Head-fi!
     
    Today we are going to be checking out the A2S, a dual-driver hybrid and successor to the well-received LZ A2.
     
    Given all the positive feedback the LZ A2S was getting from some Head-fi'ers I follow, when Head-fi sponsor Gearbest put them on a sale I figured they should be added to my collection. It was now or never. Do I regret this decision, or is the LZ A2S another stellar earphone among the many bursting onto the Chinese earphone scene at the moment? Let's find out.
     
    Disclaimer:
     
    The LZ A2S was purchased from Gearbest during their summer sale in July. I am not receiving any financial compensation for this review and all comments and views within are my honest opinions. They are not representative of LZ, Gearbest, or any other entity.
     
    The A2S can be purchased through Penon Audio, Gearbest, AliExpress, and a number of other online retailers.
     
    A Little About Me:
     
    Over the last couple years I decided to dive head first into the world of portable audio. After reading pretty much the entirety of IjokerI's multi-earphone review thread and being greatly inspired, I took a chance and started writing my own reviews. Fast forward a couple years and I've had the opportunity to write about some great products for wonderful companies like RHA, Havi, FiiO, NarMoo, Brainwavz, and Meze. I don't do it for money or free stuff, but because I enjoy it. If my reviews can help guide someone to an earphone that makes them happy, I'll consider that a job well done.
     
    The gear I use for testing is pretty basic composing of an HTC One M8 cellphone, Topping NX1 portable amplifier, and my aging Asus G73 gaming laptop paired with a Plantronics Rig USB amp. An XDuoo X3 (shout out to my cousin Rob!) has recently been added to the crew, and was used for the majority of my testing. I listen primarily to various EDM sub-genres (liquid drum and bass, breakbeat, drumstep, etc.), hip hop, and classic rock. When it comes to signature preference I tend to lean towards aggressive and energetic, but I try not to limit myself to one signature only. I also tend to listen at lower than average volumes.
     
    Enough preamble. Let us dive into the good stuff shall we?
     

     
    IMAG0705.jpg       IMAG0707.jpg       IMAG0708.jpg
     

     
    Packaging and Accessories:
     
    Unfortunately my A2S' package arrived looking like the box Jim Carrey successfully delivered in the opening scene of Ace Venture: Pet Detective.
     
    Had the package arrived fully intact as I am sure Gearbest had intended, it would have been nice. Nice if you ignore the odd statements printed on the outer sheath that is. "Old Faithful Hifi Audio" is written in a cursive-ish font on the front. Old Faithful, huh? Don't worry, it's expanded upon on the back with "The prison system: old faithful hifi audio." Now I completely understand.
     
    JimCarrey.jpg
     
    Allllrighty then....moving on.​
     
    Slide off the questionable sheath holding in the goodies and you are treated to the A2S nestled comfortably in a foam insert. Below it is a plain black cardboard box which contains some of the plethora of accessories. Underneath the box is a nice little hardshell carrying case that is barely large enough to hold the A2S as a result of it's large, generously relieved y-split and somewhat chunky 45 degree angle jack.
     
    Back to what was in the little black box. Well, we've got earhooks, a shirt clip, and high quality yellow single-flange eartips in small and large (mediums are preinstalled) that are very reminiscent of the ones that come with the Brainwavz BLU-200. You also get another complete set of fairly generic but good quality, single flange, small bore eartips in s/m/l sizes, a single pair of dual-flange tips, and some foam tips. Overall this is an excellent selection and should ensure you find something that works for you, but then again you might not.
     
    Outside of the weird statements on the packaging, the unboxing experience while basic is quite pleasant. The included accessories are generous though the inclusion of two sets of very similar single-flange tips seems unnecessary. Personally, I wish they ditched the second set of single flange tips and added a set of wide bore tips instead to give you some additional variety if you weren't a fan of how they sounded when using a small bore.
     
    Build, Design, and Comfort:
     
    The A2S's all-metal shells feel very solid, hefty, and reassuring. They are a little heavy, but the excellent ergonomics ensure this doesn't become an issue. This is a very comfortable earphone. The nozzles do seem a touch thick, but with my preferred JVC HA-FXT90 tips installed this never came across as an issue. Cable noise while worn down is minimal, and non-existent when worn cable up.
     
    Speaking of the cable, when I first saw it all I could think was, "Oh, this looks familiar. QKZ W1 Pro anyone?" Unfortunately, I seem to have misplaced my W1 Pro's cable so I can't directly compare the two but I'm 99.9 percent sure they're the same. What does that mean? It means the A2S comes with an exceptionally plush and memory resistant cable that behaves very well, though it tangles easier than preferred. Finally, the cable is amply relieved at the 45 degree angle jack and y-split. The strain relief attached to the shells is too stiff to be of any use.
     
    The design of the shell itself is a pretty basic barrel-shape with a large seemingly non-functional vent at the rear. I say nonfunctional because the sound doesn't change at all when covered. There is a tiny little vent on the nozzle. I was very pleased to see that the A2S, or at least my copy, does not suffer from driver flex. The faded Gold color looks good and is fairly subdued in person. It doesn't stick out and look overly flashy like the shade of gold Accutone chose for their Pavo model.
     
    Physically, the A2S is a winner. They look great, feel very durable, have a top notch cable and are quite comfortable.
     

     
    IMAG0715.jpg       IMAG0716.jpg       IMAG0717.jpg
     

     
    Microphone and Module Performance:
     
    With a simple single-button control unit you would be excused in thinking that I would gloss over this feature. No sir, not today.
     
    The single button control unit is basic, sure, but it does everything I want it to and does it with ease. The button is easy to find, gives of a nice tactile click, and works well with my HTC One M8 offering all the media and call controls I need. No fuss.
     
    The real reason why I added this section is for the in-line mic. It is really quite good! Callers always heard me loud and clear without any complaint. When I tested it in recordings, it performed nearly as well as my top tier benchmark, the JVC HA-FRD60/80. Voices were clear and crisp without sounding overly thin or even remotely sibilant. They just came out sounding natural and realistic, not something you can normally say for a basic headset mic. Wind noise wasn't blocked anywhere near as well as it is on the JVCs, but that's really my only complaint. Well done LZ!
     
    Sound:
     
    *Tips: I really didn't like any of the included tips and after spending some serious time playing around with my tip collection, settled on an old favorite; JVC's stock single flange mediums that come with most of their earphones. They allows the BA to give it it's all (which I found out isn't much), and toned down the overly enthusiastic mid-bass.
     
    * Amping: Not necessary in my opinion. The A2S is very easy to drive and sounded pretty much the same from my HTC One M8 as it did filtering through the Topping NX1 amp. The only reason I chose to run them amped with the XDuoo X3 as my primary was because those two together further reduced the mid-bass presence (are you seeing a pattern here?).
     
    Now we are onto what is arguably the most important aspect; how does the A2S sound? I'll admit that on first listen I was thoroughly underwhelmed. After about 10 hours and a ton of tip rolling, device pairing, and patience, I was slightly less underwhelmed. After listening for some more (I stopped counting after 10 hours) I chucked them onto my "burn-station" for LZ's recommended 200 hour burn and hardly touched them for nearly two weeks. When I finally came back to the A2S I expected to feel the same. What I got was initial excitement followed by disappointment leading to a mixed opinion.
     
    On first listen the A2S did not sound as I would expect a hybrid to sound, and it still doesn't. It had all the dynamic stuff down pat with warm, deep, impactful bass, though it came across as overly mid-bassy. It had some good punch and was somewhat quick. Sub-bass extension was merely acceptable, or at least it was with the right tips. Mids were very warm and inviting, right up there with the Havi B3 Pro 1 for my preferences. It's just too bad all that mid-bass occasionally decided to stick it's head in there and muddy things up.
     

     
    IMAG0723.jpg       IMAG0730.jpg       IMAG0733.jpg
     ​
     

     
    Where the A2S fell down for me was in treble energy and detail. I was expecting they would be fine here even though I knew coming in that they were supposed be a fairly relaxed listen. When I first tried them out I gave them a go with a live King Crimson track, 'Indiscipline' from their On Broadway release. The crowd clapping and cheering was a horrible, dull, muddy mess with no definition. 'Cat Food' from The Great Deceiver set was even worse. Hmmm...
     
    I know burn-in is a hot-button issue for some which is why I almost never mention it in my reviews. My "burn-in" is also usually done through regular listening so if there are any changes my mind has already adjusted to the signature and I'm unlikely to notice them. This in mind, when I tossed in the A2S after not using them for nearly two weeks and went back to my King Crimson test tracks, I wasn't expecting anything different.
     
    Well slap my chin and call me Billy-Goat McGrufferton, was I ever proven wrong. The crowd clapping and cheering sounded like human beings. There was detail! Actual detail and definition to the noise being pushed down my ear-drums. Mid-bass wasn't invading the midrange to the same extent it was before but it's still too boosted and unbalanced. The midrange is nothing if not outstanding. Picture a thicker sounding B3 Pro 1 here and you'll understand.
     
    Where the A2S fails me is in their emotion and energy. On some tracks this earphone just feels dull and comes across as if its simply going through the paces. If any of you are familiar with King Crimson's track Starless and Bible Black, after a very slow build (around 9 minutes 10 seconds) the band explodes into a chaotic jazz piece. It's one of my favorite aspects of any track and it's completely lifeless on the A2S. They just don't convey any energy or excitement. There's no gusto. No hooplah! They also fall down in the chaos and the song ends a disorganized, jumbled mess. Such a massive disappointment. Same experience with track from The Prodigy's The Day is My Enemy and numerous other high energy bands.
     
    What it comes down to is that I can't listen to certain music or bands with the A2S. King Crimson, The Prodigy, and other like groups that bring a ton of energy to their music just sound sterile and lifeless. All the edge and excitement is sapped out and you're left with an empty husk. Less energetic stuff or music that focuses primarily on vocals sounds fine, though you better hope the mid-bass stays put.
     
    Edit (Aug 22, 2016): I wanted to mention that these are fantastic media consumption earphones, particularly for Youtube videos and podcasts, Their lush mids ensure commentary is always clear, and if the content provider is using a lower quality mic smooths out the imperfections. Excellent for podcasts imo.
     

     
    IMAG0724.jpg       IMAG0726.jpg       IMAG0727.jpg
     

     
    Overall:
     
    The LZ A2S is a well-built earphone with off putting text on the packaging and a solid if not somewhat redundant tip selection. Their signature is warm and inviting with a lush midrange and fleshed out low end. Where they lose it for me is in their energy. There's just not enough of it and as a result the A2S comes across as dull and little more than a decent earphone. Not great, or outstanding, or something I would recommend. It's just decent. Okay. Average. Not bad. It can have one of my thumbs in the up position, the other sitting horizontally.
     
    I really wanted to like them and do with some tracks, but on the ones I want it to be good at, i.e. most of my favorite tracks, it stumbles and falls far short of expectations. I will continue to use them because I like the design, comfort and in-line mic, but for music they are far from my number one choice or recommendation as a top tier budget earphone.
     
    Thanks for reading.
     
    - B9Scrambler
     
     
    ***** ***** ***** ***** *****​
     
    Test Albums and Tracks:
     
    BT - This Binary Universe
    Gramatik - The Age of Reason
    Incubus - Movement of the Odyssey Parts 2/3/4
    Infected Mushroom - The Legend of the Black Shawarma
    Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
    Skindred - Roots Rock Riot
    Massive Attack - Mezzanine
    The Crystal Method - Tweekend
    Aesop Rock - None Shall Pass
    The Prodigy - The Day is My Enemy
    Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
     
    King Crimson - Starless and Bible Black (Track)
    King Crimson - Cat Food (Track)
    King Crimson - Night Watch (Track)
    1. View previous replies...
    2. B9Scrambler
      @loomisjohnson I agree that the bass is quite nice, but find that the mid-bass sticks out too much. If that were not the case it would be right up there near the Clipper in bass quality. But yeah, the BA used really seems to lag behind. They might as well have made this a dual dd and used a 6mm for treble. I really have a hard time enjoying them for music, but for other forms of media they are fine.
       
      @Podster You no like the A2S bling? hahaha.
      B9Scrambler, Aug 24, 2016
    3. loomisjohnson
      you know guys, i gotta tell ya these things are growing on me. after i tried unsuccessfully to sell mine, i started using 'em regularly and like b9 states that recessed treble opened up considerably--they sound a lot more detailed and expansive than my initial impressions.  compared to the shozy zero (another competent-but- overhyped piece), the a2s are livelier and less congested--they're actually very good with  genres which aren't bass-heavy.  they're not a five-star giant killer, but they don't suck, either.
      loomisjohnson, Sep 3, 2016
    4. B9Scrambler
      I've been using them today with the Plantronics Rig on the treble boosted amp setting. Gives them some much needed energy. They still can't handle King Crimson, but they sound okay with Youtube videos. *shrug* My opinion hasn't really changed. They're alright. Not great, not bad. Just okay.
      B9Scrambler, Sep 4, 2016
  2. peter123
    A great IEM just got even better!
    Written by peter123
    Published Jul 25, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Excellent build quality, easy to drive and fit, non-fatigueing and easy to enjoy siganture
    Cons - Slightly soft bass, not the greatest soundstage width
    First of all I’d like to thank LZ and Lao for sending me a review sample of the LZ A2S.
     
    I'd also want to thank my friend Tamal for informing me about the LZ A2S, thanks mate!
     
    The retail price of the LA A2S is $70. The LZ A2S are available from Penon Audio and many other online sellers:
     
    http://penonaudio.com/LZ-A2s
     
    The LZ A2S was sent to me for free for review purpose but I did pay almost $100 to get them and the prototype of the upcoming LZ A4 shipped to me fastest way so that I could bring them with me on my recent holiday.
     
    I’m not in any way affiliated with LZ or Penon Audio.
     
    IMG_3814.jpg
     
    About me:
    I’m a 43 year old music and sound lover that changed my focus from speakers to headphones and IEM’s about five years ago. At that time I realized that it wasn’t realistic for me to have all the different setups that I wanted and still house a family of four children and a wife so my interest turned first to full sized headphones and later also IEM’s.
     
    My preferences are towards full sized open headphones and I believe that also says something about what kind of sound signature I prefer (large soundstage in all directions, balanced and organic sound).
     
    My music preferences are pretty much all over the place (only excluding classical music, jazz and really heavy metal). My all-time favorite band is Depeche Mode although I also listen to a lot of grunge/indie, singer/songwriter/acoustical stuff as well as the typical top 40 music.
     
    I do not use EQ, ever.
     
    I tend to value function over form within reasonable limits.
     
    I’m a sucker for value for money on most things in life Head-Fi related stuff is no exception.
     
    Built and accessories:
    The LZ A2S is a hybrid in ear monitor featuring one balance armature driver and one 10mm dynamic driver.
     
    It comes in two different styles, one with a microphone and one without. I’ve got the version with mic.
     
    The cable has a 45 degree angled 3.5 mm connector just the way I prefer it.
     
    The cable is round and flexible. There is some microphonics but it’s not a big problem. Wearing them over the ears makes the microphonics pretty much non-existing. The chin slider is also in place the way I like it.
     
    The microphone also seems to work very well. I used these as my headset on my recent three weeks trip to Spain and even when spending most on the time on a windy beach people had no problem hearing what I was saying when talking on the phone. It also works with both Android the Apple products, both as a microphone and paly/pause button.
     
    The build in general seem very solid. The housings are all metal and have a very nice weight to them. Strain relief is in place on all the crucial points and the Y-split is also solid without being overly large.
     
    Left/Right markings are quite easy to spot
     
    My review pair came without a retail package so I just got a zippered case holding the IEM’s and accessories.  
     
    The accessories pack is ok at the price and includes the following:
    6 pairs silicon tips (S,M,L)
    1 pair bi-flange tips
    1 pair of foam tips
    1 pair of ear hooks
    1 shirt clip
    1 zippered case to store them in when not in use
     
    The LZ A2S are very easy to drive and worked very well with all the sources I’ve tried it with including cellphones. I don’t find them to benefit significantly from a more powerful amplifier but the do benefit from a clean source.
     
    IMG_3795.jpg IMG_3796.jpg
     
    IMG_3799.jpg IMG_3805.jpg
     
    The specs:
    Housing
    Metal
    Driver Unit
    1 BA, 1 Dynamic
    Frequenzy range
    10Hz-30KHz
    Sensitivity
    115dB
    Impedance
    16 Ohms
    Weight
    25 g
    Cable lenght
    1.2m

     
    Fit and ergonomics:
    I find the LZ A2S to be very comfortable and got no problem wearing them for several hours. The housings are quite wide and a bit on the heavy side but the rounded shape still makes them easy to insert and get a good fit with (even for me with narrow ear canals). The included tips are ok but in the end I found out that I prefer them with tips that have a wider bore.
     
    Isolation is about average, maybe slightly above. I’ve used them on a couple of flights without any issues.
     
    To me these are that kind of IEM's ine can just pop in your ears and enjoy without having to fiddle around with to get that perfect comfort or sound. Simply put they just work, palin and simlpe. 
     
    Isolation is about average and can get further improved by the choice of tips.
     
    IMG_3806.jpg IMG_3818.jpg
    Solid strain reliefs                                                                      Y-split
    IMG_3812.jpg IMG_3813.jpg
    Microphone and chin slider                                                       Angled 3.5mm connector
    IMG_3810.jpg IMG_3815.jpg
     
    Sound:
    I’ve used them as my main IEM's over the last four weeks and they’ve played for well over 100 hours. I’ve used them both around the house and when out and about and I haven’t really found any significant weaknesses in the way they’re designed.
     
    I’ve used them with my LG G3 phone as well as the CEntrance DACport Slim and the FiiO X3 and although they’ve worked very well with all of them.
     
    As already mentioned I enjoy the LZ A2’s the most with wide bore tips.
     
    Demo list:
    Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia
    Røyksopp (Feat.Susanne Sundfør) – Save Me
    Ane Brun – These Days
    Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana
    Metallica – Die Die My Darling
    The Peter Malick Group – Immigrant
    Eva Cassidy – Songbird
    Thomas Dybdahl – A Lovestory
    Norah Jones – Don’t Know Why
    Celldweller – Unshakeable
    Jack Johnson – Better Together
    Seinabo Sey – Younger (Kygo remix)
    Dire Straits- So Far Away
    Passenger – Let Her Go
    Lupe Fiasco - Deliver
    Morrissey – Earth Is the Loneliest Planet
     
    The overall sound signature on the LZ A2S is full but still well balanced, warm, airy and laid back.
     
    The sub-bass extension rolls off a bit early but I don’t feel as if this is a big problem and they’re certainly not bass light. Sub-bass impact and quality is good. Mid-bass presence is also good without going overboard too often. The mid-bass texture is similar to that of the sub-bass slightly on the slow and relaxed side. All together I find the bass to be very enjoyable on them.
     
    The midrange is well in line with the rest of the frequencies, maybe even a bit forward. The presentation feels nice and full in its character and it’s certainly not recessed in any way. Male vocals and string instruments is very good with a nice organic sound to it as well as great timbre and weight. Female vocals are also very enjoyable and non-fatiguing, albeit lacking a bit of energy and sparkle.
     
    The treble is pretty well extended and although there’s some roll off I don’t feel as it’s a big issue. There’s certainly a positive effect of this as well, being a very smooth presentation without any hint of sibilance.
     
    Clarity and micro details are very good for an IEM with this smooth, warm and full presentation. Soundstage width and height is average but depth, airiness and 3D feeling is very good.
     
    All in all the LZ A2S offers a very relaxed and non-fatiguing listening experience and delivers a decent amount bass of good quality while still keeping clarity and details on a good level as well as a mid-range that doesn’t sound recessed in any way.
     
    Comparison:
    Please note that the comments in the comparison section are not in absolute terms but in comparison between subject A and B. This means (as an example) that if subject A is found to be brighter than subject B it does not necessarily mean that subject A is bright sounding in absolute terms. I hope this makes sense.
     
    These comparisons were done listening from my laptop through the Burson Audio Conductor Air.
     
    LZ A2 vs LZ A2S:
    To me the LZ A2 is a classic IEM because I feel it was the one that got the ball rolling with cheap Chinese quality hybrids, so let’s find out if the A2S is a progress from it. Compared to the A2S the sub-bass on the original A2 reach deeper but is also a bit looser. Mid-bass is quite similar in both quality and quantity but for some reason I don’t find it as intrusive on the A2S as I do on the A2, this is probable because the A2S is fuller across the whole spectrum so it feels more even in its presentation. The midrange on the A2S is also fuller and warmer helping with the more even presentation. The forwardness of the midrange is pretty similar on both. Treble extension is also pretty similar with a slight advantage to the A2S, and once again the presentation is fuller on the latest version. The soundstage width and height is pretty similar on both but the A2S has better depth and 3D presentation.
     
    I find them both equally comfortable.
     
    Build quality is much better on the A2S with an angled connector, better cable and lack of driver flex as biggest advantages.
     
    They’re equally easy to drive.
     
    Isolation is also quite similar on them.
      
    SHOZY Zero vs LZ A2S:
    Compared to the A2S the Zero’s has bit thinner presentation with less warmth. The sub-bass on the A2S dig deeper and they’ve also got a bit more mid-bass presence.  The midrange is fuller and more forward on the A2S, this combined with the greater warmth on the A2S is also the biggest difference between these two. The treble extension and quality is quite similar on both and they’re both warm and airy sounding with better depth than width and height.
     
    I find them to be equally comfortable.
     
    Build quality is good on both but I prefer the cable and angled connector on the A2S.
     
    The A2S is easier to drive.
     
    Isolation is pretty similar on both.
     
    Simgot EN700 vs LZ A2S:
    Compared to the A2S the Simgot has better soundstage width and much less mid-bass impact.  The A2S has deeper sub-bass and overall more bass presence but also more boomy mid-bass. The overall signature of the Simgot’s brighter while the A2S are fuller as a result of the mentioned bass presence. The lack of mid- and upper-bass makes male vocals sounding a bit this and nasal when compared to the A2S. When it comes to female vocals the EN700’s actually pulls slightly ahead with its brighter presentation. The midrange has similar presence on both but is much fuller on the A2S. The treble on the Simgot has slightly better extension but is also much thinner. Soundstage width is quite similar on both but the A2S has much better depth.
     
    I find the A2S to be the more comfortable of the two.
     
    Build quality is good on both but once again I prefer the cable and angled connector on the A2S.
     
    The A2S are easier to drive.
     
    Isolation is slightly better on the A2S.
     
    Summary:
    The LZ A2S has proven to be a solid upgrade to the classic original A2 in both sound and especially build quality. Although I personally would’ve traded a bit of mid-bass for better sub-bass extension and also would’ve appreciated a wider soundstage I think that for the great majority of users that listen to their music from a phone primarily these are a perfect offering. They’re very well built, easy to drive, have a good microphone as well as a signature that’s very enjoyable with the typical top 40 music and cost less than $100.
     
    So if I look beyond my self (and many other in here) that has an arsenal of IEM’s for different music and usage I think that this is a very easy recommendation for anyone looking for a great sub $100 all-rounder. I’m talking about the consumer that would like to go from the stock earbuds that came with their phone, without shelling out a fortune, to something better. In all honestly this is probably 95% of the market. As a matter of fact all things taken into consideration I see no other option than to award the LZ A2S with a 5 star ranking and they’ll be my go-to recommendation for anyone looking for an easy to use all-purpose IEM until something else comes along to outperform them in the future. 
     
    IMG_3817.jpg
      Baycode, Brooko, duyu and 17 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. earfonia
      Nice review! Thanks!
      earfonia, Jul 28, 2016
    3. peter123
      Thanks for the support guys, it reall means a lot to me!
       
      Sorry for the late reply but for some reason I don't seem to get notice when there's comments made on my reviews any longer.........
      peter123, Jul 28, 2016
    4. waveriderhawaii
      Thansk Pete. good review.
      waveriderhawaii, Oct 1, 2016
  3. FUYU
    A legend continues - The LZ-A2S
    Written by FUYU
    Published Jun 20, 2016
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Good Value; Butter smooth sound; Great soundstage; Nice Cable
    Cons - Slightly soft bass; often too smooth
    Note: The LZ-A2S were given to me as a review-unit directly from LZ as part of a tour. A big shoutout to duyu for all the arrangments. I'm not affiliated with LZ in any way.

    Preamble:

    First of all, welcome to another review here on Head-Fi.org.
    My name is Noel aka. FUYU, I'm 19 years old and a avid lover for everything technical.
    While everything subjective, I like to explain in more rational enclosure with graphs and technical prowess.
    I care about facts and facts only, meaning no fancy 300$ cables and value by price-to perfomance.

    The IEM to start it all. The original LZ-A2 was a milestone for many of the chinese IEMs which came after it.
    There was simply so much hype around it. A sub 100$ triple-hybrid that actually sounded good?
    Unlike some earlier attempts like the TTPod T2 (now TFZ), it actually delivered. A superb little gem, which was sadly discontinued shortly after it's initial release. But since then, LZ and some other brands like MusicMaker gained a large following. For today, I want to look at another predecessor, the LZ-A2S. While just a dual hybrid, it comes at less than half the price of the current flagship. Still, this iteration of LZs sound takes it's value preposition to a whole new level.

    Enter LZ-A2S

    Official LZ Thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/800601/lz-a3-impressions-and-discussion-thread-and-also-for-lz-a2s-and-lz-a4

    IMG_20160620_171224.jpg

    IMG_20160620_171157.jpg

    Specifcations:

    > Drivers: 1 Dynamic Driver + 1 Balanced Armature
    > Impedance: 16Ω
    > Headphone sensitivity: 115dB/mW
    > Frequency range: 10-30000Hz
    > Cable: 3.5mm Standard
    > Cable Length: 1.2m±5cm
    > Weight: 20g
    > Color: Gold
    > Microphone: Yes, but optional
    > Headphone plug type: 135°
    > Accessories: Small pouch, various silicone eartips in S/M/L including a pair of foam tips and double flanges

    Build and Accessories:

    To start things off, build and accessories: Opening the packaging reveals the headphones and a little pouch, nothing else. There is just alot of useless space, which could have been used better. Oh well, I don't mind, but it is wierd to have so much empty space not being used to it's potential. I rather have a smaller, more compact packaging. Anyway, after opening the pouch and trying out the quite well balanced choice of eartips, including foam and double flanges, I settled for the biggest yellow core tips. Moving on to the earphones themselves: The A2S are decently looking and remind me of an turbine of some sort. The shape is quite ergonomic and feel very smooth on the skin, without any ruff or rigged corners. Unlike the current flagship, the LZ-A3, LZs newest edition doesn't have detachable cables. For some this might be a dealbreaker, but personally this is a much welcomed addition. The A3 had probably one of the most unusual shapes I've ever seen on a earphone, mostly because of the rather forced inclusion of the MMCX connector. It was fairly comfortable, but difficult to get a good seal with it as it was not made for deep insertion. With the A2S, this is a thing of the past. LZ has done a splendid work with the cable. It's super soft, doesn't tangle, has no microphonics whatsoever and has a solid Y-Split. While, I don't like the slightly (130°) angled 3.5mm termination, it has sufficient quality and feels sturdy enough for many months to come.

    IMG_20160620_171343.jpg

    IMG_20160620_171440.jpg


    Isolation and Fit:

    Isolation is slightly above average. The A2S is much more suited for outdoor-use, compared to the A3, which was rather weak in that department. Fitment is great. No issues in long time comfort. You can defintely wear the A2S in both over and down the ear. Full marks here.

    Pairing:

    If you have read some of my reviews, you might notice a trend: Get a good source and that's it. Like almost all IEMs, you won't need an amplifier, unless you're crazy. But then again, alot of us are a bit lunatic, so keep that in mind. Non of my sources (Xduoo X3, Samsung Galaxy S3) had any issues whatsoever. You might get into some issues if your output impedance is to high. Other than that, just pop’em in and enjoy the musical fireworks.

    Overall Sound:

    In case you're familiar with the A3, you are going to see many similarities. Some might consider the A2 a clone of the A3, sound-wise. And for good reason: It's smooth, relaxing, fairly spacious and equiped with excellent clarity. But, personally I find the A2S slightly superior to the A3. It has slightly better midrange coherency and treble performance compared to the A3.

    Bass:

    I'd consider the A2S to sound slightly L-Shaped. Although the Bass is definitly elevated, it is never overwelming. It gives the sound a warm and meaty base-tone. It is very clear, but not punchy or has large impact. It has an analog, tube-amp kinda sound. Very interesting decay. Natural and never obstrusive. Sub-Bass is also present, but it takes a bit of an back-seat in the presentation. Extention is good, but not excellent.

    Mids:

    While the A2S has a L-shaped signature, the midrange never loses it's presence. It is wonderfully present, without to many peaks or dips in it's presentation. It sounds super-smooth. Spacious and with good depth. Clarity is good and solid in its price-class.

    Treble:

    The treble is rolled-off, but not overly so. It's more in-line with the rest of the signature. It's relaxing, non-fatiguing and never shouty or aggressive. If you're treble-sensitive, you'll love these.

    Soundstage:

    Good width and depth, decent height. Seperation is not the best, but still around average in it's price-class. However it can sound very muddy with some badly mastered tracks.

    Comparisions:

    > LZ-A3: The bigger brother sounds more similar than different to it's smaller counterpart. The A3 has slightly better impact in the bass and has a tad better sub-bass extention. But the A2S trumps the A3 in it's more coherent sound and better mids and slightly more extended treble. Clarity is on par. But the A3 sounds more open and more balanced.

    > MusicMaker TK11: Another Dual-Hybrid. The TK11 is V-Shaped, with much more aggressive treble and bigger bass-impact. In comparision it sounds hollow and fatiguing. Seperation and Soundstage is better on the LZ, where as the TK11 lacks much of the coherency of the A2S

    Final Words:

    LZ is back! And with the A4 just on the horizon, things are about to get better. For me the LZ-A2S is an absolute winner. It has replaced my LZ-A3 as my daily companion with it's comfort and more practical shape. And honestly I even prefer the A2S in the sound-department. Overall, I'd say that the LZ-A2S is a superbly balanced and addicting listen, with fantastic value.

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      goodluck4u, duyu, CoiL and 3 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Lohb
      Nice dude ! I'm going to divert my friend from A3 to these one. I love their earphone house sound.
      Lohb, Jun 20, 2016
    3. RedTwilight
      Nice review! Could you elaborate a bit more on how the older A2 compares please? Thanks! I find it just a little shouty in the mids (have a lot of songs that are heavy in that region), but otherwise it's an excellent iem.
      RedTwilight, Jun 21, 2016
    4. FUYU
      FUYU, Jun 21, 2016