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  1. cqtek
    Enameled Ceramic Sound
    Written by cqtek
    Published Feb 24, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Quality of the treble driver, gives a very characteristic sound to the whole.
    - Great clarity, transparency and precision.
    - Remarkable instrumental positioning and recreation of the scene.
    - Versatility of the filters.
    - Very suitable for a large number of musical genres and for daily use.
    - Carrying case.
    - Construction and comfort.
    Cons - Cable.
    - Very soft silicone tips.
    Introduction

    The LZ A6mini is a cheaper version of the Flagship of the Chinese brand LZ Audio, the LZ A6, from which all BA drivers have been removed. These are hybrid IEMs with a 10mm dynamic driver and a ceramic piezoelectric driver for each capsule. The shape is practically identical to its big brothers, but without Loud button.

    LZ A6mini 01_resize.jpg

    Comes with three filters to be able to modify the sound:

    • Blue (Hi-res): Bandwidth: 15Hz - 35kHz. Filter frequency: 3kHz - 7kHz. Boost +3dB
    • Black (Balanced): Bandwidth: 15Hz - 35kHz. Filter frequency: 3kHz - 7kHz. No enhancement 0dB
    • Red (Bass boost): Bandwidth: 15Hz - 35kHz. Filter frequency: 3kHz - 7kHz. Reduction -3dB

    You have the option to choose cable with MMCX connector or two-pin cable 0.78mm.

    LZ A6mini 02_resize.jpg

    Specifications

    • Driver: 10mm Dynamic Driver + 7 layer piezoelectric ceramic extra-high driver hybrid
    • Frequency response: 15Hz-35kHz
    • Sensitivity: 112dB
    • Nominal Impedance: 20Ω
    • Cable length: 1.3m
    • Plug: 3.5mm L
    • Cable terminal: MMCX or 0.78mm two-pin models available
    • Designed according to CITA IECQ standard

    LZ A6mini 03_resize.jpg

    Packaging

    The LZ A6mini come in a 194x154x47mm box with a black cover. On the main face is engraved, in violet, the logo, the brand below, the model at the bottom and a small description on the foot. On the back come the web address, an e-mail address and the brand address, plus a QR code.

    After removing the cover there is a completely red box with the logo engraved in white in the middle.

    When the lid is opened there is a mould containing:

    • A case with zipper
    • The capsules
    • The quality certificate
    • The instruction manual

    LZ A6mini 04_resize.jpg

    The rest of the accessories that can be found in the interior:

    • The cable
    • The filter holder with the red and black filters. The blue filters are already installed.
    • 3 pairs of SxMxL wide channel silicone tips.
    • 3 pairs of narrow-channel SxMxL silicone tips.
    • 1 pair of blue foam tips

    In this case the content is more than acceptable, incorporating several sets of tips and a very practical case with zipper to keep the IEMs.

    LZ A6mini 05_resize.jpg

    Construction and design

    The capsules are metallic, quite light. They have an ergonomic shape, although they are clearly fat. They are designed to be used with the cable over the ear. They have two different parts: the outer plate and the body. The outer plate has a perceptible bevel on its outer edge, which allows you to see the color of the material, giving a distinctive and elegant touch. Next to the bevel the mark is read, in white letters and capital letters. Very close to these letters is a hole, just in the area of the sharpest vertex of the cover. Both the plates and the capsules are perfectly assembled and the union, although distinguishable, does not present any gap.

    LZ A6mini 06_resize.jpg

    The nozzles are made of aluminium, 7mm long and have a screw thread for easy fixing.
    The filter holder is also metallic and fulfils its function perfectly.
    The cable is thick, covered with black rubber, somewhat rigid, with a tendency to take shape.
    The Jack connector is a black metal cylinder from which the cable comes out at 90º.
    The splitter is another black metal cylinder. There is a metal piece to adjust the cable under the chin.

    In the model I own, the connection is two pins of 0.78mm. These connections in the cable are protected by a thick plastic cover, in the shape of L open. From it, the cable is protected by a wrapper that gives it shape to fit over the ear.

    The cable, being very rigid, has a certain microphony and the possible impacts are transmitted. Another negative aspect, in this case due to the two-pin cable, has been its connection: the holes are inside a rectangular cavity, whose dimensions are very close and inserting them has not been easy. In addition, there is no indication of how they should be connected, so it is necessary to be guided by the adjustment of the capsules in the ears.

    LZ A6mini 07_resize.jpg

    Adjustment and ergonomics

    The placement is simple and in my particular case, the capsules barely touch any part of the ear, rather remain as floating, ensuring good comfort throughout the time of use. This is due to the relative length of the nozzles, the insertion of which could be considered almost medium. Once adjusted, they do not fix completely, but allow a certain degree of rotation, although I have not observed any change in the sound, once I have found the right tips.

    Thanks to the insertion, as I said, something deeper than superficial, the capsules do not move easily and this allows their use for everyday life.

    Although the size of the capsules is somewhat fat and almost bulky, this does not negatively influence the comfort or fit.

    LZ A6mini 08_resize.jpg

    Sound

    One of the great advantages of this model is the filters, because they are very versatile and their influence is clearly perceptible in the range in which they move, from 3kHz to 7kHz.

    In the manual you can see a graph showing the acoustic properties of each filter over the frequency range. Clearly it can be distinguished that the blue filter enhances the mid and high frequencies. The black filter does not alter the frequency response of the A6mini. And the red filters reduce mids and highs. It can also be observed that the incidence of filters in the low zone is relatively zero. Thus, the modification in the perception of the low zone is basically determined by the reduction or enhancement of the rest of the zones.

    Filtros FR_resize.jpg

    My quick evaluation of each filter is as follows:

    The blue filter makes the A6mini too bright for my taste. The high mids have a clear enhancement and are quite sharp and crunchy. The overall tone becomes somewhat unreal, somewhat forced by the excess brightness. It is true that clarity is emphasized, but naturalness is lost in the mid-range, something that is clearly appreciated in the voices. Recommended for fans of enhanced treble and high mids.

    The black filter seems not to affect the frequency response of the A6mini at all. That being so, I find its profile clearly correct, because it has a fairly good balance throughout the entire range. All zones are highly enjoyable individually and none of them are restricted. The black filter is my favorite because it allows to extract and enjoy all the virtues of this model.

    The red filter has an excessive influence on the sound, cuts the mid-range and smoothes the treble, turning the A6mini into spark-less, dark IEMs with much less detail, clearly reduced resolution and clarity. The filtering is even noticeable in the volume, being necessary more power to equal volumes with respect to the black filter.

    As I said before, the influence of each filter is quite clear. Its great advantage is that everyone can adapt the profile to their personal taste. My critique in this respect is that it does not seem to affect particularly the bass. I would have liked to have a filter that only enhances that area over the rest, without having to lose quality in the middle and treble.

    From now on, the sound will be described using the black filters.

    LZ A6mini 09_resize.jpg

    Profile

    With the black filters the A6mini are quite balanced. It's true that the midzone is quite present, but the bass is not as backward as in other IEMs, whose mids have similar characteristics. After noticing a certain distance between bass and treble, I could venture a certain profile in soft W.

    LZ A6mini Filters.png

    Bass

    Bass enjoy a certainly linear presence, both the sub bass and the middle bass are felt with an adequate dose of power, not emphasis, generating an area with good equilibrium and balance. The upper part of the bass is softer, a characteristic that produces a certain lack of body at the confluence with the mids.

    The A6mini are not bass-focused IEMs, but they offer a more than acceptable level of punch, very necessary for eminently bassist musical genres such as electronic music.

    One of the most noticeable characteristics of the bass is its speed, as well as the level of recovery. This gives you a large dose of control, accuracy, resolution, even transparency.

    The area has a remarkable lamination, being able to distinguish all the low frequencies almost individually and clearly perceptible, without any blurring. It is really pleasant to be able to focus the senses in following all the bass lines without there being even an ounce of interference in the rest of the frequencies.

    Overall the lower zone is quite versatile, allowing the A6mini to enjoy an off-road character that makes it compatible with a wide range of musical genres.

    As a negative attribute, the area lacks a more powerful character globally, reducing the level of fun and spectacularism.

    LZ A6mini 10_resize.jpg

    Mids

    Mids starts from a light presential valley, a double-edged sword: on the one hand it prevents the intrusion of the bass in the mids and gains in clarity. But on the other hand, male voices, as well as the entire lower midrange, lack body and sound somewhat isolated. On the negative side of this subrange, lightening presence reduces forcefulness and power in an area with a lot of musical information in most genres, perceiving a certain feeling of hollow. On the positive side, the sound produced is quite decongested, even passages where this area is very dense, sound much lighter and fresh.

    As the frequency increases, the presence is enhanced and the female voices take advantage of it, becoming the stars of the function, being very frontal and close, as well as clear and detailed.

    Cleanliness, clarity and elegance are attributes that end up defining the midrange. Special mention should be made of the unusual detail caused by the treble driver.

    LZ A6mini 11_resize.jpg

    Treble

    The sound is not blatantly analytical, but is perceived as different from that generated by BA drivers or dynamic drivers. The nature of the emitter influences the generation of the music, revealing a different sonority. The highs coming from this ceramic piezoelectric driver offer an interesting and diverse point of view: almost a micro universe to be discovered, some mids with new ornamental endings, some highs with a distinctive sound signature. This driver of new generation contributes an appreciable musical value, apart from that new color, the trebles gain in extension without the rest of frequencies suffer negative consequences, in spite of its clear influence.

    Another great virtue of this driver is its speed; the highs are so fast that wheezing hardly occurs. This gives an idea of how sharp the highs are, but being very safe because they never become lacerating, at least not with the black filter.

    LZ A6mini 12_resize.jpg

    Soundstage, separation

    The scene is wide and high too, but to a minor degree. The sound has a good feeling of depth and three-dimensionality. But as a whole I don't find the scene very spherical, but vaster frontally.

    Where these IEMs excel is in instrumental location and positioning. The separation is almost excellent and the great clarity and transparency allow a very precise recreation, with a large number of instrumental planes and very close female voices.

    LZ A6mini 13_resize.jpg

    Comparisons

    Anew U1

    I’m very impressed with the U1 for their overall quality and, in particular, for their lower zone. When I directly compare the U1 against the A6mini I see many differences. And the biggest difference is not the lows, but the mids: the U1 cannot compete in this range against the A6mini. The presence of the voices overwhelms the U1, sounding distant and veiled, lack of resolution and clarity. With the rest of the mids the same thing happens, A6mini offers a great amount of details and information that in the U1 seems omitted. As expected, the treble sonority is noticeably different, with more extension, resolution and micro detail, as well as a different naturalness, in favor of the A6mini. While in the U1, the low trebles, sound more sharp and marked.

    Bass of the U1 deserve special mention, as a lover of this area; I prefer their warmth, depth, body and presence. The lows of the U1 make me move my head up and down without stopping, enjoying. While their mids make me twist my mouth...when I compare them with the A6mini.

    In the rest of parameters, like the scene and the separation, A6mini win without discussion, only in the width of the scene the U1 approach the LZ.

    LZ A6mini 14_resize.jpg

    Ikko OH1

    The profile is equal when A6mini are compared to OH1, although the differences exist. OH1 and A6mini share similarities in the depth of the bass, but the LZ offer a little more presence and more width; they are not so focused on the sub bass, producing a fuller bass range and more body, giving the sound more warmth.

    Mids of both have a good presence and feel close and ahead. But the OH1 mids still sound colder than the A6mini. There is a difference between male and female voices between the two IEMs: Male voices sound more clearly in the OH1, while female voices sound better in the A6mini. It is possible that this effect is due to the valley that the A6mini present at the confluence between bass and mids. The tone in the mids also varies between both, persisting in the OH1 that colder and brighter character, because their highs are more marked and crunchy. Again the sonority of the high zone is distinguishable: it is sharper in the OH1 and with more emphasis in the lower part of this zone. While in the A6mini is more relaxed, no less extensive.

    The scene in the A6mini is wider and higher, producing a greater feeling of three-dimensionality and spatiality. The instrumental recreation also improves the one offered by the OH1. In terms of clarity and separation, the differences are not so obvious; the somewhat cooler and brighter character favors the Ikko in this sense, as well as being more analytical.

    LZ A6mini 15_resize.jpg

    Conclusion

    In this hobby, the question is always the same. Is it worth spending more money to get better sound quality? Manufacturers are well aware of this and their efforts should be directed in this direction. For users, it's like fleeing forward: this world is moving very fast and new models with technological improvements are appearing every day. But do these improvements translate into better sound? Do the new models surpass the ones I already own?

    In this case, LZ has combined well-known technologies with more recent ones: the use of filters and the ceramic piezoelectric driver. The influence of both elements is clearly perceptible and this is the key to the added value offered by this model. In this case, there is another advantage: LZ wanted to make its Flagship more accessible. In my opinion, these operations become virtues to be considered when buying this model, apart from its proven sound quality, which in itself could justify its price.

    Speaking in terms of sound, the A6mini are based on a low area of remarkable quality, whose mission is to reproduce all musical genres in the best way, trying to please everyone. Then they offer the possibility of modifying the presence of the mid-high and treble-low by using filters, so that the profile can be adapted to the taste of each one. Of course, in terms of scene, detail, separation, comfort and ergonomics, the A6mini fit, even exceed, the expectations generated.

    In my opinion, the weak point is in the cable.

    LZ A6mini 16_resize.jpg

    Sources used during the analysis

    • Burson Audio Playmate (OpAmps V6 Vivid Dual + V6 Classic Dual).
    • Sabaj Da3.

    Purchase link

    https://penonaudio.com/lz-a6mini.html

    Link to the Store

    https://penonaudio.com

    You can read my full review in spanish here:

    https://hiendportable.com/2019/02/24/lz-a6mini/
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  2. IryxBRO
    LZ HIFI A6Mini — light version of mighty IEMs
    Written by IryxBRO
    Published Jan 8, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - good resolution, good bass texturing, good stage, good treble extension, good tuning options
    Cons - not the best fit
    The process of investigation on the latest products by LZ HIFI Audio brand continues… Last time we have reviewed the new flagship A6 IEMs that was released simultaneously with its less pricy and younger variation — A6Mini. This model is not so tightly packed with the features but at the same time has many things in common. Both models have the base combination of similar 10mm dynamic woofer + piezo-electric ceramic high frequency driver while A6 also incorporates additional 4BAs. Both share the same design, shape and possibility of further tuning options by the means of applying different output nozzles.

    [​IMG]

    All of the above made LZ HIFI flagship model to be a decent performer with unique features and now our quest is to understand whether A6Mini IEMs are as revealing and universal in comparison to its own class rivals.

    This review would partially borrow the text from our article about A6 IEM due to shared similarities between two models.

    [​IMG]

    LZ HIFI A6Mini technical specifications:
    • Combination of drivers: 2-way hybrid
    • Dynamic: 10mm DLC diaphragm dynamic woofer
    • Piezo-electric: 7 layer parallel piezoelectric ceramic extra-high frequency driver
    • Frequency response range: 15Hz-35kHz
    • Impedance: 20Ω
    • Sensitivity: 112dB
    • Cable: 1.3m, 3.5mm single-ended stereo plug, L-shaped
    • IEMs connector: MMCX or 2Pin 0.78mm (depending of customer choice)
    • Designed according to CTIA IECQ standard
    • Feautres: 3 pairs of sound tuning nozzles
    Output nozzles (filters):
    • Blue: 3-7kHz +3dB
    • Black: 3-7kHz ±0dB
    • Red: 3-7kHz -3dB
    [​IMG]

    As stated in the technical specifications nozzles have 3 tuning option. Each nozzle option has different acoustic filter mesh. Switching from +3dB to -3dB should produce quite a change in the frequency response of upper mids / lower treble range. Let’s get back to that after examining the exteriors.

    Build quality, design and materials:

    LZ HIFI A6Mini box packaging design is similar to the flagshop model. Box has the additional black outer cover with shiny purple brand logo, model name and short description imprints. Back side contains company name and address.

    [​IMG]

    Cover aside, box is orange now and has only brand logo printed on it.

    [​IMG]

    Box inner compartment is split into two layers with top inset holding IEMs and bottom compartment containing storage case along with several accessory boxes.

    [​IMG]

    Box contents:
    • A6Mini IEMs
    • cable
    • 3 pairs of tuning nozzles
    • 6 pairs of silicone eartips
    • 1 pair of memory foam eartips
    • storage case
    • warranty card
    • user manual
    [​IMG]

    Pretty standard list of accessories if not taking into consideration 3 pairs of output nozzles. Storage case is always welcome to provide long lasting life for your IEMs. In comparison to A6, more budget friendly A6Mini set of nozzles is focused on singles frequency response range and 3 variations of upper mids|lower treble response filters.

    [​IMG]

    A6Mini IEMs are made of two parts — top aluminum cover and base (perhaps — steel). Parts are perfectly aligned, the gap is hardly visible. Top covers are matt black with rough finish, contain neatly printed brand name and additional compensation opening.

    [​IMG]

    There is no LOUD button as in A6 flagship model but A6Mini impedance and sensivity is closer to what we’ve seen in A6 when LOUD was ON.

    IEMs bases are black with glossy finish and have a another compensation opening close to the nozzles.

    [​IMG]

    Nozzles are made of alluminum, have threaded type of connection and rubber seal to protect dust and moisture from coming inside the thread. A6Mini nozzels are interchangeable with A5 and A6 IEMs — same thread diameter and pitch.

    [​IMG]

    MMCX (or 2-pin, 0.78mm) are located at the top edge. No free play here.

    [​IMG]

    Stock cable can have either MMCX or 2-pin, 0,78mm connectors depending of customer choice. All cable elements are made of aluminum — Y-splitter, limiter, connector housings and L-shaped 3.5mm jack housing.

    [​IMG]

    Connectors do feature channels indicators but there are no corresponding indicators on IEMs. Anyway, further identification is an easy task due to specific IEMs shape and fit. We like A5 cable more for two reasons: soft braid and earguides that would hold any given shape. A6/A6Mini cable is packed in more stiff silicone braid while the earguides are springy.

    [​IMG]

    In terms of fit comfort we’d also prefer A5 over the newest A6/A6Mini models. A6Mini is not as heavy as A6 due to loosing extra 4xBA drivers but still less comfortable to wear in comparison to A5. The shape of newer models is not so natural and the profile is kind of thick. It would be much easier if the earguides would be helping better by holding the desired curvature. Consequently, the level of noise isolation is average if not less. Better ergonomics of A5 cuts off the incoming noise more effectively.

    Sound quality:

    Tested with Hidizs AP200 + AP80 DAPs.

    [​IMG]

    Lows and midbass:

    Deep bass shows high amount of textures no matter which nozzle is currently in use. Bass amount and presence are not overwhelming, neither it is accentuated. Сontouring is precise, good layering allows to distinguish different instruments performing in this range. Subbass reaches good depth whereas bass is totally adequate to balance and accompany other ranges. A6Mini lows remind us of full-sized open back headphones with airy and transparent presentation. In comparison to A6 this range aquired more weight in overall sound picture and got only a bit more «muffle» feel but the rest is left unchanged and sounds quite similar to the flagship model when LOUD is enabled.

    Midbass section is adequately articulated, full-bodied and powerful. Drum sections sound pretty natural, creating a good feel of overall dynamics. The only difference to A6 model is a small descrease in body and dynamics of certain sounds during the drum sessions. This might be a result of additinonal front compensation opening or changes in the volume of woofer cavity — A6Mini have much more free space inside. There is no significant change in midbass coloration while applying different filters which means that this range is perfectly weighted and tuned by crossovers.

    [​IMG]

    Mids and vocals:

    Mids are more upfront than lows. Male vocals sound a bit thin and more distant than female ones which adds more emphasis on clarity and emotional appeal. In comparison to A6 flgship model mids did loose some body, balance and resolution. Not a surprise because 2 extra mid-range balanced armature drivers were removed. Detalization is still enough to show good amount micro details on both — voices and instruments. There is no excessive harshness on upper mids, but the overall tonality feels bright and the sound is prone to sibilances when using blue filter. This filter adds the exceptional clarity and colder crispness to string instrument or female vocals. Switching to red filter would make the presentation darker by cutting off most of the sparkles and giving the mids a touch of warmth. Sibilances almost fade away or at least should draw much less of attention. Going back and forth with different filters give obvious influence to the overall tonality. Chances to find the most suitable sound are good. Tuning of mids can vary from very emotional and thin to thicker and more natural sound.

    [​IMG]

    Treble:

    In our previous review we have conlcuded that LZ A6 IEMs managed to set the new standard concerning treble range extension, micro dynamics and resolution. LZ A6Mini IEMs are not as remarkable but get very close… Speed, micro dynamics and extension are the best for the corresponding budget even with a single piezo-electric ceramic driver. Blue filter is excessively bright and crisp, highly accentuates treble and bringing it to the very front while the red one removes anything too biting and mostly equilizing treble to mids. This range can vary from icy, sparkling and very crisp to more neutral, softer and less emphasized behavior. The main difference to A6 sound with two additional BA units is more dry and less resolving presentation, still managing to keep a similar feel of remarkable transprency.

    [​IMG]

    Soundstage:

    LZ A6Mini show moderate spread of instruments on horizontal and vertical planes. Distance of certain instruments from the center in regular tracks is more than the average as well while special binaural recordings are very pleasing to listen to due to significantly enlarged spread and precise positioning. No changes to A6 flagship model with LOUD on.

    [​IMG]

    Sound in overall:

    LZ A6Mini sound can vary from fairly balanced with slighty accented upper mids/lower treble to very bright, crisp, treble-emphasized tonality. High resolution, great texturing of lows, good layering and treble extension would remain constant regardless of the filter choice.

    Compared to Whizzer Kylin:

    [​IMG]

    Whizzer Kylin are more bassy and less detailed IEMs. Lows are less textured and more heavy, not showing that much of details. Kylin are almost as bright as A6Mini with blue or black filter options but brighter that the cobination of A6Mini with the red one. Kylin treble range doesn’t catch up with the dynamics, extension and resolution of A6Mini. It sounds more simple and straight forward. At the same time, mids in Kylin feel more balanced, adding some body to male vocals and better exposing instruments in this range. Mids are closely approaching flagship LZ A6 model rather than A6Mini (no wonder why Kylin is so respected amoung audio fans). Unfortunately, Kylin would barely fit my ears due to cone shape of output nozzles. LZ A6Mini are not the best in this respect either but better than Kylin.

    Compared to Shozy & NEO CP:

    [​IMG]

    Shozy & NEO CP IEMs belong to pure armature class and produce quite different sound. Tonality is warmer and in overall it feels softer. Not as sharp and detailed as A6Mini in either range. Deep bass lacks the presence and power. The main advantage of CP IEMs is in the combination of gentle delivery with good resolution suitable for many slow music genres. Whereas A6Mini is sharper and brighter, which would be better for hard rock, metal, orchestra and other genres with lots of different instruments in each range.

    [​IMG]

    Conclusion:

    Surprisingly, LZ HIFI A6Mini IEMs has managed to maintain some of the main vitrues of a flagship model and come close to its sound characteristics regarding overall resolution, good texturing of lows and decent reproduction of treble range. Not featuring LOUD button, A6Mini are tuned to deliver the same soundstage and drive as perceived in flagship model only with this function enabled. The variety of further tuning options has been reduced to 3 filters which is still enough to change the tonality from very bright and crisp to more balanced and much closer to neutral. All of these qualities define LZ A6Mini as the most feature-packed and interesting choice than the most of its class rivals. Finally, with almost half the price off, A6Mini are holding well against the flagship model in various aspects, making these IEMs even more valuable.

    You can purchase LZ HIFI A6Mini at PenonAudio store
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