OKCSC ZX1

General Information

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Specifications:
- Driver: 57mm composite film horn speaker + 180 Degree Open Cavity
- Impedance: 32 Ω
- Sensitivity: 98 dB
- Frequency range: 16 - 20000Hz

Latest reviews

Pros: Wide soundstage.
Great technicalities (imaging, instrument separation, clarity, details).
Excellent timbre.
Good bass extension and quantity for an open backed cans.
Tight and textured bass.
Comfortable and light, low clamping force.
Cons: Lower treble/upper mids harshness - female vocals can be fatiguing with longer listening sessions.
Thin note weight, thin vocals.
Needs amping/higher powered sources for full potential.
Non detachable cable.
Filmsy and unorthodox (possibly ugly) build. Minimal isolation. Not suited for outside use as such. Not foldable.
No accessories and even no packaging/box.
Disclaimer:
I bought the OKCSC ZX1 at my own expense.


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Specifications:
- Driver: 57mm Composite Film Horn Speaker + 180 Degree Open Cavity
- Sensitivity: 98dB
- Frequency response: 16Hz - 20kHz
- Impedence: 32Ω
- Cable: non detachable (3.5 mm, 1.2 meters)


Accessories:
Literally none. Zilch. Nada. Zero. The headphone came in a transparent plastic bag with nothing else LOL. Not even a packaging box. I'm one that values the sound of a transducer (IEM/headphone) more than the accessories provided, but it was quite shocking to just receive a plastic bag in the mail.


Build/comfort:
The ZX1's design is unorthodox at best, and maybe towards the "ugly" end of the things. I wouldn't be caught wearing it outside, but then again, open backed cans are generally not useful for outside use due to the poor isolation. It is also not foldable. Thankfully, the sound quality of the ZX1 trumps the looks, so as the old adage goes, don't judge a book by its cover.

Though the ZX1 is huge, it is extremely comfortable and light, with minimal clamping force. It can be worn for hours with no issues, unlike other more "clampy" headphones. The foam pads are quite plush, though one might need to worry about where to get replacement pads once the stock ones wear out.

The cables are non detachable and they are on the thinner side. I found in my audiophile journey that cables are usually the first point of failure, so it is quite a bummer to have the ZX1 come with non detachable cables, not to mention some folks might wanna cable roll or even add some balanced cables to it. Thankfully, the cable is long (1.2 m) and has some strain reliefs.


Isolation:
Non existent, as per other open backed cans.


Soundstage:
Isolation is poor, but it makes it up for it with a wide soundstage.


Drivability:
On paper, the impedance of 32Ω makes it look like the ZX1 will be drivable from smartphones and lower powered sources. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound that good with said lower powered gear, and amping will improve the dynamics, clarity, bass quantity/extension and soundstage much more. I would recommend that the ZX1 be used with amping to unlock its true potential.

I did not hear any hiss on the ZX1 with multiple sources.


Sound:
The ZX1 is U shaped/mild V shaped, with recessed mids (though not overly recessed).

It has very good technicalities (imaging, instrument separation, clarity, details). Timbre is excellent for vocals and acoustic instruments. Note weight is on the thinner side, I personally would have preferred thicker notes for voices and instruments.


Bass:
For a set of open backed cans, the bass extension and quantity is excellent. The subbass can go really low to around 30ish Hz.

Quantity wise, the bass is north of neutral, and just a level shy of true basshead levels. There is a slight midbass hump.

Quality wise, the ZX1's bass is tight, textured and accurate with minimal midbass bleed.

Amping and higher powered sources also increases the bass quantity and quality, unlike driving it from lower powered sources, as discussed above.


Mids:
Lower mids are recessed, but still retain good details and clarity. The upper mids can be fatiguing with longer listening sessions due to a boost in this area. Female vocals are hence more forward than male ones.


Treble:
Lower treble is boosted relative to upper treble. Microdetails are good, it extends relatively well, though there's a higher treble roll off. I am borderline treble sensitive and found the lower treble (and upper mids area) to be harsh with prolonged music listening, especially for female vocals. There was also mild to moderate sibilance, so overall I would rate the treble as the weakest area of the sound, though I think trebleheads will like it.
I found a few "fixes" for this harsh lower treble:
- EQ
- playing less predominantly female vocal genres
- playing at lower volumes - Fletcher Munson curve makes the sound signature more U shaped than V shaped with lower volumes


Conclusions:
If the ZX1 were judged solely by looks and accessories, coupled with the thin non detachable cables, it would honestly score a straight ZERO from me. Thankfully, the comfort and sound quality more than makes up for the looks, and it has amazing timbre and bass quality/quantity (especially for an open backed set of cans). Technicalities and soundstage are also very good on the ZX1. It's treble may be bright and harsh, so it's not the best option for treble sensitive folks, unless you wanna try a few simple fixes as detailed above in the "treble" section. Other than the treble, I think the rest of the sound quality is very good for the price, and it would be a good introductory CHIFI set of cans for those new to the hobby, especially for those wanting a bright sound signature.
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A
Au12
Hi, how would you compare them to smth like hd 58x, dt 990, x2???
baskingshark
baskingshark

Comments

HOW has nobody thanked you yet???

It seems they're all only interested in spending above 1K

Anyway, happy to see a Heaphoneus Supremus taking the time and money to risk on something that looks so flimsy and cheap to tell us that we'd be wrong to think that!

How would these compare with the SHP9500? Wich one is better? (same price range....)

Thanks again!
 
Gad! You mean the plastic bag (w/ cans inside) was ALL that came in the mail? I mean, not even a proper posting package with bubble wrap or anything? Just the plastic bag? YIPES..
 
Oops sorry, my bad, I meant to respond to what was in the review itself... not your question about the Philips comparison..(which in fact I too am very much interested in reading Basker's response to...)
 
Well here is a thanks from me too! Great fun to read your detailed impressions. I'm very impressed by this headphone but being newly addicted to headphones/IEM/TWS it's difficult to put my listening experience into words. In my humble opinion and in summary the ZX1 has a very intense sound with powerful bass, great detail and very wide soundstage. There is some treble harshness (tambourine, sharp snares, etc) but that seems to have mellowed quite a bit after burn-in and my hours of listening. Or I might just have burnt some of my cochlear hair cells in the process.

I’ve followed the Chinese / Asian Brand Info Thread (On or Over Ear Headphones). mainly due to the numbers of post of this particular headphone. Since I'm new to this scene I do have some specific questions as for amp recommendations and other mod-tips for the XZ1. Is this the tread to do so?

Also looking forward to @Mullle Meck impressions! https://www.head-fi.org/threads/chi...n-or-over-ear-headphones.822184/post-15471830

Cheers!
 
I'm here to say that these headphones are UNLISTENABLE. They sound HORRIBLE. There is not one single aspect of their performance that is in the least bit sweet, musical or appealing and if you say there is then you must be either deluding yourself or have somehow received an entirely different unit to the one I did.


Yet another one hundred plus NZ smackers straight down the gurgler.
 
Hi friends, sorry I have not tried the Samson SR850 or SHP9500. Maybe the rest who have tried an advise!
 
Hey there Basker, thanks for responding! I'm driving 'em, as I drive everything I have, through the JDS Labs Atom, but I swear to you they sound wretched. The width of the soundstage, and maybe separation, are the ONLY halfway notable qualities. The sound itself resembles something strangled. The entire tone of these things is *dirty* sounding, grating and almost abrasive. Two minutes in and I have to remove them, it is that unpleasant.


I could not be more disappointed.
 
Hmm @jasswolf did report that the 2nd set he purchased sounded different from the first set. Something to do with the different earpad materials?

Maybe u can try this link to see if your set if wired out of phase:

If it is "grating", could it be the upper mids/lower treble is too harsh for you?
 
Hmm @jasswolf did report that the 2nd set he purchased sounded different from the first set. Something to do with the different earpad materials?

Maybe u can try this link to see if your set if wired out of phase:

If it is "grating", could it be the upper mids/lower treble is too harsh for you?
Not the earpad, but the dampening material covering the driver. One had a thin sheet of dense (but soft to touch) foam, the 'faulty' one had this garbage porous material that did nothing to dampen the treble, it almost felt like the smoother component of a velcro system.

With the wrong material covering the driver, the treble is just awful and quickly becomes uncomfortable. @warbles should flag it for dispute and at least get a partial refund, and ask them for details on the material they use to dampen it, maybe they'll even send you something out? Should be relatively easy to use a hairdryer to loosen the glue and then glue on a suitable piece of foam (though I'm yet to do this myself).

The other thing to be mindful of is the screws in the housing, namely that they aren't too loose, and too tight, as this can affect resonance as well. I also have the Atom, and find they need the gain button toggled down (high impedance) and then the dial at about 8 o'clock before they start to open up and sound quite nice, if a bit picky at times.
 
Mine have surely got the GPM (garbage porous material).over the drivers! I wonder in what way one might go about introducing this to fact, though, to the seller? Maybe s/he wouldn't even recognise it as a fault?


With much appreciation for your help
L
 
Mine have surely got the GPM (garbage porous material).over the drivers! I wonder in what way one might go about introducing this to fact, though, to the seller? Maybe s/he wouldn't even recognise it as a fault?


With much appreciation for your help
L
Here's my comparison of the two I've purchased, where you can clearly see the issue with the material:

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/chi...n-or-over-ear-headphones.822184/post-15284470

If yours is nothing like what's on the left, then it's also not what's displayed on the product page, and thus completely disputable. Is it's via AliE, just open a dispute with them, because they ducked me for months about mine.

If it's anywhere else, you'll probably get a full refund.
 
Hello again! Do you mean to say that, in the advertising photos of this headphone on Ali X there is included a pic of the material covering the driver? Which, in said pic, is the proper foam and not the 'GPM'? I cannot find such a one as yet..

Meanwhile, what sort of result do you think I could expect if I managed to safely remove the GPM from driver and just left it at that..?
 
Hello again! Do you mean to say that, in the advertising photos of this headphone on Ali X there is included a pic of the material covering the driver? Which, in said pic, is the proper foam and not the 'GPM'? I cannot find such a one as yet..

Meanwhile, what sort of result do you think I could expect if I managed to safely remove the GPM from driver and just left it at that..?
The sound would be even worse, as the foam is the to tame the treble.

The visual difference is stark, and the product page clearly shows the foam (they're donut ear pads, so the centre part in product shots clearly shows what's covering the driver).

Did your material look like the image I directed you to? Please check the link.
 
Ah I understand you now Thankyou. But the links you provided above seem to have committed suicide. At least, they have from my phone!
 
Okay I see 'em now. Do you recommend sending this pic to seller and asking if they could send me the foam?
 
Okay I see 'em now. Do you recommend sending this pic to seller and asking if they could send me the foam?
If you've got the one on the right, just file a dispute straight away. You're going to have to repair it by hand either way, and they need to acknowledge that this kind of practice isn't acceptable.

It suggests they don't even test the headphones before shipping.
 
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