1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

    Dismiss Notice
  1. cleg
    It's a Shozy
    Written by cleg
    Published Jan 18, 2019
    Pros - design, build quality, stock cable, bass, treble, stage
    Cons - not universal signature (should be corrected by silver cable), size
    1-Main Pic.jpg
    Last year, when Sonion announced their self-biased electrostatic driver, it was just a matter of time, until many IEM makers will employ it in their products. Аs it often happened, Shozy was the first company released such model. The first version of hybrid dynamic/electrostatic IEMs named Pola had rounded metal case, it was shown on few exhibitions, and after that, Shozy took a time-out and reworked that model using more traditional casing, and now I can tell about my impressions with this pretty unique earphones.
    Disclaimer: I got this IEMs with a discount in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

    Pola's price is about $800, and you can purchase them from the official site: [http://www.shozy-hk.com/pola-1/]

    Technical specifications
    • 2-band crossover, vented design for optimized dynamic driver performance
    • Frequency response: 10Hz – 100000Hz
    • Total Harmonic Distortion: <0.5%
    • Impedance: 12Ω
    • Sensitivity: 101 dB
    The package is pretty traditional but good: black cardboard box with Shozy & AAW logo, inside, you'll get nice leatherette case, in it, carefully protected by foam insert, Pola and accessories are waiting for their new owner. Besides IEMs you'll get:
    • 3 pairs of single flange silicone tips
    • 3 pairs of foam tips
    • cleaning cloth
    • 6.3 mm adapter and "airplane" adapter
    • cable
    Stock cable probably deserves few additional words, and it's not just beautiful (one of the classiest cables I've ever seen), it's also super comfortable and has no microphonic. Shozy used regular 2 pin connector with recessed sockets, and I was once again convinced that it's the most reliable option. Shozy representative told me that pure silver cable improves sound drastically, but I don't have one currently. I suppose I'll update my review in the future when I get it.
    Pola is pretty "common" regarding design. I think you can get full impression simply looking at photos: nice wooden faceplates, semi-transparent dark grey shells, everything is already familiar. Only note: they are pretty thick. Big 13 mm driver and "energizer" for electrostatic super-twitter require much free space inside shells, and that causes increased thickness. After finding proper tips, I got no problems with fit, only esthetic "suffering" because of IEMs sticking out of my ears, but like any good audiophile I've been used to this for a long time. Earphones have pretty good metal spouts, providing nice insertion and above average sound isolation.
    Of course, all ears are different, and maybe people with other outer ears' shape will have some problem with fit, but for them, AAWozy offers a custom version.

    Before we proceed to sound, two side notes:
    • They require about 80+ hours of burn-in to reach their full potential
    • They require careful selection of tips. I've got the best results with SpinFits and foam-filled silicones from VSonic GR01 accessories set (probably, Mandarines will be OK too)
    • They require powerful source with decent amp, capable outputting enough current. I've got the best results with QLS361 in high current mode
    As for sound… Well, it's a Shozy. They will never make "mainstream" sound. Ok, never said never, so, correct version: they never did "mainstream sound" and most probably they won't. Pola is a unique, but not a universal model, it plays some genres perfectly, and some genres it doesn't play at all. With vocals (especially female ones), with properly recorded jazz, with classical music, they sound like the heavens for me. I like well-recorded pop and electronic music with them. Classical rock, blues, and blues-rock is also a total "win." At the same time, brutal genres of metal and poorly recorded modern pop is a total "no go" for them. So, there will be those who love Pola and those who hate.
    8-Stylist Shot.jpg
    As I've mentioned above, Pola is a hybrid, utilizing 13 mm graphene diaphragm dynamic driver and electrostatic driver with 2-band crossover, so, it reminds schema, often used in speakers world: dynamic driver+"super-tweeter." So, how does this driver work? A quote from AAW's site:

    Powered by the cutting-edging miniature electrostatic tweeter technology, It employs a six microgram, gold plated membrane held against a plate charged up to 400 volts. The electrical signal voltage is amplified up to 100 times via a built-in miniature transformer. The electrostatic attraction and repulsion effects induced by music signal triggers the membrane to produce acoustic pressure.
    Well, enough that dull theory, how do they sound?

    Lows are a bit accented, but without crossing the border between "oh, that's a nice punch base" and "oh, my eardrums, they're bleeding!". The bass here is big, but it's fast enough to provide good resolution and nice texture representation. It's not a stable armature base, of course, but it's a base of a pretty good dynamic driver. Depth is also good, as well as control, so, despite accent, lows are managed to stay in their place and do their job. If I need to describe lows here in three words, it would be punch, body, and mass. As an example, I can mention Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats — Trying So Hard to Know. This track features real "tasty" big drum, and Pola manages to represent it in its full glory, you can close your eyes and got a total sense of presence.
    6-With Ultima.jpg
    Mid frequencies should be defined into 3 parts. Lower mids sounds like an excellent dynamic mids: weighty, a bit warm and life-like. They aren't super-fast, but the resolution is, and emotion representation will satisfy you. The highest part of mids is also lovely: crisp, resolving and detailed, I'd suggest that it's a twitter's impact. For example, female vocal sounds impressive, with lots of micro details and realism. So "middle mids" is the part, that will cause the most controversy. This part of the sonic spectrum is a bit "smoothed," and because of that, Pola doesn't sound aggressive, and this makes them not the best choice for brutal styles of music. Also, Shozy decided not to do "typical" 2 kHz spike, so at first, they sound as not resolving enough, but after some usage, I understood that resolution is OK, it's just my brain lacking familiar "spike." The imaginary stage is above average in width, and a bit above average in depth, layering, and instruments separation is also good. Example track will be Postmodern Jukebox — Smell Like Teen Spirit, a really, really great reinterpretation of cult classic done in orchestral 60's style. Pola shines here effectively balancing between Alisan Porter's vocal and acoustic bass line.

    I'm really waiting to test Pola with silver cable, as it should make speed even better and add a bit of necessary aggression, so I will update my review with impressions when I'll get that cable.

    10-Again with Ultima.jpg
    Treble area of this IEMs is well-extended and offers an impressive level of detalisation, natural attacks and decays as well as good extension and perfect layering. For treble-sensitive person Pola can be a bit "too much," but I subjectively find an amount of high frequencies balanced. All said above means a great sense of realism for timbre-reach instruments and lots of airness in music. At first listening, I was overwhelmed with the number of overtones I've got with Pola, but after little usage I've found that enjoyable, and I miss this sense with other IEMs. As an example here I'll use Arena — Pins and Needles, nice prog-rock act with lots of trebles, impressively played by Pola.

    I won't make any comparisons here, because Pola is pretty unique sounding IEMs, and I don't see much sense in comparisons like "well, it's different."

    To summarize, Pola is a unique IEMs. I want to say: "Ok, everyone, go and get them, quickly," but it won't be honest. Pola isn't "one-size-fits-all" mode. However, I recommend you to listen to it if you have an opportunity, they are stellar in some cases, and it's likely you'll love them. Or you won't. However, it's a common situation for Shozy models, and that's the reason I like this company so much.

    And a video version of review for those who like eastern-european accents :)

    1. volly
      Love your reviews and appreciate the work you do, these look handsome AF! Will grab a pair very soon!
      volly, Jan 18, 2019
      cleg likes this.