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Shozy Form 1.1

Rating:
3.75/5,
  1. Wiljen
    Shozy Form 1.1 Functions well
    Written by Wiljen
    Published Dec 4, 2019 at 12:51 PM
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Build quality is better than expected, V/U shaped signature is a fun listen with popular genres
    Cons - Instrument separation is a step behind class leaders, treble tuning may seem a bit boring to some.
    [​IMG]


    Disclaimer: I was provided the Shozy Form to review by Linsoul Audio. I have no financial interest in Shozy or Linsoul, nor have I received any incentives for this review. If you have an interest in this iem after reading the review, Linsoul Audio has them in-stock and ready to ship.

    If you have an interest in the Shozy Form you can learn more about it from their website here.

    Unboxing / Packaging:

    The Shozy form arrived in a lift top box with a photo of the earpiece on the front along with most of the specs. On the reverse of the box, even more details about the build and internals are presented. Lifting the lid reveals the rubberized clamshell case with all the other items hidden inside. Outer packaging is well done, but inner packaging leaves a bit to be desired as it lacks the finesse of some of its competition. The kit hiding inside the case contains 9 sets of tips in 3 styles along with the cable and earpieces. It isnt the fanciest of kits at the price point, and the addition of a shirt clip, and a balanced cable would be welcomed with it being nearly $100 kit.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Build/Fit:

    The shells are resin printed with hand-fitted face-plates and are well made and fitted with no slop, glue or gaps. The distinction between face-plate and inner shell is visible but not felt with a fingernail. The same is true of the vent on the rear, junction between resin and metal is neither raised or recessed and while visible is tough to feel even with a fingernail dragged across it. The bi-pin connector housing is visible due to a slight variation in color but is equally well fitted. Shells are on the smaller side with a shape somewhere between semi-circle (inner) and triangular (external) with the nozzles exiting the top of the lead edge with an upward and forward rake. The shape is ergonomic enough for long wear with good comfort, but the fairly shallow fit and venting means isolation is only average.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    Internals:

    The form is a hybrid in ear with a 9.2mm dynamic driver that utilizes a beryllium coated PVC diaphragm to handle the low end and a custom tuned balanced armature driver for the upper range. Nominal impedance is listed as 19Ω with a sensitivity of 100 dB/mW. Those numbers are very similar to the GR-i I recently reviewed with the big difference being the Form is externally vented while the GR-i is not. The Form performed well using a cell phone or tablet as source but does scale some both qualitatively and quantitatively as well. I found the Form paired well with the xDSD and the DTR1 .


    Cable:

    The form cable starts with a straight 3.5mm jack with a chrome and carbon-fiber housing with a short strain relief before the cloth wrapped cable exits in a twisted pair configuration. Shozy lists the cable material as high purity cooper with no silver plating. The splitter matches the jack with chrome and carbon fiber above which the strands exit as single cloth wrapped per side. A clear bead chin slider is somewhat loose and of limited utility. The last couple inches have plastic pre-formed earhooks before the cable terminates in .78mm bi-pin connectors. The connectors are housed in chrome, have a red plastic surround on the right and blue dots at the leading edge for alignment and orientation purposes.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    Tips:

    The Form comes with a better than average selection of tips with 6 sets of silicones and 3 sets of foams to choose from. I immediately found that I am not a big fan of the sound foams produce with this in-ear and began working on which of the silicone styles worked best for me. The large clear/white tip was the best of those provided for fit and sound in my case, but still not quite as good as the Shure olives (L) so sound notes are done with the Shure tips.

    [​IMG]



    Sound:

    [​IMG]




    Bass:


    At the bottom end, the Form shows good sub-bass extension with ample rumble and roll-off not particularly noteworthy until well into the the 40Hz range. It has a boosted sub-bass and mid-bass presence, but has better than average control and is faster than many in its class in both attack and decay so that big bass stays fairly tight and defined throughout the range. Mid-bass while still elevated drops back from the sub-bass peak and while it still has some slam is not as potent as the sub-bass rumble. So while the Form may not be a bassheads dream, for those who want a bit of a bass boost but not at the cost of detail and texture, the Form does a good job. I’m impressed by the speed, detail, and texture here as I expect this in the $300 space but not in the $100 range.



    Mids:

    Lower mids are recessed and so have a slight mid-bass bleed but not such that it obstructs detail. Unfortunately, the mids seem a bit less detailed than the bass or treble but I can’t attribute that to the bass bleed, but more to the tuning of the cross-over and the fact that the mids come out a bit thinner as a result of the tuning. The mids climb back forward as you move toward the treble and vocals and strings benefit from that push albeit more the higher versions (violin vs viola and female vs male vocals) that seem to benefit the most. The upside is while female vocals seem a bit richer and more forward, they stop short of harsh or over-done.



    Treble:

    The lower treble continues the climb where the upper-mids leave off and at roughly the same level as the mid-bass leaving the sub-bass slightly ahead of it, but otherwise becoming one of the dominant features of the landscape. There is a drop off pretty rapidly above about 5kHz that troughs at about 7kHz before climbing back up to be even with the mids at about 8.5kHz and on upward to be even with the lower treble from about 10-12kHz before final roll-off above 12kHz. This gives the treble good energy while missing the area that often results in a shrill or piercing spike at the 7-9kHz range. Treble has good detail in the overall, and even with the trough doesn’t feel lacking in definition or texture. Cymbals are better than expected and snare rattle is closer to realistic than I usually anticipate at this price. There is some fatigue with long listening sessions, but not nearly as pronounced as it is with some others like the typical KZ iems. If I have to find fault here, pushing that final roll-off out a bit higher would give them a bit more open top end but that’s nitpicking.



    Soundstage / Imaging:

    Soundstage is wider than deep as expected but does have reasonable depth and even some sense of height in the presentation. I would liken the stage to a small arena like a high school auditorium rather than to a coliseum. Seating the orchestra is fairly straight forward with the occasional placement more beside than behind due to width. I think this is partially because the one place the Form seems to fall down a bit is the instrument separation. The more complex the track gets, the more jumbled the instrumentation begins to sound. For that reason, I recommend the Form be considered if your typical listening is small ensemble like rock, pop, even small jazz ensembles or string quartet. For full orchestral pieces, the Form struggles a bit. Imaging is reasonable good despite the separation issues and movement around the stage again is well represented as long as things don’t get overly busy and overwhelm it.



    Thoughts / Conclusion:

    The Shozy form is better than expected at its price point and while the kit is a bit lacking in comparison it otherwise reminds me a bit of the Ibasso IT-01 in both build and sub-bass although the Shozy is tighter and cleaner while the Ibasso is a bit bigger in that department. The V/U shaped signature is a good match for most popular genres but may not work for large ensemble pieces or classic orchestral works. I suspect Shozy was probably targeting the younger market that will mostly use a phone as the source and have current release popular music on their playlists. For that, it definitely is worth a look and competitive with things at considerably higher prices. If that defines your listening habits, you ought to give the Shozy a serious audition as you could do a lot worse and spend a lot more in doing so. Again, thanks to Linsoul for sending the Form to review and if you are interested, check their site.
  2. Project A3
    In Good Form - Shozy Audio Form 1.1 Review
    Written by Project A3
    Published Nov 18, 2019
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Shell is comfortable and has a thoughtful design
    - Bass has decent impact and robust without bleeding out too much
    - Very musical and can handle a variety of genres well
    - High value for money
    Cons - Soundstage is a bit narrow and clarity is middling even compared to its peers
    - Treble has peaks that can be uncomfortable for more sensitive ears
    Introduction

    [​IMG]

    Shozy Audio a stalwart in the ever-developing Chinese audiophile scene have returned with a new series. The Form series which shall be heralded by the Form 1.1 a budget-friendly 1DD 1BA hybrid design that at $75 harkens back to the IEM that got their name into the budget-fi realm, the Hibiki and it's subsequent variations. Both carrying the promise to provide a superb value proposition at its price point, will the Form 1.1 deliver like the Hibiki that came before? Available now at Shenzhen Audio or Linsoul.

    [​IMG]

    Specifications
    9.2mm beryllium coated dynamic driver for sub-bass to mids range
    Single BA for mids-treble
    Hybrid design, enhanced treble
    Metallic nozzle and parts
    Hand-crafted faceplate
    2pin Detachable cable with fabric shielding for better durability and shock resistance.
    Premium ear tips designed for enhanced bass response
    20Hz-20KHz Frequency Response
    100dB SPL/mW Sensitivity
    19 Ohms Impedance

    [​IMG]

    Gear Used and Track List
    Hiby R6 | FiiO Q1 Mk. II | iFi xDSD | Massdrop x Cavalli CTH | xDuoo XD-05

    Unboxing
    The Form 1.1 comes in a simple small carton that houses the classic carrying case and includes the IEM some spare ear tips in many varieties and not much else. The style is reminiscent of Campfire Audio simple packaging style without the extra premium feel, but at the price of $75, you can't really complain that much at the spartan loadout. The tip loadout has a good mix including some multi-flanges and some foam tips to cater to most if not all users.

    [​IMG]

    Scalability
    The Form 1.1 is an easy to drive IEM that is also not overly sensitive to hissing making a good match for mobile devices,
    it's easy to drive nature also meant there weren't many gains when moving up the source stack as even phones and dongles had sufficient power and headroom to drive them, the gains you could get from the Form were incremental if at all. This isn't something anyone buying the Form should be all that concerned about and that makes sense for the price bracket of the Form.

    Fit
    A highlight of this design, the acrylic shell used by the Form is relatively compact for a universal that comes in this style, as well as relatively lightweight lending to a comfortable fit even when listening sessions get dragged on, and the vent seems to adequately prevent internal air pressure build-up within the ears. Isolation was good given it blocked a lot of the portion of the ear plus the smooth shape allowed for fewer gaps and those that were there were generally smaller compared to less form-fitting or more angular shapes. The faceplate is attractive and eye-catching without trending the line of gaudy. More on that below. Overall it's a well-fitting shell that should provide good isolation and comfort to most ear shapes.

    [​IMG]


    Sound Review by Hoshi星
    Sound Signature
    The Form sorts a crowd-pleasing U-shaped tuning that is a less extreme take on the old classic V-shape that provides a fun musicality and makes a myriad of tracks and genres enjoyable to listen to
    , and pretty much anything in the main charts right now will sound just at home on the Form. Of the three major frequency spectrum portions, the bass takes the center stage promptly followed by the treble and the midrange a little bit behind. None of this leads to an unnatural tonality but it still isn't what I would call neutral, closer to a warm bass-forward one instead. One thing to note is that the tuning will lead to some treble energy so more treble sensitive prospective buyers keep that in mind as I describe each frequency range in depth.

    Bass
    The most favored range tuning wise, the vented beryllium coated dynamic driver provides ample bass that reaches deep enough in the sub-bass region without being what I would call extensive
    , this then transitions relatively cleanly into the more prominent midbass that provides a requisite punch and fullness, that while not always perfectly controlled, isn't sloppy either, especially considering the price it provides good weight and dynamics, sacrificing a little bit of bass resolution for fullness that translates well in rock tracks or tracks using similar drum styles as rock music. While not actually treading into basshead territory, the Form manages to deliver punchy, full bass that works well and doesn't manage to cloud the entire sound signature for the most part. Excellent value performance here.

    [​IMG]

    Mids:
    The mids take a step back, not incredibly so, but noticeable definitely
    . While not totally absent, listing to tracks which strip down the song, especially the bass, the sound is further out than normal but still not to an unnatural degree, vocals still stand out just enough and the lower and upper vocal register are balanced enough that there is no unnaturality present. However given the more reserved nature of the mids once songs start increasing in complexity or dialing up the pace, bits, and pieces definitely get lost in the mix, and either the BA can't pick it up enough or the DD BA transition hits a snag that causes some of these snags. Climbing up the register past the crossover the Form smooths out and gently rising towards the lower treble that rounds out the dip in the U-shaped tuning.

    Treble:
    Probably second in command in my pointless frequency metaphor, the Form has a BA that is tuned to be mildly energetic providing a lift to the sound, however, there is a perceptible lack of total control as there are peaks in the treble that for the sensitive may cause irritation or fatigue, there is also very mild sibilance in tracks that are prone, but nothing that will be problematic for most people in general. The energy of treble reproduction falls short of being tizzy, but it in tandem with the bass creating a fun and engaging sound signature that can easily draw you into the music. While this energy provides nice sparkle and a decent amount of air, the slightly more weighted bass and the reserved treble work hand in hand to lower down the ceiling of clarity that the Form can approach. It is far from being muddled but even more prominent treble can't do all the heavy lifting in the overall resolution of the Form.

    [​IMG]

    Soundstage and Separation:
    Probably one of the true banes of the Form. Both in terms of staging as well as details and separation the Form falters a tad
    . The soundstage is on the narrower side lending to a mildly congested presentation. As for the separation, the middling detail retrieval means that as stated earlier that congestion can cause a muddling of the sound field, once combined with the sound stage it overall gives a somewhat congested presentation, at least relatively, even at the price. Though still not to the point that totally drags the overall performance of the Form, rather it's just a dark spot on an otherwise pleasant overall item.

    Comparison:
    The Form 1.1 falls in an interesting spot in terms of comparison. In its currents price bracket, there really isn't anything close enough that really is a good comparison point precisely because of the price to performance the Form delivers. So instead I went with something more expensive but more adequately presents itself for comparison. The Periodic Audio Mg at $99 that is similarly tuned, priced higher but still trades blow for blow with the cheaper Form.

    Periodic Audio Mg
    • SMOOTHER TUNING, PARTICULARLY IN THE TREBLE.
    • LESS RECESSED MID-RANGE.
    • WIDER SOUNDSTAGE AND BETTER CLARITY.
    Shozy Form 1.1
    • MORE POWERFUL BASS.
    • BETTER BUILD QUALITY, AND MORE THOUGHTFUL DESIGN.
    • MORE ENERGETIC TREBLE

    [​IMG]


    Aesthetic Review by Steve
    Introduction:
    Shozy is one of the lower-profile companies from China in terms of aesthetics. I personally know their boss and truly believe he's more technically oriented as opposed to being aesthetics or marketing oriented. However, by looking at their recent projects on the IEM stream, they seem to have found a formula to infuse a spark into a plain design, to make ordinary looking IEMs not so ordinary, a move from just plain solid or translucent colors. The Shozy Form 1.1 is a great example of making it simple, safe and nice.

    Color:
    Companies that lean towards a simpler aesthetic design tend to use black and grey tone colors. I guess it would fail you in mass production. The important thing is how to make it a bit more unique from the others. The Form 1.1 uses multi-colored glitter as a key factor in its core design. It's not something that wows you, but at least you can see that they put effort into it and not just on the sound. Comparing it with some other companies who provide only solid or translucent colors, this is an improvement. The multi-color may not appeal to everyone as it might come across as a bit too loud or slightly feminine especially for mature audiophiles who generally look for more minimalistic designs. Even though the average hue is not that vivid nor shiny, you also can't really compare them with their previous models like the Shozy Lite or the Shozy BG with gold flakes as they certainly look more luxurious. A similar formula, different outcome. For a 75usd product, I think they did a clever and effective job rather than just giving you a typical solid color option.

    [​IMG]

    Craftmanship:
    Nothing much to criticize about the craftsmanship
    . Edging and glossy finish are nicely done. The whole faceplate and shell joined smoothly - no spikes on either side, no bubbles, dents or scratches as well. Both logos are evenly placed. Definitely satisfying for those who are picky in this aspect. Shozy seems to maintain good craftsmanship standards and QC process since I couldn't find any obvious flaws with their other models like the Lite, BG or even the lower tier V33.

    [​IMG]

    Design details:
    The multi-colored glitter on the faceplate is evenly spread and does not have an inconsistent size of the flakes in general.
    On the photo above, you can see there are one of two flakes that are significantly larger, but unless you are extremely nit-picky or neurotic about fine details like this, I think it is acceptable for this tier. You can actually even see a more obvious one on the cover sleeve on their package. Glitter is easier to work with because it’s size is much smaller than gold or silver flakes so the proportion between the glitter and the faceplate wouldn't have any issues. On the other hand, flakes are much harder to even out and also the size difference of each flake is difficult to control.

    Silhouette:
    The curve line of the shell is smooth and without being clumsy
    (too circular). The shape wouldn't give you an awkward feeling or any curves or corners that bother you. A very comfortable shape that most of the people would be satisfied with unless you are looking for a CIEM type fit.

    [​IMG]

    Cable:
    The cable itself looks good, having good texture and braid makes it looks fuller considering it is part of a 75usd priced IEM package.
    However what really bothers me is the cable material - fabric coated. The downside is that if you have really sweaty hands, like mine, this would be a pain for you since it's not washable, unlike those ones you normally see with a PU coat on it. Also, the consistency of the plug, splitter, and slider could be better, especially for the slider. While the other parts used are carbon and silver plating, the slider uses a transparent plastic seems to be inconsistent compared with the other parts. Also using a carbon pattern with this target market seem to be a bit hardcore, in my opinion, a bit risky move on their part. I think just the silver plating would have done the trick, making the whole presentation of the cable nice and elegant.

    [​IMG]

    Packaging:
    The packaging at this price point is pretty decent
    . It includes what you would expect in terms of accessories. The quality of the case is sturdy, nothing special about the design. On the other hand, I like the presentation of the packaging which uses actual product photography on the cover. The composition and font style with the description is neat and comfortable. It is a clear way to present the product and for this price range, you don't really need something artistic like what I did back then for Kinera with the Odin and Nanna. Sometimes a simple presentation with a more commercial design pattern might even be more productive for the dealer in selling. However, there is a tiny flaw on the back of the cover, the FR chart only gives you a basic idea of how the frequency looks but it doesn't really tell you anything since it doesn't have a grid and numbers on it. Might possibly be a mistake during printing procedure as it is rare to see an FR chart with just a curve on it.

    [​IMG]

    Aesthetic Conclusion:
    With just a 75usd product, everything is above average with regards to aesthetics,
    unless you are really picky and comparing it with something beyond the price tag. After all, it does all come down to cost. With a simple but not boring look, a decent braided cable and nicely done package, the whole presentation is fair enough. I believe Shozy has a clear focus on balancing their style and marketing along with their formula of making their product line more consistent and memorable.
    Ratings (Ratings are relative to the price range):
    Colour: 4/5
    Craftmanship: 4.5/5
    Design details: 3.5/5
    Silhouette: 4/5
    Cable: 4/5
    Packaging: 4/5

    Sound Conclusion:
    The Form 1.1 is by no means perfect. At this price point there are compromises that always have to be made, but what makes the Form 1.1 so appealing as a product is that it blends together enough strengths that together they make up for many of the deficiencies that it has. Shozy has leveraged its higher-tiered products and allowed the Form to have a shell whose design and quality is rarely found at this price, and coupled it with a sound that has enough punch and energy to create a musicality and engagement that often has users looking beyond its technical flaws. It's something relatively affordable that practically anyone can jam on. And while it's not flawless, the total package it provides is hard to beat.
    Sound 4/5

    Overall: 4/5
    [​IMG]
  3. antdroid
    Shozy Form 1.1
    Written by antdroid
    Published Nov 15, 2019
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Works well with EQ
    Comfortable shell design
    Great accessories
    Fast driver and good resolution for budget price
    Cons - Very bright
    [​IMG]
    Before I get straight into this review, I would like to just point out that I’ve tried a few Shozy earphones in the past and I’ve yet to even come out of those experiences even lukewarm excited about them. Nothing I’ve tried has impressed me. Their last set that I had some significant time on and reviewed was the Shozy V33, which I really, really did not understand it’s tuning, nor did I think it was technically capable.

    So, when Lillian, from Linsoul, reached out and asked if I was interested in trying the newest Shozy In-Ear, I was skeptical and not totally convinced. She sent me a link to a new page her team was making for the Shozy with the information regarding the new IEM, called Form 1.1, and it started to look a little more promising. The IEM is a dual-driver hybrid, and features a balanced armature to handle the mids and treble and also a dynamic driver to handle the bass and lower mids. What makes this IEM a little more unique is that this dynamic is a driver coated with a thin layer of beryllium. This type of driver design is also the centerpiece of my recent ZMF Verité headphone acquisition, and one I am quite fond of.

    Beryllium drivers have recently made some appearances in a few headphones and IEMs – namely the Focal Utopia, the French company’s flagship headphone, and the previously mentioned ZMF flagship. While the Utopia driver is fully beryllium-based, the Verité, like the Shozy Form 1.1, is a Be-coated PEN driver, which allows it to share many of the similar properties of the former – that is, great resolution, quick, agile speed, and dynamics at a lower cost.

    Release Date & Pricing Info
    At this point, my curiosity piqued. And a couple days later, the Shozy Form 1.1 package arrived at my door. Now, I had to keep the information regarding its launch date and price a secret, but I am now able to disclose that this product will be available on Friday, September 27th (2019) as a pre-order special on Drop.com for $59.99. This will be approximately $15 below the regular price of $75. This product will also be available on Linsoul.com but not at the special drop exclusive price.


    [​IMG]


    The Package
    Shozy’s Form 1.1 comes in a small box that opens up with a flip top. Inside the box is a polyurethane-coated zipper case that contains the Form 1.1 IEM, the cable and a series of tips. The cable included is very nice. I really like how it’s designed – it has a braided cloth covering the copper wires and each channel is braided over each other and reminds me of a miniature Paracord-style over-ear headphone cable. The 3.5mm connector and splitter have a mirrored chrome look with black carbon fabric pattern, and the 2-pin connectors are also chrome colored. The cable is very soft and useable and overall a very nice touch to this package.

    The shell design itself is a small and lightweight resin shell that fits relatively comfortably into my ears. The default tips are an interesting silicone tip that feels like foam. I really thought they were pretty cool. I ended up using the largest one of these provided, while I normally wear small tips on most IEMs. Using the large ones, I did get some occasional pressure point pains, and switching to the medium tips were very comfortable, but the bass response was tamed noticeably when I wore those.

    Sources & Stuff

    I played the Shozy Form 1.1 through a few different sources for this review. My primary unit is the Hiby R5 audio player, as well as running it through the iBasso DX220 and my desktop RME ADI-2 DAC. The RME DAC has a built-in EQ which I’ll go over a little later in this review. All of these sources had an abundance of headroom to power the Form 1.1. It’s not as sensitive as some of my all-BA IEMs, but it doesn’t require a ridiculous amount of power like the Tin Hifi P1 did, for example.

    Quick and Nimble Speed

    Putting the Form 1.1 on, I was met with a surprisingly detailed, nimble and articulate sound immediately. I actually didn’t know how much they cost when I first tried them on. I only knew their product information and that they’d be under $99. Even at $99, the level of detail retrieval was impressive right away.

    Listening a little more, I quickly realized that they had a few small shortcomings. One was that I felt the treble was a little too elevated and gave it a false sense of resolution. The second was that I felt the sound stage was a little narrower than I normally would prefer. I’ll address these two things a little more in a second.

    [​IMG]


    The bass response on the Form 1.1 has a bump to it and it’s got sub-bass that is present and a punch to it that is weighty, feeling more like a ported-sub than a sealed-sub. What separates this IEM from others in this price class in this area is the quality of the bass response. The dynamic driver decays faster than most normal drivers do, and that projects a cleaner bass response that still sounds like a dynamic (and not a BA), which gives the bass response more detail, more texture, and more definition.

    I don’t know if I’ve really experienced that in an IEM in this price, so that’s why I was pretty impressed quickly. The stock bass tuning is warm, and provides the midrange a nice rich sound. Vocals in the mid-range sound natural, but as we move up to the upper-mids and lower treble, the female vocal range does seem a little stretched at times. Guitar plucks sound extremely detailed for an IEM of this price point and even more so. Each pull of the string has a nice resonating quality to it that feels lively and real.

    The brighter treble response adds some remnants of sibilance and edgy artifacts occasionally. This type of response in IEMs can vary from ear to ear and some may find it sensitive and others not. For me, I am, or at least have become more sensitive to it if it’s within a certain peak range (approximately 8kHz). This IEM peaks at around 7.3kHz, and that’s why sometimes I find the harsh peaks painful and sometimes I do not.

    At worst, it’s a little ear jolt of spiky edginess. At best, it’s a little annoying and may cause some longer-term fatiguing listening. And that’s a little unfortunate for me, personally, as I find this IEM tuned pretty well outside this big peak in this 7-8kHz range.

    This type of boost, however, does provide a little more detail to push forward, so recording quality and mastering can affect sound quality. I don’t typically like to judge a headphone by this, because I typically review a headphone as something that can be used in many situations, and if it can’t then I try to give my idea of where they work best and don’t work in. The Form 1.1 isn’t the best for poor recordings, at least with not some help from equalization (see below).

    So back to my original thoughts: Tonality.
    My first negative was that I thought the treble was a little overexaggerated, and I’ve tried to explain it a little bit already. And normally in a lot of IEM reviews, I don’t always bother going in-depth regarding equalizer usage. I’m not against it either. I have the RME ADI-2 DAC specifically so I can do hardware-based equalizer for a number of headphones at once. But for my review sets, I only tend to spend time on this topic if I feel like there’s a small deficiency in a capable headphone that has potential, and I feel like this one is in that category.

    I took my IEC-711 coupler measurements and threw it into Room EQ Wizard and worked out a Parametric Equalizer (PEQ) setting that was close to my ideal frequency response curve and set up the RME ADI-2 DAC with this setting and turned on some music. For reference and for your possible enjoyment, my PEQ setting as of the time of writing this is:


    Peak: 200 Hz Gain: -3.0dB Q-Factor: 0.5
    Peak: 7.3 kHz Gain: -3.5dB Q-Factor: 5.0
    Peak: 7.5 kHz Gain: -5.0dB Q-Factor: 2.0


    With most songs, flipping the EQ on, helped reduce the brightness just a smidgen, and enough to tame the treble for longer term enjoyment. I played around with it until I found a good balance of keeping that treble sizzle contained but without losing the sparkle it creates.

    [​IMG]
    Equalizer Predicted Frequency Response: Light Blue is the Filtered Response and Dark Blue is the Original Response

    Not all songs behaved though. I still struggled with Elton John’s classic 1970’s music. Perhaps it’s the recording and mastering or it’s just Elton John’s vocals back then, but the Shozy Form 1.1 presented occasional sharpness in his music.

    But not all was bad. In fact, for the most part, I found that with or even without the EQ settings, a lot of rock music and country music excelled in this IEM. Obviously for my preference, I found turning the EQ on and providing a more neutral bass response, while still maintaining elevated subbass, and reducing the treble peak at 7-8kHz improved my satisfaction with this IEM significantly.

    The ability of the drivers to project very intricate qualities was impressive. I’m really surprised by what I heard. Obviously, this IEM does better with more laidback music and not something very treble-centric, and that’s why I find these working really well with organic rock and country music, jazz, and classical. I don’t find this does as well with some other genres, because it can be fatiguing.

    Soundstage & Imaging
    Now, back to the other negative – the soundstage. I found the Shozy had a narrow soundstage right away. I felt that music was being played well within my ears, and it was narrow like what I’d hear from an Etymotics IEM. Music had width to it, but trapped inside my head, and there was never a sense of depth or verticality. Psychoacoustics is a real thing for me, and I use certain songs, like Tool’s “The Pot” as a way to hear music coming from left and right, above and below, and in front or behind me. The introduction is enough to hear that type of imaging to me on my headphones, and even IEMs like my qdc Anole VX can separate the instruments into that type of 3D space within my mind. The Shozy Form 1.1 failed that test.

    There’s definitely a sense of left and right panning, but not as wide and dynamic as I would expect and some small sense of forward sounds (or a phantom center channel) but not nearly as defined as some other IEMs. With my EQ activated, some of this sense actually started to come back. And to be clear, in the song “The Pot”, the faint echoes give me some forward and depth, while at around 16 seconds in, the drum beat starts to kick in and pans around each channel above and below you (on the VX and some of my headphones).

    That’s not to say that the Form 1.1 is extremely narrow. It’s just not up to my normal listening standards. I didn’t find them as congested and closed-in as the recent Tin Hifi P1 planar IEM nor as the Shozy Hibiki IEM. Those were extremely narrow and everything just came at you all at once and imaging became a bit of a disaster to wade through. The Form 1.1 manages to separate instruments decently, but lacks a large space to put all of them in as some others would. Still, I don’t find this too problematic at all.



    Comparisons

    [​IMG]


    GuideRay GR-I

    The GuideRay GR-I and the Shozy Form 1.1 share some similarities. They both measure similarly, however the Shozy Form 1.1 is noticeably elevated in the higher frequency band. This is definitely audible, as the GR-I was pushing the border of harshness for me, but rarely crossed it. With the Form 1.1, in it’s stock form, it did become harsh with some music and caused some fatiguing. That said, the Form 1.1’s resolution of detail was a marked jump from the GR-I, and it’s bass driver has a more noticeable rumble with defined layers, where the GR-I lacked this level of detail.

    [​IMG]


    Tin Hifi P1

    In a battle of two detail monsters, the Tin P1 Planar might edge out the Shozy in resolution, but only by slightly. I found the P1 to very extremely narrow and closed-in and this caused a lot of issues for me in terms of proper imaging and just a feeling of chaos in busy selections. Both have accentuated highs but the P1 felt more piercing than the Form 1.1 does. The Form 1.1 has a more elevated bass with a lot more punch, and those who felt the P1 lacked in this region should be happy with the Form 1.1’s bass performance, along with a similar level of resolution and speed.

    [​IMG]


    Moondrop Kanas Pro

    The Kanas Pro, like I’ve mentioned several times in the past, is one of my favorite IEMs of any price. The fit on it is still more comfortable to me than the Form 1.1. I also like the way it looks overall and it has a sensible sound signature that is clean and smooth. The Form 1.1 may actually out-resolve the Moondrop Kanas Pro in every area, but also is a little brighter and has bigger rumble and punchiness.

    [​IMG]

    KZ ZSX

    The KZ ZSX is a warm balanced tuning that lacks the definition that the Form 1.1 has. I find the ZSX to have more flabby bass response, but at the same time, the lower mid-range is warm and rich and the treble is tamed down and well controlled from harshness, which I can’t always say with the Form 1.1.

    [​IMG]


    Conclusions/Wrap-Up

    I came into the beginning of this process extremely skeptical I’d like a Shozy in-ear product, but have come out of this rather impressed. The Form 1.1’s new driver does it’s job and gives the bass and lower midrange a fast, punchy, and very good definition, that is unmatched in the In-Ears I’ve heard in this price point. I do advise that the treble is rather sharp and can be harsh and fatiguing, depending on each individual’s sensitivity and their preferences in music.

    I was able to come out this review with a parametric equalizer setting that works well for my needs: taming the treble beast and putting it down to a level that I can handle, while still keeping the spicy sizzle of cymbal crashes, and airy sparkle present but controlled. With this EQ, this becomes my favorite budget IEM I’ve heard and it can compete with much more pricey earphones that I’ve heard. Without the EQ, it’s still got a lot of promise to it, especially if you can handle more brightness than I can. The detail quality won me over on this one.

    [​IMG]
  4. Wretched Stare
    A sparkling budget treasure
    Written by Wretched Stare
    Published Nov 3, 2019
    4.0/5,
    Pros - A grate value just with build quality, comfort and sound alone, never mind the fact I personally think these are stunning especially when the light hits them and the colors shine.
    Nice case and good assortment of tips with a unique cable.
    Cons - Look may be a turn off for some people but I find them not overly flashy.
    Cable is comfortable but again some may like a more coated one.
    For me I found no cons just playing devils advocate here.
    Opening the very tasteful box with a great shot of the Form 1.1 on the front. One finds another box inside and a very spacious case inside containing the Shozy , a cloth braided cable and three different tips in three different sizes. A unusually unique shaped silicon, a white dual flange silicon and Tin audio style grayish foam tips. A very nice assortment of accessories.

    Build is light-weight yet quality is very good and the resin body is seamless, metal nozzle and a mesh filter with a metal vent towards the back. I like the two pin connector and the cable is different from anything I've used so far in a great way very nice choices Shozy audio.

    Sound
    Highs have a perfect extension with a nice stepped roll off never treading near the sibilant zone but slight forward and more emphasized with clarity and speed.
    Mids are clear with a warmth and nice timbre that made both instruments and vocals have a unique presents to them. Defiantly not a mid centered IEM but does have a interesting quality to them that is pleasantly intimate and not thin.
    Bass is super controlled and delivered a amazing depth and detail without being overly boomy but with a nice attack in the sub-bass and always perfectly represented with any distortion or bleed moving up to the mids. Mid bass is rapid and punchy with this extending to the upper part. Simplified its not a bass cannon its a bass sniper rifle.
    Soundstage is natural and has a almost organic width to not the widest but more so its imaging and details are accurate giving one a pleasant and not cramped experience.
    Comfort, Ill keep this part short with silicon or foam the answer is it is very comfortable due to its great rounded shape and nice quality tips. So yes its comfortable.

    Overall this sub $100 space is filled with wonders and very competitive but the Shozy not only sparkles but shines bright as a star in the midnight sky.

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