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SHOZY Stardust

Rating:
4.5/5,
  1. fleasbaby
    Crisp, clean, and likely to stay that way...
    Written by fleasbaby
    Published Feb 2, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - clarity, coherence, build
    The Shozy BK has been out for a little while now, and I have had a pair in my messenger bag for work for some time. There’s an assortment of buds and players in there, from the crass (the Sony MDR808+, with its unapologetic bass) to the refined (the VE Zen 1, recabled with BTG Audio wire). I switch between using a FiiO X1, an iPod Touch, 64GB, an iPod Classic (modded to 256GB) and one of those funky little Walnut V2 players.
     
    I have been listening to the BK off and on, and these are my (subjective) impressions.
     
    The most prominent improvement I see in Shozy’s progression with their earbuds is, oddly enough, their color. It’s not the most important improvement, nor is it the best, but it is the most obvious.
     
    The Cygnus was all white, and even came with a white storage case. This was a little impractical. The cable soon started going green, oxidizing, and the white foams became not-so-white very quickly on my pair. I didn’t ever use the carrying case. I was sure it would be filthy within days. The BK though, is black, and the cable is a rich, dark brown. This works wonderfully. The cable is just as supple and non-microphonic as the one on the Cygnus, but looks like it won’t oxidize. The earpieces are black, and the foams are black. The carrying case is black as well. Very practical, very good looking.
     
    This is all secondary though. What matters is how they sound.
     
    I rotated between the players listed above, settling on the FiiO and the iPod Classic as my primary players in the end. I hit shuffle and listened to a wide variety of music, from classical, to pop, to hip-hop to rock, and anything in between (ID, noise, drone, etc….).
     
    The BK deserve their high position on ClieOS’ personal list of earbuds. They have a wide soundstage, and a crystal clear sound signature. Some might find them a touch bass-light, but being a Grado-nerd as well, I find them simply tight and accurate. They scale nicely with a better source. The iPod Classic is alright, the FiiO X1 and the Walnut are better (even if the Walnut’s output impedance is horrendous).
     
    They aren’t as “fun” as the VE Monk, or the MDR 808+, they remind me more of the Rose Mojito, but in a more convenient and practical housing.  I would strongly advise them as a wise purchase for those who liked the Mojito, but not its form factor, or those who missed the boat and never heard a pair of Mojito, and are curious. 
    1. vapman
      I loved the mojito but hated the fit. I think i should give these a try out :D
      vapman, Feb 2, 2017
    2. cocolinho
      arf... not for me then ... I miss bass with my Cygnus, BK/Stardust won't fix it as far as I understood
      cocolinho, Feb 3, 2017
    3. Jimster480
      Have any graphs for the output? What sort of signature does it have?
      Jimster480, Feb 3, 2017
  2. PeterPangea
    Smooth-sounding earbuds with great mids and impeccable build quality
    Written by PeterPangea
    Published Nov 30, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Build quality, mids, bass presence
    Cons - Slight congestion with complex music, not kind to poorly-mastered recordings
    Just got my Shozy Stardust yesterday. As background, Stardust is the second earbud in Shozy's lineup after the Cygnus, with a better quality cable and more refinement at the top end. These retail for $165US from Penon Audio, I got these from Shozy at the pre-order price of $150US shipped, so they are quite in line with VE Zen 2.0 in price, which I have replaced with these. Here are some impressions on Stardust/BK from me after a few hours of late night listening, with comparisons made to to VE Monk/Zen/Campfire Andromeda:

     

    Build quality, accessories, etc.

    Build is really good. Stardust's cable is probably the best IEM/earbud cable I've handled yet. Great quality feeling, no memory effect or microphonics. Feels more supple than the already supple Litz cable of Andromeda. Great looking jack as well, reminds me of a nice Oyaide item. Accessories are a bit (well, very) light for the price, with only one pair of (really nice) donut foams and a carrying case of okay quality. Wish they included more foams in case yours get damaged from use.

    Housing is made from a nice matte black plastic, same housing shape as the old Yuins. These are smaller than the Sennheiser housings VE bases their earbuds off of. It's extremely comfortable and very easy to sleep on. Stardust has the best build quality I've encountered yet from an earbud, although the standards for this segment is pretty low.

     

    Sound:

    Stardust is a fairly bassy earbud out of box, subbass and lower midbass is surprisingly prevalent. Lot of impact, bass quality is good for price but a bit "wooly" when compared to Andromeda (admittedly tough comparison for Stardust). More bass impact and cleaner bass than both Zen and Monks.

     

    Strong mid-focus. Vocals and strings sound great on these with a rich timbre and balanced sound. I feel that mids are the strongest part of this this earbud. Mids blows all VE models I have out of the water. Zen's recessed midrange gets really noticeable on anything with vocal emphasis, and Monks mids are better balanced, but not as smooth.

     

    Treble-wise, there feels to be a bit of treble-roll off but nowhere near as bad as VE Zen. Treble also more even than VE Monk. One niggle is that lower mids (esp. guitars) was not the most clear relative to the rest of the FR on some J-indie songs I was testing. This is reflective with the slight congestion I found on other tracks.

     

    - In general sound signature I'd feel would look like this: \^_ (elevated bass, mid emphasis, flat/slightly rolled off treble). Their clarity is great for the price range, around UE 900s level. Stardust is not the most friendly towards poorly-mastered recordings though (one Musiq Soulchild house remix I was listening just turned into pure adfsfdksflsdf in terms of how mushed up everything sounded).

     

    - Soundstage-wise, Stardust is very out-of-head with a good sense of height and depth. Need more time to assess width and instrument positioning. They have much larger soundstage than Monk and are at similar level to Zen and Andromeda, .

     

    - Commenting on source, I found Stardust pretty easy to drive, it sounded quite nice from my Samsung S7 Edge Exynos and 1st gen iPod Shuffle. Generally find it to pair better with a brighter source to pull out more sparkle in the treble. When paired with a nicer source like LH Lab's Geek Out V2+, I'm getting more clarity and more body to the sound, but at the fairly high listening volumes I was playing songs through, Stardust can get a bit congested at times. Listening to EDM highlights Stardust's relative weakness in micro-detail. I think these suit best relatively simple music with mids/bass emphasis such as acoustic, non-orchestral classical, hip-hop/R&B, and jazz.

     

    Overall, Shozy Stardust has a much more coherent sound signature than any VE product I've tried. The build is great, although the accessories are slightly lacking. They are the best earbud I've used yet by a fairly significant margin, and quite in line with other IEMs/headphones around this price range. I don't expect Andromeda level sound quality, but Stardust captures most of the wonderful tone on those with more bass and less treble. Hope you guys enjoyed this review!

     

    EDIT: I purchased some Hiegi donut foams to use with these and my VE Monks and I have to say they did a lot to improve the sound quality. The wider donut opening of the Hiegis improved soundstage and treble clarity by quite a bit, with the trade-off being reduced bass quantity (which is fine for me as they were a bit bloated stock). Highly recommended, I have basically no complaints about the Hiegi foam iteration of these. 

     

    Photos are below:

     

    Glamour shot:

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    Case:

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    Back and specifications:
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    Box and carrying case: 
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    Full shot:
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    Earbud and foam detail:
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    Earbud close-in:
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    Jack detail:
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    Cable cinch detail:
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    Cable detail:
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