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SHOZY Zero IEM

Rating:
4.26667/5,
  1. glassmonkey
    Shozy Zero: gorgeous, warm, spacious, lush and a bargain to boot
    Written by glassmonkey
    Published Jul 17, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Wide soundstage, pleasurable romantic sound, beautiful rosewood, competitive on sound with many IEMs under $200
    Cons - Bass definition a little soft with stock tips, midbass/upper bass can be overemphasized, could use more treble extension, few accessories

    Acknowledgment   

    Thank you Shozy for the review sample in exchange for my honest opinion.

     

    Introduction

    Shozy is a manufacturer out of Hong Kong known for their interesting portable DAC/Amps and price to performance ratio. The company responsible for the brand has also manufactured under the name Cozoy. I think Shozy sounds nicer. The Zero continues in the same price to performance vein where the esoteric Alien and Alien Gold DACs have tread before, but the Zero is a lot more approachable.
     
    Shozy sells the Zero on their website for $60 and notes that there are only a limited list of authorized distributors, check that your local (or not so local) shop is associated with the right distributor.
     
    Like most sensible people I started falling in love with music as a child. My first portable audio device was a Sony Walkman (the cassette kind) that I got when I was 10 years old (24 years ago).  I listened with the cheap Sony on ears that came with the Walkman until I bought a Koss CD boombox and started listening to UAF College Radio and 103.9 (alternative rock at the time) in Fairbanks, Alaska. I once listened to Louie Louie for 3 days straight, and I’m not insane. My musical tastes started out with listening to what my friends liked (Dr. Dre and Green Day) and what my parents liked (The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan) and I only really discovered my own musical tastes and sonic preferences in my late teens to early 20s. What I discovered is that I have very eclectic and some would say weird tastes. I could be listening to gay punk rock, Japanese dream garble pop, 8-bit chiptune, Scandinavian black metal, Latin guitar, the Mariinsky Orchestra, or Miles Davis, but I mostly listen to Classic Rock and Indie/Alternative. I’m a big fan of intelligent hip-hop like Metermaids, Kendrick Lamar and Aesop Rock, also.
     
    I tend to like headphones and gear that are all-around performers, this generally means a balanced or neutral sound. If I have to choose between warm and bright, I’ll choose bright almost every time. A few screechy high notes are preferable to me than a foggy unfocused bass guitar. I somehow never manage to have much money, so I don’t want to buy infinity headphones to switch between my myriad genres that I play. I can hear all the way down to 10hz and all the way up to 23Khz—these are what I’ve heard doing test tones on headphones. It has been a long time since I had a test with an audiologist. I’m sensitive to peaky treble but do enjoy smooth extended treble. I like deep rich tight bass and impactful drums, and dislike upper midbass emphasis.  I like my vocals crisp, so stay away from Josh Tillman’s voice you nasty upper midbass hump.  I hear soundstage better than just about anything I identify in music, but my words haven’t caught up to my ears. I listen at volume levels that others consider loud (72 to 75 dB), but I just set it to where the dynamics peak. I’m not here to shatter my eardrums. I like them just how they are.
     
    I generally don’t believe in using EQ, not even for inexpensive headphones, especially in reviews. I won’t claim that I haven’t done it, but I generally try to avoid it.
     
    I’m a firm believer that cables can make a difference, but I don’t think they always do. When I tried out Toxic Cables line, none of them had labels and the cheapest looking one was the one I liked the best. I was excited that I wouldn’t have to spend much to improve my sound. It turned out that the cheapest looking one was the Silver/Gold top of the line cable. I’ve heard the difference that USB cables can make, from upgrading from the crappy cable that came with my Geek Out 1000 to a Supra USB, and then again when upgrading to the LH Labs Lightspeed 2G with the iUSB3.0. When I picked up a cheap shielded power lead from Mains Cables R Us (who also sell iFi gear) to replace my standard kettle lead on my amplifier, I heard more crunchy and clearer treble. I switched the leads with my wife blinded and she heard the same difference. I didn’t tell her what I heard and let her describe it herself. But cables don’t always make a difference. When I switched from my standard HD650 cable to a custom balanced cable (Custom Cans UK, very affordable), the sound stayed exactly the same when hooked up via a top tier (custom made by @dill3000 silver/gold) 4-pin XLR to 6.3mm converter. Balanced mode made a difference in clarity and blackness of background. Your mileage may vary and you may not hear a difference, but I have.

     

    Vital Statistics (specs from manufacturers and distributors)

    In this section of my reviews I try to let the manufacturer’s story about their product be told. Manufacturers and retailers always have something to say about their products, some of the time it’s accurate. The review sections will tell whether that is the case here.
     
    Shozy doesn’t provide very informative information on their website, and has it formatted in a way that makes copy/paste onerous, the whole page is a jpeg. Shozy should definitely improve on making their website not just pretty, but functional. You can put lipstick on a pig, but you probably won't want to take that pig to the village dance--I don't presume to know what your community does. I’ve chopped the relevant bits up for you here.
     
    Try googling pig with lipstick, you'll get racism, misogyny, judgemental religious blogs, and other fantastic things besides this great image. She's so stylish, she even knows how to wear pearls. Better trot out your best Sunday suit.
     
    142B-2B1.jpg
     
     
    Shozywebsitedescription.jpg
     
     
    Specifications
     
    Drivers
    Single dynamic driver
    Frequency response
    20Hz - 18kHz
    Sensitivity
    94 dB
    Cable
    Fixed 1.3m (I measured this with a measuring tape)
    Shell
    Brazilian rosewood and CNC machined nozzle

     
    Conspicuously missing from the specs were driver size and impedance. Whilst the driver size isn't listed, it's a pretty safe bet to say between 8 and 10mm. The website says of low impedance. I have no idea what this means, but I'm guessing it means somewhere around 16Ω.
     
    Frequencyresponse.jpg
     
    As can be seen, Shozy kind of sucks at drawing graphs. The scale here is obviously not linear, which makes it difficult to discern where that heavy roll-off really starts happening. That dip that drops down to 0 doesn't look so good to me. Luckily, it sounds better than that graph makes me feel. Maybe I just suck at reading graphs. After all, I've used the XKCD cartoon below for teaching economic modelling.
     
     
    extrapolating.png
     

     

    Form & Function

    The units I received were one of many beta units sent out into the wild by Shozy, and I was very happy to be approached. My unit came in a simple padded mailer with no case or retail packaging, so I can’t comment on the packaging first hand. These are the accessories listed by Shozy as coming with the IEM:
    1. Carrying pouch
    2. Single flange eartips (S/M/L)
    3. User manual
     
    The stock tips have a very wide bore, which I found to increase stage width but decrease bass definition. I preferred the slightly smaller stage and improved overall definition and clarity of the spinfits. One interesting thing on the nozzle is there is a little notch on the bottom. Shozy indicates that this is for tuning, but I found that it also makes it easier to get tips on. The Shozy Zero has quite a large bore and loading the tips over the notch makes fitting tips much easier.
     
    Overall the accessories are pretty bare, but are acceptable for the price range. There are headphones at lower prices with much nicer accessories, like the Brainwavz Jive. This is an area where Shozy could improve here, but from what is listed on Penonaudio.com, the cost of the wood might necessitate the price, and further accessories may cut into margins too much. According to Penonaudio:
     
    SHOZY Zero in-ear earphones use simple in-ear design, wearing comfortable. Earphone front shell is  precisely processed by lathe and CNC,it has a remarkable acoustic structure designed to allow normal speaker releasing excellent sound; the rear shell, splitting and the plug shell, and are using good quality red sandalwood, precision lathe processed, carefully selected (1500 sets of wooden shell can pick out only about 300 sets). Imported speaker driver, high-sensitivity low impedance, mobile phone can drive it easily, if play with the high-end players and decoding amp, sound quality increase significantly and clearly.
     
    The description on Penonaudio using ‘red sandalwood’ is not an error, as rosewood and red sandalwood are varieties of the same family. Rosewood is known for its excellent density, which makes it desirable in audio and woodcarving applications. Suffice to say that rosewood, a less expensive variety of red sandalwood, is still an expensive component.
     
    Something to note ahead of getting into all this. I was advised by Shozy’s representative to burn the headphones in using classical music for at least 100 hours, preferably 200 hours. I think that this is a completely unreasonable amount of burn-in for a $60 headphone. If it requires this much burn in, most of this should be done at the factory. I’m also of the opinion that music doesn’t give drivers the same exercise as noise. I would usually burn-in headphones using what I’ve coined ‘Neapolitan noise.’ Neapolitan noise is white noise, pink noise, and brown noise; it’s like vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice cream combo bricks you find in your grocery freezer section. Noise gives a more full frequency workout that reduces time to burn in drivers completely, and I’ve found that most headphones after 20 hours of noise exhibit no further changes. I have run into headphones that change around 50 hours, but there aren’t many. For the Zeros, I followed the manufacturer instructions, mostly. I tested them at zero, 20, 50, and 100 hours and noted that there were changes along the way. After 100 hours I gave them some Neapolitan noise to firm them up. The zero is more strident at first blush and mellows out over time. Give it due time.
     
    c470f48a81b483b15662a6d38ae3daff.jpg

     
     
    1. 3 minutes white noise
    2. 3 minutes pink noise
    3. 3 minutes brown noise
    4. 2 minutes digital silence
     
    The noise is off the Ayre Acoustics – Irrational but Efficacious System Burn-In Disc, and the 2 minutes of digital silence is off of Binkster Audio Test CD. The digital silence is necessary, as the workout that is being given to your drivers is strenuous. They need periods of rest. Burn-in should be at normal listening to slightly louder listening volume. Don’t blast it unless you want to ruin your drivers. After burn-in some drivers will need a little time relaxing with music to settle. Give a few hours before making judgments on sound. I’ve had drivers sound fragile after burn-in, but they recover from the stress.
     
     
    ShozyZero-1.jpg
    ShozyZero-2.jpg
    ShozyZero-3.jpg

     

    Audio quality

    The Shozy Zero has a warm mid/upper bass emphasis with smooth and pleasant sounding treble that does very nice with violins. I found that with the stock tips the bass could be a little fuzzy. A bit more control would be an improvement. The sound stage has good width but depth is superficial. You can hear the relative weight in the stage of instruments at different depths, but you can’t feel the air moving through and around instruments. It is like a painting done with broad brush strokes versus a painting using finer strokes. Both are pleasing, but the details are far superior when the more delicate brush is used. Instrument placement could be more palpable, with better separation in the depth dimension. Soundstage height is excellent on the Shozy Zero. I think the stock tips trade off some detail in order to blast out an impressively wide soundstage.
     
    Switching to Spinfits, which give the bass more control and crispy up the treble a bit, I tried the Shozy Zero with a few DAC/DAPs. The Cyberdrive Feather DAC (a crazy bargain at current prices, $30 on IndieGoGo for DSD256 native DAC) is a nice pairing. The Feather DAC is a bit bass shy, so it controls some of the excesses on the Zero. I prefer a bit less emphasis on bass quantity, and more emphasis on bass quality most of the time, and the Feather tones down quantity nicely with the Zero. Soundstage height is still exceptional at this price. The LH Labs Geek Out 1000 is also a good pairing. The GO 1000 is fairly neutral with a bit of treble emphasis giving it a sharp sound that can be a touch metallic. This works well with the Shozy Zero. The iBasso DX50 has a bit of emphasis in the midbass to lower mids, which is where the emphasis is on the Zero also, so it didn’t make as good a pairing. The Opus Audio Opus #1 is a great pairing for anything I threw at it as it is sublimely neutral and was no different with the Shozy Zero.
     
    When compared to the MEE Audio Pinnacle P1 (link to review), listening to Father John Misty – The Night Josh Tillman Came to Our Apartment, the Shozy Zero has more soundstage width and height, but lacks the definition and depth. The Shozy Zero has a romantic quality to it that many will find inviting. It has more forward mids and bass, and smooth treble that doesn’t extend as well as the Pinnacle, which makes it a less detailed sounding IEM, in comparison. Detail is still good with the Zero. I use Josh Tillman’s voice to check whether the midbass is bleeding into the lower mids and colouring the sound. Whilst there is emphasis in the midbass and upper bass, the Zero didn’t colour Josh Tillman’s voice, which made me very happy.
     
    Listening to San Francisco Symphony Orchestra – Concerto for Organ with Percussion Orchestra - I. Allegro (off American Mavericks), with the LH Labs Geek Out V2 as the DAC (low gain, 100mW) the Zero keeps pace well and has good impact, but the 64 Audio X2 is a bit more composed with a greater sense of depth and a bit more impact on drums and percussion. Downloads now has a slew of fantastic recordings, and I particularly enjoy San Francisco Symphony Orchestra recordings. Concerto for Organ with Percussion… is a fantastically lively 5 and ½ minute track. I love me some percussion, and own four or five hi-res percussion albums from 24/96 PCM to DSD256. About the 64 Audio X2, which is relatively unknown, it was a Kickstarter exclusive fixed cable version of the 64 Audio U2, which retails at $399, so it is very impressive that the Shozy Zero is performing on similar level. I much prefer the 64 Audio X2, but it isn’t an open-shut case, and others may have different views. Both are excellent sounding. On Rage Against the Machine – Killing in the Name, the 64 Audio X2 is a bit cleaner and sharper with a slightly more balanced sound, which is more to my sound preference. On Be’Lakor – Abeyance/Remnants of the dynamic range laden metal purity Vinyl remaster of Of Breath and Bone, thanks @Trogdor (follow him on twitter @MetalFi), the 64 Audio X2 has much better bass texture, clarity, instrument separation and depth. The 64 Audio X2 is just better than the Zero, in my opinion.
     
    Versus the Fidue A65 (link to review), the Shozy is a touch warmer and a little bit less crunchy.The signature of the Shozy is more restrained, with a bit more depth and width to the stage. The Fidue A65 has a more forward energetic signature with more brightness. Both are stellar performers in the price range. The Fidue A65 can be had from Hi Fi Headphones, locally in the UK for under £50. In a strange note, I’m pretty sure the rose gold Fidue A65 have the exact same cable as the Shozy Zero. The less sexy silver ones I have on hand have a black cable, so I can’t confirm if it is the same.
     
    The Zero is really easy to drive. The Feather DAC doesn’t have much power, but it drives the Shozy Zero plenty. I like the Zero best with the Opus #1 and the Geek Out V2, two very neutral dacs with good strength in detail resolution.

     

    Conclusions

    The Shozy Zero is an excellent under $75 IEM. In fact, it is an excellent under $200 IEM. I don’t know if the joke on HeadFi is apocryphal or true regarding the Zero being designed to compare to headphones with an extra ‘0’ on the price, but I found it competed very well with all my sub $200 offerings.
     
    This is a beautiful headphone made with premium wood with a warm and pleasurable sound. The soundstage is impressive for the price. It has smooth treble with a warm inviting sound that many will enjoy. I like a little less emphasis on the upper bass/lower mids, but this is a small quibble. Even with this emphasis, details are still good but do not beat the MEE Audio Pinnacle or the 64 Audio X2.
     
    The Shozy Zero is well worth picking up for the low price of admission and competes very well with more expensive offerings.
  2. meetpatel3686
    Whom are you calling Zero..!!
    Written by meetpatel3686
    Published Jul 9, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Lightweight,Easy to drive,Bass extension,Detailed,airy and Smooth sound,Non-fatiguing,Looks,Value.
    Cons - Slightly rolled off treble,Driver flex,L-R marking hard to see.
    Preamble:
    The Zeros that I'm reviewing today has been provided to me by Shozy for an honest and unbiased review,for which I'm honoured.The unit that I had received is a BETA UNIT so the retail unit may slightly differ.As mine were pre-production unit they came in a small plastic bag along with 3 stock tips.I'll try to give honest impression about them.The zeros can be purchased for 60$ from here - http://penonaudio.com/SHOZY-Zero
     

    About Me:
    I'm a student who has just got on the head-fi tour.I've joined this community before a month hence you can understand about my experience regarding to such stuff.My preference in music is Rock,Country music and Indie Pop.I'm not a basshead,I like neutral to warmish sound.As I'm a newbie and this is my 1st review so please bear with me for any mistakes.
     
     
    Specifications:
    Sensitivity(at 1Khz) :94db
    Frequency response :20hz-18Khz
    Input connector :3.5mm/1/8 inch gold-plated stereo TRS plug
    (From official website)
     
     
    Build Quality:
    The housing of Zeros is made of Rosewood and metal.The audio jack is gold plated and made of resewood housing.The cable of the zeros looks good,though I feel the cable is not much sturdier but I've been told that the retail version will have better build quaility so take it as a grain of salt.The L-R markings are very hard to see.As photography is not my thing I've attached some pics of retail unit from Penon Audio.
    SHOZYZERO-700x700.jpg
    SHO-ZYZERO-700x700.jpg
    SHOZY-ZERO-700x700.jpg
    Zero-700x700.jpg
     
    Fit and Comfort:
    They are very lightweight.I can plug them in for an entire day.You just forget that they're in your ears.They're so tiny and comfortable.The stock tips are pretty good and gives a proper fit.They can be worn both straight down and over ear.
     
    Sound Quality:
    Coming to the main part the sound signature of the zeros is neutral to warm.The zeros definitely require burn-in for about 150hrs.Before burn in they sounded quite moody,rolled off and congested.After nearly 150 hrs of burn-in they really opened up and the sound gets more defined and spacious.So I would suggest to burn-in them and then evaluate them.The sound tonality is very smooth,airy and detailed.
     
    Lows:
    The lows are very defined having a great extension.Lows are deeper and have wide spectrum.The mid bass is slightly overpowering.The sub bass is very natural and punchy.The upper bass sometimes interferes with the mids.Other than that lows are great on Zeros.

    Mids:
    Mids are full of lush.Both the male and female vocals sounds natural.The mids are very enjoyable along with great details.No sibilance,No harshness.IMO best within this price range.

    Highs:
    Heighs are smooth having enough body.Highs are slightly less detailed.The treble sometimes can be rolled off,it really Lacks some details and seperation.Though considering the price it's acceptable.
     
    Soundstage and Seperation:
    Zeros have very good sounstage.The depth is great but the width is slightly on the narrower side,though it has enough width to enjoy the music.Instruments sounds well positioned.The sound signature is airy and spacious.Separion is not top notch but good.
     
     
    Isolation:
    It highly depends on the tips you're using.Personally I feel the stock tips does give below average isolation.However comply tips provides better isolation.
     
     
    Comparison:
    Since I'm new I don't have a big iem collection but I've RHA MA750,SONY MDR-XB90EX and VE MONK+.Currently due to my study I'd not be able to give justice to such comparision.Though one can pm me if he's interested in such comparison.
     
     
    Conclusion:
    The Shozy has really nailed it considering the Zeros are their first iems.As we all know no iem can be perfect,the Zeros have their ups and down but believe me the sound is very fun and engaging along with awesome details and spaciousness.The 60$ price is a steal.If you're after iems under 150$ you should definitely not miss out the Zeros if you want smooth sound signature along with great details and excellent bass.Excellent bang for the buck.
     
    I'd like to thank the Shozy Representative who provided the review unit.
    Thanks to the readers for giving time to this review.
    Pardon me for any mistakes and silliness.
      crabdog likes this.
  3. slowpickr
    Rosewood - Great for Guitars and Headphones
    Written by slowpickr
    Published Jun 26, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Great sound, comfortable (light weight), price, appearance
    Cons - L/R markings are hard to see, cable has memory and doesn't inspire confidence
    First, I would like to thank Shozy for sending me a pre-production model of the Zero in exchange for my honest opinion.
     
    My pre-production model arrived in a small package. Inside was the Zero along with 3 sets (S/M/L) of black silicone ear tips. It is my understanding that the full production model comes with more accessories (namely a case and a box).
     
    ShozyZero1.jpg
     
    ShozyZero3.jpg
     
     
     
    Build Quality - I've knocked off a star due to the cable. It has some memory, is thin and doesn't inspire confidence. I don't know, quite frankly, how it will hold up over time. Another factor for the reduced star is that the left/right markings are very difficult to see. You have to look very close in good lighting to tell. Some red/blue color banding would have been nice. The rosewood on the jack, y-splitter and IEM housings seems to be excellent quality with an elegant touch. No complaints there. The ear pieces are small and also very light weight which means you hardly notice they are there. 5 stars for comfort and fit.
     
    Isolation - Isolation is about average for an IEM.
     
    Sound - Now for the most important part, the sound. To my ear, the Zero is very balanced with slightly elevated bass. The bass is very well done though and doesn't interfere with other frequencies. IMHO these are not basshead IEMs. They aren't bass light either. It's just the right amount for an enjoyable listen.
     
    The mids and vocals are very smooth and engaging. Vocals are slightly back in the mix. Not enough though that I would deem these a drastic "V" shape FR response (more "U" shaped). They are actually more forward compared to several others I have in my collection (e.g. Xiaomi Piston, Rock Zircon, TK12).
     
    Treble is very polite and non-fatiguing. Details are excellent for an IEM in this price range. It's not a detail monster though, so for critical listening look elsewhere (e.g. BA's or BA/DD hybrids).
     
    Concluding thoughts - What Shozy has done with a single DD is really amazing. Cable notwithstanding, I think these are a great value for the $50-$60 that they go for. I've sold IEMs in the past because of fit/comfort alone (e.g. Ultimate Ears TF10). The great fit and comfort these have adds value in addition to the great sound.
     
    Highly recommended for all genres!!!
     
    Notes: 1) All sound impressions were using an Xduoo X3 DAP with FLAC or 320kbps MP3 files at moderate listening levels. 2) Per manufacturer's recommendations, IEMs were "burned in" (i.e. played at moderately high volumes) for a minimum of 200 hours. 3) Stock tips did not provide a good seal for my ears. Therefore, JVC Spiral Dots were used instead.
      peter123 and Hawaiibadboy like this.
  4. C.C.S.
    Quality Sound, Light on the Wallet - Brief Impressions
    Written by C.C.S.
    Published Jun 24, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Very good clarity, reasonably detailed, inexpensive
    Cons - A bit too bassy for some
    Disclaimer: I received this earphone for free from the manufacturers. I did my best not to let that color my opinion on the product, but my impressions may not be entirely without bias.
     
    Shozy Zero is a high quality value-oriented earphone, providing listeners with impressive sound in an attractive package, for a relatively low price. It is primarily focused around its powerful bass response and mostly clear midrange, placing treble a step or two back in the mix. The sound of the earphone is clean and detailed, from top to bottom, and is competitive with many options within its price range as well as some above, though the bass may distract the listener slightly from the lower midrange. I also perceive some upper midrange recession, reducing the energy, but not the clarity, of female vocals and higher pitched brass. The real selling point of this earphone is how clean it sounds; it reveals an impressive amount of detail in any track and I never perceive it as sounding muddy or unclear.
     
    Ultimately, the sound this earphone reproduces is very good, and is competitive with many other earphones. Having heard several other earphones in a variety of different price ranges, I would easily recommend this as a high-value option for listeners who are not aiming to spend a great deal to achieve good sound.
     
    There isn’t much more to be said about Shozy Zero. Put simply, it sounds good, it looks good and it won’t break the bank.
     
    EDIT: Given further time to listen and to burn in the earphones, I cannot discern any appreciable difference in the sound quality of Shozy Zero. They earn a fantastic recommendation for anybody looking for a warm, bass tilted sound signature without sacrificing clarity and detail in the process. They are very respectable earphones and are genuinely a great option at their price range.
      taffy2207 likes this.
    1. C.C.S.
      My rating for Isolation is not reflecting what I tried to report in my review. Isolation should be rated considerably lower.
      C.C.S., Jun 24, 2016
    2. taffy2207
      The ratings are averages from all reviews.
      taffy2207, Jun 24, 2016
    3. C.C.S.
      Oh. Whoops. It had been some time since I'd reviewed anything on Head-Fi when I had submitted this, so I did not remember that was the case. Thank you for letting me know.
      C.C.S., Jul 7, 2016
  5. Hisoundfi
    Bass + Smooth + Dynamic + Detail + Sparkle = ZERO. The Shozy Zero in-ear monitor
    Written by Hisoundfi
    Published Jun 22, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Very enjoyable sound signature, Natural wood housing and jack are cool, Sound outperforms price tag
    Cons - Flimsy and rubbery cable, Notch on nozzle ring makes tip rolling a pain, Reported variances in tunings
    20160524_104947.jpg
    At the time this review was written, the Shozy Zero in-ear monitor was for sale at Amazon.com. Here is a link for purchase:
     
    http://www.amazon.com/SHOZY-Zero-HIFI-In-ear-Earphone/dp/B01EHT6Z6C?ie=UTF8&keywords=shozy&qid=1464531193&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1
     
    Introduction
    Being on Head-Fi for the last three years, I’ve learned whose opinions and impressions of products I should trust. One of those opinions is my good friend Tamal’s. When he said that Shozy was releasing a new in-ear monitor and it sounded great, I knew it would be something I should check out. Needless to say, the Zero sounds excellent. Today we will go over it with a comprehensive review
     
    Disclaimer
    I was given an opportunity to review the Zero in exchange for my honest opinion and review. I am in no way affiliated with Shozy. I would like to take this time to personally thank the good folks at Shozy for the opportunity, and my friend @RedJohn456 for the recommendation. If you are unfamiliar with Shozy, they make some really good portable DACs, amplifiers and a unique screenless DAP called the Alien. Here is alink to their site if you’re interested:
     
    http://www.shozy-hk.com/
     
    My Background
    I AM NOT a numbers and graphs audiophile or sound engineer. Personal audio enthusiast? Absolutely! Headphone junkie? Possibly…
     
    There’s something about quality DAPs, DACs, Amplifiers and Earphones that intrigues me. I want to hear any earphone that looks promising, in hopes that I can share my impressions with  enthusiasts and help them find the audio product they’re looking for. My Head-Fi profile has a list of audio products ranked from favorite to least favorite. For me, this hobby is more about getting great price to performance ratio from a product, while having a variety of different gear to mix and match. With personal audio gear, we tend to pay a lot of money for minor upgrades. One thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that just because a headphone has a higher price tag, it doesn’t mean that it has superior build and sound quality.
     
    I’m always looking for great audio at a great price. I’m after headphones and IEMs that give me the “WOW” factor. I can appreciate different builds and sound signatures as long as they are solidly built, with ergonomics and sound that is pleasing to my ears. It’s my pleasure to share my experiences with audio products and make recommendations based on gear I have owned and used.
     
    REVIEW
    Because I received a beta unit, I don’t have the retail packaging and all of the accessories. Because of this we will skip the unboxing section of the review.
     
    Specifications and Accessories
     
    Specifications
    Sensitivity(at 1khz)94dB
    Frequency Response 20Hz-18kHz
    Input connector 3.5mm/1/8 inch gold-plated stereo TRS plug
     
    Accessories
    Zero earphone *1
    Earphone bag *1
    High quality rubber lining *3 Pairs
    instruction book *1
     
    Housings
    20160529_143917.jpg
    The housing of the Zero are a combination of real rosewood and plastic. They are a relatively standard shape housing.
     
    20160529_143753.jpg
    The nozzle is slightly wider than average and has a small notch missing from the bottom ring of each nozzle. The width and shape of the nozzle makes tip rolling a bit trickier than the standard in-ear monitor.
     
    Cable, Y-Split, Cable Jack, Strain Reliefs
    20160529_143852.jpg
    The Shozy cable is a thin and rubbery cable that seems fairly durable. There is a small amount of spring and memory. The cable will be subject to tangled if not handled in a manner that prevents this from happening. Zero’s Y-split and cable jack are both made with the same real rosewood material as the housings. The cable jack is a straight style gold plated 3.5 mm plug. Strain reliefs are subtle and adequate.
     
    20160529_143613.jpg
    While I know that real rosewood and awesome sound quality are great aesthetics for an in-ear monitor in this price range, the Zero cable is on the cheaper side of things. I would have rather seen Shozy charge an extra twenty dollars for a more premium attached cable with a chin slider.
     
    Functionality
    The Zero has no microphone or remote. They are a plug and play device. Plug in, play music, enjoy the sound, repeat.
     
    Ergonomics, Fit and Microphonics, Isolation
    First things first, getting a proper fitting tip that seals well can be a challenge. None of the stock tips worked for me. I ended up using a gray and red tip purchased from Lunashops. The bore is wide enough to fit over the nozzle and they sealed well. Make sure to try and accomplish the same with your Shozy Zero and you will be rewarded with some great sound.
     
    The Zero is a very standard fit that works both over and under the ear. Because there is no chin/neck slider, when wearing them over the ear I prefer to use aftermarket ear guides. This  prevents the cable from unlooping from over the top of my ears.
     
    Wearing them under the ear, I get a considerable amount of cable noise. Wearing them over the ear, microphonics are pretty much a non-issue.
     
    Sound Review
    I did my demo with my usual gear. I used an LG-V10 for smartphone use, and either my Shanling H3 or iBasso DX80 DAP for high fidelity portable use. For desktop use, I used my Toshiba Satellite Laptop in combination with a ifi micro iDSD playing at 32/192 kHz. I tested them with several other sources as well. I used Google Music in its highest download quality (320 KBPS), and also streamed FLAC via Tidal streaming service. I also used purchased and downloaded tracks in MP3, FLAC, WAV and DSD. I make sure that any gear I test has sufficient playtime before writing a review.
     
    I used my usual same songs for testing gear:
    “Limit to your love” by James Blake (bass speed, punch, response)
    “Doin’ it Right” by Daft Punk (sub bass)
    “Get lucky” by Daft Punk (bass to midrange transition resolution, male vocals)
    “Madness” by Muse (soundstage, separation)
    “Some nights” by Fun (soundstage and male vocals)
    “The soundmaker” by Rodrigo y Gabriela (texture and imaging)
    “Bassically” by Tei Shi (bass to midrange resolution, female vocals)
    “Skinny Love” performed by Birdie (female vocals, acoustic playback)
    “One” by Ed Sheeran (male vocals, acoustic playback)
    “Outlands” from the Tron Legacy Soundtrack (symphonic presentation, imaging)
    “Sultans of swing” by Dire Straits (detail, separation, balance)
    “And Justic for All” by Metallica (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
    “Ten thousand fists” by Disturbed (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
     
    Note: Other tracks were used, but the listed songs were primarily used to assess and break down the gear’s response.
     
    Source Selection
    Shozy doesn’t share any specifics in terms of impedance or driver size. If I had to guess, I would say they fall somewhere between 25-35 ohms. They work good through just about any portable source I used. They sound great with a smartphone, and scale up well with DAPs and portable DACs and amplifiers. The better files and sources you use, the better the Zero will sound.
     
    A neutral and more linear source will make them sound very natural with a warm tilt. Using a warmer and bassier source will make them follow suit. A very minor warm tilt isn’t pushed overboard by colored sources.
     
    Plug Zero into your favorite source and play your favorite music. I can almost guarantee you’ll enjoy their sound with any quality source you use.
     
    Sound Signature
    The Zero has been reported as bassy and smooth. While I agree with this to a certain extent, I feel the Zero is a very natural and relatively balanced sound. Rather than say bassy, I would classify them as slightly warm tilted and non-sibilant. They are spectacular for their price, and beat many earphones that cost twice as much in terms of sound quality.
     
    Putting price and performance into perspective, the Zero is fabulous. In this hobby, budget earphones often times perform at a level that ALMOST matches and rivals the summit-fi gear. If there’s anything that would make me say that Zero doesn’t do that many of my favorite (and usually much more expensive) earphones do, it doesn’t have the same airiness, detail and clarity I’ve heard from the best earphones available. Still, the Zero rocks in these regards, it’s just not on the most elite of elite levels. Simply put, the Shozy Zero gets my approval as being flat out awesomesauce. They are hard to fault. People are going to really like these things.
     
    Bass
    Bass on the Zero is very balanced and packs equal amounts of punch and rumble. There is a slight tilt towards a bass emphasis, but it’s tastefully done.
     
    Sub bass tones extend well and will satisfy a diverse range of music lovers. When listening to bass lines of various genres of music, the Zero handled all tones with a quality level of resolution and response. Nothing seemed lacking. The Zero has deep soundstage that sounds very natural.
     
    Midbass is in good proportion with the sub bass response and well done. There’s enough midbass to give them good dynamics, and not enough to be boomy or sound unnatural.  
     
    Midrange
    A slight downward tilt from midbass tones leads to a dynamic lower midrange. This theme continues in slight downwards slope until reaching a small bump at upper midrange frequencies, giving vocals a nice sense of energy. All vocals and instruments have a warm tilt and nice bite at upper frequencies, making the Zero a very entertaining earphone.
     
    Treble
    Zero’s treble will be a hit with most people who listen to them. Simply put, the Zero has a pretty sizeable drop off at sibilant sounds. The dip takes place at a frequency range that makes the dip seem natural and far from harsh. Treble picks back up after 10 kHz, giving the Zero a sense of good extension. For me, the treble presentation of the Zero was probably my favorite part of their tuning. Their smooth and extended response in combination with the slight warm tilt and extension at sub bass tones makes them incredibly fun and non-fatiguing listen.
     
    Soundstage and Imaging
    The nice sense of depth and extension makes the Zero’s soundstage above average. A decent sense of clarity and balance gives them a decent sense of imaging, but the warm tilt prevents this from being elite.
     
    Comparisons
    VSONIC GR07BE ($85 to $150 USD on many sites)
    The GR07BE is a hall of famer, sporting a bio-cellulose driver, articulating nozzle, and secure over the ear fit. It is a sentimental favorite, as it was the first earphone purchase I made that eclipsed the hundred dollar mark.
     
    Comparing the two, I give a slight edge to the GR07BRE in terms of bass response. There’s something about the GR07BE combination of soundstage depth response that to this day is world class. Still, the Zero is no slouch, and is edged out by the slightest of margins. Midrange of the GR07BE is much drier and recessed as compared to the Zero. I prefer the warmer and more dynamic lower midrange of the Shozy offering.  Treble on the Zero is much smoother than the somewhat sibilant GR07BE. My ears need a minute to adjust with both earphones when bouncing back and forth. The Zero is definitely the less fatiguing earphone of the two. Overall, this is an incredibly close contest that comes down to what I’m listening to and source I’m using. I’m going to end this by saying it’s a tie in terms of sound quality.
     
    Build quality, accessories and fit/comfort goes to the GR07BE. I wish Shozy would have increased the price and put a more premium cable and chin/neck slider, and also offered more in terms of tips and accessories.
     
    At the end of the day, the Zero is a smoother and less fatiguing earphone that can be worn under or looped over the ear. They come in at a much lower price tag, which leaves it up to the consumer whether the GR07BE tuning and over the ear fit is worthy of the increase in price.

     
    Trinity Hyperion-Discontinued ($65 USD when for sale)
    The Hyperion is a titanium microdriver earphone with a V-signature. They have an incredible cable and small metal housing.
     
    Comparing the two, the hyperion has more sub-bass to my ears. Although it has tremendous depth that trumps the Zero, it can also be a bit boomy with some tracks. Although being a V-signature, the hyperion has some rich and full bodied midrange that is very entertaining. Still I give a slight edge to the Zero mids, as they are a bit more airy and balanced with the rest of their frequency ranges. Treble on the Hyperion is a bit crisper and more natural on the Hyperion, but can also be harsher at louder volumes. In terms of entertainment factor, I prefer the Hyperion. In terms of being non fatiguing and for long listening sessions, The Zero gets the upper hand.
     
    Build quality and accessories goes to the Hyperion. Their cable is awesome, and tiny metal housing is very cool. In terms of which one to get, Zero is the only option at this point. Again, if being forced to pick one or the other, I can’t. They are both excellent in their own way.
     
    Conclusion
    The Zero is one of the best sounding earphones in the sixty dollar range. The real rosewood they used is awesome. The cable they used isn’t the greatest and leaves room for improvement in their next earphone release. Their sound is fatigue free, relatively balanced and dynamic. Their sound quality will impress many who listen to them.
     
    Shozy has already established a great name for themselves with the Alien DAP and portable DACs and amplifiers. It’s very cool to see they can manufacture an very nice pair of in-ear monitors as well. I highly recommend the Zero IEM. They are a universally great tuning that will work with any source.
     
    20160524_104812.jpg
    Thanks for reading and happy listening!
    1. Pastapipo
      Great review and very very nice playlist! Thanks!
      Pastapipo, Jun 22, 2016
    2. cjcdrummer
      Wow didn't know zeros were comparable to gr07be...
       
      *interest intensifies*
      cjcdrummer, Jun 23, 2016
  6. areek
    Shozy Zero: Can't stop listening to 'em!
    Written by areek
    Published Jun 21, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Lush Mids, Lifelike Vocals, Non-fatiguing, Isolation, looks, comfort, beautifully built, great value
    Cons - Rolled off trable, Mid bass emphasis, long burn in(>200hrs), Not too fast, Lacks proper R/L markings
    INTRODUCTION
    5K1A0063.jpg
    Hello again guys, I am Areek Nibras, a junior Head-fier and a recently graduated physician from Bangladesh, currently doing post-graduation training in Internal medicine. Today I will be reviewing the recently released in-ear monitor by 'Shozy'. It's called the 'Shozy Zero', Now, Shozy is a HK based company, who have been producing portable audio equipments since 2012, a few of their well known products include the Alien DAP, Lancea DAC+AMP, Cygnus earbuds, but the Shozy Zero iem's are their 1st step in the in-ear monitor catagory which currently goes for around 50$(shipping excluded), sold by various online sellers and even massdrop. I was mostly unaware of the company, only hearing about the Alien before, so I was quite curious when approached by Shozy, who offered me a pre-production pair in exchange for my honest review but with one catch, burning these in for more than 150 hours with orchestral music. I agreed, and after some days, I got a small envelope with the IEM in it. I must thank the entire Shozy team for letting me review these.
     
    I tested the iems in both my pc and portable setup and my phone. I have given then more than 250hrs of burn in, which is 100hrs more that the required. I've mostly listened to music as well as movies and gaming. I'll try to describe my overall thoughts in this review, as well as do a comparison with the Fiio EX1 iems that I own.  
     
    DISCLAIMER
    I have received the Shozy Zero as a free unit after agreeing to reveiew them in exchange for my honest opinion by Shozy. I am in no way affiliated with Shozy. The review I'm posting is just my opinion regarding the product and it was not influenced by any means by Shozy or anyone else. 
     
    SPECIFICATION (taken from Shozy's web page)
    Sensitivity(at 1Khz) :94db
    Frequency response :20hz-18khz
    Input connector :3.5mm/1/8 inch gold-plated stereo TRS plug
     
    APPEARANCE, BUILD, ACCESSORIES, FIT & COMFORT:
    As I was told, the 'Zero' I received is a pre-production model. I got them in an envelope, which contained a transparent plastic pack with the IEMs  in it. There was also a smaller pack containing 3 pairs (S/M/L) of black silicone earbuds. The retail packaging is supposed to have a carry on pouch, but it was not provided considering it was a pre-production unit. 
    5K1A0066.jpg     5K1A0052.jpg  
    The shozy zero is a gorgeous IEM, beautiful rosewood shell containing the earpieces which are well polshed and give a premium feel. The nozzle is black plastic and the ending has a small notch on the bottom part. The cable comes out from the bottom part of the wood shell, there's a stress relief present on which L & R markings are ambushed on black. The markings are really small and as the iem is quite symmetrical, there is no obvious way to identify the lt. and rt. earpieces without taking them closer to the eye.
    5K1A0046.jpg      5K1A0064.jpg   
    The cable is relly thin but build is pretty strong. It has a matte black and brown spiral design, which looks beautiful. The the lt. and rt. cables meet up at a Y split made of rosewood which has 'Zero' inscribed on it. There is no chin-slider present. A thicker cable continues down from the Y-split and terminates at a 3.5mm gold plated stereo jack, the connection enclosed in another rosewood shell which has 'Shozy' inscribed on it.
      5K1A0056.jpg     5K1A0059.jpg
    Now, lets talk about comfort and fit. These iems are designed to be worn straight down although it's also possible to wear it over-ear. These are really light so it does not matter how you wear it. I found it to be comfortable straight down. The silicone tips that came with it are good enough and are supposed to produce the best sound. I found that the medium tips fit me best and provide adequate seal and isolation. The lightness and the fit makes these one of the most comfortable iems i've used till now, I have worn them for 5-6hrs straight without any discomfort. 
    So, if I were to change or do some cosmetic upgrades to the zero, those would be the following- 
    -More visible L/R markings (can't stress enough)
    -Chin slider
    -A shirt clip
     
    Appearance- 4.5/5
    Build- 4/5

    Accessories- ~/5
    Fit- 4.5/5
    Comfort- 5/5

     
    LETS DISCUSS THE SOUND
    I've always considered myself to prefer a balanced sound with a bit of warmth and sparkle at both ends. My HE-400 and the Fiio EX1 both seemed to me serving me according to my needs, sometimes a bit too much (treble) perhaps. The Shozy Zero is unlike any of those, these throw good warmish sound with great vocals, lots of micro-detail and comfort on the table in expanse for sparkly highs and soundstage. As i've mentioned before, these had a really long burn-in time and the tonal changes it offered during this period is a journey itself. I'll be discussing my impressions bit by bit here.
     
    Gears used- 
    PC > JDS labs Odac+O2 > Shozy Zero ( 2.5x gain, 11/12 o' clock position)
    Fiio X1 > Fiio E12 > Shozy Zero (low gain, 11/12 o' clock position)
    Oneplus One > Shozy Zero (70-80% vol, AudioFX disabled)
     
    Burn-in-
    I was requested to burn these iems with more than 150 hours of orchestral music. In threads discussing these, some people even recommended burning these for more than 200hrs. Although I was ridiculed at first hearing the time required, after listening to it, I did believed these go through audible changes by burning in. So I decided to give these more than 250 hours of burn-in with tracks by Mahler, London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Cinematic Orchestra and several other orchestral music I had in my collection. I've also listened to my regular music track in the meantime in specific (and non-specific) intervals to see how these were changing up.
     
    1st impression- Out of the pack I hooked these up to my portable setup and played some of my most favorite tracks (Tracy Champan-fast car, Eagles- Hotel California, Hot Chelle Rae- Bleed and few others). The 1st thing that came into my head was- wow, these have some amazing mids. The vocals, piano and violins sounded great from the start. But other frequencies sounded muddy, bass lacked any control, the trebles were almost non-existant and I felt like somebody put a wall in between these and my ears. The isolation was great from the start as soon as I got the best fit. Then I started the burn in.
     
    30 hours in, mids and vocals held the same tonality but the bass were a bit tighter, still some flabbiness in them. Highs also seem to be clearing up. But still lacks any sparkle and clarity. 
     
    At 50-60 hour mark, the bass seemed to have improved a lot. It was well articulated, good punch and no hint of bass bleeding into the mids. The mids were shining at the apex and the highs got some body and sounded clear but not a hint of sharpness. This was my the time that the 'Zero' shined the most. I loved this sound. 
     
    At around 100hr mark, I started to feel some mid-bass presence which made the overall tonality a bit warm, the sound was still as awesome as I liked it. 
     
    At around 150hr mark, there was marked mid-bass presence. It was slightly more than my liking. I could not call these balanced anymore. Surprisingly the mids and highs held up quite well. 
     
    At around 250hr mark- Slight more mid-bass presence from the 150hr mark, but almost no audible change. I decided not to burn in any more. 
     
    Lows- 
    The shozy zero tends to be a warmer iem with well articulated bass, which has good impact and extend deep. It doesn't have much quantity but do have good quality to it. But there is a mid-bass boost after the burn-in, which gives an overall darker feeling to the sound, which was more prominent when listening to some bass heavy songs like 'Boom Clap' by Charlie XCX, which sounded kinda boring. Also, it felt like the bass reproduction was not fast enough. On slow and moderately fast tracks, the bass does really well accurately portraying the tunes. Really love how these sound while playing Eagles, Hotel California, Taylor Swift and several other pop/classical/acoustic/soft rock musics. But it can not properly handle the fast paced songs which have a lot of bass as well as other istruments playing together. This was specially evident while listening to tracks by Eluveitie, Yellowcard and other hard rock/metal bands. In those cases it can't cope up to the speed and tend to get mixed up together and can sound a bit messy. So, a 7/10 for Bass. 
     
    Mids- 
    The mids, a bit thick and very detailed, clearly take the center stage in Zero's performance. The mids seem to surprise me every time I put these in my ear, since the first time till now. The rosewood shelled iems produce the most lifelike mids i've had the chance to try out till now. The string instruments, the piano, guitar riffs are accurately presented and sound beautiful. The The vocals are engaging, very detailed and have an authoritative presence. There's no hint of sibilance, the extension is just perfect in my opinion. Acuostic, classical music sound best with it, pop, soft rock and even some hard rock tracks sound really well too, specially the ones that demand better mid presence. Even in heavy metal songs where the it struggles to keep up with the bass, it does really well focusing the mids and vocals. It's almost like a visceral experiance, an emotional journey. For a 50$ iem, it's unbelievable. 10/10 for mids. 
     
    Highs-
    In comparison with the mids and bass, the highs seem to take a backstage here. They treble is quite flat and sound neutral mostly, it isn't very sharp and lacks some of the sparkle up top & rolls off at around 9-10kHz. Overall experiance is smooth and non-fatiguing, but lacks a bit of excitement. Those who love the V shaped sound would be disappointed. But those who wish for a more comfortable sq for longer listening periods, look no further, the Zero's are here just for you. 6/10 for treble. 
     
    Soundstage and imaging- 
    Being a closed back IEM, I have very little expectations with the soundstage and as expected, it was not too narrow, but not too wide either. The instrument seperation took a hit for this reason, specially when a lot of instruments were playing it tended to get a bit messy. When I tried  movies and gaming (CSGO) though, I found that the zeroes provide a really good 2 dimensional sound but not 3 dimensional as it lacked the sense of height. I was clearly able to guess from which direction the enemy was coming from but finding out most of the time that the enemy was actually a level atop or below me. Movies did quite good though. 6/10 from me. 
    Isolation and leakage- 
    Isolation depends a lot on getting a proper fit and seal, and with the supplied medium sized silicone tips, it was not a problem. as soon as I got the proper seal, I was isolated from the outside world, leaving just me with the music. It completely blocks out almost everything below 60-70 db which includes conversational speech. I could not hear even the guy who sat beside me talking to the phone. Although I could hear the noisy ceiling fan in my room when slow music was playing. Also, I did not notice any sound leakage as my friend sitting beside me did not hear any sound coming out the iems once they were inside my ear canals. 9/10 here. 
     
    COMPARISON WITH FIIO EX1-
      5K1A0045.jpg       f814831e_5K1A6258.jpg
    The Fiio EX1 is a open back titanium diaphragm driver priced at 69.99 USD, i've had these for about 7-8 months now. These are extremely good iems at the price point. I've reviewed them here- http://www.head-fi.org/products/fiio-ex1-nanotech-titanium-diaphragm-in-ear-monitors/reviews/14536
     
    The pricing puts both the shozy zero and the fiio ex1 at the same price range catagory (>50$ but <100$) so I thought it would be a fitting comparison. The EX1 has a U-shaped tonality with lots of emphasis on both the ends and slightly recessed mids, whereas the zero has mid bass emphasis with slightly boosted and detailed mids and rolled off trebles. Both iems ran at almost the same volumes on my playback setups, the Zero needing a bit more power (5-10% more) than the EX1. The bass on the EX1 has more quantity and quality, it is faster and a par above the Zeros. The mids are an entirely different story where the Shozy produces more forward, engaging mids, lots of microdetails whereas the EX1 mids are a bit distant and tend to sound metallic in comparison to the Zeros. The detail level is similar to both iems, although purcussion instruments sound just better in the Zeros. The highs in the EX1 are also boosted, has a lot of sparkles and give a sense of airiness the zeros can not offer. But EX1, having treble peeks, is known for getting too sharp specially in treble happy songs and that in turn becomes a hinderence in long term listening. The zeros are much more comfortable for longer listening periods but is a bit less exciting. But overall I would say that the Zeros over a more engaging and emotional listening experiance than the more refined and energetic EX1. 
     
    The EX1 being an open back iem definitely benifit in the soundstage criteria, offering better seperation, imaging and positional audio. But that backfires in the isolation and leakage area. In a quiet room and moderate listening volumes, everyone whos inside would be clearly able to guess the music I am listening to with the EX1. It also lets a lot of outside noise in, so the Zeros get the upperhand here. 
    So, if anyone prefers a fun sounding iem with lots of energy and don't mind the openness would like the EX1 whereas those who are looking for a more comfortable, personal listening experiance with mid-emphasis would lean towards the Zeros. 
     
    CONCLUSION- 
    Shozy, on it's 1st attempt at the IEM industry, has delivered to us a gem of an IEM in the Zero. In spite of not being in my preferred sound signature, these have won me over with its overall presentation. There are the most comfortable and emotionally engaging earphones i've owned so far. The emotional and engaging mids along with the non-aggressive nature is a quality that I can praise time and time again, specially at the price point. There were times when I could not put these off my ears even though I wanted too, these are that good. Also it is perhaps the prettiest iem I have owned till now. I believe with some cosmetic modifications these can be even more attractive and even a bigger bang for the buck than these already are. 9/10 for overall value.  
    5K1A0058.jpg
    1. Sonic Defender
      Nice review mate, I think we hear these the same way. I still have to post a review, but I think you nailed it. Nice pictures as well. Is that a camera or a phone camera? Nice either way.
      Sonic Defender, Jun 22, 2016
    2. areek
      @Sonic Defender thanks man. The pictures were taken with a Canon 7D MII and a 55-250mm lens. Will be waiting for your review. 
      areek, Jun 23, 2016
  7. Airlight
    Smooth, warm sound with dominant bass, yet quite impressive layering and immersion.
    Written by Airlight
    Published Jun 19, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Good bass liveliness, quite strong clarity, quite even frequency response into the treble, non-agressive presentation.
    Cons - Vacuum seal design (driver flex has been heard), no cable cinch.
    NCY9uok.jpg
     
     
    I was contacted by a Shozy representative and offered to evaluate and honestly review the Zero IEM, after letting it play around 200 hours of music. They were delivered to me free of charge, so keep in mind this potential bias. I will try to be as honest and objective as possible. I own several single dynamic driver IEMs, aswell as a few balanced armature designs.
     
    I tend to prefer metal and rock music, aswell as soundtracks, and 80s music.
     

    Design:
     
    The Shozy Zero is a very small, very light-weight IEM. The prominent feature is the Rosewood housing, with what feels like metal nozzles (or maybe plastic, not entirely sure), and with cable strain relief by the housing. Cable has a slightly rubbery feel, with some memory effect. Overall the cable is quite nice, reminds me slightly of a slightly thinner Vsonic GR07 cable, and a transparent cover on it reveals some textures and colors of the internal wires. Straight 3.5 jack also from rosewood, with a slight rubber strain relief. Y-split is also Rosewood, and there is no cable cinch.
     
    When inserted, the Zero creates a seal with your ear canal, meaning its Dynamic driver unit seems to not use/require ventilation. If you move the ear canal through big facial movements, the frequency response changes as the pressure in the ear canal changes. Typically not something you notice in most use cases, and I would imagine that foam tips would avoid this (though I haven't had the chance to try the Zero with foam tips).

     
    Sound:
     
    My Shozy Zero is a generally bass-leaning, smooth sounding IEM. Depending on tip choice, the sound can be quite sub/bass-heavy, or with some tips a slightly more balanced presentation is possible.
     
    Micro-detailing is perceptually good, thanks to the even frequency response and non-peaky treble. Macrodetail/speed is probably where the biggest giveaway to the low price lies. The bass is quite big and deep, and fairly slow and loose, and slightly boomy-sounding, though that is probably more from the sub-bass emphasis, and the bass generally doesn't really bleed into the mids.
     
    The mids are smooth and even, sitting a few steps behind the sub-bass and bass. The mids are slightly thicker, as opposed to projecting transients forward. This results in a dynamically veiled, slightly warm, inoffensive midrange. Instrument separation and layering is quite good despite this, and something like atmospheric synths can quite clearly be heard even while distorted guitars are taking up room in most of the midrange.
     
    The treble has a certain level of micro-snap, but isn't nearly as dissecting as a balanced armature driver or some dynamic drivers. It seems to saturate fairly quickly in terms of how well it separates dynamically, and using EQ to create a peak around 6-7 KHz where drum transients tend to dominate doesn't really increase the dynamic level as expected, but rather boosts the volume without increasing the aggression of the sound. This again leads to a smooth sound which doesn't really immediately impress with its decay or technical prowess, but also allows you to avoid sudden aggression from music.
     
    The general sound seems to be steadily held at a comfortable level thanks to the, dynamics-wise, smooth presentation, with smooth midrange and treble, and the bass having some depth and heaviness to give a bit of movement to the sound. Layering is quite good considering the smooth dynamics, and the soundstage, while not holographic or 3d for me, has good depth, I suspect the bloomy bass gives the sound in general a slightly longer "release" and fundamental vibration which makes them sound naturally slightly reverberant and roomy, rather than being completely dry like speedier IEMs.
     
    Considering the fairly variable sound of the Zero depending on fit and tips, the above might differ more or less.
     

    Comparisons: 
     
    Zero Audio Tenore ($40-ish):
    Probably the most fitting comparison I can make, since they are both small (possibly both using non-ventilated microdrivers), and both command a fairly similar price point. They both have a fairly similar presentation with withheld dynamics and slightly more distant sounding drums as a result. The Shozy has a much more moving bass however, the Tenore is quite dry and light in comparison. The treble of the Tenore I perceive as slightly more accurate, but the Shozy has slightly better transients there. Ultimately the Tenore also feels more compressed sonically, not quite getting the layering of the Shozy, possibly due to the bass movement and depth of the Shozy.
     
    Vsonic GR07 Classic ($99):
    Twice as expensive, the GR07, on a technical level, is entirely in a different league. Drums are not held back or restrained or evened out, they can pierce through anything. The difference in design goals between the Shozy and the GR07 is interesting to hear. Even when using EQ to make the GR07 treble significantly more dark than the Shozy treble, the GR07 still snaps as quick as Bruce Lee in his prime. Also apparent though, is that the bass (along with the general sound) of the GR07 is more armature-like, and just won't bloom with the same gravitas that the Shozy Zero bass does. The Zero, when going back and forth between the two IEMs, definitely is more gentle, more about bringing the tones closer to you, and not nearly so concerned with slapping you in the face with transients as the GR07.
     
     
    Overall:
     
    Despite the Shozy Zero being neither my favored sound signature nor presentation (I prefer a bass-lighter sound with strong dynamic separation), I can't really fault it in any area. The design inherently needs a vacuum seal (which I'm not a fan of but foam tips might help with that), and driver flex (a crinkling sound when pressurizing the ear canal while inserting using some tips) has been observed by me aswell. The driver seems to be affected by low or high pressure in the ear canal, which a ventilated design generally won't encounter. The Zero should suit someone who enjoys a non-offensive sound, who doesn't want aggression in the presentation, and who favors a sound that leads quite vibrantly with the fundamental notes of the music.
      peter123, mgunin and maxnik like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Sonic Defender
      I wonder if the fact that I wasn't getting the crinkling sound indicates the seal wasn't as tight as I thought and needed to sound their best (or worst if the bass does bloat out at all).
      Sonic Defender, Jun 19, 2016
    3. Airlight
      @Sonic Defender: I think it depends on the tips, and the amount of air that the tip allows between the eardrum and the IEM driver. Tips that quickly seal the ear canal even before you start pushing them in to the proper position will put pressure on the fairly big air mass still trapped in the ear canal. Smaller tips you may get almost all the way seated before they seal completely, and thus most air has escaped and not much pressure can be created. For example. :) I've had some big tips that are more prone to creating a bothersome pressure, while others are more forgiving.
      Airlight, Jun 19, 2016
    4. lesp4ul
      I use double flange tips, it makes bass tighter and more balanced. I can't believe it just $60 and it paired very well with cayin n5.
      lesp4ul, Jun 20, 2016
  8. TwinACStacks
    Shozy Zero Good things come in small packages
    Written by TwinACStacks
    Published May 28, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Pleasant non-fatiguing sound signature, somewhat dark with nice detail, and Light (Airy?) Mids favoring female vocals. Value v.s. Price
    Cons - L/R markings are difficult to read, somewhat slightly bloated bass, lacking in Sub Bass extension, for some enthusiasts treble may be a tad rolled off
    http://www.shozy-hk.com/zero-earphone/
     
     
     
    Preamble: I was honored to receive an invitation to join in the Delta test of the pre-production Shozy Zero around April 16th. I received the unit in a plastic baggie along with several tips and was pleasantly surprised how Nice they sounded right OOTB. The review following will give my personal impressions of the Shozy Zero IEM and hopefully do them the justice that they deserve. As this is now the 13th Review of these, At the Risk of becoming redundant, I didn't waste time photographing the Zeros again as most reading this review probably have a Fair Idea of what they look like.
     
    So with no further Ado:
     
     
     
    Disclaimer: I am a hobbyist only. I am NOT affiliated with any sellers or manufacturers for items that may be used in my review, nor at this time am I provided with any samples for endorsement or reviews. I purchase all of my own gear. I do However, post links to the particular individual seller from whom I have made my purchase of the item under review. These reviews reflect my personal opinions of the performance and general information about the item, and should not be used as a basis for any purchase. As I am sensitive to higher frequencies, your impressions may also vary from my own. I will try to offer comparisons as long as I have something similar both in price and construction to compare. If however at any time I am provided a sample for review, I will disclose this fact immediately on an additional disclaimer.
    Please also note an absence of graphs unless they are included in the Seller's links. Although they are a great tool for determining what kind of EQ or other characteristics a particular IEM or Headphone should have,  alas all too often my own experience upon listening with my ears, tells me something different. Sometimes radically so. I may be correct I might not be, sound quality is VERY subjective at best. Therefore I will leave the scientific data, analysis and comparisons to more qualified and experienced reviewers.
     
    ADDITIONAL DISCLAIMER:  I was approached By SHOZY to take Part in a Delta Test of this new product and was provided a Pre-production Pair in Exchange for my Input and Review.
     
     
    Specifications:  They are available using the link to the seller(s) posted at the top of the page
     
     
    Construction: 
     
    Cylindrical wooden body made of rosewood that terminates in a Black Plastic Nozzle with metal wax Screen inside. Also note that the rims of the Nozzles are “Notched” out to reduce overemphasis of  Bass. The cable is the typical 4 wire multicolored wire used on many Asian Products with a Somewhat “sticky” feel to it that I find is diminished with a little Baby Powder applied to it. The cable standoffs bear the only clue as to Right and Left orientation and are not easy to read. The Cables join at a wooden “Y” sans chin slider emblazoned with “Zero” then continue on to a wooden Bodied 3.5 gold plated Plug with “Shozy” inscribed on it in the Same script as the “Y” splitter. All in All Quite a Handsome product and somewhat smaller in stature than I was expecting. I opted for Wide Bore Medium Auvio eartips.
     
     
    Source Details:  For this particular review I used my Rockboxed  XDuoo X3 (very much improved sound quality) both amped and un-amped through a Fiio E12 Mont Blanc portable amp and a Schiit Audio Vali headphone amp. Line out from source to both amps. My Files are all at Least 320kbps to 96khz high resolution files. I used this source in all comparisons. Note that there were no appreciable differences noted in sound quality using the 2 different amp sources.
     
     
    Source Material:
    The following is a list of songs that I used in this review. Some I use all the time, some less frequently. They all contain some type of frequency, Detail, or EQ that make them suitable for reference.
    Note: for Burn In purposes to 200 Hours time, as suggested by the manufacturer, I used a Jlabs Test Track and Vivaldi and Mahler Symphonies on Repeat, Interspersing with some Fairly Bass Heavy Trance music about every 30 Hours or so.
     
     
     
    Christina Novelli -- Concrete Angel (Long and Short Versions)
    John Mayer – Home Life
    Robert Plant --- Far Post
    Molly Bancroft – Silence (Short version)
    Ai Takekawa – Beyond the Moon (Long Version)
    Vivaldi – Four Seasons (Spring and Summer)
    John Bryson --- Let the Pipes play (full pipe organ album 1st Cut)
    Dire Straits --- Sultans of Swing
    Eric Clapton --- For Your Love/ No Alibis
     
     
     
    General Sound Quality:
     The Shozy Zero is articulate and fairly neutral tending towards the warm side. They're a full bodied sounding IEM, and have bass even though fairly well balanced. The bass isn’t the tightest but it’s there and in just the right amount, and fairly fast to boot.  The sound is on the smoother side, with a polite if somewhat rolled off treble, a mid-range with quite a nice amount of detail that manages to stay in front of the Bass.  The treble is very good as far as tone, and I find it quite listenable.  Detail retrieval and Placement are exceptional as I can easily locate separate instruments.  It has a somewhat narrow soundstage, but quite a bit of height and depth, this gives the impression of being pretty big sounding nonetheless, the layering is quite good too. Clarity and micro details are above average for an IEM with this warm of a signature.
     
     
    Bass:
    Bass is very slightly north of neutral and has a slight amount of Bloat evident on some Bass-Heavy material but is still very nice. I find the bass to be quite punchy, and forward without really intruding into the Mids. It does lack in comparison to some IEMs Sub-Bass extension.
     
     
    Mids:
    The midrange is really quite sweet. The overall balance between the Bass and Midrange is such that it is always in front of the Bass, showing more presence. As noted, I find them towards the light side giving more articulation to female vocals as opposed to male, some would describe this as Airyness. I just don’t think they are as thick in the lower "Male vocal" mid frequency range.
     
     
    Treble:
    The Highs aren’t harsh, in fact by most accounts they are rolled off, yet they show some sparkle without becoming fatiguing in any way.  The treble may lack for some, but it's not recessed out. I feel the Zero has somewhat of an “L” shape to its EQ. The highs on the Zero don’t really stand out but I find them smooth with enough extension to be enjoyable but not intrusive in any way. This gives the Zero a high listenability factor for me personally
     
     
     
     
    Comparisons:
     
    Well, I WAS going to go through a Step by Step LZ-Z03A v.s. the SHOZY, but it would suffice to say they are the Antithesis of Each other. Pretty much equals in detail retrieval, clarity, soundstage placement and layering They are Polar opposites in the Warm VS Bright of their individual signatures. The LZ is leaning on the enhanced Mids/ Bright side with maybe a TAD more bass extension and the SHOZY is just where I like it, Warm and Comfy.
     
     
     
    For me Personally, it’s the Shozy Zero by a country mile, Hands Down.
     
     
     
    Conclusion:
     
    For Build, comfort and Sound versus Value The Shozy ZERO is a winner and pretty much a no Brainer for those looking for Great sound at an attractive price.
     
     
     
     
    Thank You so much Shozy for letting me Participate in this Delta Test.
      vapman, puppyfi, lesp4ul and 4 others like this.
    1. Sonic Defender
      Nice review, and I tend to hear these quite similar to you, but I do suspect my seal hasn't been as good as it should be so before I do my review I'm going to see about that. Thanks for the brief head to head with the LZ Z03A!
      Sonic Defender, Jun 19, 2016
  9. Aornic
    Mid-bassy and fun sound signature at a reasonable price
    Written by Aornic
    Published May 23, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Very warm and forward mids, well-extending bass, comfort, aesthetics with real wood, easily driven from portable devices
    Cons - Rolled off treble, cable could use more durability, hard to read L/R markings
    [​IMG]
     
    I am a big fan of overachieving gear of any kind. What I mean by overachieving is the “they sound way too good for the price” factor. This is a highly subjective mindset because the worth of an item is not based primarily on its cost but rather its overall performance, aesthetics and compatibility with the end user. However, some items are just almost “too good to be true” for their price – such as the VE Monk and Monk Plus by Chinese company Venture Electronics which deliver astounding quality for $5, a well-documented fact in the portable audio community online at this point. However, the competitive nature of the audio industry has birthed many a company to try their hand at producing premium sound at a competitive cost.
     
    One of those companies is Shozy, who are based in Hong Kong. A quick browse through their website shows that they have been focused on amplifiers and DACs till now, along with a DAP called the Alien – which is said to have incredible phone-out sound quality at a comparatively low price compared to others in the market. It achieves this, however, by not having a screen – merely a few buttons that are reminiscent of the iPod Shuffle experience from the early 2000s. Shozy has exactly one earbud and one IEM and this is a review of the IEM.
     
    Disclaimer:
     
    I was provided with the Shozy Zero IEM after being approached by a representative from the company. I was told that I would be given a b-stock model, sent in an envelope with three sizes of tips and no packing or carrying case that the retail model will have.
     
    I was given instructions to burn them in for 200 hours before being given an accurate sense of the sound. I found this to be an unusually long period of burn in time, but I carried out the deed due to an acute curiosity as to whether or not it would achieve anything. Thanks to Shozy for the review model.
     
    Specifications (From Shozy’s Website):
     
    1. Audiophile quality Litz structure cable with enhanced shielding.
    2. Sensitivity (at 1khz) 94 dB.
    3. Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 18 kHz.
    4. Input connector: 3.5mm / 1/8 inch gold-plated stereo TRS plug.
     
    Initial Impressions:
     
    As I pulled them from the small, padded envelope they arrived in, I was startled by just how small they were. I had scoured their site for photos of the product and I came away with the impression that they were bigger than they actually are. I chose the medium tips, feeling that they give the best seal, and plugged the IEM into my Samsung Galaxy S6. I went straight for some electropop, a genre with prevalence on my phone due to it being good music for commuting – for me anyway. My first two thoughts were that the warm sound signature felt pleasing to my ears and that the mids were not bad at all – to say the least. I listened for a while to gather impressions of the performance and found it to be quite good. They had a fun sound signature that didn’t sound V-shaped. The sub bass extended quite well and the mid bass made EDM and electropop sound punchy and fun. I was strongly reminded of my time with the ZMF Vibro Mk. I and for good reason, but more on that later.
     
    After a few hours, I put them aside at a burn-in station in a corner of my room and forgot about them.
     
    20160522_084730-Copy.jpg 20160522_084820-Copy.jpg 20160522_085045.jpg
     
    Build and Comfort:
     
    Before I talk about the sound quality and any changes that may or may not have happened as the burn-in process continued, I should note the build quality of these IEMs. As you can see from the photos, it utilizes rosewood on the monitors, the splitter and the 3.5mm jack. I found the latter two to be an interesting design choice, but it does lead to the uniformity of the entire design. The rosewood is a nice dark grain, not quite unlike my acoustic guitars that gives the IEMs a premium look. A nice wood housing can make many high-end components simply gain aesthetical appeal, and I’m glad to say that Shozy did not skimp on that aspect because the rosewood is indeed real and the entire design choice using it does not come across as gimmicky.
     
    As stated before, the monitors are incredibly small. Even with the medium tips, they simply disappear comfortably into my ears. I, personally, found this preferable to oversized monitors that I have seen before – with their plastic or metal casings. However, this also means that the Zero is not the most durable of earphones and thus should be treated with care and respect. Basically, don’t damage the wood folks.
     
    As for the cable, I approve of the colour scheme matching the rest of the unit, but the rubberized and sandpapery traction felt overly synthetic and displeasing to the touch (irony considering the kosher nature of the monitors themselves). I also found it to be a bit thin and would have preferred a thicker and more durable cable for the price. Ultimately, however, the cable did not make any noise when moved and adjusted and was still far, far better than my Zero Audio Carbo Tenore and Zero Audio Carbo Basso cables. There is also no neck adjustment for the Shozy Zero, which is another detraction.
     
    20160522_092236-Copy.jpg 20160522_092309-Copy.jpg 20160522_092103-Copy.jpg 20160522_092030.jpg
     
    Pictured Left to Right: Shozy Zero, Carbo Tenore and Carbo Basso
     
    Comfort is excellent and I can’t find anything wrong with how long I can wear them. The only people who would have trouble wearing a Shozy Zero for several hours on end are those persons who dislike the feeling and experience of using IEMs in the first place. I especially preferred it to the Carbo Basso, which is extremely thick (with an extremely thin cable) and comparatively uncomfortable.
     
    The left-right markers are in black…on top of black, which makes them a pain to distinguish in anything but the best lighting conditions. I fully understand Shozy not wanting to desecrate the rosewood with the letters “L” and “R,” but I feel that the lettering should have been given a matching reddish-brown tint to make it at least readable while maintaining the overall aesthetic. The Zero’s logo itself is chiseled into the wooden cable splitter, but could have been made a bit bigger and bolder in my opinion. I am in no way arguing for Beats level of brand-shouting, but a little more visibility of the logo would be nice.
     
    20160522_091004.jpg 20160522_085026.jpg 20160522_090013.jpg 20160522_085312.jpg
     
    The audio jack itself is straight, which works for my phone as the 3.5mm connection is on the bottom – but I can see it being an annoyance for those who have DAPs and phones with it on the top. Again, I can somewhat understand why a straight connector was chosen – so that Shozy could add more of the beautiful rosewood somewhere. The beauty does come with a cost however in this regard, if this sort of thing is a hindrance to you.
     
    Sound:
     
    The above comparison to the ZMF Vibro Mk. I made more sense to me the more I listened to the Shozy Zero. For those who do not know, the Vibro is a mids and bass centric pair of headphones that has rolled off highs.
     
    The bass is not very tight by any means, but it is very filling and has good extension into the sub-bass area. The mid-bass is very clear and present and has a delicate balancing act with the mids as to not drown them out. I would actually consider the bass as treading the line between chaos and discipline carefully. Its strength at this is musical genre-dependent.
     
    The mids were the biggest surprise to me as they sound really smooth. Vocals sound quite warm with a slightly forward tilt. The mid-bass and mids combine with well-recorded acoustic guitars to lend a quite authentic impact to the strumming and plucking. The biggest strength of the Zero’s tuning was its ability to give body to the vocals of a song with a large amount of instrument layering both in electronic and acoustic genres. Vocal harmonies were quite easily picked out as separation is robust and detailed. With the quality of bass that these IEMs have, I was surprised and grateful that the mids did not sound muddy or rolled off, as was the case with the Carbo Basso. I preferred the coloured and warm mids of the Zero to even my previous favourite IEMs, the Carbo Tenore, as they sounded lusher to my ears rather than incredibly neutral.
     
    The treble is what reminded me the most of the ZMF Vibro Mk. I initially as it felt a noticeable degree rolled off. Unlike the sibilant V-shape of the Carbo Basso or the neutral presentation of the Carbo Tenore, the Zero halts the extension past a certain point to provide a warmer experience that is never sibilant. This did, initially, prove a little problematic with certain genres such as classic rock and orchestral music, but the highs definitely opened up by fifty hours of burn-in. Interestingly, I did not hear a difference past fifty hours, but continued to run them through my burn-in station regardless. I am confident that I now hear these IEMs at their fullest potential, and they sound good.
     
    The treble is what denies these earphones from being classified as all-rounders to me, so if that is a consideration for the reader then the Carbo Tenore wins out. The listening experience is heavily dependent on the production quality of the audio played through the Zeros. At one point, you’ll hear a song where some instrumentation struggles to be heard, but at other times all will be right with what you hear. Hello by Adele is one such song that sounds great on these IEMs as her voice rings out clearly in the mix while the backing track retains a dramatic and cinematic sound due to the low-end being so well represented.
     
    The soundstage is quite vast, comparable to the Carbo Tenore and far, far better than the Carbo Basso. Recordings with spread out instrumentation, as well as “3D” positional audio and ASMR will be well served by the Shozy Zero.
     
    20160522_090217.jpg 20160522_090347.jpg 20160523_121933.jpg 20160523_121803.jpg
     
     
    Driving:
     
    I am comfortable in saying that these are very easily driven earphones to the point where I would recommend not using an amp at all. For the purposes of testing, I hooked it up to my Schiit Gungnir  and Cavalli Liquid Carbon, but found that it became way too warm. Switching the amp to the transparent Schiit Magni was a better match, but still unnecessary. It sounded better from my Samsung Galaxy S6 honestly. I don’t have a DAP at my disposal currently but once I do, I will update this section of the review.
     
    Conclusion:
     
    While writing this, I realize just how few “neutral” earphones and headphones I’ve actually had the chance to review. The Shozy Zero is another in the line of “fun” headphones that I’ve had that don’t try to, simply put, do it all. This makes a product like this harder to gauge so I just go by what I enjoy in music listening and apply it to my findings. Your mileage will doubtlessly vary, which makes it difficult to recommend based on written descriptions alone. That and the large amount of recommended burn-in time makes it so these are earphones I would highly recommend you finding some way to demo – unless you are into warm and bassy sound signatures by default.
    For my purposes, these IEMs do well and I will be using these out in public because they are:
     
    1. Easily driven and not picky about sources.
    2. A good pairing with electropop and other high-energy genres of music that I primarily listen to in public.
    3. They look good.
    4. Comfortable and provide a great seal.
    5. The bass and lower mid emphasis is good for commuting in noisy conditions. This is the opposite effect of the ATH M-50X that I used to have, that would become tinny and sibilant outdoors. This never changes in such a way and that is a big plus to me.
    6. They combine aspects of the Carbo Tenore and Carbo Basso  – taking the strengths of the former and losing the deficiencies of the latter.
     
     
    Do they sound like something in the several hundred dollar range? I can’t say because I have not heard IEMs of that pricing in recent years. Do they sound like they are worth more than $60? Yes. There is a refinement to the mids that is something to be appreciated. However, these do not fall into the range of critical listening. They are bassy, musically tuned and coloured IEMs and should be approached and appreciated as such
     
     
    Song Impressions (lossless FLAC files in at least 16/44.1):
     
    Abba - Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)
     
    Does far better than the Carbo Basso at presenting the driving low-end of the beat without sacrificing the vocal impact. The bass guitar and bass synth-line are the clear focus while listening on these IEMs.
     
    Aerosmith – Dream On (2012 Remaster)
     
    Very warm with really good separation in the intro, with both guitars ringing clearly alongside the distant sounding string section. Steven Tyler’s vocals have a lot of body to them while the backing beat has a fair amount of discipline in its bassy yet refined presentation.
     
    a-ha – Take On Me
     
    A punchy piece of 80s synthpop being represented well, especially by the soundstage due to the swirling synth section.
     
    Alan Parson’s Project – Sirius/Eye In The Sky (2005 SACD)
     
    What I find most interesting about listening to these tracks on the Zero is just how detailed the guitar work can sound over a backing track that feels a bit too warm - especially the acoustic guitar in Eye in the Sky. While these recordings are incredibly produced, they don’t play to the Zero’s strengths.
     
    ATB – Move On (Feat. JanSoon)
     
    It doesn’t dive as deep with the sub-bass as the likes of a Fostex TH-X00 obviously, but still a decent presentation of electronic music.
     
    Billy Joel – We Didn’t Start the Fire
     
    A pleasurable and punchy listen, with the melodies spread out the vast soundstage. The vocal harmonies in the chorus ring out clearly.
     
    Blink-182 – I Miss You
     
    A nice representation of the acoustic guitar sound on both channels. The rolled-off treble tames Tom’s vocal quite a bit but in a manner that doesn’t detract from the song.
     
    Childish Gambino – Heartbeat
     
    A great match for the Zero. Donald Glover’s tortured rap and vocals ring out as the hectic backing track is compartmentalized while being well represented. The cinematic quality of the song is also well-served by the soundstage. The repeating piano melody sounds even more haunting than it would on a neutral pair of earphones.
     
    Chris Isaak – Wicked Game
     
    The gently-strummed guitars sound lifelike and well-separated. Isaak’s crooning vocal has even more body behind it thanks to the sound signature.
     
    Clint Mansell – Lux Aeterna
     
    This production plays to the Zero’s strengths again as it utilizes the soundstage and low-end on string section to add to the dramatic nature of the composition. The violins ring out clearly without sounding sibilant.
     
    Coldplay – Clocks
     
    A great match. Chris Martin’s vocal is encompassed by a warm and pleasing wall-of-sound as the uniform beat drives on. Vocal harmonies are well represented with the piano riff taking center-stage of the entire song clearly. 
     
    Ellie Goulding – Lights
     
    This is an example of a song that actually benefits from the Zero over a more neutral IEM. Goulding’s vocals in this track are quite thin in the upper-register, but the chorus is aided by these IEMs bringing forward her lower-note harmonization – leading to the overall sound feeling fuller.
     
    Emerson, Lake & Palmer – From the Beginning
     
    The acoustic guitar has a lot more body to the sound than some other headphones I’ve listened to this track with. The bass guitar is louder than those other headphones too. The separation of instruments is impressively well-done. The vocal volume feels a little lowered however.
     
    Eminem – Without Me
     
    The snare has a bit of a thud to it, but the rest of the track sounds as it should. The driving bassline does not clash with Eminem’s rap and the organ motif rings out in the mix.
     
    Fleetwood Mac – Dreams
     
    The mids of the Zero do this song immense justice. The vocals sound lifelike and well separated (the chorus has four vocal lines harmonized) while the acoustic guitar sounds lifelike. The bassline does not drown out the delicate balance of the rest of the song.
     
    Kanye West – Jesus Walks
     
    The backing track sounds bombastic but Kanye’s vocals feel slightly lowered in the mix.
     
    Kavinsky – Nightcall
     
    A lot of sibilance in this track is tamed by the Zero without taking away from the impact of the snare or female vocals.
     
    Lana Del Ray – Summertime Sadness
     
    Vocals ring out clearly with plenty of body while the cinematic and dramatic backing track does not clash with them. Sounds as the song should. Very good synergy.
     
    Led Zeppelin – Achilles’ Last Stand (2015 Deluxe Edition – HDTracks)
     
    I was a bit apprehensive going into this song because it did so poorly on my TH-X00, but those fears were alleviated once it kicked in. The soundstage helps this song immensely, which is the major advantage this has over the Fostex, as the guitar tracks are far to the sides while the bass and drums take center-stage. Everything rang out cleanly and Plant’s vocal was unencumbered.
     
    Linkin Park – Breaking the Habit
     
    A slight clash here because the frantic and heavily digital sounding backing track fights with the vocals a bit. Still a good listen.
     
    Lorde – Royals
     
    This more laid-back track benefits from the sound signature and soundstage. The sub-bass rings out without entering the region of the heavily-harmonized vocals.
     
    Machine Head – Davidian
     
    The song retains the power it absolutely should have, with the guitars having a warm sound to them.
     
    M83 – Midnight City
     
    This song mixes shoegazing elements with electronica/house. Probably one of the best pairings of IEM and song that I’ve heard as the vocals feel beautifully ethereal but maintain the body and clarity on top of the wall-of-sound backing track that absolutely pulls no punches. The only time anything feels drowned out, it is the saxophone solo at the end.
     
    Pendulum – Set Me on Fire
     
    The drop’s lower-end has the impact, but the upper ranges have detail that gets drowned out by the pounding bass. Not the best match.
     
    Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
     
    Vast soundstage? Check.
     
    Good vocal representation with the harmonies? Check.
     
    So you just know the middle section is going to sound great, and it does. Interestingly, the tone of the distorted guitar in the last section benefits from the warmth too.
     
    Queen – Another One Bites the Dust
     
    Superb balance across all ranges. The vocals and guitars sound the most impressive, particularly Brian May’s clean-strummed lines.
     
    Rage Against the Machine – Killing in the Name of (2012 20th Anniversary Edition Remaster)
     
    Zack’s vocal sounds good but the backing track feels louder than normal. Interestingly, it doesn’t bleed into the vocal. Despite this, the attitude and power (especially in the final refrain) is present and accounted for.
     
    Ramin Djawadi – Game of Thrones Theme Song
     
    Overly warm, but very good representation of the now classic theme song. I feel this has more to do with the production than the Zero however.
     
    Slipknot – Wait and Bleed
     
    I wasn’t able to listen to Slipknot out in public before the Zero because my other IEMs didn’t do the hectic production justice without losing out on the impact. I’m glad to say that this has changed.
     
    Thanks for stopping by. You can follow me at:
     
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aornicreviews
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aornic/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/aornic1024
    Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/jesuschristonxtc

    1. wewewho77
      I believe that "We didn't start the fire" was sung by Billy Joel not Billy Idol.
      wewewho77, May 24, 2016
    2. karanehir35
      Thanks for the review.
      Treble less bright and hard.
      The mid and bass are nice.
      karanehir35, May 24, 2016
    3. InternPrimas
      Sounds like the IEMs I picked up strangely. Only differences I see is that the ones I have seem spacious / wide soundstage.
      InternPrimas, Oct 16, 2016
  10. DaveLT
    I actually prefer this over a Shure KSE1500
    Written by DaveLT
    Published May 21, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Smooth signature with no sibilance or strange mids a lot of "top IEMs" have
    Cons - The cable is maybe the weak spot. Treble is slightly rolled off
    Before I start, I want to thank the representative from Shozy for giving me an opportunity to review the Zero free of charge in exchange for a honest, unbiased review. 
    In my opinion I want to say that I had not much hope when I was approached because Shozy is very terse with specifics on the IEM. When I got it from him when he was in Singapore he told me I will really like it and I should give my opinions after 200 hours of burn in. That's waaay too long so here's my opinion after spending a week (and getting into trouble for having my IEM on while working which is unfortunate and I don't understand why that's a problem) and I will do a separate review when 200 hour mark arrives.
     
    As he passed it onto me in person there was no need to have a box or anything or bubble wrap so I don't know how the package looks like but I will assume it's fairly decent.
    It comes with a set of S/M/L eartips that seems lifted from a IE800. It was impossible to insert into the IEM but I will get to it later
    DSC_0013.jpg
     
     
    The wood machining felt flawless when I went over it with my finger but perhaps not so flat when I photographed it. Okay, big deal, no wood is perfectly flat.
    DSC_0001.jpg
    Or the later images might have been out of focus. I have my extreme wide bore tips out for this IEM and it's a better match for this IEM as it's way easier to install but it's dependent on a wide bore IEM as it's bore is more than 5mm or so.
     
    The wood used for the Y-split and the connector is just fantastic and the product logo plus the brand is actually engraved not just etched/padprinted
    DSC_0008.jpg DSC_0007.jpg
     
    Marvelous. So it's not lacquered and then polished for days but it looks like rosewood that's had a bit of stain on it.
     
    DSC_0010.jpg
    Unfortunately the cable isn't that good and it's actually very similar to the cables that come with a lot of chinese IEMs but slightly thinner with a tinge of lower microphonics but it's still there even when worn over ear which for some reason no normal IEM will stay intact over my ears and to compound the problem the Y split is positioned a tinge too high so the cable keeps rubbing my face when worn normally. The cable also has memory and is a challenge when I first took it out of the package to reveal that it's a zig zag fold. It's still not straight a week later unfortunately.
     
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    There is a notch at the bottom which I forgot the reason of its existence.
     
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    Judging from the size of the IEM I am estimating the driver to be 6-7mm but Shozy is keeping mum on the size of the driver. It is still fairly small and I can fit the whole IEM into my ears but of course, I found that S size tips have to be used to go all the way in my canals and so is my ear that's why I like just microdrivers. 
    The Titan 1 in comparison felt like a great big slab of steel in my ears.
    Isolation is fairly fantastic and there are no ports on the IEM so it's completely closed but later on you will be surprised.
     
    Before I am to give my impressions on the sound, I was pretty surprised it's a 60USD IEM.
     
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    So, sonic impressions.
     
    Equipment used :
    HTC Butterfly 2 with my TPA6120A2 portable amp
    My computer w/ AK4490 DAC and SMSL sAp II TPA6120A2 amp
     
    Music used :
    Basically everything I would listen to in my library without finding some awful stuff like uh ... Yeah. Let's gloss over that. 
    Some Anisong but I hate those stupid high pitch songs
    fripSide
    Love Live (and Best Live Collection I & II)
    Metallica
    Megadeth
    Avenged Sevenfold
    Bullet for my valentine (No temper temper please)
    Trivium
    Children of bodom
    Whitechapel
    Exit Trance Anisong remix
    A-Remix Nation
    Armin Van Buuren
    Tiesto
     
    The bass is stellar but not as tight as I would prefer my bass. (My reference is a 1990s 8" sub in a sealed enclosure) It does have a bit of a punch and thankfully it doesn't have rumble that I feel rather spoils the soundstage.
    Extension wise it does as well as my reference sub. Which is to say it really hits hard down and in a controlled fashion too but that's the least of my concerns as bass is easy to pull off, mids and treble aren't.
    Which brings me on to treble and mids, 
    Mids are neither too forward nor rearward and I like treble and bass to take a backseat to the mids which are beautiful on this IEM with having all the timbre that shows through female voices even deep smooth female voices like Sonoda Umi in Datte Datte Amujou (Suzuko Mimori) and details are great for female voices.
    It falls back a bit on male voices when I switch my material to Metallica's Hell And Back or Megadeth's 13. There's a bit of a raised midbass so there's a slight cloudy sound when moving from bass to mids
    Treble is slightly rolled off on the Zero but there is no sibilance that even some top IEMs exhibit and therefore I can hear Ayase Eli's beautiful high-mid centric voice without cringing in Arifureta Kanashimi No Hate that often exposes plenty of IEMs sibilance. Fuyu ga kureta yokan sounds like the description of heaven when I listen to that song with the Zero.
     
    A lot of IEMs fail for me that they have either really dull treble (KSE1500 : Great mids and details but dull treble and punch-less bass as with as all estats) but the KZ S3 despite costing 6 bucks is a worthy adversary for even this as that comes very close to the Shozy Zero in details.
     
    Oh and soundstage. The Zero delivers on soundstage and separation which I'm pleased is surprisingly having realized it's a sealed driver as it has a special sort of reverbation that the wood enclosure provides as opposed to metal of my two other top IEMs : The joyroom E107 and the KZ S3.
     
    Although I like the other two a lot and are a whole lot cheaper this is still well worth 60USD they are asking for. It easily shames the DUNU Titan 1 and the FLC8.
     
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    If you have questions on my review ask them in the comments thanks. Thank you again to the rep. You know who you are [​IMG] 
      landroni likes this.
    1. landroni
      Thanks for the comparison to Dunu Titan 1...
       
      but the KZ S3 despite costing 6 bucks is a worthy adversary for even this as that comes very close to the Shozy Zero in details.
       
      I found this confusing. Does the KZ S3 rival Zero in details? 
       
      landroni, May 21, 2016
    2. DaveLT
      Yes it does, surprisingly. 
      DaveLT, May 22, 2016