Crosszone Headphones [CZ-1, CZ-10, CZ-8A, and More!]
Jun 14, 2021 at 5:38 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 77

Dobrescu George

Reviewer: AudiophileHeaven
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Hello there, everyone!

I decided to make a thread about Crosszone headphones, since we ain't got any so far.

Those are high-end headphones from Japan, with interesting technologies.

So far, I know they have two models, the CZ-1 and the CZ-10.

Here's some info about each, from the official pages:



Crosszone CZ-1

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Crosszone’s CZ-1 is a unique headphone that achieves the External Sound Localization effect with an original technology. Different from conventional headphones that have a problem known as internal sound localization (in which the sound sources seems to be located inside the head), the CZ-1 uses Acoustic Resonance Technology (ART) and Acoustic Delay Chambers (ADC) to achieve this natural and spatial sound field. It simulates the experience and sound pathway listening with stereo speakers.

Sound-localizationpath-800x630.png



Three different pathways are created using ART and ADC technology. Two drivers (for high and low frequencies) create the direct sound. Another 40mm driver creates the reverse channel sound. The two air chambers for mainly the reflected and reverse sounds are used to create this delay. Sounds from the reverse and reflected chamber are mixed with the direct sounds, which generates a spatial sound field and a wide sound stage (external sound localization).

In order to fully experience the forward staging effect, we recommend that you place the ear pads closer to the back of your ear.



Actualization of Natural Sound Quality and Good Balance of Sound Frequency

As the diaphragm plate on the two driver units for the main sound sources (Tweeter 23mm/ Woofer 40mm) is coated with beryllium and the brass frame is adopted for the woofer driver, the balance of natural sound is well reproduced from lowest to highest frequencies.



Dedicated Cables to Support High Sound Quality and High-Resolution

High quality cables are provided with the CZ-1. The OFC (oxygen free copper) cable features an anti-noise, twisted structure. 8 cores (4×2) are separated from the plug at the amplifier side, which assures left-right channel separation. The housing cable connector has a waterproof structure; sound quality variation due to air leakage is well controlled.

The cables can be connected to either the left or right earpiece as channel integrity is maintained. This feature also reduces wear and stress on the cable and headset.

Crosszone CZ-10


Features​

Natural Resonance​

Like the CZ-1 model, Crosszone’s CZ-10 headphones use innovative technology to reproduce and externalize sound’s location. While conventional headphones internalize sound by directing it straight into the ear canal, the CZ-10 utilizes state of the art Acoustic Resonance Technology (ART*) and Acoustic Delay Chambers (ADC**) to create natural resonance outside of the ear, resulting in a fuller sound stage and improved spatial audio. The result produces fluid movement of audio and soundwaves to recreate a two-channel speaker listening experience.

Acoustic Resonance Technology (ART): phenomenon in which an acoustic system amplifies sound waves whose frequency matches one of its own natural frequencies of vibration.

Acoustic Delay Chamber (ADC): Crosszone’s chamber design technology using sound pipes generating opposite sound and sound ducts that create reflected sound to achieve out of head localization.

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Quality by Design​

Organically Balanced Sound​

Beryllium coats the diaphragm plates on the CZ-10’s two driver units, with a brass frame encasing the woofer. These distinctive alloys naturally balance sound from the lowest to the highest frequencies providing superior sound reproduction and performance.

High Frequency Driver 35mm / Low Frequency Driver 23mm

ART and ADC technologies used in the CZ-10 model create three unique pathways, with the drivers producing the initial sound. A 35mm driver then reverses the channel sound. The CZ-10’s two air chambers create space for the soundwaves to reflect, generating an intended delay. The headphones’ unique design allows these three pathways to be mixed outside of the ear canal, resulting in a naturally created a spatial sound field.

img_features03.png

High Class Cables Complete your Experience​

The CZ-10 headphones include complimentary high-end cables to round out your listening experience. The Oxygen Free Copper (OFC) cable used, features a twisted, anti-noise structure. 8 cords (4x2) are separated from the plug at the amplifier end, ensuring left-right channel separation. A waterproof housing cable connector prevents air leakage which helps produce consistent uncompromised sound quality. The separation of the cables on the channel end allow for either side to be conveniently used in the left or right earpiece. This design further reduces everyday wear and tear on the headphones themselves.
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Comfortable Fit and Form​

Traditional spring-loaded headband designs of conventional over-the-ear headphones can create undesired and unnecessary pressure on both sides of the wearer’s head. The CZ-10 features state-of-the-art torsion springs connected to the CZ-10 hinges that vastly reduce this unwanted tension. The result is a more comfortable listening experience from beginning to end.

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Robust Construction​

The CZ-1’s headband core is crafted from sturdy die cast magnesium, which retains its shape and is prized for its durability and resilience for long-term use and enjoyment for years to come.

Enhanced Comfort​

The unique triangular housing is a result of the tridimensional configuration of the three driver units.

Sturdy Construction​

The CZ-10’s headband is crafted from die cast magnesium, which retains its shape and is not easily deformed after long-term use.

Lateral Pressure Relief​

The springy headband design of conventional over-the-ear headphones creates direct pressure on both sides of the head. The CZ-10 features torsion springs built into a hinge on either side that reduces this tension to allow for a comfortable listening experience.

Effect Linearity and Low-side Pressure​

By fundamentally reviewing the general side pressure mechanism and devising a mechanism using high stiffness of the head band and spring pressurization, we were able to obtain comfortable side pressure with little differences between individuals.

Effect Linearity and Low-side Pressure

Specifications​

TypeClosed typeFrequency Range20Hz-40kHzSensitivity99dBImpedance75ΩWeight385g(Body only)Accessories
  • Specific cables 1.5m(Φ3.5mm mini plug)
  • 3.5m(Φ6.3mm standard plug)
  • User Manual
  • Warranty

Crosszone CZ-8A

Natural sound, natural wear​



Natural Sound localization.

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Natural Sound Field

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Natural Sound Quality

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Comfortable Fitting Design

Natural Sound Field​



Crosszone’s CZ-8A is a unique headphone that achieves the External Sound Localization effect with an original technology. Different from conventional headphones that have a problem known as internal sound localization (in which the sound sources seems to be located inside the head), the CZ-8A uses Acoustic Resonance Technology (ART) and Acoustic Delay Chambers (ADC) to achieve this natural and spatial sound field. It simulates the experience and sound pathway listening with stereo speakers.
Sound-localizationpath-cz8a.jpg


crosszone_driver2-cz-8a.png


Enhanced Sound Localization with Wave Front Control Technology​



CZ- 8A continues to optimize ART (Acoustic Resonance Technology) and focuses on wave front control that minimizes the influence of differing ear shape to sound, further enhancing the external sound localization effect. The sounds emitted from speakers spread out as spherical wave fronts at first and gradually become planar as it gets closer to the listener. These plane wave fronts allow us to determine the direction and distance of sound.
However, with headphones, the sound source is very close and reaches the ear in the form of spherical wave fronts. In the CZ-8A, a wave front control guide is devised using the principle of acoustic lens, which delays the sounds and adjusts the wave front reaching the ear. The external sound localization presents an even more natural sound field and sound image.

Driver-cz-8a.png

Drivers that Achieve Natural Sound Quality and Range Balance​



The main channel contains aΦ40mm low frequency driver unit and a Φ23mm high frequency driver. AnotherΦ35mm cross-feed driver is for the opposite channel sound. Each driver is beryllium coated to ensure uniform and smooth sound quality. In addition, a brass ring is attached to each unit frame to increase strength and eliminate unnecessary vibration.
High Frequency​
Low Frequency​
23mm​
40mm​

Dedicated Cables to Support High Sound Quality and High-Resolution​



The standard accessories of CZ-8A include two OFC cables; 1.5 m (with Φ3.5mm small plug)and 3.5m(with Φ6.3mm standard plug)in length, which can be easily mounted to any portable players and amplifiers. The solid, spiral OFC cables have strong anti-noise capacity. To ensure the separation of the left and right channel signals, the connecting cables have 8 separate wires (4 wires * 2 sets).
unit02.png


cover-cz-8a.png

Comfortably Fitting 3D Ear Pad​



CZ-8A ear pads are 3D designed – with different thickness front and back. Coupled with the curvature on the baffle close to the ear, the ear pads fit comfortably to the head without discomfort, leading also to a stable reproduction of low-frequency sounds.

Aluminum Cover Minimizing External Noise & Improves Reproduction of Smallest Sound Signals​



The CZ-1 and CZ-10 has an ADC (Acoustic Delay Chamber) that delays opposite channel sounds, designed on the outer cover of the headphone. CZ-8A places the ADC within the cover, wrapped with aluminum. The shielding effect of this cover reduces the effect of electromagnetic noise on the drivers and allows for a clear and detailed playback of sounds.

cover2-cz-8a.png


Main Specifications of CZ-8A​




Type​
Closed Dynamic Stereo Headphone​
Frequency Range​
20Hz – 40 kHz​
Impedance​
75Ω​
Sound Pressure Sensitivity​
100dB/mW​
Weight​
Approx. 435g (Body Only)​
Accessories​
1.5m Headphone Cable (Φ 3.5mm Plug),
3.5m Headphone Cable (Φ 6.3mm Plug),
Owner’s Manual, Warranty Card​
Instruction Manual​
Icon

Instruction manual
Download


CZ-8A Catalogue​

 
Last edited:
Jun 14, 2021 at 5:47 AM Post #2 of 77
The best way to start the week is with a large soundstage, to widen your views and give you the best new week you can get~!

To help with this, I made a video review about the CZ-10, the smaller, more potable more affordable offer from MuSon Project, Inc., from which I also reviewed the original CZ-1, a headphone that quickly became a favorite for soundstage lovers!!

This one is really comfortable, but still manages to have a neutral sound, with an open midrange, great detail, and the same refined construction as the bigger brother! More info in the full video review, with comparisons, and the usual B-Rolls + Fun!!

 
Aug 12, 2021 at 7:52 PM Post #3 of 77
I also finished my full written review about CZ-10, loving them still :)

If you're looking for soundstage in a closed back headphone, you have to search wide and deep, as far as Japan, because they managed to create a dual-dynamic driver headphone that actually has good stage, excellent overall detail, impactful sound, and tons of dynamics.

Built quite well with a magnesium frame, and a nice aesthetic, CZ-10 from MuSon Project, Inc. & Crosszone , this is a headphone I enjoyed greatly, especially whend riven with the SE180 DAP from Astell&Kern :)

I made comparisons with the most relevant flagships like He6SE, HP-1 and Super Leggera, and if you're looking for more, I am always around to help~

https://www.audiophile-heaven.com/2021/08/crosszone-cz-10-headphones-soundstage-excelsior.html

Crosszone-CZ10-Dynamic-Flagship-Headphones-2-Drivers-Review-Soundstage-Audiophile-Heaven-37.jpg
 
Sep 29, 2021 at 3:57 AM Post #4 of 77
These headphones sound awesome! I was wondering if you knew where I could purchase them! The prices also seem to wildly fluctuate. Any idea on the original retail/a good value price for either of the models. What about the new CZ-8a?

I appreciate you reviewing these and bringing them to light. I purchased an Aune S6 Pro and your review of that was a convincing factor and very nice.
 
Sep 29, 2021 at 4:24 AM Post #5 of 77
These headphones sound awesome! I was wondering if you knew where I could purchase them! The prices also seem to wildly fluctuate. Any idea on the original retail/a good value price for either of the models. What about the new CZ-8a?

I appreciate you reviewing these and bringing them to light. I purchased an Aune S6 Pro and your review of that was a convincing factor and very nice.

Hello there, and I'm really really happy to help!

I think you're mostly supposed to grab them from Amazon.jp or from Muson Project, but I don't think they have an official website yet : https://www.facebook.com/musonproject/
 
Sep 29, 2021 at 6:47 AM Post #6 of 77
Just ordered a used pair on ebay! I cannot wait to give these a try. Excellent and very convincing review- surprise these do not have more attention!
 
Oct 11, 2021 at 6:30 AM Post #8 of 77
I got my CZ-10 a couple of days ago and love the build quality and fit. Extremely comfortable and well made. I am replacing the cables with custom gold cables to make them balanced and match their look. I am hoping the balanced cable improves the sound.

The CZ-10's at first were a little off-putting- vocals actually felt recessed to me, and the sound a little wonky and veiled. For some reason my opinion on this has been changing quite a bit as I continue to listen to them- and I quite like them now!

When I first got them I noticed the pads were not on in the correct orientation. The previous owner bought new pads from the factory but put them on weird. I thought it didn't matter. Wow was I wrong- frustrated with the sound, I pad swapped them just for fun. I didn't find any successful swaps, as it messed up the sound. These headphones are very sensitive to position. However, when I put them back on I made sure the stock pads were properly aligned so that the bottoms faced the bottom. I noticed the pads have a formed angle to them and whether I am imagining it or not the sound seems markedly improved. It still has more hidden mids than I am used to, but everything feels intentional and well put together now. There is less of a veiling sensation.

The other thing that really matters with these headphones is that I find the crossfading ruins or alters songs that rely on pristine R/L separation. A lot of electronica with super textured sounds are muddied by this, or the effect is just lessened.

That's the interesting thing about these headphones- the song matters because its effects can very much help or hurt the music. Recently I've found that acoustic music and jazz are typically helped. It gives the natural in the room sensation of that kind of music a huge boost. The sound signature also works super well with the brass instruments in jazz music and makes it a relaxing, melodic experience.

The soundstage is also difficult to pin down, because the chambers and triple drivers give everything a sense of space and reverberation that is unmatched by other headphones, but the crossfading effect actually limits the separation of sounds that can give you a greater perception of soundstage and space on tracks that attempt to elicit that wide sensation and distinct traveling of sound. However, for something that relies on R/L separation for long periods of time for entire sections of music, like David Bowie's Space Oddity, the crossfading effect drastically improves the listening experience in my opinion. It feels like two David Bowies are in the same room in different places, rather than two different rooms.

The smooth sound of these headphones also takes the edge off of songs like Space Oddity, letting you focus on the music rather than the metallic crashes. These headphones are detailed, but they do not try by any means to shove that detail into your head. You have to listen for it. Honestly, these headphones work best for songs where you are not trying to be excited by the speed or resolution of a track. They do well for bands like The Strokes, whose music is carried more by the instrument placement and mood rather than microdetails or the exquisite crispness of any part of the track. I think this quality of the headphones is due to the multi-driver setup and crossfade effect, and is the reason why earpad placement is essential.

The bass does have a nice full amount to it, but does not punch or slam in the way a faster headphone would. That being said, it is not slow bass. I perceive it as slower because of the crossfading. It creates an odd sensation that is actually great for deep, rumbly voices more than anything else. It kind of reminds me of Po from Kung-Fu Panda- it is big and round and both slow and fast at the same time. It won't hit you with a pinging bunch, but rather gently knock you over. It is much better for deep guitars than electronica because of this in my opinion.

Treble is non fatiguing, the most detailed part of the headphone, and has some roll-off but lots of emphasis before then. This makes these headphones fantastic for piano, especially with the crossfading, as it sounds like you are in the room.

These respond oddly to volume. They get loud about half way on my dac/amp and then from there only marginally increase in volume with every step. It does not feel linear. I will see how this changes if at all with balanced cables.

I will report back on sound when I get balanced cables and perhaps a year down the road if I try this headphone with something like a tube amplifier. I am using an Aune S6 Pro right now.



The build quality is phenomenal. It is built like a Japanese camera with light weight metal and high quality plastic coated with a protective matte black speckled paint. The comfort is excellent and the solid top headband promises less stress put on the leather, which should mean it lasts far longer than other headbands. These headphones feel super light on my head and are some of the most comfortable I own. The earpads fit my entire ear inside and are of excellent quality and material. It is a little awkward to take them off and put them on a stand but not bad. I actually really like the gold accents and finishes in person, though they are the first to get scratched. All branding is crisply printed with no errors. No creaks whatsoever, with a smooth stepless headband. Excellent stuff!

Interesting headphones for sure. We shall see how my opinion matures over time.
 
Dec 17, 2021 at 9:57 PM Post #10 of 77
Anybody know about the CZ-8a? It looks like it is only avail in Japan. How do I get my hands on it?

I got one

I absolutely love them, feels like they took advantages from both CZ1 and CZ10 and made it happen

I think you need to purchase from Japan, they are not available yet on Amazon.com and other shops as far as i know
 
Dec 17, 2021 at 10:27 PM Post #12 of 77
http://axissaudio.com/

This is their US distributor. Email them and they will give you a quote and ship you them. Not sure if thats cheaper than a direct from Japan sale, however.
 
Dec 17, 2021 at 10:28 PM Post #13 of 77
I got one

I absolutely love them, feels like they took advantages from both CZ1 and CZ10 and made it happen

I think you need to purchase from Japan, they are not available yet on Amazon.com and other shops as far as i know
How do they compare to the CZ10? Has the resolution improved, and did they fix the random tonal imbalances and mid range scoop? It always feels like the music is too incoherent on mine unless I listen to Jazz, and the resolution is a bit soft for its price. But they are certainly well built, relaxing, and a departure from traditional sound.
 
Dec 17, 2021 at 10:32 PM Post #14 of 77
Also for those interested I purchased a custom double thick gold appearance (silver plated occ copper) twisted balanced cable from XHINS on aliexpress that sounds wonderful with the Crosszones and improves the sound considerably over the single ended design.

He can make you some if you give him the specifications or search up Crosszone in his shop.

I had mine finished in a black Neutrik XLR, goes great!
 

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Dec 17, 2021 at 10:34 PM Post #15 of 77
Also for those interested I purchased a custom double thick gold appearance (silver plated occ copper) twisted balanced cable from XHINS on aliexpress that sounds wonderful with the Crosszones and improves the sound considerably over the single ended design.

He can make you some if you give him the specifications or search up Crosszone in his shop.

I had mine finished in a black Neutrik XLR, goes great!
This was the first custom cable of its kind that I could find on the internet, Crosszone sells one but its super expensive and basic looking, although high quality. I worked with him to provide the correct pinout after a very nice representative at Crosszone gave me the polarity chart on the 4 pole 3.5mm.
 

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