LZ A5
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conradnash

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Hi, I'm pretty close to pulling the trigger on these, but have a few questions.

My situation: I currently have a set of UE900s and UE TF10. The UE900s were a replacement for a failed set of RHA MA750i. I like the UEs but they're a bit thin and light on the low end.
Given that I use Mac products (iPhone X and MacBook Pro) and Mac can't even standardise a connector across their own products, I'm looking to end up with three sets of headphones: one on a lightning connector for commuting, one for my desk at work, and one for my desk at home. I'm considering the Master and Dynamic MH40 and MW60, or the B&WP9 for home. Work and home will likely run through a chord mojo. The LZ A5 would be my work desk headphones.

I was going to get the TF10 reshelled but everyone in the UK seems to have stopped offering that as a service

My questions are:
- what would I need to move up to to improve on these? I've seen people comparing them to IEMs many times their price. What would be the next major step up, in people's opinion?
- Would I be better off combining the funds for these and the P9 and getting a set of multi driver customs like the UE reference, ACS Emotion, or the Spiral Ears 5 ways?

I'll probably replace the cable on these with a Toxic cable, or one of those on the Ali site. Any specific recommendations there?

Thanks in advance, sorry for the long post.
 
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Hi, I'm pretty close to pulling the trigger on these, but have a few questions.

My situation: I currently have a set of UE900s and UE TF10. The UE900s were a replacement for a failed set of RHA MA750i. I like the UEs but they're a bit thin and light on the low end.
Given that I use Mac products (iPhone X and MacBook Pro) and Mac can't even standardise a connector across their own products, I'm looking to end up with three sets of headphones: one on a lightning connector for commuting, one for my desk at work, and one for my desk at home. I'm considering the Master and Dynamic MH40 and MW60, or the B&WP9 for home. Work and home will likely run through a chord mojo. The LZ A5 would be my work desk headphones.

I was going to get the TF10 reshelled but everyone in the UK seems to have stopped offering that as a service

My questions are:
- what would I need to move up to to improve on these? I've seen people comparing them to IEMs many times their price. What would be the next major step up, in people's opinion?
- Would I be better off combining the funds for these and the P9 and getting a set of multi driver customs like the UE reference, ACS Emotion, or the Spiral Ears 5 ways?

I'll probably replace the cable on these with a Toxic cable, or one of those on the Ali site. Any specific recommendations there?

Thanks in advance, sorry for the long post.
These are my first iems and I’m use to planar drivers, but I do have hd h50s too.

I will say that the a5s have some really great detail and transparency. The quality is there on these iems for sure, but they aren’t perfect.

The treble sounds thin and artificial to my ears. Cymbals sound almost like an electric drum kit honestly. Highs are also harsh to my ears, they can get really sharp and give me a migraine. That being said I’m use to darker signatures and that’s what I like, smooth and lush. Other people also commented on the treble being sibilant on these too though so yea.

Mids can sound great at time for vocals, but at other times they sound really thin and dry compared to the forward minds I prefer.

Bass is good, especially with the different filters. Blues are pretty boomy, I use the black ones and they sound good for edm haven’t listened to much dubstep on them though so if you want that real sub bass might want to use the blue filter

Cable is subjective. I think the memory wire is annoying as **** more than anything. I ordered an aftermarket cable since these use mmcx can use them on another pair of iems if I sell these .

If they were more mid centric and a little rolled off up top they’d be excellent in my opinion, but as they sit they’re just a little too sharp up top.

Gonna try the isines or monolith planar in ears probably more my style
 
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salla45

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These are my first iems and I’m use to planar drivers, but I do have hd h50s too.

I will say that the a5s have some really great detail and transparency. The quality is there on these iems for sure, but they aren’t perfect.

The treble sounds thin and artificial to my ears. Cymbals sound almost like an electric drum kit honestly. Highs are also harsh to my ears, they can get really sharp and give me a migraine. That being said I’m use to darker signatures and that’s what I like, smooth and lush. Other people also commented on the treble being sibilant on these too though so yea.

Mids can sound great at time for vocals, but at other times they sound really thin and dry compared to the forward minds I prefer.

Bass is good, especially with the different filters. Blues are pretty boomy, I use the black ones and they sound good for edm haven’t listened to much dubstep on them though so if you want that real sub bass might want to use the blue filter

Cable is subjective. I think the memory wire is annoying as **** more than anything. I ordered an aftermarket cable since these use mmcx can use them on another pair of iems if I sell these .

If they were more mid centric and a little rolled off up top they’d be excellent in my opinion, but as they sit they’re just a little too sharp up top.

Gonna try the isines or monolith planar in ears probably more my style
Jeez, Im getting nervous now. Reading more about the treble artifacts. Not good.

I'm so pleased with my A4's, so upgrading in some areas and downgrading in others is not viable. I can live with slightly less lush and deep bass if the upper mids and treble is smoother and more realistic.

More keen that ever to read some detailed comparing to the A4's!!

Looks like I might be saving up for the Andromedas after all!
 
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These are my first iems and I’m use to planar drivers, but I do have hd h50s too.

I will say that the a5s have some really great detail and transparency. The quality is there on these iems for sure, but they aren’t perfect.

The treble sounds thin and artificial to my ears. Cymbals sound almost like an electric drum kit honestly. Highs are also harsh to my ears, they can get really sharp and give me a migraine. That being said I’m use to darker signatures and that’s what I like, smooth and lush. Other people also commented on the treble being sibilant on these too though so yea.

Mids can sound great at time for vocals, but at other times they sound really thin and dry compared to the forward minds I prefer.

Bass is good, especially with the different filters. Blues are pretty boomy, I use the black ones and they sound good for edm haven’t listened to much dubstep on them though so if you want that real sub bass might want to use the blue filter

Cable is subjective. I think the memory wire is annoying as **** more than anything. I ordered an aftermarket cable since these use mmcx can use them on another pair of iems if I sell these .

If they were more mid centric and a little rolled off up top they’d be excellent in my opinion, but as they sit they’re just a little too sharp up top.

Gonna try the isines or monolith planar in ears probably more my style
Interesting, thanks. I'll check those out.

I should have said, my musical style of preference is EDM and House, although I dip in and out of rock and hip-hop as well. My source is almost exclusively Spotify. I did a double blind test with Tidal using a Fiio E17/E09K combo, power amp and B&W 805s and I couldn't tell the difference. When Spotify release their lossless streaming service I'll move up to that, but just because I can, I'm not expecting much of a difference there.
 
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Jeez, Im getting nervous now. Reading more about the treble artifacts. Not good.

I'm so pleased with my A4's, so upgrading in some areas and downgrading in others is not viable. I can live with slightly less lush and deep bass if the upper mids and treble is smoother and more realistic.

More keen that ever to read some detailed comparing to the A4's!!

Looks like I might be saving up for the Andromedas after all!
I remember reading about how hd 700s were super analytical and had brain piercing treble and sibilance and I was always wondering how much people were exaggerating, well I feel like these line up with that notion when they hit treble spikes. I have Grados too so it’s not like I’ve never had bright cans, these just are out of control with the highs sometimes in my opinion. That said a lot of other stuff sounds good, so might try different foams or something and see.


Interesting, thanks. I'll check those out.

I should have said, my musical style of preference is EDM and House, although I dip in and out of rock and hip-hop as well. My source is almost exclusively Spotify. I did a double blind test with Tidal using a Fiio E17/E09K combo, power amp and B&W 805s and I couldn't tell the difference. When Spotify release their lossless streaming service I'll move up to that, but just because I can, I'm not expecting much of a difference there.
Word yea I use Spotify premium and Apple music for my mobile set up. Sounds fine, these have a lot of detail retrieval though so you’ll here unmastered tracks like they sound which can be hissing or stuff sometimes.

The planar in ears I mentioned are open back too so if you need complete noise isolation, they’re not it. They’re interesting though to me anyway because I love my planar set, but it’s big and wearing it out looks a bit funny plus they’re open backs (the in ear planar don’t leak like normal open back cans, they’re pretty good in that sense just give the listener the open back soundstage)

Hopefully you can find a pair you like. I don’t know much about iems, am reading about them like you guys are
 
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Well it appears these are going to be quite the polarising IEM.

I don't have Chris's issue with uneven treble (at least not with the red or grey - and those two are practically identical). Crash Cymbals and Hi-Hat rim shots using the blue or black can get a little brittle - but I see that more at the accentuated upper mid-range than the lower or upper treble (ie its in the fundamentals rather than the harmonics). At the same time, the peak around 12-13 kHz probably isn't as dominant for me due to my age - so maybe I'm simply not hearing harmonics that some of you younger guys are hearing.

@salla45 - what normal filter settings do you use on your A4? I'll build a graph showing comparison with your A4 preference vs the A5 options.

BTW - if anyone wants my basic opinion (before the review eventually comes out):
Blue and Black are practically identical and upper mid-range is overdone - making things appear too vivid, thin and a little brash.
Red and Grey are again practically identical, and only issue I have with this combo is that the sub-bass is too dominant, and needs cutting so that it doesn't mask other frequencies. Mid-range is really nice on both the red and grey.

If you're prepared to EQ - these are a pretty good IEM. Without it, they probably aren't my cup of tea. The good news is that there should be the possibility of retuning to a certain extent through filter modifications.
 
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With proper build quality (no glue residue), a cable that matches the price better, and improved ~10 kHz, more than 4 stars would be easily warranted. On the technical level, it's a really good in-ear for the price. Strong sub- and lower midbass elevation, but implemented very well - I really applaud that. No midrange bleed at all. Good midrange + lower and middle treble. But the upper treble - not so good. Cymbals don't sound on point. They are rather spread and tend to sizzle. The people at LZ clearly know how to tune an in-ear, so it seems. Else they wouldn't have gone for no front cavity vent (-> sub-bass + lower midbass elevation) in combination with the very cleverly placed rear cavity vent (will give a bit of extra midbass and fundamental warmth that would be otherwise probably lacking a little) that's located in a spot where it is less likely to be blocked by one's ear anatomy. But they should have definitely done better with the upper treble.
unfortunately i had missed your review of A5, can you please share the link to your review , thanks,
 
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Well it appears these are going to be quite the polarising IEM.
I'd guess this is the price to pay for less tuning options.

I agree with you about the treble though as I don't have any problems with it either. I actually prefer the more lively presentation from the black filters over the grey ones that sounds a bit dull to me. Ideally I'd like to see a filter option between these two....
 
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Well it appears these are going to be quite the polarising IEM.

I don't have Chris's issue with uneven treble (at least not with the red or grey - and those two are practically identical). Crash Cymbals and Hi-Hat rim shots using the blue or black can get a little brittle - but I see that more at the accentuated upper mid-range than the lower or upper treble (ie its in the fundamentals rather than the harmonics). At the same time, the peak around 12-13 kHz probably isn't as dominant for me due to my age - so maybe I'm simply not hearing harmonics that some of you younger guys are hearing.

@salla45 - what normal filter settings do you use on your A4? I'll build a graph showing comparison with your A4 preference vs the A5 options.

BTW - if anyone wants my basic opinion (before the review eventually comes out):
Blue and Black are practically identical and upper mid-range is overdone - making things appear too vivid, thin and a little brash.
Red and Grey are again practically identical, and only issue I have with this combo is that the sub-bass is too dominant, and needs cutting so that it doesn't mask other frequencies. Mid-range is really nice on both the red and grey.

If you're prepared to EQ - these are a pretty good IEM. Without it, they probably aren't my cup of tea. The good news is that there should be the possibility of retuning to a certain extent through filter modifications.
Hi Brooko, thanks i have Black - Black, and Im not unused to trebles spikes either, having used the K3003 extensively and using the T1 Beyerdynamics daily. But it's the treble quality I'm worried about.

I really want to know subjectively if the A5's are at least equal in quality to the A4's in all areas, especially the treble timbre (after recent worrying reading). Frequency spikes can be tamed or become used to, but if quality is suffering then it's a no-no for me at least. Timbre of instruments is hugely important to me, the sound of skins on drums, the leading edge of trumpet notes, the shimmer on cymbals. Air and space around instruments and timbre are all important to me.
 
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Hi Brooko, thanks i have Black - Black, and Im not unused to trebles spikes either, having used the K3003 extensively and using the T1 Beyerdynamics daily. But it's the treble quality I'm worried about.

I really want to know subjectively if the A5's are at least equal in quality to the A4's in all areas, especially the treble timbre (after recent worrying reading). Frequency spikes can be tamed or become used to, but if quality is suffering then it's a no-no for me at least. Timbre of instruments is hugely important to me, the sound of skins on drums, the leading edge of trumpet notes, the shimmer on cymbals. Air and space around instruments and timbre are all important to me.

This should reassure you then. Green is your black/black A4 on my rig. Blue is the A5 blue or black (you don't want to go there :wink: ). Red is the A5 with red filter. Personally i don't like that much sub-bass, but you can always cut it.with simple EQ. Anyway - notice the treble diff between red and green. Nothing there to really worry about. If anything moving that spike from 9 kHz out past 10 kHz should be more palatable.

a5 filters.png


And in case anyone wondering why my graph very different to Chris's - mine is raw measurement but with best calibration I can get to IEC711 - but with no diffuse field applied. More importantly, A4 and A5 were measured on the same rig - so the differences should be relative.
 
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This should reassure you then. Green is your black/black A4 on my rig. Blue is the A5 blue or black (you don't want to go there :wink: ). Red is the A5 with red filter. Personally i don't like that much sub-bass, but you can always cut it.with simple EQ. Anyway - notice the treble diff between red and green. Nothing there to really worry about. If anything moving that spike from 9 kHz out past 10 kHz should be more palatable.



And in case anyone wondering why my graph very different to Chris's - mine is raw measurement but with best calibration I can get to IEC711 - but with no diffuse field applied. More importantly, A4 and A5 were measured on the same rig - so the differences should be relative.
Thanks Brooko, really appreciated, Im close to 50, so about around 12k is on the downward for me, lol. I was using Red backs and Black fronts with my A4s at one point but the bass was a little OTT.

But perhaps you can advise if the A5 is weaker in specific areas, qualitatively, in relation to the A4's?
 
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