Mini-Review: digiZoid ZO "portable subwoofer"
May 16, 2011 at 4:17 PM Post #136 of 996

dfkt

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Some frequency response tests, without load. That thing sure hits deep. Interesting to notice is that it really doesn't change much above half power - the change between level 16 and level 31 is marginal, while the changes at lower settings are quite a bit more noticeable.




 
May 16, 2011 at 5:59 PM Post #137 of 996

Anaxilus

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Quote:
Of course it lacks the transparency of my desktop amp, but that's expected.  I've concluded that the device has no effect with transparency and space, but magnifies whatever capabilities being demonstrated from the source and headphone and stops at their respective limitations.


I'm a bit confused as those two sentences seem to contradict each other.  
 
@dfkt
 
So if I read that first graph right then L1 actually rolls off below 20hz?  I don't want to start a debate about what is or isn't audible below 25hz just want to make sure I understand your graph.
 
I am intrigued by the comment about roundness and fullness of notes and body.  That has been my number one complaint with most 'audiophile' phones and signatures some people seem to prefer.  
 
I also wonder how much of the descriptions of tighter bass, etc is also due to proper amping from the ZO as opposed to signal manipulation.  Perhaps both.  That's the main reason I run amped almost always.  Not for volume but to get that proper natural body, detail, texture and punch. 
 
 
May 16, 2011 at 6:29 PM Post #138 of 996

dfkt

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Quote:
So if I read that first graph right then L1 actually rolls off below 20hz?  I don't want to start a debate about what is or isn't audible below 25hz just want to make sure I understand your graph.  



I wouldn't put any weight on what's happening below 20Hz. Neither RMAA nor the best professional sound card are made to perform down there, in the inaudible infrasound range. Seems the cutoff point of my sound card is 9Hz, but it's verified +/- 1dB from 20Hz onwards.
 
May 16, 2011 at 9:37 PM Post #139 of 996

dfkt

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Full RMAA tests here: http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/index.php?dir=&search=digizoid&search_mode=f

Conclusion: no matter if low impedance or difficult multi-armature IEMs, the ZO drives them just fine, without any issues, without bass roll-off, or without frequency response roller coasters. Everything else is just fine as well.

(Some of the no load tests were with USB plugged in, to recharge - their noise level, THD, IMD, are somewhat off, due to USB being noisy - the 16 Ohm and 32 Ohm tests have no such issues.)
 
May 17, 2011 at 12:32 PM Post #140 of 996

Geruvah

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If I had any other pair of headphones, this may be worth the investment. But with my SM3, I think it's already good enough and this may not add to the experience. I can't believe I said that.
 
Also, dfkt, not to start a gang war or anything but...Fluttershy forever. Even though Pinky Pie (especially when she was depressed and crazy) is hilarious.
 
May 17, 2011 at 3:29 PM Post #141 of 996

munkyballz

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Quote:
Some frequency response tests, without load. That thing sure hits deep. Interesting to notice is that it really doesn't change much above half power - the change between level 16 and level 31 is marginal, while the changes at lower settings are quite a bit more noticeable.

 



Thanks for the technical data, but this confirms what I felt via just using my ears.  Once you go past a certain level... around the mid point (darkish orange...clicks/levels 12+ or so), there isn't too much of a change... and for the most part, most people probably wouldn't want or need to go past that point any ways.
 
Levels 0 to about 8 works best for me so far and I can definitely tell a difference in impact.  I use (off the top of my head) levels 0-2 for my SM3's, 0-3 for the JVC's, and 3-6 for the DBA's, fwiw.
 
May 17, 2011 at 3:34 PM Post #142 of 996

munkyballz

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Quote:
If I had any other pair of headphones, this may be worth the investment. But with my SM3, I think it's already good enough and this may not add to the experience. I can't believe I said that.
 
Also, dfkt, not to start a gang war or anything but...Fluttershy forever. Even though Pinky Pie (especially when she was depressed and crazy) is hilarious.



The SM3 is definitely good by itself and I've had kind of mixed feelings about it with the SM3 in my limited sessions with them paired up.  Although I have to admit, with the extra added oomph from the ZO, the thickness and sound stage of the SM3 definitely does feel a little bit even more enveloping.  I have not heard the IE8's personally, but I can imagine based on the readings/impressions, that perhaps the same "level" or grandness of sound stage of the IE8 is somewhat replicated with the SM3 x ZO, yet carrying on much of the stock SM3's signature/characteristics, of course.
 
May 17, 2011 at 5:45 PM Post #143 of 996

dfkt

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Quote:
If I had any other pair of headphones, this may be worth the investment. But with my SM3, I think it's already good enough and this may not add to the experience. I can't believe I said that.


For me as well, the SM3 are the IEMs I thoroughly enjoy without any tweaking. I never even found an EQ or BBE setting that really makes them 'better' than they already are, to my ears.
 
However, similar to Munkyballz, I really enjoy them with the ZO at very low settings, at least for certain genres or records (while other phones like the PFE or e-Q5 I love with half-to-full ZO processing in effect, with basically any audio track).
 
Quote:
Also, dfkt, not to start a gang war or anything but...Fluttershy forever. Even though Pinky Pie (especially when she was depressed and crazy) is hilarious.

 
Fluttershy's certainly my second favorite, indeed :)
 
 
 
May 18, 2011 at 4:09 AM Post #144 of 996

ziocomposite

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Wow, this sounds very promising and might be just what I need instead of another headphone.  I only have the ath ad700 and m 50 and both lack the bass I want.  Having a cowon s9 helps a lot but this just might solve my problem.  Can anyone with the Zo try them out with the ad700 & m50 and describe the effect?  Thank you =)
 
May 18, 2011 at 8:14 PM Post #146 of 996

project86

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You people are making me want the ZO back again.
 
This thread had sort of died at one point, and I thought that it might be because people didn't believe me about how the ZO sounded. I mean, seriously, I don't know if I even believed myself... it just seemed like a cheesy gimmick product that would maybe impress some kids with stock iBuds, but not us "serious audiophile" types. Yet here are a bunch of other people hearing the same thing I did.
 
I am at a loss as to why other companies aren't licensing this technology to add to their gear, like the way some folks license the crossfeed circuit from Meier.
 
May 18, 2011 at 9:48 PM Post #147 of 996

ziocomposite

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I wasn't here when you first reviewed the Zo but using the "Search" function helped in finding what I was looking for.  Imagine that huh? lol  I'm actually waiting for mine to come in and hear it for myself.  I think it really is something hard to believe unless if you've heard for yourself.  I'm only going on what you and others have said about ZO and it's positive.  I took a look at post count and what gears/reviews those who enjoyed this and trusted said individuals know what they are talking about.  If it can "WOW" individuals who have heard it all and still striving for the best, I'm all for it.  I don't know why companies are not licensing this technology but maybe they don't want to give the "solution" too easily without the general public spending more money first to find the solution.  
 
May 19, 2011 at 11:12 PM Post #148 of 996

tds101

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I hate you all!!! Now I have to spend more money - and it's all dfkt's fault!!! 
 
***thanks bro 
beerchug.gif
***
 
May 20, 2011 at 12:07 AM Post #149 of 996

estreeter

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You know you want it - just give in and spend the weekend regretting your wild, spendthrift ways ! 
very_evil_smiley.gif

 
I'd try this thing, but I doubt that I could ever go back to 'vanilla' again (no EQ), and I do have music which demands that I abstain from this sort of cheap thrill.
 
May 20, 2011 at 7:42 PM Post #150 of 996

MizMoxie

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Quote:
I's still like to know how it works though, apparently, it's not EQ or adding subharmonics, and a short search on psophometric filtering brings next to nothing.
Of course, I'm not asking for an extremely detailed explanation, a general overview of the principle would be satisfy my curiosity and that of many forumers here.
 
I'm a bit surprised there is no vst plugin, maybe there's an RTAS version? If there's a means to make songs more bassy without affecting quality through many transducers, there would be a large market in the musical industry, enough to justify patenting the idea (if it's not done yet). Many music producer would be inclined to directly include this in the master of the songs.
 


 
 

 
We just put together (hopefully) a better description of what the ZO does for those of you that are interested:
 
 
But first, a little clarification: the ZO does add about 4-5dB of overall gain, and up to 20dB of dynamic gain. Therefore, a secondary headphone amp is not required to drive higher impedance phones.
 
Now, on to the more detailed stuff: Unlike an EQ, the ZO doesn’t increase or decrease the volume of bass; instead, it allows the user to select from 32 different “frequencies of emphasis” in the range from 60Hz down to 20Hz. Along with each of these frequencies, a corresponding sound contour profile is engaged (see image below), which balances the energy of midrange frequencies and maintains their presence within the track. In the ZO, the midrange contour frequencies extend upwards as high as 3kHz. Therefore, if the audio track contains frequencies encompassed by the frequency of emphasis and its associated contour frequencies, they will emphasized accordingly. Otherwise, no emphasis will occur (i.e., the ZO does not add bass, it only responds to the frequencies contained within the track). The end result is vitalized and balanced sound. 
 
You guys may notice the image below includes some lift on the high end as well. Don't tell my boss that I let you guys in on this, but that is the second half of the technology... It gives a whole new level of WOW factor beyond just the ZO.
 
  

 
 
 

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