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  1. rutter
    Loudness isn't the issue. I didn't try the WM1A. I had a choice after the ZX300, the power question along with claims that balanced the ZX300 sounds a lot like the WM1A led me to go with the iBasso DX220 with amp8, something I had kept an eye on.

    I don't really hear height. Depth and width, qualified.
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  2. helljudgement
    Nah I don't think it sounded thin and dry. I was in fact very happy with the way vocals are presented just not as great as other top of the line offerings such as prophile8, 334togo and fw10k to name a few and those have some of the best mids I've ever heard in iems. The z1r mids are pretty good imo only losing out to the best of the best and I'm totally fine with that given the entire package.

    I would disagree with you on the zx2 being under powered I think it's fine with the z1r. Now I would be tempted to get a more powerful source but for what it is I think it drives the z1r beautifully. I've also ran this thru the Nano black label (which is plenty powerful) before purchasing and I think off the zx2 it sounded just as good. Is this the best source to drive z1r? Probably not but it does kinda proof to me that the z1r do not require heaps of power to run well.
  3. endlesswaves
    This one really made my day. :jecklinsmile:
    Kitechaser and rutter like this.
  4. Redcarmoose
    To me I did try the ZX300 at the Sony Ginza Flagship Store in Tokyo. I was going to buy it but they only had Japanese language units. Sony Japan only sold Japan only units in Japan, and I was not sure if I could change firmware locations so I passed.

    But prior to hearing the ZX300 I owned and used both the 1A and 1Z. Firmware variation aside, the ZX300 is nothing like the 1A. It’s warmer than the 1Z. Though it has a softness in presentation which is way-way different than the 1A or 1Z.

    Glad to hear you keeping the IER-Z1R regardless, as you were going to let them go to a loving new owner.

    I’m pretty sure what your using now has more power than the 1A? Though you owe it to yourself to at least try the 1A at some point.......it’s a magic combination to my ears?
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
    Sp12er3 likes this.
  5. Redcarmoose
    Right, the Sony house sound has an almost de emphasis on the mids. It’s the removal of some frequencies which allow for the soundstage and overall dynamics. When I first heard the IER-Z1R, I thought they had a better mid-range than the full-size Z1R. Later I came to realize that what is happening is IEM detail. There is so much detail that it ends up having a person actually hear the midrange. Though following the Sony house sound; the mids are pulled.

    Other IEMs are more complex and upfront in the midrange and some people like that response, having the IER-Z1R almost sound lacking in detail in the midrange. Still for people that gel with the IER-Z1R, the midrange is nice.
    Sp12er3 likes this.
  6. rutter
    There were I think two people in this thread who claimed that balanced the ZX300 sounds almost the same as the WM1A, and this wasn't in reference to the Solaris exclusively. One specified the effect to a recent firmware update. So that, the power, and the DX220 having had an actually imminent release globally made me opt for the DX220. I'd owe it to myself to hear the WM1A if I had that option, and Sony are due for a refresh even if it may not come this year. Really, what I'd want to hear most of all are certain $50-100 and $800 iems I am told sound just as good as the IER-Z1R, among other big boys being slain. Now that would be fun at a meet.
  7. Redcarmoose
    I actually can’t fathom cheap IEMs sounding like the IER-Z1R. But who knows? I have $199 IEMs I really love, price CAN be meaningless at times. I too am restricted as to access to gear. Still the great part is the choices, when we do get access.

    And those two folks could have been using the ZX300 and Sony 1A in 4.4mm mode with the IER-Z1R? I would believe them too. I have not made those tests.

    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  8. candlejack
    To the people discussing the mids, how do electric guitars sound on the z1r? Most of this discussion seems to be focused on vocal presentation and while I care about vocals, my listening bias has always tilted towards rock instruments and electric guitars also live in the midrange, hence my question. I have and love the Andromeda S, so if you can compare to that it would be most useful for me. Thanks!
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  9. Mathieulh
    As a matter a fact, I have, not from an iPhone mind you, but I have listened to those from various sources, including (but not limited to), the Galaxy S8, Galaxy S10+ (Exynos version), the Sony NW-A55 and the Sony NW-ZX2, and they all sound arguably worse than listening to these on the ZX300 (especially on the Samsung phones), the ZX2 output is still fairly decent, the A55 however, not so much), the iPhone DAC/AMP combo is, as far as I know of, not much/any better than what you'd find in Galaxy S phones (I daresay it's probably worse, but I digress).

    Overall, music is a full package, if you buy expensive (and high quality) IEMs and drive those with a subpar source don't be surprised if you can't get the best sound out of them.
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  10. Redcarmoose
    Never heard the Andromeda. But.........that’s definitely something folks wonder about as rock guitar midrange can be so very important in the mix. Also I’ve been a guitar player for 31 years.

    To me guitars are perfect with the IER-Z1R. The only surprises I get will be this off vocal, but again it’s like less than 5% of the time. Last time was the vocals for this TheThe song. A song I’m not even that familiar with, but I thought the male vocals were too far back in the mix? But it’s a rarity. It’s the natural replay that has made the IER-Z1R my favorite IEM ever. They totally excel at rock guitar. I was listening to Boston/Boston 1976 and it was the most amazing thing. Normally digital never gets the thickness that that Epic Records first vinyl pressing had. But the thickness is restored with the IER-Z1R.....just as I think.....I remember it?

    I’ll have to try this song again. As this kind of stuff can vary from day to day. But the talking parts of his voice were slightly back? Though it’s normally like 99% smooth sailing? But as we all know, when something doesn’t sound right it sticks out. Normally stuff is 100% natural, more than any IEM or headphone I have ever owned or had the experience of hearing.
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
    candlejack likes this.
  11. Redcarmoose
    IEM Biography: “ All nicer stuff I’ve owned”

    1)Noble K-10 Encore
    I knew early on what it was. Reading it was explained to be fairly neutral as well as midcentric and close to being the HD800 of IEMs. Purchased it after a quick demo, all the while knowing it was not my desired sound signature; but more of a complementary add in to what I like.

    2) Sony XBA-Z5
    Warm yet still an all-rounder. Somehow it always showed what was great about the Encore treble and upper midrange. Relaxed yet smooth like maple syrup.

    3) Sony XBA-N3
    Laid-back yet polite. Very much like the sophisticated subdued girl you knew in school. A sleeper with a warm charming personality. I still wanted the treble of the Encore mixed with the Sony bass. Also I was yearning for an involved midrange.

    4) qdc Anole V3
    Bass heaven for a BA IEM, though very uneventful above the midrange; just getting it all done. Still offering a more cohesive and involved playback than the N3, yet still not offering the chocolate bass of Z5.

    5) BGVP DM6
    Wow, amazing fit and sound personality. After the getting used to period it was pure love. Still one of my most listened to IEMs and coincidentally the cheapest??

    6) Sony IER-Z1R
    End of the road. End of the story. End of the journey. A consummated marriage of tone and technicality.......perfect 10/10. The lost unicorn.


    BGVP DM7
    Fearless s6 rui

    I currently own and listen to all the above; some more....some less often.
    SeeSax and DAVID_54 like this.
  12. Jalo
    I am quoting my post from the DMP-Z1 thread below:

    ‘Condition No Load” Is a number and a known variable just like Zero is a number. When the resistance is known as in Ohm then you can convert it into wattage. Because of my interest in the Khan Cube I wanted to know exactly how much power (12Vrms) are we talking about, I specifically consulted an electrical engineer from IIT, those were the numbers we came up with under different loaded conditions. Remember from no load which is zero to different loading like 30 ohm or 60 ohm is a known linear variable that can be used in the conversion. I will post the formula for that conversion when I return home later today.

    As for the unit measurement of root means square (RMS) it refers to the measurement of constant and sustained power supply as oppose to the common term of maximum milliwatt per channel that is based on peak to peak calculation. So 250 milliwatt per channel may actually mean that the channel is capable of reaching up to 250 mW even for a split second but in actuality it may be running only 200 mW on a constant basis. On the contrary, when root means square is used as a measurement, it is only talking about average power supply for a given channel, it is not talking about maximum capability and in fact for any root mean square you can add a factor of 0.719 to the measurement representing headroom or swing for that channel. Let say for instance a 6 Vrms into 30 ohm will give 1.2 watt of average driving power, but in times of need for dynamic swing like when the cannon in 1812 concerto kicks in, it can go up to 1.7 watt as maximum power with an additional factor of 0.719.”

    “So the formula for converting Vrms into wattage is as follows:

    Power output in Wattage = (Vrms)(Vrms)/R where R is resistant in Ohm. So let say an amp output is 6 Vrms and it is driving a 36 ohm headphone, then 6 Vrms squared is 36 divided by the resistance of 36 ohm, the power output in Wattage is 1 watt.

    Then to convert the average power output into peak or maximum output, using the above sample, you would divide the 1 Watt by a factor of 0.7071 and the peak output of this amp is 1.41Watt. The factor 0.7071 is a technical definition for converting average output into peak output.”
  13. Mathieulh
    Except that's not how it works, By the same logic, it would output 144W directly into 1 ohm. This is why an output specification in Vrms alone isn't worth a thing, you need mW at specific ohm loads, which is something AK has never supplied, mostly because they don't want to admit they just provide the same power outputs as everyone else, just like it's been measured post release with proper equipment time and time again with all their previous DAPs. (Mostly because, let's face it, AK DAPs are overpriced and wouldn't provide any advantages compared to the (much better priced) competition.)

    Have fun looking at KANN's anounced output specifications of 7vrms (lol) versus actual measurements https://reference-audio-analyzer.pro/en/report/amp/astell-kern-kann-balanced.php
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
    Sp12er3 and nanaholic like this.
  14. candlejack
    0.7071 is just sqrt(2)/2.
  15. helljudgement
    You've made a very good point. The iems I've compared along the way places more emphasis on the mids.

    You and I have very similar taste when it comes to music. I too own an Andromeda (non-S) and I find the z1r compares very favorably when it comes to instruments. I will do my best to describe the difference please bear with me.

    The Andromeda sounds fantastic with electric guitars, drums and percussion and the z1r retains that trait. The only difference here is that the z1r sound a tad more V if it makes sense. I never once felt it is lacking in this department. in my experience the bass on the z1r makes listening to rock music even more engaging. Listening to Moby Dick by Led Zeppelin, there's an almost palpable feel to each drum strike its hard to explain.
    I would call it a slightly darker, slightly v shape take on the Andromeda's presentation due to the emphasize on bass so if you like Andromeda do give the z1r a listen before you make your purchase.
    candlejack likes this.
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