SONY IER-Z1R
Jan 12, 2021 at 5:59 PM Post #9,586 of 10,526

tawmizzzz

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It's been nearly a year since I first experienced these shiny fellas, and I am ecstatic I've had the opportunity to try them again. Z1R was the first TOTL IEM that blessed my ears back in Feb 2020, sound-wise (not fit-wise). I've gone through so many TOTLs since then and wanted to see how it compared to my reference points in early 2021.

Impressions:

It took a while to get used to the resolution. To be fair, I was working from the Infinity MKII/Thummim/Sultan which I would consider as all cleaner monitors (Thummim debatable lol), so at first I was very surprised how undetailed Z1R felt at first. But I let them play and after some needed brain burn-in, I remembered why I fell in love with them last year-the tuning is just addicting!

Bass: Incredible mix of a decay and rumble. I prefer subbass over midbass so yes the midbass won't satisfy true bassheads, but the bass is definitely one of the more unique presentations I've heard out of a dynamic driver. This is even more evident with better seal tips such as the Xelestecs, but the stock Z1R tips worked perfectly for me to find the right balance.

Mids: I can understand why some say it's recessed, but they actually work very well with the overall signature and I'd consider the signature more of a U-shaped than a V. Vocals have some nice air and warmth that compliment the unique bass (and as I will discuss next, the very special treble).

Treble: Z1Rs can indeed get a bit hot, a bit sharp. But it never comes across as sibilant to me (unless the recording is poor and asking for it). I've learned that whatever lower and upper treble peaks the Z1R has are not my sibilance zones, so this was an easy "con" to cope with. The treble is still one of my favorite up to day. Tons of upper air which I feel is essential for me to get a more immersive listening experience. There is nice sparkle and bite to the notes that just makes music sound fun. It's not as smooth or extended as the infinity, but its got a bit more bite that still works very very well for my preferences.

Soundstage: Width is great, depth is pretty strong with solid layering. Gives a rather grand overall presentation, especially for its price point.

They are relatively fun for EDM if midbass warmth is not a need, and surprisingly work very well for Indie and alternative genres during my discovery listening. I had them in for 7 hours straight during work without any dramatic ear irritation, so that was also a welcome plus this time around.

So yeah-I can still easily see why the Z1R is still a winner 2 years later :).
 

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Jan 13, 2021 at 4:43 AM Post #9,587 of 10,526

daniel_hokkaido

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After a few tracks with the z1r I am changing my mind. I am willing to sacrifice my right ear for the z1r.:)

Hey there! I had the exact same issue with my right ear getting bit aggravated from rear of Z1R (where red R is) digging into cartilage of my ear. It also didn't seem to go in as deep as my left ear. However over time it just went away ... it helps to rotate them a bit upwards away from rear of the ear. Also using as large tips as you can tolerate will help not only the seal but also to hold the iem firmly in the ear canal and reduce likelihood the body will fall back into the outer ear and cause discomfort.

Also give the hybrid foam tips a go .. they are hard to get in but once there and warmed up they don't slide out of the ear canal like the normal silicon ones do. Plus I find they seal better too in my ear and improve the SQ overall

Dan
 
Jan 13, 2021 at 4:45 AM Post #9,588 of 10,526

CrocodileDundee

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Hey there! I had the exact same issue with my right ear getting bit aggravated from rear of Z1R (where red R is) digging into cartilage of my ear. It also didn't seem to go in as deep as my left ear. However over time it just went away ... it helps to rotate them a bit upwards away from rear of the ear. Also using as large tips as you can tolerate will help not only the seal but also to hold the iem firmly in the ear canal and reduce likelihood the body will fall back into the outer ear and cause discomfort.

Also give the hybrid foam tips a go .. they are hard to get in but once there and warmed up they don't slide out of the ear canal like the normal silicon ones do. Plus I find they seal better too in my ear and improve the SQ overall

Dan
If nothing works try foam/rubber/blue tack around the sharp edge, just to smooth the contact.
 
Jan 13, 2021 at 5:32 AM Post #9,589 of 10,526

grooveriders

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If nothing works try foam/rubber/blue tack around the sharp edge, just to smooth the contact.
I tried modding the earbud tip that I have and my right ear says “thankyou!”.

E926E5E7-7EE9-4F3C-A530-FD9C5D5BC01F.jpeg
 
Jan 13, 2021 at 5:35 AM Post #9,590 of 10,526

grooveriders

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Hey there! I had the exact same issue with my right ear getting bit aggravated from rear of Z1R (where red R is) digging into cartilage of my ear. It also didn't seem to go in as deep as my left ear. However over time it just went away ... it helps to rotate them a bit upwards away from rear of the ear. Also using as large tips as you can tolerate will help not only the seal but also to hold the iem firmly in the ear canal and reduce likelihood the body will fall back into the outer ear and cause discomfort.

Also give the hybrid foam tips a go .. they are hard to get in but once there and warmed up they don't slide out of the ear canal like the normal silicon ones do. Plus I find they seal better too in my ear and improve the SQ overall

Dan
which tip do you recommend? I have tried the hybrid memory foam and I dont really like the feeling. I really like the spiral dot++ but occasionally the tips falls out when I take the z1r out of my ear.
I’ve heard good things about the xelestic tips but the “sticky” texture and ability to be a dust magnet is really a turnoff for me.
 
Jan 13, 2021 at 5:45 AM Post #9,591 of 10,526

Tristy

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which tip do you recommend? I have tried the hybrid memory foam and I dont really like the feeling. I really like the spiral dot++ but occasionally the tips falls out when I take the z1r out of my ear.
I’ve heard good things about the xelestic tips but the “sticky” texture and ability to be a dust magnet is really a turnoff for me.
I quite like the acoustune Aet07, and the FAudio Vocal and Instrumental tips with the Z1R. None of them slip off the tip.
 
Jan 13, 2021 at 5:53 AM Post #9,592 of 10,526

SQ13

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which tip do you recommend? I have tried the hybrid memory foam and I dont really like the feeling. I really like the spiral dot++ but occasionally the tips falls out when I take the z1r out of my ear.
I’ve heard good things about the xelestic tips but the “sticky” texture and ability to be a dust magnet is really a turnoff for me.

if you don’t like the sony hybrid trip, you may not like the xelastic. the xelastic is hard to insert, sticky and attract dirt/dust which may be rough while inserting due to dirt. however, once it’s in, it holds quite well as the heat will shape it.

Try the Earfit by Azla, same maker of xelastic and it comes with normal/light and normal/short versions. i use the Earfit light short.

you can also try the final type e tip too.

just note the earfit and xelastic has wide bore while the final has a narrow bore.
 
Jan 15, 2021 at 11:39 PM Post #9,593 of 10,526

Gus141

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Jan 15, 2021 at 11:48 PM Post #9,594 of 10,526

aaf evo

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Jan 16, 2021 at 9:17 AM Post #9,596 of 10,526

musicinmymind

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I am swapping cables regularly these days, like two or three times a day. I have read somewhere on head-fi MMCX is not made for regular swapping, luckily no issues till now for me.

anyone had issues with Z1R MMCX connectors ?
 
Jan 16, 2021 at 9:22 AM Post #9,597 of 10,526

Redcarmoose

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I am swapping cables regularly these days, like two or three times a day. I have read somewhere on head-fi MMCX is not made for regular swapping, luckily no issues till now for me.

anyone had issues with Z1R MMCX connectors ?
The only issue I had was trying to take off the Kimber to switch back to 4.4mm stock; as the Kimber cables would not come off. I’ve change cables about three or four times since March 2019. I’m not sure anyone has had any issues but many of us are worried due to the MMCX with the XBA-Z5.

Probably best to find one cable and leave it on. IMO
 
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Jan 16, 2021 at 9:46 AM Post #9,598 of 10,526

musicinmymind

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The only issue I had was trying to take off the Kimber to switch back to 4.4mm stock; as the Kimber cables would not come off. I’ve change cables about three or four times since March 2019. I’m not sure anyone has had any issues but many of us are worried due to the MMCX with the XBA-Z5.

Probably best to find one cable and leave it on. IMO

I have couple of choices on hand, hoping to settle on one soon.
 
Jan 16, 2021 at 11:44 AM Post #9,600 of 10,526

Tristy

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