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Sony Z1R....listening impressions only

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by Kcharng, Nov 4, 2016.
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  1. Kcharng
    I was really excited to find this setup at my local Sony store in Thailand.


    Sent from my SM-N920C using Tapatalk
  2. Kcharng
    Took some photos for headfiers community. Needless to say that it sounded excellent. I won't be able to provide any meaningful comparisons for you as I am still evolving and new to headfi.

    About the price here in Thailand.

    WM1Z ~ US3,140
    WM1A ~ US1,140
    ZH1ES ~ US2,171
    Z1R ~ 2,000

    Beyer t90
    AKG K9xx
    Focal Elear

    Fiio e10k


    Sent from my SM-N920C using Tapatalk
  3. up late
    nice. and don't feel coy about posting your listening impressions - we've all got to start somewhere.

    i hope to audition it next week and will post my thoughts.
    alegar likes this.
  4. Kcharng
    $3,000 WM1Z DAP, $2,500 ZH1ES Dac/amp, $2,000 Z1R headphone all sitting on a lonely table avaliable for me to listen to my heart content. I was super happy for the opportunity. What's not to like? Thank you Sony Thailand.

    I just spent half an hour on a fruitless effort typing and then deleting my impression. Best says that I have mixed feeling. I wasn't blown away at this time.

    I will try to bring my own music next time for better impression and hold out on my judgement. I am waiting excitedly however to finds out whether other opinions concur with mine. :)
    pstickne likes this.
  5. Kyle 491
    First day listening to these, I have the TH900 as reference for closed-back flagship. So far, I've noticed they have noticeably less control and impact/ sense of air movement in the very lowest registers, easily seen on the Elderscrolls Skyrim OST main theme Dragonborn. Bigger soundstage in width and height, not sure about depth. Frequency response is less bright, still v-shaped overall, vocals recessed. Treble may be a tad more even overall, but has a pretty irritating resonance somewhere I haven't zero'd in on. Violin tonality definitely not as organic and natural as the TH900, which is a big minus for me. I keep wanting to crank this headphone up to get more involvement in the music, which is usually a bad sign in regards to both microdynamics and macrodynamics.
    Pretty enjoyable for energetic rock though due to richer sounding and slower bass, more so than the TH900 for this genre, but less convincing for classical and live music.
    Will post more later.
    omniweltall likes this.
  6. up late
    interesting, particularly in comparison to the th900
  7. Computer Lounge
    Overall the feedback on the MDR-Z1R doesn't seem to be stellar. If anyone else has anymore impressions to share I'd be interested to hear them. I briefly listened to the MDR-Z7s, but I'd really like the chance to listen to these one day.

    // Alex
  8. JohnnyCakes
    I just unboxed these and slipped them on.

    plugged into a Moon Neo 430.

    my overall impression is: "is this thing on? WAKE UP!!!"

    now, granted i'm coming from a Focal Utopia, but still, at $2200, these headphones should be in the same ballpark, if not quite as glorious as the Utopia. um, no. not even close. in fact, i'd say my old pair of Denon D5000's in my basement sound better than this headphone.

    it is absolutely asleep at the wheel. not a veil so much as a down-comforter over the sound. flat, uninspired, lifeless. everything i always thought most Sony products to be. for Sony to sell this at $2200 is a joke. I wouldn't pay more than $600.

    love the start of DMB's studio cut of "Best of What's Around". has a very attacking snare drum that starts the song, with the rest of the band rushing in afterwards. a very dynamic track with prominent bass guitar. good lord. what an abomination on these things. as one reviewer said, you keep wanting to turn the volume up and up, hoping these things will finally come to life. they never do. worse, they start distorting badly when tasked with complex reproduction of multiple instruments. it muddles and distorts. just like the Audeze EL-8 did when i tested that out. at least the EL-8 wasn't highway robbery.

    as i said, even if these were $600, i'd still prefer the $400 Denon MM400. that headphone is polite and proper like these, but far more capable. i've never tried the Mr Speakers Ether C Flow, but at half the price of these Z1R's they HAVE to be better. they just have to.

    they can't be worse.

    the one positive is it reminded me again how simply amazing the Utopia is. so there's that.

    printing the return slip right now....
    pstickne, omniweltall and S-O8 like this.
  9. Gibson59
    It's so wild how differently we all hear things. I absolutely love these headphones. I got them as a closed back companion to my HE1000 v2 and they've been serving me well. While the HEKs no doubt beat the Z1Rs in soundstage and imaging, I honestly think the Sony Z1R competes very competently with them with regards to overall tone, resolution, instrument separation, and detailed treble without being too bright. When I don't want to bother my fiance and I reach for the Z1Rs I don't feel like I'm missing much in quality at all, it's just a slightly different experience. In fact they add deeper bass, sub bass and some extra energy which makes it feel kind of refreshing when i listen to them, especially with certain genres.

    I'm not trying to be defensive here just because I own them, I just want to make sure the positive side is represented for anyone considering them. I auditioned a number of totl closed back contenders before choosing the Z1Rs including Mr. Speaker Ether Flow C, ZMF Eikon and Atticus and Fostex TH900. All of them had their merits and I can see how someone with different sound preferences could choose any of them over the Z1R, but they just didn't do it for me personally. One thing about the Z1R that beat the others handily was the ability to minimize sound leakage (leakage both in and out). This was VERY important to me as sound isolation was really the only reason I wanted a closed back headphone in the first place. If i didn't need sound isolation then I would have just stuck with the HEKs. As much as I enjoy the Z1R I just don't think closed backs can quite touch the overall sound quality of open backs. The fit and finish of the Z1R also really impresses me. It's good looking and insanely comfortable, even competing with the HE1000 for that crown IMO. I did find all of the contenders to be aesthetically pleasing headphones with the exception of the Ether C Flow which didn't feel unique enough for me.

    I came close to buying the TH900, but the sound leakage took it out of consideration and it did sound a little bright to my ear. I also came close to buying the Eikon, but I just didn't enjoy the sound as much as the Z1R, they also leaked a bit more and while not uncomfortable, they didn't come close to the Z1Rs comfort.
    rosci, fortunate son and uptildawn53 like this.
  10. vortrex
    They take a long time to break in and sound anemic and like crap until they do. Played mine 24hrs a day for 12 days before they opened up. I like them quite a bit now.
  11. phaeton70
    I have listened intensively to Z1R in a recent session, mainly because I was very interested in buying them given some very good feedbacks I have received from a couple of friends in another forum.

    I must say I was not touched... At all.... Not disappointed, to be clear, but for sure no oomph factor........

    I have found Z1R to sound lifeless in comparison to Utopia, much less micro/macro dynamics, and also less details and clarity and a strange timbre in the upper mid / lower treble (violin and other instruments), nothing really wrong, just strange.... Overall Z1R has IMHO a good SQ but really without anything pushing me to buy them.

    Compared to HEK v2, well, overall similar, with pros and cons in both side (main one for Z1R is the bass punch), but again nothing that pushed me to buy them to replace or even just join my HEK v2.

    Of course everything above is IMHO and YMMV

    PS amplifier used was a Viva 2A3 with KR tubes and an Auris
  12. Gibson59
    I think it's pretty much universally agreed at this point that open backs stilll have the edge on closed back cans. Comparing to the Utopia and HE1000 v2 to use them as a general barometer has value, but I just think it's apples and oranges. It's really how they compare to closed back competition. I reach for my HE1000 almost every time if I'm in a silent environment, but when leakage is a concern the Z1R fits the bill nicely. If sound leakage was not a concern I probably wouldn't have gone with the Z1R. But I think it's best in class for legitimate closed back cans which many aren't.
  13. Beagle
    I thought it might be better to have a separate thread for folks to post their listening impressions (and listening impressions only) of the Z1R, be they negative, positive or neither. But with all due respect, I think it would be ideal if the impressions were garnered from more than a 15 minute audition....maybe 10 hours as a minimum?

    I think we are all mature enough that we won't be arguing about how we hear the Z1R. Just why we like it, why we don't or why we are ambivalent towards it.

    I'm going to put something together from my experience with it and post it shortly. I might just extract what i wrote in the original thread.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
  14. Mshenay Contributor
    I have no business here but I'm happy to see this thread posted! Thank you @Beagle , I enjoy musical headphones, such as those by Grado. An I'm excited to continue to read about what's working for everyone with this headphone! I'll start and end my contributions here by quoting some of my favorites from the last thread...

    Hopefully, I'll have a chance to hear it and contribute my thoughts

    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
    Sp12er3 likes this.
  15. buzzlulu
    Yes - it is about time that we here from people who have ACTUALLY owned or heard the Z1R - instead of those who choose to only SPECULATE about how they sound
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