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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. Hanafuda
    I read that review months ago and still ended up buying the Z1R. Guy obviously has impressive funds on-hand, or else connections for access to all these headphones at once. Good for him. But that doesn't make his opinion more valid than anyone else's. And I wasn't impressed with his opinion. First, when I see the word "slam" used repeatedly in the section describing the bass presentation of different headphones, I get an idea what the reviewer considers a priority and it doesn't line up with my priorities. Second, he really shills for the ZMF's, which is not a brand I'd consider until I'd collected every other Pokemon there is. I tend to shy away from boutique, specialty brands (not just with headphones) since their R&D for longterm performance and durability is usually non-existent. The third reason I pretty much discounted this review is he gives no time to build quality, design, or ergos/comfort. These are VERY important to me, particularly when I'm paying over $1k for a headphone.

    I will agree with him that the Z1R at $2399 is a difficult pill to swallow. I only paid about 55% of that for mine though, brand new, so his 'price to performance' ranking is entirely irrelevant to my situation.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  2. raybies
    My signature says it all... but some people like crisp detail that hasn't been sullied by the low end, some people like the music to literally move them and loath the ting ting ping high end piercings.

    The Z1R give you both deep and zing.
    I'll give you the low down... let's start with the Z1R faults:
    1. They're big, and if you listen in bed then you can forget about a pillow, and they don't clamp down hard so it's challenging getting them perfectly comfortable.
    2. The mid treble 8-10kHz has a kind of zing that doesn't quite sound right w/ some high hat sounds, and there's a dip ~6kHz, so you get what sounds like added treble. So upper mids don't transition seamlessly into the treble, but then the treble over compensates in certain circumstances.
    Now for the good:
    1. They have the best low end I have heard, perfectly rendered, no distortion, just perfect impactful tight bass from ~10Hz. It's not bloated or boosted it just goes deep when and if an audio track demands it, which is actually very rare to get any track in the <20Hz.
    2. Everything from 80Hz-5kHz is flat and well rendered like an HD800, but the sub bass transitions perfectly in to the bass.
    3. Well made and comfortable. I'm not a fan of the box, but hey it's kind of premium.
    Very few premium HPs have a material cost that justifies +$1000, the Z1R are no exception.

    I don't have a lot of experience w/ high end HPs but did own the HD800's for a while and I really tried talking myself into liking them but they just sounded so anemic to me, it's like they totally lacked everything up to ~60Hz and were fine after that. I then got a pair of Denon AH-D5000 (Foster/Fostex made) and they sound awesome, but lack the higher end detail of the Z1R, and the bass while very nice can make my jaw tingle whereas the Z1R doesn't (A<>B test). The Z1R were just nice from the get go, detailed, impactful, musical, spacial... but after a couple months I noticed some fatigue listening to music w/ fast paced synth high hat, and I isolated the frequency to 8~10kHz, did some research and some other people also noticed this region had some weirdness; also this weirdness is more present balanced vs SE, but it also may be my balanced source.

    I spend my free time making amps (Neil Pass and John Linsley Hood designs), swapping out opamps from other amp designs, tweaking my 300B tube amp... and I like warming spacial sound.

    Just my $0.2.
  3. ervin192
    Off the topic: Reports say that Sony is releasing its IER-Z1R iem very soon so this z1r guy is having a brother.
  4. Redcarmoose
    That’s what is tough; is finding the differences out there. Going to meets or shows is a good way to hear a bunch of stuff, though it’s not like spending two weeks at home auditioning.

    By the way they announced the Z7 MK2 today. If it’s above the Z1R we will have to see.

    This is from the Walkman forums today.

    In August 2018, Sony Sony will release a new series of alcohol sounds during the Hong Kong Advanced Audiovisual Exhibition HKAVSHOW 2018, including the Walkman and new headphones: Signature alcohol series new brothers: IER-Z1R and DMP-Z1, Sony in the ear Stage monitor headphones series: IER-M7 and IER-M9, as well as upgraded headphones - MDR-Z7M2 (MDR-Z7 upgrade)! “
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  5. Hanafuda
    Having just shot my monetary wad, I won't be in the market for any of these new goodies anytime soon. But if this Z7m2 continues with using the same cable config as the Z1R, that'd be a plus.
  6. Quasimodosbelfry
    I'd love to know what alcohol sounds sound like. :D
  7. thatonenoob
    Check our first look of the Z7Mk2!!

    beowulf likes this.
  8. raybies
    And here's the Aus media release for Sony's two new additions to its Signature Series, the IER-Z1R in-ear headphones and DMP-Z1 (that volume nob better be solid gold) digital music player, as well as its latest premium headphones, the MDR-Z7M2.



    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
    alphanumerix1 and beowulf like this.
  9. kp297
    Does anyone have tips on how to clean Z1R ear pads (or how often?). Where could one purchase extra Z1R pads? Your assistance would be appreciated, cheers!
  10. pietcux
  11. Hanafuda
    I wipe my pads and inner headband with a microfiber cloth after every use, but that's all so far. In THIS post, @beowulf recommended using a beeswax-based leather conditioner in small amounts once the pad start showing signs of cracks, drying out. I was curious to hear from him again to see if he still recommends this treatment, and how often.
    kp297 likes this.
  12. kp297
  13. Maelob
    I hope Dekoni comes up with Z1r replacement pads as an alternative.
    Hanafuda likes this.
  14. Hoegaardener70
    I own and use both sets, and I love them for very different reasons. First of all, I have the HD800S and I cannot confirm the lack of bass in the Sennheiser. It is there, it Is just not dominant.

    For me, using the HD800S is not because I can now handle the flat signature. It is plainly that the HD800S excels at classical/orchestral music. That is its world, and everything falls into place with that kind of music. The Z1R is not bad in that regards either, but it lacks the certain something which only my HD800S can give me - precision, detail, high dynamics and the ultimate soundstage.

    The HD800S is terrible with rock, metal and even certain world music styles, and for this type of music, the Sony Z1R rules. To cut it short, HD800S for classical, the Sony for anything and everything else. This is my headphone endgame for the moment.

    I'd be intrigued to get an Utopia, but besides the money and the cable issue (I'd need to get another cable since I have no interest in a 3m monster), I find the Focals lack in comfort. The older I get, the more I realize that ultimate wearing comfort means so much with headphones. So they are out.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
    Bern2 likes this.
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