Sony's New 2014 flagship IEM - XBA Z5
May 11, 2015 at 11:24 PM Post #1,621 of 5,654

callanish

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start with the comply's. I've been a "comply guy" for years but recently have been using the spinfits on the z5. They don't seal as easily as the foamies but I find the low end hits harder and lower with the spinfits. But nothing seals and isolates like foam.
 
TL:DR - I've been through a lot of budget bass iem's and felt that comply's always helped those types of phones because they all suffered from sibilance issues. Similarly, budget bass iem's may have a lot of low end, but they don't have much detail, and in my recent switch from z5 to spinfits, I sort of felt that the foam tips were muddying the sound a bit. In the past this issue was masked by the fact that buget iem's already have somewhat muddy bass, but the z5 (when amped) is so close to immaculate (for me at least) that I really prefer the straight silicone tubes into my brain. The calmed highs and added boom from the foam tips aren't necessary. That being said, you still may prefer the comply's. I miss how easy the comply's insert and seal. I think the included tips are fine but change the sound in a weird way, like the 3d soundstage doesn't feel as big with them.


Good to know. Thank you for that.
 
May 11, 2015 at 11:35 PM Post #1,622 of 5,654

johnwamp55

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That was incredibly helpful....thank you. Now that I know what to expect, I can be prepared for how the sound adjusts itself over burn in time. Probably one of the reasons I've held on to the triple-fi's is that they became like a comfortable old shoe and the dizzying options of high end IEM's out there intimidated me from not moving on to something new. Added to that, I did own the UE900's, but they broke way too easily, and that gave me pause for thought about throwing more money away on some potentially shoddy built product.  UE has just tanked in quality after the logitech buyout. Fortunately, I've always trusted the Sony name, so I knew I could count on the build quality for one. Adjusting to the difference in sound is probably my biggest fear, but I'm willing to put in the quality time required to get the best out of Z5's.
 
Thanks again for your help and input.


Yeah adjusting to your norm to something new is a challenge but a fun challenge. Also the Sound Stage will be a huge improvement.
 
May 12, 2015 at 1:10 AM Post #1,623 of 5,654

dweaver

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I have owned the UE900, Triplefi, and UE600. The UE900 had more apparent detail retrieval but this is due to the shift of focus to the upper midrange and treble versus the more relaxed signature of the Z5. In terms of long listening sessions the Z5 works better for me. The Triplefi was more v shaped in signature compared to the Z5. The UE600 is more mid centric and while very 3D like it sounds artificial in comparison to the Z5 as well as not as expansive. For me the Z5 pretty much slays all 3. But if your used to the UE900 signature and upper detail you might disagree.

The Z5 does have the same issue other IEMs have had in regards to its connector choice but my 2nd pair does seem to be holding up better.
 
May 13, 2015 at 11:50 AM Post #1,624 of 5,654

ImperialBlade

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Hello all,
 
How do these Sony's sound versus the JVC HA-FX1200? In terms of balanced and unbalanced? 
I am looking for a pairing with the Pono Player and my JVC HA-FX850s are sweet sounding, I just want to see if there is something a bit sweeter out there.
 
Regards,
Eric
 
May 13, 2015 at 11:54 AM Post #1,625 of 5,654

johnwamp55

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  Hello all,
 
How do these Sony's sound versus the JVC HA-FX1200? In terms of balanced and unbalanced? 
I am looking for a pairing with the Pono Player and my JVC HA-FX850s are sweet sounding, I just want to see if there is something a bit sweeter out there.
 
Regards,
Eric


Z5 excells in everything that the 850 does well.
 
May 13, 2015 at 12:41 PM Post #1,627 of 5,654

Idsynchrono_24

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Z5 excells in everything that the 850 does well.


Highly, highly disagree. I would never, ever pick the Z5 over the FX850 for classical, jazz or rock. 
 
May 13, 2015 at 1:53 PM Post #1,629 of 5,654

Idsynchrono_24

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I've never driven either phones in balanced mode. The basic tonal balance of the Z5 is just too exaggerated and colored to do classical and jazz any justice, I doubt that changes in balanced mode. Dynamics on the Z5 also trail the FX850, which I consider to be extremely good, even against cream of the crop multi BA custom/universals. Do keep in mind that I've modded the FX850 per James444's mod (it's simple reversible mod that emulates a front vent via a leaky seal) in order to attenuate the bass bloat, as I feel both models suffer from this (the FX850's to a lesser extent). The 850 just plain has better timbre than the Z5. I've always found the Z5 to sound off due to the midrange suck out and heavy bass. It makes the midrange feel really muffled and smooth, and lacking in detail. This has been mentioned early on, perhaps dozens and dozens of pages back, but it's since been displaced by the recent glowing comments. I dunno, I honestly wouldn't use the Z5 for anything other than pop music due to the coloration, or if you have some terrible aversion to treble, but eh, tastes vary I suppose. It's just too far from neutral for my tastes. 
 
As for the FX1200, I've never heard it, but James444 has compared both pretty extensively and has come to the conclusion that the 1200 is overall more refined once modded. I think it has smoother treble than the 850, which is the only area that I can really knock on that phone (it has excellent extension, perhaps the best out of any dynamic I've heard, but it can be pretty hot. Thankfully you can easily mod that too if it bothers you)
 
May 13, 2015 at 1:59 PM Post #1,630 of 5,654

ImperialBlade

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  I've never driven either phones in balanced mode. The basic tonal balance of the Z5 is just too exaggerated and colored to do classical and jazz any justice, I doubt that changes in balanced mode. Dynamics on the Z5 also trail the FX850, which I consider to be extremely good, even against cream of the crop multi BA custom/universals. Do keep in mind that I've modded the FX850 per James444's mod (it's simple reversible mod that emulates a front vent via a leaky seal) in order to attenuate the bass bloat, as I feel both models suffer from this (the FX850's to a lesser extent). The 850 just plain has better timbre than the Z5. I've always found the Z5 to sound off due to the midrange suck out and heavy bass. It makes the midrange feel really muffled and smooth, and lacking in detail. This has been mentioned early on, perhaps dozens and dozens of pages back, but it's since been displaced by the recent glowing comments. I dunno, I honestly wouldn't use the Z5 for anything other than pop music due to the coloration, or if you have some terrible aversion to treble, but eh, tastes vary I suppose. It's just too far from neutral for my tastes. 
 
As for the FX1200, I've never heard it, but James444 has compared both pretty extensively and has come to the conclusion that the 1200 is overall more refined once modded. I think it has smoother treble than the 850, which is the only area that I can really knock on that phone (it has excellent extension, perhaps the best out of any dynamic I've heard, but it can be pretty hot. Thankfully you can easily mod that too if it bothers you)

Idsynchrono_24, thank you for the feedback sir!
 
Regards,
Eric
 
May 13, 2015 at 2:54 PM Post #1,631 of 5,654

Sound Eq

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by friday i am going to make my final decision to which iem i will buy, i already own the shure 846 and want a real upgrade to them 
 
so far i am leaning towards the z5, i got some advices that the z5 is better than the shure 846
 
other i am considering
 
1- roxanne universal
2- asg2
3- heir 8
4- velvet, but not anymore as one of the head-fiers is having fit issues
 
what i want to ask, and for those who heard the shure 846 once i hear the z5 will i immediately notice the difference between z5 and shure 846 or not so much, an din what way, i need more details than it does everything better
 
maybe more owners of the shure 846 can help with this, as i do not wnat to end buying something that is really not an upgrade to shure 846 sound quality wise that suits my seeked sound signature
 
my sound signature i like, is warm, rich, thick, great bass, and no harshness at all
 
i listen mostly to edm, and progressive rock
 
May 13, 2015 at 3:20 PM Post #1,632 of 5,654

Charlie Norwood

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i listen mostly to edm, and progressive rock

 
The z5 will turn you the f up when listening to EDM. For prog rock, I'm not sure... do you have a preferred track that you like to use for reference?
 
May 13, 2015 at 3:23 PM Post #1,633 of 5,654

Sound Eq

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The z5 will turn you the f up when listening to EDM. For prog rock, I'm not sure... do you have a preferred track that you like to use for reference?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciLjqjlPfu4       edm
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ep1B_aIFPDE   progessive rock
 
May 13, 2015 at 4:16 PM Post #1,634 of 5,654

dweaver

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I personally love how the Z5 works with Jazz, Classical, and Rock so it all boils down to preferences. For me I love how treble is a bit relaxed. It allows me to listen at a bit louder volume without the fatigue I get when listening to more aggressive signature IEM's. It does mean that this IEM is not a great low volume IEM though. I find with albums like Rumours or anything by Creedence Clear Water Revival to be sublime with the Z5 as it offsets the hot nature of the drumkit work. I also love Diana Krall and Patricia Barber for examples of Jazz. In regards to Classical the Z5 truly does Cello's and Kettle Drums justice and the 3D sound stage is simply amazing.
 
Bottom line. If you prefer an IEM with aggressive upper midrange and treble or prefer very neutral bass then the Z5 will likely not do the trick for you. If your the opposite or just would like something the opposite of what I just said to compliment your existing IEM then the Z5 will be your ticket.
 
May 13, 2015 at 4:45 PM Post #1,635 of 5,654

Charlie Norwood

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  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciLjqjlPfu4       edm
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ep1B_aIFPDE   progessive rock

And One sounds excellent, this is probably the type of music they were listening to at Sony when they designed the z5. 
 
Blind Guardian sounds pretty epic to me, but like @dweaver said above, the mids and highs aren't very aggressive, and I don't listen to much prog rock or blind guardian-esque music, but I know that some people really want the vocals to be in your face, and the z5 doesn't do that. 
 
I also co-sign his opinions about volume level, the z5 really work well when cranked up, but, as he says, with very little fatigue.
 

 

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