Sony's new flagship 2014 - MDR-Z7
Jan 25, 2015 at 8:06 AM Post #4,066 of 9,123

Sonic Defender

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@Bill-P, I know you don't blindly mod, and when I read my question back I do see the negative tone there, which wasn't intended, same with my next post @MINK. I had been not getting along with the missus and it was late and I think my frame of mind was negative so I do apologize for my tone to both of you. I feel I was unkind, even if not deliberately.
 
Jan 25, 2015 at 8:17 AM Post #4,067 of 9,123

Mink

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  @Bill-P, I know you don't blindly mod, and when I read my question back I do see the negative tone there, which wasn't intended, same with my next post @MINK. I had been not getting along with the missus and it was late and I think my frame of mind was negative so I do apologize for my tone to both of you. I feel I was unkind, even if not deliberately.

No need to apologize, at least I didn't feel you were unkind 
smily_headphones1.gif

 
Jan 25, 2015 at 8:20 AM Post #4,068 of 9,123

Sonic Defender

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Thanks Bro, appreciated as I also try to be respectful and friendly with how I treat people, especially on the Internet where it can be easy to be rude to people. KInd of like giving a big tough looking bugger the finger when you can quickly drive away before he get his hands on you!
 
Jan 25, 2015 at 2:08 PM Post #4,069 of 9,123

MattTCG

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I wanted to chime in and share a few thoughts about the z7. I had the opportunity to spend a fair bit of time with this headphone yesterday and make some observations. I admit that there is a certain draw about the z7 that makes it compelling to experience. Putting my hands on these cans was not a letdown in the least. 
 
The z7 is finely appointed with impressive build quality and comfort. The pads are exceptionally comfortable and luxurious. The gimbals, cups, fit and finish are first rate. I was excited to cue up the music and see if these lived up to all the fuss/hype. 
 
First five minutes, in a word...disappointment. Given the price tag I was expecting a good quality mid-fi sound signature. What I heard was loose sub bass, recessed mids and distant treble. I tried the z7 from several amps with various types of music, but the result was the same. 
 
The owner of the z7 encouraged me to try a cable swap from stock to a custom silver based cable. Wow, now this was more like it. The cable change really woke up these hp's. The bass was much tighter and accurate to the source. Mids came a little forward and the treble gained some extension and definition. 
 
At amazon's current $499 price the z7 is certainly worth a look and makes owning a good closed hp with style and substance a real possibility. I would encourage anyone who has the z7 and finds the signature lacking to given some consideration to a simple cable change. It really made the difference to me. 
 
Matt
 
Jan 25, 2015 at 2:21 PM Post #4,070 of 9,123

jmsaxon69

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  I wanted to chime in and share a few thoughts about the z7. I had the opportunity to spend a fair bit of time with this headphone yesterday and make some observations. I admit that there is a certain draw about the z7 that makes it compelling to experience. Putting my hands on these cans was not a letdown in the least. 
 
The z7 is finely appointed with impressive build quality and comfort. The pads are exceptionally comfortable and luxurious. The gimbals, cups, fit and finish are first rate. I was excited to cue up the music and see if these lived up to all the fuss/hype. 
 
First five minutes, in a word...disappointment. Given the price tag I was expecting a good quality mid-fi sound signature. What I heard was loose sub bass, recessed mids and distant treble. I tried the z7 from several amps with various types of music, but the result was the same. 
 
The owner of the z7 encouraged me to try a cable swap from stock to a custom silver based cable. Wow, now this was more like it. The cable change really woke up these hp's. The bass was much tighter and accurate to the source. Mids came a little forward and the treble gained some extension and definition. 
 
At amazon's current $499 price the z7 is certainly worth a look and makes owning a good closed hp with style and substance a real possibility. I would encourage anyone who has the z7 and finds the signature lacking to given some consideration to a simple cable change. It really made the difference to me. 
 
Matt


Yeah but what about those kickass MDR-1A you heard yesterday! HaHa! 
 
Jan 25, 2015 at 3:22 PM Post #4,072 of 9,123

purk

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  I wanted to chime in and share a few thoughts about the z7. I had the opportunity to spend a fair bit of time with this headphone yesterday and make some observations. I admit that there is a certain draw about the z7 that makes it compelling to experience. Putting my hands on these cans was not a letdown in the least. 
 
The z7 is finely appointed with impressive build quality and comfort. The pads are exceptionally comfortable and luxurious. The gimbals, cups, fit and finish are first rate. I was excited to cue up the music and see if these lived up to all the fuss/hype. 
 
First five minutes, in a word...disappointment. Given the price tag I was expecting a good quality mid-fi sound signature. What I heard was loose sub bass, recessed mids and distant treble. I tried the z7 from several amps with various types of music, but the result was the same. 
 
The owner of the z7 encouraged me to try a cable swap from stock to a custom silver based cable. Wow, now this was more like it. The cable change really woke up these hp's. The bass was much tighter and accurate to the source. Mids came a little forward and the treble gained some extension and definition. 
 
At amazon's current $499 price the z7 is certainly worth a look and makes owning a good closed hp with style and substance a real possibility. I would encourage anyone who has the z7 and finds the signature lacking to given some consideration to a simple cable change. It really made the difference to me. 
 
Matt

On a side note, Mike auditioned my Z7 out of both the PHA-3 and GSX MKII by the way.  He also had the chance to listen to my a recabled Sony mdr-cd3000 as well.  i hope he will share his thoughts on the cd3000 too.
 
Jan 25, 2015 at 4:40 PM Post #4,073 of 9,123

davidmolliere

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From the Z5 thread but Z7 relevant :
 
 
An enjoyable Music sound stage is different to the type of sound stage needed for gaming. Yes, Z5 has more depth and layering in its sound, makes it 3D like, but gaming doesn't need any of that. Gaming needs accurate directional separation, along with large sound stage and accurate depth portryal (the 3D sound in Z5 is actually a disadvantage in gaming). Z7 does all these things better than the Z5 and by a large margin (the advantage is more obvious if you test it in games, with music its different story). (...) So basically the best gaming headphones around imo are all Sony's: XB1000, MA900, Z7. All of them are close enough to be considered equal for gaming and better than the competition, but Z7 is the best for music out of these, and depending on your tastes, Z5 may be even better than Z7 for music.
 
I'm a gamer btw. I've tried many headphones and iems for gaming.
 

 
Never mentioned it but I found the Z7 a killer setup to enjoy movies, because of those same qualities :)
 
Jan 25, 2015 at 5:22 PM Post #4,074 of 9,123

Sprkd1

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  Yeah, Z7 will have better soundstage. Frankly, I think it has the biggest soundstage of all closed-back headphones I have ever heard... save for maybe the TH900 where the Z7 either ties with, or only a little bit less wide.
 
And Z7 won't need very special amp/DAC IMO. The PHA-3 has been said to do some special processing in order to make the Z7 sound good.
 
I don't have the Z7 with me right now, but... I have also found from the service manual that the stock cable indeed is... SPC (silver-plated copper). This explains why I kept hearing the stock cable as being "cleaner" than the OFC cable that I rigged for the Z7. Although solid-silver works best for extracting clarity.
 
Now, this is not a knock at the Kimber Kable or its owners but... as far as I know, the Kimber Kable is OFC, and I don't think I'm hearing "improved clarity" or anything like that from OFC. If anything, it made my Z7 sound even bassier than stock.
 
Granted, I kind of like that with my modded pair, but I can't imagine it doing anything beneficial to the stock version.

 
Posted this in the Z5 thread:
 
You sure the Titanium HD will power them sufficiently? I currently own the XBA-3 IEMs and they are recognized as "easy to drive". However, if I connect them to the front-panel headphone jack on my desktop computer's case (which is connected to the Titanium HD and I don't think it matters if I connect them to the front panel audio jack on the case or directly to the Titanium HD because the Titanium HD does not have built-in amps), the sound is quite flat (meaning as if they are lacking power). If I connect them to my un-amped 5th generation iPod touch, the sound is much better but the sound-stage is not very three dimensional. However, if I connect them to my Sony VAIO Pro 13, wow the sound-stage expands immensely and it sounds as if I am listening to much larger speakers in a bigger room. Because of this I am unsure if my un-amped Titanium HD will drive the Z7 adequately.
 
Jan 26, 2015 at 2:01 AM Post #4,075 of 9,123

joey99

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I wanted a headphone stand for my Z7 but didn't want it to hang from it's lush padding on the head band which always seem to squash and mark it.
So I designed and printed one out on my 3D printer. I haven't set it to print at it's highest resolution but it works quite well.

 

 
Also I'm really liking the Kimba Kable. That smoothness is just awesome and dreamy. 
 
Jan 26, 2015 at 2:11 AM Post #4,077 of 9,123

pietcux

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That thing looks amazing. How long did it take you to design it? And how long did the print job take?
 
Jan 26, 2015 at 2:42 AM Post #4,078 of 9,123

joey99

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That thing looks amazing. How long did it take you to design it? And how long did the print job take?

I'm a 3D modeller by trade for the special effects and animation industry so something that simple takes maybe 30minutes to draw up in 3D.
I set my 3d printer to it's slowest setting for better quality and took 5hours to print but it can go as fast as 1 1/2 hours if I need it to.
It is very fun to be able to make things I can use.
 
I did make a double headphone hanger for under my glass desk before this but even though it's already very round and smooth, it still squashes the head band a bit which I didn't like.
I use it to keep my A900X on though.

 
Jan 26, 2015 at 6:43 AM Post #4,080 of 9,123

dL.

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I take my previous review back.

Now with the Kimber cable, the Z7 has far fewer soundstage and mid inconsistency. With the upgrade, you truly get a balanced experience that is hard to get with most headphones at this price.

The Z7 with the Kimber upgrade pretty much has it all. The highs? Smooth and detail but never harsh. Mids? Engaging but not super forward and dominating. Bass? Powerful and punchy without overwhelming. Soundstage? Adequately wide without losing engagement and focus. Comfort? Just the right pressure for the seal without being too strained. Build quality? Absolute precision in every detail.

As usual, to get the best experience with Sony, you gotta pay for their upgrades. IMO, Sony should've sold the headphone with the Kimber as standard.

dL
 

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