Sony MDR-Z1R Measurements Based Review

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by purr1n, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. KarlStromberg

    KarlStromberg Rando

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    Now The Eikon is missing ;)
     
  2. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Oh yeah, I'm definitely waiting to see more of the Z1R vs Elear vs the Atticus / Eikon comparisons too.
     
  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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  4. GelockS

    GelockS Friend

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    Hahaha! That box is definitely an abomination!!

    I do have to note that, although I mostly agree with your assessment, you actually compared the Z1R with mostly 'open' headphones. Elear is fully open, the Fostex headphones are basically open... I don't even consider them semi-open, they just leak WAY too much sound. For a "real" closed-back, the Z1R are basically tops in my view (better than the JVCs DX2000/1000/700, Ultrasone Signature DJs/Pro, Ether C Flows, etc.). But after seeing Eikon impressions, I definitely want to try those! (And Zach told me that although they are "semi-open", they definitely DON'T leak as the Fostex... I hope that's true!).
     
  5. zolkis

    zolkis Acquaintance

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    The Fostex are fully closed, in the back at least. They use Onken front loading, but it fires into to ear chamber. Apart from that they do leak, but this is more due to the bad pads sealing.

    The Z1R is actually vented, there is a small and a larger vent (top and bottom). But there is little leak, because of the better seal and good internal damping.

    Also, the ZMF are very much vented cups, but allegedly they don't leak more than the Fostex - which I find physically difficult). Until measured, I don't believe they don't leak.

    Apart from that, I am very interested in the Eikon. Also, having heard the D7200, it may be a hit for what concerns the drivers - but needs better pads.
    Check my impressions here (I hope it's fine to link HF).
     
  6. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Got the Z1R loaner in. I heard this at RMAF. I'm not sure if it was the system they had it plugged into or what, but I swear it sounded better at RMAF. I suppose unit variation could matter, or perhaps that was a prototype/cherry-picked model? I dunno.

    Either way, my quick thoughts on the loaner pair:

    - Bassy. I don't think it's a soft or slow sounding headphone, necessary, but I'd certainly call it thick and loose. The Dharma was waaay worse sounding in terms of bass, slowness, mush, etc. to me than the Z1R.
    - Bass-to-midrange transition isn't as seamless as I'd like. Midrange in general is pretty good in isolation but as a whole sounds off or missing.
    - Treble is pretty funky. Somewhat shrill and hot sounding. Think hiss + banshee sound. Thankfully, the excess bass tends to cover this up.
    - Taking into account the above, the headphone has a rather U-shaped tone.
    - Doesn't sound particularly open to me. If anything, has that wonky closed-cup resonant sound. Not exactly, but closer to that than open sounding.
    - Lacks air.
    - It could be the wonky treble response covering and screwing things up, but I feel this headphone lacks in pulling out finer details and especially nuances. See lack of air above too.
    - Looks fantastic. Super comfortable. Nice box. Sound is pretty meh and costs way, way too much.

    If you want to compensate for anything in your life and are eyeballing the Sony headphones with gigantic drivers, I'd recommend finding a used MA900 or Z7 and modding them. I mean, as nice looking as the Z1R is, and as much as I bet you could mod most of the issues away, it's too freaking pricey for what you get.

    Measurements eventually.
     
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  7. zolkis

    zolkis Acquaintance

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    Spot on.

    I hoped that modding the Z7 would get close enough, but unfortunately it's not. IMHO, judged by ear, the Z1R driver is much, much better. I don't know about the MA900. But surely the Z1R is too expensive and then it needs modding... I will pass. I will rather try some new e-stats.
     
  8. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    I dunno, I'm not hearing anything that makes me think the driver is necessarily better than Z7. If it is, it isn't big, and I still think Sennheiser and Focal have better dynamic drivers (I.e. and actual tier or two up).
     
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    3% better.
     
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  10. TMRaven

    TMRaven Friend

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    Can you buy an MA900 and enclose yourself within a Japanese divider screen to have the same sound?
     
  11. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Some quick measurements and notes.

    Bassy with nasty teeth in the upper-mids and treble.

    Sony MDR-Z1R Frequency Response Left.png


    Seeing as my rig can only take D2 down so far, this really isn't too bad. D3 is elevated in the lower region but is not horrible or anything. But it probably does contribute at least a bit to the sort of soft and fuzzy bass. Unsure why D4 is all dirty in the lower mids. I'd ignore that. Likely external noise.

    Sony MDR-Z1R Distortion Left.png


    Plenty of nice sounding ringing to go around. And in spots that are particularly unpleasant for me.

    Z1R Left CSD.PNG
     
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  12. ButtUglyJeff

    ButtUglyJeff Stunningly beautiful IRL

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    I've only been listening to the Z1R loaner for a couple hours after listening to my Z7 for reference, and I'm shocked how close these 2 headphones are sound wise. I was expecting so much more resolution and balance to justify the $1600 price difference. So far I'm only seeing a slight improvement in staging and resolution.

    Why isn't the bass more controlled then it is... geeze Louise...
     
  13. Craigo

    Craigo MOT: Mage Audio

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    I've spent several hours listening to my favorite CDs on the Z1R. These are really sexy phones but dang it if they don't make all electric guitars sound like like they're being playing through digital amps. Edge and bite are bright and raspy, bottom end is quite thick and slow, not much in-between. Wonky timbre isn't as noticeable with classical and small ensemble music instruments, but female vocals are a bit hissy and sibilance is dry and prominent.

    I mainly listened to these to A/B against by Beyers while I'm fine tuning them, but I ended up comparing them to a bunch of other phones too. I like them much more than the B&W P9 and the Nightowl Carbon, and I'd take them over the LCD3. Hifiman Edition X was much more refined, though a bit bright and lacking the overwhelming bass of the Z1, which was fine with me.

    Honestly, for a closed pair I pretty much feel like the P7 presents instruments and vocals more naturally. The Sony's are much more comfortable though, and they feel nice and luxuriant. I took lots of listening notes but it doesn't seem like there's enough interest in these phones to merit filling up the thread with them.

    Maybe we'll see a retooled trickle down version in the thousand dollar range some time in the near future...
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017

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