Sony MDR-Z1R

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by mrweirdude, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. Zhanming057

    Zhanming057 Friend

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    Serious recommendation: go try the Raal SR1A's if you have a chance - not closed, but it's a neutral bass powerhouse with extraordinary treble speed and quality.

    For closed cans, I have to also advise against the Z1R. I've tried them on a variety of sources and I have to agree that they are just, well, weird. Lots of bass but comes across as kind of bloated and indecisive, treble is hot but quality isn't particularly good for the price. The one good combination I've tried them on is the THA-Z1ES which tames both the treble and bass and even at that, I feel that there are much better systems for the price.

    The IEM Z1R's I have not tried but it seems to be polarizing, some of the people I know like them, others are saying that it has the exact same problems at the can Z1R's. I actually have the XJE-MH2 which shares some of the Z1R's components, but the Just Ear team is apparently a completely different development group from the folks who built both Z1R's.

    The Ether C Flow is fairly neutral but I consider it the most technically accomplished fully closed design on the market. If you want to go fully closed the Focal elegia is also an option although I also found that one to be a little weird.

    IEM wise, the Tia Fourte sounds like something you'd enjoy. And for a pure travel option the Sensaphonics 2x-s is cheap, has incredible isolation and is a mostly straightforward, no-nonsense neutral tuning.
     
  2. ufospls2

    ufospls2 Friend

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    I was just thinking about a closed pair, so the Raal are out. Also way more than I want to spend.

    I owned the Fourtes and like them, but they ended up setting off my tinnitus more than other IEMs, so I had to move on from them.

    Thanks for the input :)
     
  3. drgumbybrain

    drgumbybrain Science Nut

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    I use the z1r in airplanes and traveling. IMHO its way better in sound and comfort than all iem that I have used. For me, the sound isolation it’s better than the atlas. I use a Walkman with 4.4mm and the sound it’s not bright and not mushy. The cable can tune a little bit your sound preferences, It’s a nice rig to be siting and let the music relax you. I don’t use them for a critical listen, and I like it very much. I bought a used international version at amazon for 1390. The retail price its 1690.
     
  4. pedalhead

    pedalhead Friend

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    Honestly, if these are for using on a plane or when construction is going on, just go with the Sony WH-1000XM3 and call it a day. Good noise cancellation beats audiophile chops when the ambient noise floor is ~85dB.
     
  5. ToonMechaMan

    ToonMechaMan Rando

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    I'd avoid these if you're looking for good isolation. Passive noise cancellation for the Z1R sucks ass, especially if you're on a plane. It's a good, relaxing headphone though and very easy to drive. It's a set that you'd listen to after listening to a set of reference cans like the utopia. It has the detail but it delivers it jumbled up for lack of a better description.

    The C flows have some of if not the best passive noise cancellation but they're also quite bright. They remind me of my HD 800 SDR soundwise.
     
  6. Pampers

    Pampers Rando

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    i have similar preferences as he does but not "big bass". adequate and realistic would suffice. would u recommend similar models but of their open variants instead?

    i only listen at home and hope for something not unworldly priced. currently rocking 650's and would like to skip the slow upgrade path to the "summit"

    gotta say the Bubinga Aeolus is quite something; am def open to suggestions though :p
     
  7. elwappo99

    elwappo99 Friend

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    To preface this, I like listening to music. I often scoff when people say "these headphones are so bad I couldn't listen to music on them", or "these made me hate music". I'll think they're more obsessed with gear than actually listening to music. Also being in SoCal and having fans on all day, I've been on a binge to find a nice pair of closed headphones.

    So, like a few people on this thread I was always curious about a pair of Z1R. I had heard them briefly in Japan on one of Sony's DAC/Amp combo units and thinking "it's not allll that bad". Plus, I thought they looked cool.

    The MDR-Z1R actually made me not enjoy listening to music.


    These don't really deserve much review IMHO, but some highlights/comments based on common comments I've seen on these.


    - Box is pretty nice, but the build of the headphones feels sub par to me. Having owned the MDR-Z7 and MDR-Z7MK2, these feel like they slapped new cups onto those other headphones and put a cool looking cover on the cup. I think the headband is pretty much identical and might be reused aside from the covering. I'll admit, the cups look cool.
    - Bass is boomy, undefined, and overwhelming. True one note stuff here. Any kind of warm amp makes this so much worse.
    - Midrange - Someone said the bass doesn't bleed into the midrange. I'd say that's half true. The bass doesn't push into it, only covers it with a nice warm blanket, so that the midrange doesn't exist. Can't bleed into the mids if they don't exist. *taps head*
    - There's that weird peak in the treble. I can almost see where they were going with this "v-shape" sound sig. Bass issues aside, the treble peak is so narrow that treble seems to lose all weight behind it. So you catch the emphasis in some instruments, but they sound off. It's like a limp dick treble trying to pop out of this overwhelming bass. Also the treble peak is fine on some recordings, but on other recordings it "pops" out from seemingly nowhere and would make me immediately reach to change songs.
    - They sound low res. There isn't much low level detail retrieval under there.
    - Imaging and soundstage are on par with lower level offerings from Sony like the Z7.
    - Long term ownership of Sony headphones is never fun. They discontinue headphones and run out of parts within a few years leaving owners stranded. Reading the head-fi thread, it seems like Sony has already started to have a parts shortage on these, leaving owners out to dry.

    Overall I'm pretty disappointed this thing got such positive reviews from the headphone world. I don't understand why there was so much controversy as these should have been unanimously derided upon release. It'll always stick out as an example that most hobbyists are buying the next big thing and are then cluelessly hyping them up.
     
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  8. Ksaurav402

    Ksaurav402 Friend

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    Agree with you. Bass is boomy, mids are sucked out and treble is without any weight and has zing. Can only be used at low volume listening
     

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