LZ Z04A IEM Review
LZ (老忠 Lao Zhong) Hi-Fi Audio is a Chinese company that is specialized in the production of In-Ear.
The LZ Z04A that I will review is a new member with a Single Bio-Cellulose Dynamic Driver.
I would like to thank LZ Hi-Fi Audio for providing me this sample via Penon Audio for review purposes. I am not affiliated with LZ Hi-Fi Audio and Penon Audio beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered opinions about the product.
The actual price for the LZ Z04A is 45,00 USD and can be purchased from Penon Audio under the following link:
Purchase Link: https://penonaudio.com/lz-z04a.html
Package and Accessories:
The LZ Z04A is coming in a rectangular red box with the LZ Logo, which is wrapped with a black cardboard that features the brand logo and model description in glossy blue color.
This box is including the following contents/accessories;
- 1 pair x LZ Hi-Fi Audio Z04A In-Ear Monitor
- 1 pcs x Detachable Cable with MMCX Connector
- 6 pairs x Silicone Ear Tips
- 1 pcs x Zipper Case
Design, Fit and Build Quality:
The monitor shell of the LZ Z04A is made of two different components which are Aluminyum and Plastic. The overall build quality is rock solid!
The front part that we call faceplate is made of CNC engraved Aluminum material and sports a painting in black color except the edges which is metallic (seems un-painted) in color.
This faceplate is featuring is a small vent and the LZ HiFi Audio branding.
The back part of the monitor shell is made of plastic which is also in black color. This plastic material has a nice soft coating which looks like it has a rubber oil spraying process.
Here you can find a small vent and the slightly angled sound nozzle which has a metal mesh on the top to prevent the insertion of dust or ear-wax.
The connector is at the top of the monitor shell and looks pretty solid like the rest of the monitor.
The detachable cable of the LZ Z04A features a microphone part with 3 buttons.
The MMCX connectors have plastic housings with left and right indicators.
The cable sports on both sides flexible ear guides, which offers extra comfort.
This cable of the LZ Z04A features also a y-splitter and chin slider.
The 3.5mm TRS headphone jack has a straight profile and sports the LZ HiFi branding.
Fit and Comfort:
The size of the monitor housing is not small or too big and fits perfect in my medium sized ears and offers a fairly comfortable and fatigue free experience. The Isolation on the other hand is on an average level.
- Model: LZ-Z0A
- Driver: Single Dynamic Driver with Bio-Cellulose Diaphragm
- Frequency response： 15Hz-25kHz
- Nominal Impedance: 16Ω
- Sensitivity: 108dB
- Cable: 3.5mm single-ended stereo plug
- Designed according to CTIA IECQ standard
The LZ Z04A is an In-Ear Monitor with a relative low impedance of 16Ω and a sensitivity of 108dB which makes it compatible with relative weak sources like smartphones, tablets and DAP’s with weak amplification.
Equipment’s used for this review:
IEM’s : LZ Z04A, SHOZY Hibiki, TFZ T2 Galaxy
DAP&DAC’s : QLS QA361, Cayin N5II, Fiio M9, Astell&Kern A&Norma SR15
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- Elton John – Your Song (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- David Bowie – Black Star (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Eric Clapton – Unplugged Album (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- London Grammar – Interlude (Live) (Flac 24bit/88kHz)
- Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Wav 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Rush’s – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Opeth – Damnation (Wav 16bit/44kHz)
- Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Slayer – Angel of Death (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (DSF) – Binaural Recording
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Wav 24bit/88kHz)
- Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Spotify)
- Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Tom Player – Resonace Theory (16bit/44.1kHz)
- Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Portishead – The Hidden Camera (MP3 320kHz)
The LZ Z04A is an In-Ear Monitor with a V shaped sound signature, which has a warmish and full bodied midrange, a bass that is fairly fast and with good depth and a treble range that is controlled and soft in its presentation.
The subbass of the LZ Z04A has a good depth and extension, while it shows an average performance in terms of quantity and intensity. The subbass character of the LZ Z04A is warmish, entertaining and soft in its presentation. The subbass and bass level will satisfy most users with the exception of bass-heads.
The midbass region is showing a strong and impactful presentation, while they are no negative situations like a midbass hump. The quantity and intensity is above average with strong final hits.
The bass of the LZ Z04A can be described in general as fast, tight and fairly controlled, which doesn’t shows mixings or muddiness.
The midrange of the LZ Z04A is recessed due to the V shaped sound signature. The general character of the midrange is close to warm (warmish), fairly soft and is showing a medium-level of transparency and airiness.
Male vocals have good warmth and clear due to the adequate lower midrange depth. Male vocals are sounding a little further than female vocals and doesn’t showing any interference. Female vocals are more detailed and in foreground than male vocals due to the upper midrange tuning. The clarity, brightness and transparency of female vocals are on an average. There is no sibilance or harshness and exists a musical and emotional tonality. The extension of soprano vocals is a bit short.
The LZ Z04A has a lightly warm and bassy instrument presentation. The overall level of detail and separation is above is price range. Instruments like guitars are slightly bright and lightly bassy in tonality, while the clearness and the speed is quite successful.
Other instruments like violas have a warm and emotional tonality, while pianos are represented a touch bright and pretty soft. When it comes to the separation and placement of instruments, I can confirm that the LZ Z04A is quite successful in this regarding.
Upper Midrange & Treble:
The LZ Z04A has a mildly pronounced and soft, fairly balanced and very controlled upper midrange presentation. The transparency and airiness of this area is on an average level, while the transition, especially in stressful genres like metal music is pretty soft and controlled.
Only the extension of instruments like the violins, pianos and of soprano female vocals is a bit short.
The treble range of the LZ Z04A is not as pronounced/dominant as the lower frequencies. The treble is a bit more recessed and is showing a moderate level of extension.
The treble is neither too bright nor very clear and is showing in general a medium level of clarity and airiness. This makes the LZ Z04A fatigue-free and ideal for long listening periods, especially while listening to genres like EDM or Trance music.
Instruments like hi-hats or crash cymbals sounded more detailed and pronounced when I listened to jazz, compared to metal music.
The LZ Z04A has a suitable soundstage for a fairly precise instrument placement. The soundstage is not too narrow or too wide. The depth of the stage is better compared to the width, while the airiness is on an average level.
Some Short Comparisons:
LZ Z04A versus SHOZY Hibiki:
The SHZOY Hibiki has a more pronounced V shaped sound signature than those of the LZ Z04A, which is showing a milder character
The LZ Z04A sounds fuller and warmer than the SOZY Hibiki and is showing noticeably more subbass quantity and depth. The midbass of the Z04A have more intensity and quantity, while the Hibiki has the upper hand in terms of bass speed and tightness.
The midrange of both IEM’s is recessed, while the tonality of the SHOZY Hibiki is a bit dry and more neutral compared to those of the LZ Z04A, which sounds fuller and more emotional. The SHOZY Hibiki sounds more successful with female vocals due to the pronounced upper midrange; while the LZ Z04A is more emotional and successful with male vocals.
The upper midrange of the LZ Z04A is softer and shows better control, while the SHOZY Hibiki is a bit too bright and sharp in this manner. The upper midrange of the Hibiki has better extension and detail.
The treble range of the SHOZY Hibiki is more pronounced, sounds brighter and shows more intensity than those of the LZ Z04A. The Hibiki has better treble extension while the Z04A is superior in terms of control and neutrality.
The sound stages of both IEM’s are sufficient for the placement of instruments and vocals. The LZ Z04A has the upper hand in terms of soundstage depth, while the SHOZY Hibiki is showing more width.
LZ Z04A versus TFZ T2 Galaxy:
The TFZ T2 Galaxy is an In-Ear Monitor with a V shaped sound signature same as the LZ Z04A. The bass of the T2 Galaxy is soft and pretty fast, the midrange is full bodied and lush while the treble region is showing a fatigue-free presentation.
The subbass and the bass of both IEM’s have a soft and warmish tonality. The bass quantity and depth is nearly identical, while the LZ Z04A has the upper hand in terms of bass speed.
The midrange of both In-Ear Monitors is recessed due to the V shaped sound signature, while the main difference is the tonality. The TFZ T2 Galaxy is showing a warmer tonality than the LZ Z04A, which shows less warmth and more transparency than the T2 Galaxy.
The LZ Z04A is superior in terms of female vocal realism because of the more pronounced and detailed upper midrange. The upper midrange of the T2 Galaxy is not as forward and emphasized like those of the Z04A. The T2 Galaxy on the other hand shows a better lower midrange depth which makes it more successful with male vocals.
The LZ Z04A is slightly more successful in terms of treble quantity, extension and intensity. The TFZ T2 Galaxy sounds a softer and has a bit less sparkle compared to the LZ Z04A.
The sound stages of both IEM’s are sufficient for the placement of instruments and vocals. The soundstage depth and width is pretty similar, while the LZ Z04A sounds a bit more airy.
The LZ Z04A is a budget friendly IEM with a solid workmanship that features a detachable cable with microphone and which is producing a very well tuned V shaped sound signature that shows enough detail and musicality for a product in this price category.
Pros & Cons:
- + Well tuned V shaped sound signature
- + Quality of workmanship
- + Detachable cable with microphone
- – Soundstage shows average width