LZ Z05A IEM Review
Musical & Fatigue-Free
LZ (老忠 Lao Zhong) Hi-Fi Audio is a Chinese company that is specialized in the production of In-Ear.
The LZ Z05A that I will review is a new member together with the Z04A and features a Carbon Nano-Coated Diaphragm 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 Z05A is 60,00 USD and can be purchased from Penon Audio under the following link:
Purchase Link: https://penonaudio.com/lz-z05a.html
Package and Accessories:
The LZ Z05A 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 Z05A 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 Z05A is made of Aluminyum and Plastic components, while 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 shimmering blue color, except the edges which seems to be un-painted.
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 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 Z05A 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 Z05A 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-Z05A
- Driver: Dynamic Driver with Carbon Nano-Coated Diaphragm
- Frequency response： 15Hz-30kHz
- Nominal Impedance: 32Ω
- Sensitivity: 110dB
- Cable: 3.5mm single-ended stereo plug
- Designed according to CTIA IECQ standard
The LZ Z05A is an In-Ear Monitor with a relative low impedance of 32Ω and a sensitivity of 110dB which makes it compatible with relative weak sources like Smartphone’s, Tablets and DAP’s with weak amplification.
Equipment’s used for this review:
- IEM’s : LZ Z05A, 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:
- London Grammar – Interlude (Live) (Flac 24bit/88kHz)
- First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining (Flac 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)
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Wav 24bit/88kHz)
- Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Spotify)
- Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Portishead – The Hidden Camera (MP3 320kHz)
- David Bowie – Black Star (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Eric Clapton – Unplugged Album (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
The LZ Z05A is an In-Ear Monitor with a slightly V shaped sound signature, that shows a pretty fast and deep bass response, a warmish and full bodied midrange and a treble presentation that is smooth and controlled.
The character of the LZ Z05A’s bass is warm and soft, while it is tight in its presentation and shows an average depth.
The Carbon Nano-Coated Diaphragm Driver of the Z05a is producing a subbass with good depth and extension. The extension is petty good from the contrabass up to synthetic bass instruments. I can also confirm that the LZ Z05A has an improved bass depth and extension compared to the Z04A. The bass is pretty tight while listening to the drums in Megadeth’s and Opeth’s songs. The upper bass region on the other hand has less intensity but shows good speed and control.
The midrange of the LZ Z05A has in general a close to warm tonality and shows average transparency and airiness.
The lower midrange of the LZ Z05A shows a nice amount of body which makes male vocals musical and fairly meaty in its presentation. Male vocals sounding slightly more recessed compared to female vocals. The LZ Z05A is more successful with female vocals compared to male voices. Female vocals are sounding clean, transparent and musical. The detail retrieval and extension is pretty good due to the well pronounced upper midrange and they are no negative situations like sibilance or harshness.
The LZ Z05A has a good instrument separation and definition for its price. The instruments are pretty natural and musical, with only a low amount of coloration. Instruments like acoustic guitars are slightly warm, bassy and soft, while violas are warm, slightly thick and emotional.
Upper Midrange & Treble:
The upper midrange of the LZ Z05A is mildly pronounced and shows soft transitions, without to be aggressive / harsh. This region has a warmish, pretty soft and musical tonality.
Instruments like violins are slightly bright and have good extension, while pianos are warmish and soft in tonality. The upper midrange is in general controlled.
The treble range of the LZ Z05A is a bit less pronounced compared to the lows and the midrange. The treble presentation of the Z05A is musical, smooth and fatigue-free. The extension is a bit short and is missing a bit of airiness. The treble range is showing and average speed, intensity and quantity.
The soundstage of the LZ Z05A is suitable for a fairly precise instrument placement, while it is not too narrow or very 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 Shozy Hibiki has a sharply V shaped sound signature while the LZ Z05A has a milder V shaped tuning. The first noticeable difference is that the Z05A sounds fuller and warmer compared to the Hibiki IEM. The Hibiki has less subbass depth and quantity compared to the Z05A. The Z05A is superior in terms of subbass depth and intensity.
The SHOZY Hibiki has less midbass intensity compared to the LZ Z05A but is more successful in terms of bass speed and tightness.
The midrange of both IEM’s is recessed due to the V shaped sound signature. The midrange of the Hibiki sounds dryer compared to those of the Z05A, which offers a fuller and more emotional presentation.
The SHOZY Hibiki is better in terms of female vocals due to the more pronounced upper midrange tuning, while the LZ Z05A is more successful with male vocals.
The upper midrange of the LZ Z05A is softer and shows additional control, while the SHOZY Hibiki IEM is brighter and a bit harsh in this region, but is superior in terms of extension and detail.
The treble range of the Hibiki is more vivid and shows additional sparkle compare to the smoother and more controlled (warmish) presentation of the Z05A IEM. The SHOZY Hibiki is more successful in terms of treble extension and intensity, while the LZ Z05A offers more fatigue-free listening experience.
The sound stages of both IEM’s are sufficient for the placement of instruments and vocals. The SHOZY Hibiki has the upper hand in terms of soundstage width, while the LZ Z05A offers more depth.
LZ Z04A versus TFZ T2 Galaxy:
The TFZ T2 Galaxy is an In-Ear Monitor with a V shaped sound signature with a bass that is pretty fast and soft, a midrange that sounds quite lush and full bodied and a treble range that shows a fatigue free / relaxing presentation.
Both IEM’s sharing similarities in the subbass and bass region which is a warmish and prey soft tonality. The bass quantity and depth is pretty similar, while the LZ Z05A offers additional speed.
The midrange of both IEM’s is recessed due to the V shaped sound signature. The TFZ T2 Galaxy has a slightly warmer tonality compared to the LZ Z05A that sounds more transparent.
The LZ Z05A is better with female vocals due to the upper midrange tuning, while the TFZ T2 Galaxy has the upper hand for male vocals.
The upper midrange and the treble region of the LZ Z05A is more emphasized compare to the TFZ T2 Galaxy. The LZ Z05A is slightly more successful in terms of treble intensity, extension and quantity.
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 Z05A offers a bit more air compared to the TFZ T2 Galaxy.
The LZ Z05A offers a musical, mildly V shaped sound signature that is fatigue-free and that works pretty good with most modern genres. The solid build quality and the detachable cable, which features a build-in microphone with navigation buttons, are also some nice addition for an IEM in this price range.
Pros & Cons:
- + Musical and Fatigue-Free Sound Tuning
- + Good Build Quality for the Price
- + Detachable cable with microphone that supports the CTIA IECQ standard
- – Treble Extension and Soundstage width