LZ A6 Mini Review
The Black Pearl!
About LZ HiFi Audio:
LZ (老忠 Lao Zhong) Hi-Fi Audio is a Chinese company that is specialized in the production of In-Ear Monitors and is know with some models like the LZ A2/A2s, LZ A3/3s, LZ A4, LZ A5, LZ Big Dipper etc. The main feature of almost any LZ Product is the ability to chance the sound tuning via Filters (LZ A4, LZ A5, LZ A6) or switches (LZ Big Dipper).
The LZ A6 Mini and the LZ A6 are the latest products of the company. LZ A6 Mini is featuring a Hybrid Driver configuration with 1 x 10mm Dynamic Driver + 1 x Piezoelectric Ceramic Driver with 7 Layers.
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 MSRP price for the LZ A6 Mini is 180 USD and is available on Penon Audio under the link below:
Purchase Link: https://penonaudio.com/lz-a6mini.html
Package and Accessories:
The LZ A6 Mini is coming in a rectangular red box with the LZ Logo, which is wrapped with a black cardboard that sports the brand logo and model description in glossy violet color.
This box is including the following contents/accessories;
1 pair x LZ Hi-Fi Audio A6 Mini In-Ear Monitor
- 1 pcs x Detachable Cable with MMCX or 0.78mm diameter 2-Pin connectors
- 6 pairs x Silicone Ear Tips
- 1 pair x Foam Ear Tips
- 3 pairs x Sound Tuning Nozzle Filters (Red, Blue & Black)
- 1 pcs x Carry Case
Design, Fit and Build Quality:
The LZ A6 Mini has the same CNC machined aluminum housing we have seen on LZ A6 which has a “Rock Solid” build quality. The only difference of the housing compared to the A6 is the Loud (Gain) On/Off switch that is not available on the A6 Mini.
The monitor has a black painting except the edges on the front of the faceplate, which is metallic (seems un-painted) in color.
On the front of the faceplate is a small vent, the LZ HiFi Audio branding.
The LZ A6 Mini is available in two (2) connector variants, which are the MMXC and 2-Pin (0.78mm) options. The connector is at the top of the monitor shell and looks solid such like the rest of the product.
On the back of the monitor shell is a small vent and the sound nozzle which is interchangeable and can be screwed. You have the option of using one (1) of the three (3) sound nozzles.
The detachable cable of the LZ A6 Mini features a soft rubber coating and is save against unwanted microphonic effects.
The MMCX (or 2-Pin) connectors have plastic housings with left / right indicators. The cable sports also on both sides, flexible heat-shrink ear guides, which makes is quite useful for a more comfortable wearing experience.
This cable features also a y-splitter and chin slider and both are made of the same metal material same as the monitor housing.
The 3.5mm (unbalanced/TRS) headphone jack has an L- angled profile and sports a metal housing with a plastic strain relief. The cable features also a velour cable organizer, which is a nice addition.
Fit and Comfort:
The A6 Mini is not a very lightweight IEM but the weight is also not on an irritating level and it fits fairly comfortably in my ears. The Isolation of the A6 Mini is on an average level.
- Model: LZ-A6 Mini
- Driver: 1 x 10mm DLC diaphragm dynamic woofer & 1x piezoelectric ceramic Driver with 7 layers
- Frequency response： 15Hz-35kHz(depending on nozzle choice)
- Nominal Impedance: 20Ω
- Sensitivity: 112dB
- Cable: 1.3m 3.5mm single-ended stereo plug
- Connector:MMCX or 2Pin 0.78mm
- Designed according to CTIA IECQ standard
- 3 pairs of sound tuning nozzles
- Blue: 3-7kHz±3dB
- Black: 3-7kHz±0dB
- Red: 3-7kHz-3dB
Equipment’s used for this review:
IEM’s : LZ Hi-Fi Audio A6 Mini, SHOZY Neo CP, iBasso IT01S
DAP&DAC’s : QLS QA361, iBasso DX150, Cayin N5II, Fiio M9, Astell&Kern A&Norma SR15
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- Leonard Cohen – You Wnt it Darker (Spotify)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
- Opeth – Damnation (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Alboran Trio’s – Cinque Lunghissimi Minuti (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Otto Liebert & Luna Negra – Up Close “Album” (DSF) – Binaural Recording
- Lorde – Team (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Massive Attack – Angel (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Portishead – It Could Be Sweet (Spotify)
- First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining (Spotify)
- London Grammar – Interlud (Live) (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
- Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Minor Empire – BulbulumAltinKafeste (Spotify)
The LZ A6 Mini is an In-Ear Monitor that has 3 different sound tuning filters which are allowing you to fine tune the sound signature from linear to bass heavy, form neutral to bright depending on your taste.
Now I want to give you brief information about these 3 filters;
The Black Filter:
The Black filter of the LZ A6 Mini is the reference filter of this In-Ear Monitor. The Black one is the most balanced sounding filter under those 3 filters. All 3 frequency regions are fairly balanced and detailed.
The Red Filter:
The Red filter is emphasizing the lows and is decreasing the highs. It shows a fun presentation, while the overall level of detail is lower than those of the Blue and Black Filter. The general tonality is warmer and thicker than both the Blue and the Black filter.
The Blue Filter:
The Blue filter is emphasizing the upper midrange and treble region of the A6 Mini. The bass quantity of this filter is lower than those of the Black and especially the Red one. It sounds also a bit too bright for my taste and is prone to sibilance, especially with low quality recordings.
Please note that the sound analysis of my review bellow is based on the Black filter which is the reference filter with the best harmony under all filters of the A6 Mini.
The bass of the LZ A6 Mini has a reference type of presentation with a linear response. Both the subbass and the midbass are showing a sufficient quantity for most genres with exception of bass heavy tracks like EDM or Techno, where you can change to the Red filter which shows enough slam and punch. The subbass depth is pretty good with moderate emphasis.
The Bass of the LZ A6 Mini is pretty fast for an In-Ear Monitor with a Dynamic driver and has a tight and pretty controlled presentation. This attributes making the A6 Mini to a detailed and transparent IEM, even in some fast bass passages.
The overall presentation of the bass is fairly neutral and realistic, with low coloration, while the separation and extension of this region shows a performance wide above its price tag.
If you want more coloration and weight in this region I can recommend to use the Red filter, but in cost of losing detail and clarity.
The midrange of the LZ A6 Mini is vivid, transparent and warmish in tonality.
The lower midrange of the A6 Mini is showing good depth that gives male vocals a deep and full bodied presentation. The Male vocals of the LZ A6 Mini don’t showing negative conditions, such as muddiness or mixings, while female voices have a more upfront presentation.
The presentation of female vocal with the A6 Mini is transparent and has good extension due to the strong upper midrange tuning. The Female vocals are represented pretty clear and emotional without to show negative situations such as sibilance or harshness with exception of the Blue filter.
Instruments on the other hand are sounding lively and sweet to my ears, with a good level of emphasis and separation. Instruments like guitars are slightly bassy and soft; violas are slightly warmish, while pianos are vivid and bright in tonality.
The LZ A6 Mini is quite successful in terms of instrument and vocal separation. The vocals are coming from the front, while the instruments are slightly more in the background. There are no negative situations such like the mixings of instruments thanks to LZ A6 Mini’s airy and spacious midrange characteristic.
Upper Midrange & Treble:
The upper midrange of the LZ A6 Mini is well pronounced and is showing a close to neutral tonality. The general presentation of this region is quite transparent and spacious, while the transition is in most situations pretty soft and controlled.
The upper midrange of the Blue filter is more emphasized but is a bit too sibilant, while the Red filter sounds more controlled but shows less brightness and detail. Both female vocals and instruments are well pronounced and showing a good level of extension.
The treble range of the LZ A6 Mini is slightly bright, spacious and has a good level of extension. One remarkable positive of LZ A6 Mini’s treble is that it doesn’t come to much in the foreground, which could generate unwanted harshness.
The treble quantity, intensity and brightness are on a good level. For example, the ride and crash cymbals in trash metal songs sounding pretty controlled, fast and pronounced, without to be muddy or to mix in faster passages.
The LZ A6 Mini is showing a sufficient separation and positioning of instruments and the vocals. The soundstage of the A6 Mini is quite large, while the depth is on an average level.
Some Short Comparisons:
LZ A6 Mini versus SHOZY Neo CP:
The SHOZY Neo CP is an In-Ear Monitor with a slightly warmer than neutral tonality, which has a upfront and musical midrange, pretty fast and tight bass response and a upper midrange/treble that is pronounced but forgiving in its presentation.
The LZ A6 Mini is superior to the SHOZY Neo CP in terms of bass quantity, speed and depth. The SHOZY Neo CP is more suitable for male vocals due to the more upfront midrange presentation, while the LZ A6 Mini is more successful with female vocals because of its upper midrange tuning.
The treble range of the LZ A6 Mini is more pronounced, fast and detailed than those of the SHOZY Neo CP and is showing also the better extension.
The soundstage of the LZ A6 Mini is wider and slightly deeper than those of the SHOZY Neo CP.
LZ A6 Mini versus iBasso IT01S:
The iBasso IT01s is a pretty balanced sounding In-Ear Monitor with a slightly warmer than neutral tonality, while the sound signature depends highly to the used source and can vary from slightly V shaped to a wide U shaped or flat signature.
Both In-Ear Monitors are showing a good subbass depth with moderate quantity and extension. The bass of both the LZ A6 Mini and the iBasso IT01S are pretty fast, while the LZ A6 Mini has the upper hand in terms of midbass intensity and emphasis.
The male vocal of both IEM’s sounding more recessed than the female vocals that are more upfront and detailed. The LZ A6 Mini is in general the IEM with the warmer tonality.
The additional piezo-dynamic drive gives the LZ A6 Mini an advantage in the treble range and is producing a sharper, extended and detailed presentation than those of the iBasso IT01S.
The soundstage performance of both IEM’s is very identical. The soundstage width of both IEM’s is pretty similar while the LZ A6 Mini shows slightly more depth.
The LZ A6 Mini tries to convince its users with a variety of music types with the help of 3 different sound tuning filters. The A6 Mini is build like a “Tank” and surpasses the expectations, in terms of soundstage, detail, separation and treble performance for the price.
Pros & Cons:
- + Detail, Clarity and Separation
- + Wide Soundstage
- + Treble Performance
- + Price to Performance Ratio
- + Build Quality
- – Blue Filter is Prone to Sibilance
- – Not the Best Stock Cable
- – Average Isolation