Company LZ quickly achieved popularity, releasing hybrid headphones A-series, staked out a place under the sun, periodically updating the data model, slowly increasing the number of drivers (and also price). Today we will talk about their best at the moment operating time — model A5.
The previous A4, which used a more standard pattern of “one dynamite + two valves” enjoys considerable popularity, received a lot of accolades. The developers decided not to relax and try much more exotic option, adding to each ear by two emitter with a balanced anchor. Along the way, they reworked the design, cut a bit of tuning possibility (only 4 spin-on filter, changing HF), and, of course, could not increase the price. The current flagship LZ A5 is sold for 270 $ (price at the time of the review), what do we get for that amount?
- Emitter: 1 dynamic + 4 x balanced armature
- Sensitivity: 105±1 dB
- Impedance: 16Ω
- Frequency range: 8 Hz – 36 kHz
- Total harmonic distortion: <0,2%
- Rated power: 5mW
- Cable: 120 cm, removable, with MMCX connectors
- Plug: 3.5 mm TRS
Packing and delivery
In LZ have decided not to give the customers any frills, therefore, in a cardboard box approved by the Henry Ford colors you’ll find the headphones, a cable to them and a simple set of accessories:
- 3 pairs of replacement filters (the fourth is already installed in the headphones);
- very nice metal container-washer storage headphone;
- a few foamy bits;
- three pairs of silicone ear tips of different sizes.
In General, do not roam, of course, but the jar is really good.
Design and comfortable wearing
In appearance headphone LZ has taken a big step towards mainstream, now housing their hybrids look like traditional megadriver behind-the-ear headphones for wearing. Of course, on the one hand, such forms are exploited by all and Sundry, and on the other A5 was a very comfortable and compact. Metal case black with red pattern look quite impressive, build quality is more than decent.
The model is designed for behind the ear wear, to put their cable down would be unrealistic. Due to the smooth form and moderate size, LZ A5 provide a seamless fit and comfortable wearing, sound insulation slightly better than average. Filters for sound tuning is made in the form of “noses”, they are fixed with thread and allow a bit to change the flow in the region VSC.
In these IEM, of course, uses replaceable cable with MMCX connectors. Connectors are good quality, they provide a secure fit. The complete cable is made in a fabric braid, which has a low microphone effect. Stiffness — medium to I usually pull the slider above the splitter closer to the chin. The block separator and the plug is quite reliable, so the cable looks credible, but in General I would advise you to find headphone wire is softer, the benefit of offers different cables now more than demand.
To listen following equipment was used.
- Yulong DA9 and Resonessence Labs Concero HP in the role of DAC and amplifier
- Apple MacBook Pro Retina 2016 as the source
- Fidelia in the role of player
- Lotoo PAW Gold, theBit OPUS#2, Astell&Kern, A&ultima SP1000 and the role of other portable players
- Recording high-resolution Lossless-formats (Dr. Chesky have The Ultimate Headphone Demonstration Disc and others)
Before listening headphones were heated for 48 hours, changes in the sound it gave.
The Internet is persistently circulated rumors that LZ has released a replacement set of filters for the A5, changing their pitch, I even mentioned it in the video, but official reseller in the face of Penon Audio has denied the allegation, according to them, the model went on sale — this is the final version.
LZ A5 — this is the case when the developers have made themselves, trying to make “better”. The previous, fourth generation headphones offered very good tuning, like most users. Working on the flagship, LZ decided to improve the length of HF, and, having achieved this, immediately turned headphones into the category of “not for HF-fobov”. Like most other models no obstruction above 10 kHz, the A5 is a very demanding material and source and, in addition, the sound on the treble sharper than all the “traditional” crushed in this range of the model.
In the new model the developers have reduced the number of options available for tuning, we now have only 4 of the spout-filter, according to documentation they are able to change the number SC in the range of -2 to +2 dB, although in fact the difference between “minus” and “plus” noticeable stronger than that between +1 and +2 or -1 and -2. I stopped at the -1 option, as it slightly smooths VSC that is beneficial to their naturalness, while the -2 still has, in my hearing, a little heavy on the “taking away”.
NCH explicitly draw attention to themselves, and not quantity, but quality. The developers found a great speaker and made it exactly as expected in most users of hybrid headphones. Bass here is not dry and super fast, but they have very good resolution and macro-dynamics. Bass goes deep and thanks to a decent control of happy listeners massiveness and authority, while not interfering with the middle frequencies. It is the depth and naturalness of the bass are, perhaps, the strongest data hybrids.
The lower half of the midrange is very good, it is neutral, without obvious colors, pleased with the resolution and naturalness of flow. Voices and instruments sound very natural, with a good degree of accuracy. The upper half of the midrange tuning with filters and defaults rise, adding a headphone aggressiveness and spectacular pseudocatalase. Fortunately, with the help of the minus filters this emphasis is well leveled, and upper mid becomes almost “in my place”, playing in a perfect harmony with the lower midrange. The headphone are good to build an imaginary scene, of course, to top models, they do not hold, but overall the scene here is more average in depth and width. Well A5 succeed and division plans with the positioning of the instruments.
The high-frequency range — obviously the plot, which was an additional emitter or even both, this allowed LZ to make a model without the traditional dam above 10 kHz. In an attempt to achieve “rich” WP developers made the peak at about 12 kHz, which is the main stumbling block around the model. In many cases, this emphasis does not give itself felt, but not particularly well recorded the music is rich in percussion, it makes itself felt, adding to the sound of hardness. As the peak is “unusual” place, the sound seems unusual, but after hearing adaptation (or equalization), the problem disappears. However, if you are sensitive to treble and/or listen to rich peal of music, this model should avoid. The rest of the “top” is normal, this is a typical armature with fast attacks, a bit of dried attenuation and good separation.
A few comparisons for the sake of completeness. I was limited to just a few models of a similar price category of the number that I had in stock, the other comparisons I to see did not, the difference LZ A5 from the rest is quite obvious.
iBasso IT03. A smoother model with less pronounced peak at RF, while LZ A5 significantly more effective playing bass, especially if you prefer a massive flow. Midrange is similar, although the A5 a little more than emphasize the emotions.
Dunu Falcon-C. Despite the lack of bass emphasis, “Falcon” is one of the my favorite headphones in the flow of bass harvested, tight, with good body and weight, he, perhaps better than the A5, although slightly less deep. HF Falcon less bright (although they too are not to be called dark), the MF A5 better able to convey physicality.
Of course, to listen to this pattern with smartphones or tablets — the idea of “below average”. She’s better suited players of the average level without excessive pressure on the treble, but to find any option of sound is not a problem.
Stylistically, these hybrids are universal, the main thing is to provide them with quality records, and with it many genres are clearly significant issues. On a scale of severity is 9 or even 10 points out of 10.
Traditionally, a few tracks as example
Alice Merton — No Roots. Excellent demonstration of the strengths of this model: dynamic, deep impact, plus a spectacular variety of accompanying instruments placed very realistic and with excellent volume.
Mahmut Orhan — 6 Days. This collection has always lacked ethnic diversity, so here’s a great track from Turkish DJ and producer, combining not only a driving bass part, but a very nice ethnic insertion, emphasizing the A5 ability to build a scene.
Kerber — Nebo je malo za sve. It is difficult to say how many rabbits he kills this track. First, it is dear to my heart the Yugoslav rock scene. Secondly, this acoustic concert themselves Kerber. And, third, the material is quite well recorded that underlines all the same midrange and the stage heroes of our review. Bass in the track are almost there, but even deprived of the basic trump A5 never fold.
At the LZ was very interesting hybrid headphones, which, however, is not suitable for everyone. I like the fact that the company did not build another sound “like everyone else”, and tried something unusual. Let the result is not universal, but it’s still it is very interesting, and a lot of the strengths of this model is.
Buy headphones LZ A5