The BLON Z200 is the latest IEM from the company that brought us the famed BL03. The Z200 features a 3rd-gen carbon diaphragm and a zinc alloy sound chamber. It’s priced at $20.
Disclaimer: This sample was provided by Yaoyaotiger for an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.
- Driver: 10mm carbon diaphragm
- Frequency response: 20-20KHz
- Sensitivity: 102dB
- Impedance: 32Ω
- Price: $20
What’s In the Box?
The package is typical for a BLON product. Inside the box, you get the Z200 IEMs, 3x pairs of silicone eartips and a canvas carrying pouch. Personally, I think a better variety of eartips would be much more useful than the pouch.
The Z200 has metal shells with a zinc alloy dual acoustic cavity. Ergonomically, it’s easier to get along with than the BL03. Unfortunately, however, this time the cable is not detachable so you’re stuck with the less-than-stellar tangly stock offering.
I think the shells look great. They have a matte black or purple finish with a gold moon pattern on the faceplate. There are 2 small vents: one near the base of the nozzle and another near the base of the cable connector.
The nozzles are a bit short so finding the right eartips is essential for getting a good fit. I find these shells fit in my ears perfectly. They’re similar in size and shape to the Moondrop Chu. The noise isolation is great for such small shells too, so you can enjoy your music without distractions.
Gear used for testing includes the Shanling UA3, iFi Micro iDSD Signature and FiiO M6.
The BLON Z200 has a mild V-shaped signature. It has a healthy boost in the lows and fairly upfront treble. Despite the mild V, Z200’s vocals are forward and engaging. These are efficient IEMs and as such, they’re easy to drive and don’t require additional amplification.
The bass is lifted well above neutral. As a result, there’s plenty of power in the lows in both the mid-bass and sub-bass. It’s a bit thumpy and so it’s not for anyone who’s shy on bass or looking for a neutral or reference sound. Having said that, the quality of the bass is decent and there’s no distortion even when you turn your music up loud.
Listening to Holographic Field’s “Hum”, the kick drums hit hard with ample impact. It might even be too much for the faint at heart but bassheads will love it. The sub-bass has a nice rumble to it and sufficient authority.
The midrange is a bit recessed which is normal for a V-shaped IEM. But it’s not too drastic and there’s still enough midrange presence to be heard. Perhaps the most enticing thing about Z200’s midrange is the staging; the stage has a neutral position, allowing adequate space around the centre image.
There’s good clarity in the mids but there’s also some bass bleed that thickens the lower bands. The resolution is decent but deteriorates as things ramp up during busy segments.
The lower treble is lifted, giving the Z200 abundant energy in the highs. However, a large dip in the upper treble makes cymbals sound distant. For the most part, it’s a competent treble that delivers moderate amounts of detail without sharpness. While it’s not inherently sibilant, Z200 can be a little unforgiving on sibilant recordings.
Soundstage and Technicalities
The soundstage is pretty impressive for a budget IEM. V-shaped sound signatures often produce some of the best stages and this is a good example. The stage is quite wide and sounds can reach out past the edges of my headspace.
The depth is good too, thanks to the full-bodied bass. It’s the midrange that suffers most from this type of tuning though. The stage positioning is pushed back with good spacing around the centre image when isolated. But when the bass and treble kick in, the midrange sometimes struggles to gain a foothold and gets lost in the cacophony.
The BLON Z200 is a capable IEM but it’s going to struggle to gain purchase in the current budget space. I feel the cable was probably the biggest mistake here as nowadays people just expect detachable ones. In addition, the short nozzles will cause fit issues for some people (although I find the shells extremely comfortable).
True, there are other popular budget IEMs with fixed cables but their outstanding audio quality (Chu) is enough reason for people to overlook that shortcoming. Although my opinions might seem negative, the Z200 is really a decent earphone. It’s just that in the current market, you need to deliver more if you want people to take notice.
The BL03 is still BLON’s only standout product. They say lightning doesn’t strike twice and sadly, that currently seems to be BLON’s predicament.