Do you ever feel that your earphones sound good with some music and not so great with others? Or perhaps you just feel like changing things up now and then with a different sound signature but don’t want the hassle of buying/carrying multiple IEMs. Well, in this review, I’m checking out the LZ A7 with customisable sound which could be exactly what you need.
The LZ A7 is a tribrid design, 7-driver earphone with 1 dynamic driver, 4 balanced armature drivers and 2 piezoelectric drivers. Exotic mix right? Using the 5 included sound filters, you can adapt the sound to your personal preference. Furthermore, the A7 incorporates a crossover switch which allows for even more customisation. We’ll talk more about the specifics later. Let’s get into it!
Disclaimer: This sample was provided for the purpose of an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.
Robust metal shells
Tunable sound signature
Excellent detail retrieval and resolution
No pocket-friendly carrying case
Treble might be hot for some
Package and Accessories
The LZ A7 comes in a rigid wooden box with a woodgrain design on the outside. Inside the box, you’ll find the earphones and pleather carrying case seated in a foam insert. Underneath the insert is where the other accessories are located. Here’s a list of the box contents:
LZ A7 earphones
Detachable braided MMCX cable
5 pairs of tuning filters
A variety of silicone eartips
Tool for changing the switch position
Build Quality and Design
In regards to aesthetics, the LZ A7 has a rather utilitarian appearance. It’s not a flashy piece of in-ear jewellery but has more of a practical, industrial design. Personally, I find the look quite charming but nowadays I’m more invested in how earphones sound rather than how they look.
The shells are crafted from anodized aluminium and have an oblong shape similar to the previous LZ A5 model. On the outer face is the crossover switch that changes between Monitor and Pop modes (more on sound differences later). You will need a small tool such as a paperclip to change switch positions as it’s too small to be done by hand.
Below the crossover switch is some branding in the usual hard-to-read LZ typeface and below that there are 2 horizontal slits that act as vents. These slits are actually colour coded (blue on the left shell and red on the right) which is nice attention to detail.
The interchangeable nozzles act as tuning filters and screw in easily. Each one has a rubber O-ring to make the connection more stable. There’s a solid lip on the nozzles to hold your eartips securely in place. The nozzles are reasonably long which helps to get a nice, stable fit. As an added bonus, these nozzle threads are compatible with several other models and brands, making the sound customisation options truly vast and comprehensive.
On the top side of the shells is an angled MMCX socket. Each one is clearly marked with L and R for left and right respectively. Overall, the machining and build quality of the A7 is superb.
Comfort and Noise Isolation
I personally find the LZ A7 a very comfortable earphone but your mileage may vary. With their smooth finish and curved body, the shells fit effortlessly into my ears. The extra nozzle length encourages a deep insertion and the IEMs feel very stable when worn.
Noise isolation is pretty good and on par with most earphones with this type of shell shape. While music is playing even quietly I barely hear anything going on around me.
Included in the box is a braided 8-core 6N silver-plated OCC copper cable. It has a dark coppery brown colour and handles very nicely without any kinks or memory. For an 8-core cable it is quite lightweight and drapes well. Black anodised aluminium is used for the MMCX connector housings, Y-split and straight 3.5mm termination. There’s also a transparent plastic bead that acts as a chin slider. Overall this is a great quality cable and is a good match for the A7.
Where does one begin to describe the sound of the LZ A7? There are so many possibilities when it comes to tuning options that it’s difficult to summarize its sound signature. One thing for certain is the A7 is a very technical beast: it has levels of resolution and detail that are up there with the best in its price range. Furthermore, the clarity and soundstage are excellent, just as the individual ranges (bass, mids and treble) are.
The first image below shows the difference between the Monitor and Pop crossover modes. To put it simply, Monitor mode brings the lower, core and upper midrange forward, making it ideal for vocal lovers or anyone looking for a more linear presentation.
With the switch in Pop mode, the A7 has a more conventional mild V-shape signature that puts more emphasis on the bass and treble, while at the same time, opening up the soundstage. This creates a slightly more “fun” sound with more bass impact and treble presence.
In the second image, you can see the effect of the different filters (in Monitor mode). There are 5 filters in total (silver, blue, black, gold, red). Rather than give a long-winded description on all the filter variations, I’ll just add a graph below showing the different results.
To try and make this less confusing, I’m going to write my impressions of the sound using a baseline configuration with the black filters in pop mode. You can consider this setup a sort of guideline or control that sits in the middle of all the possible tuning options. Having said that, this is one of the only ‘tunable’ monitors that I regularly change configs on because it has more viable options than most other solutions and I enjoy several of them.
The A7 bass is like a chameleon that can change colour depending on its background. It adapts extremely well to each recording with just the right response. In general, it puts slightly more emphasis on the sub-bass rather than mid-bass which gives it weight and authority without any bloat. It’s punchy and dynamic with good speed and great control.
In pop mode, the mids pull back allowing the bass to come forward, giving it extra impact and presence. The texture on bass notes is great and the sub-bass reach is really satisfying. In songs like Randall Jermaine’s “Eternal Flame – Instrumental”, the bass drops feel immense yet they’re non-destructive and never overpowering.
A standout of the LZ A7 midrange is its resolving ability. Every instrument and sound occupies its own little space without any blurring. Regardless of the filter or switch setting, the mids have abundant clarity, fabulous detail and a natural tone.
Transients are fast and although midrange notes have a neutral weight, they have just the right amount of body for naturalness. Listening to Blackfield’s “44 to 48”, the male vocals sounded a touch thin in pop mode (still with the black filter) and slightly masked by the bass. But after flicking the switch to monitor mode the song became better balanced with the vocals taking a more upfront position and gaining a hint of extra warmth and body.
As I’ve come to expect with piezo drivers, the A7 has good treble extension. Almost too good in some cases, as the treble can exhibit a little more spice than my ears prefer on some tracks. Even with the red filters in place, the treble shows signs of sharpness here and there but not enough to be of any concern. However, if you’re treble sensitive, you might find these a bit too forward in the upper treble.
Treble notes are crisp and precise. They are airy and sparkly which help to expand the soundstage and provide ample detail and clarity. Especially with the silver and gold filters, I found the level of detail to be impressive for something at this price.
Soundstage is large in dimensions with good width and depth as well. The excellent instrument separation ensures a well-organized stage with lots of clean air between sounds. Imaging is precise and fairly pinpoint thanks to the crisp, detailed treble and overall resolution.
The LZ A7 is a very versatile in-ear monitor with excellent resolution and detail retrieval. The crossover switch and tuning filters offer a total of 10 different tuning options which give you a lot of freedom in how you want your monitors to sound.
Perhaps the best thing about the A7 is that it retains it’s superb resolution regardless of which tuning config you have in place. The bass is always controlled, the mids are always clear and the treble is always crisp. This makes the A7 one of the best I’ve heard when it comes to tunable IEMs as every single different config is viable in its own way.
Cable Connectors: MMCX Shell: Aviation aluminium Provided Cable: 8 core 6N silver-plated OCC copper cable, 1.2m length, 3.5mm standard single-ended plug Driver Units: 7 driver earphone, 1 DD (liquid crystal polymer diaphragm) for low frequency + 2 BA (Knowles) for intermediate frequency + 2BA (Knowles) for high frequency + 2 Piezoelectric Ceramic Drivers (7-layer piezoelectric parallel) for UHF Frequency Response Range: Measured frequency response range 5Hz-40kHz, audible frequency response range 20Hz-20kHz Impedance: POP mode is 15Ω/ MONITOR mode is 13Ω Sensitivity: 109dB/mW in POP mode, 113dB/mW in MONITOR mode, @ 1kHz Channel Error: ±0.5db Distortion: <1% Executive Standard: CTIA international standard IECQ Filter specification (The filters act on the change between 1.5khz~5khz, the increase or decrease is based on the default black filter): Black±0dB; Silver+6dB; Blue+3dB; Gold3dB; Red-8dB