What’s crackin’ audio fans? In this review, I’m taking a look at the Shozy Form 1.4. Shozy Form 1.4 has a single Berylium dynamic driver plus 4 balanced armature drivers. How does it compare to Form 1.1 and is it worth the extra cost? Let’s find out.
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.
Shozy Form 1.4 Review
Real wooden faceplates mean every set has a unique appearance
Great build quality and extremely comfortable
Good quality detachable cable
Powerful bass performance
Cymbals can be shrill and lack definition
Package and Accessories
Unlike 1.1, with Form 1.4 Shozy decided to go with minimalist style packaging. It begins with a lightweight plain black box that’s bare except for a single Shozy logo on the top. Inside is a semi-rigid zipper carry case which holds the earphones and all the included accessories. Here’s what you get in total:
Shozy Form 1.4 earphones
Detachable fabric sleeved 2-pin cable with 3.5mm plug
Zipper carry case
3 pairs of black silicone eartips
3 pairs of white double-flange silicone eartips
3 pairs of white foam eartips
Build and Design
Form 1.4 builds on the previous 1.1 design but takes it to the next level. Medical-grade resin makes up the body of the shell but the faceplates have imported wooden inlays. Not only are the faceplates absolutely gorgeous but each one is unique.
A single metallic vent for controlling air pressure and bass decay resides on the top edge of the shell. The nozzles are also made of metal for increased durability. Overall build quality is exceptional. The resin shells feel robust and have a flawless finish that feels and looks fantastic.
Comfort and Noise Isolation
The resin shells are smooth all over with round edges and provide a very comfortable fit. In fact, these fit me so well they practically disappear in my ears. As such, I can wear them for hours at a time with no discomfort or hot spots.
Noise isolation is fairly average for this type of in-ear monitor. In use, they are just fine for most everyday situations, such as bus or train rides and public spaces.
The detachable cable is a dual-strand twisted type with a fabric sleeve. It feels quite premium, handles nicely and there is minimal cable noise. At the top are polished aluminium 2-pin connector housings followed by pre-formed ear guides.
The Y-split and 3.5 mm termination are metal with a band of carbon fibre pattern material in the middle. There is also a polished metal chin slider which is an upgrade over the plastic one on the Form 1.1 cable.
Sources used for testing include the FiiO M6 and Shanling M5s as portable solutions. On the desktop, I paired the 1.4 with Radsone’s new HUD100 USB DAC.
Form 1.4 has a warm, lush sound U-shaped signature with an emphasis on mid-bass and the lower treble.
Form 1.4 has a thick, meaty low-end that I would confidently designate as basshead level, if not for the sub-bass fall off. Notes are rounded and somewhat soft with a long decay. Firing up Twista’s “Time Zone“, there’s no denying that Form 1.4 has a tendency for heavy. lingering bass.
There is some masking effect on the lower mids and the raised bass levels give the overall tonality a healthy dose of warmth.
Form 1.4 has a rich midrange presentation with thick, rotund notes. Clarity is middling with male vocals coming across in a laid back and velvety manner. This is a forgiving earphone that works well with lower quality recordings.
Female vocals are smoothed over too and in Sia’s “Unstoppable“, even her powerful belting voice sounds a little subdued in contrast with the song’s heavy bass notes.
In order to keep balance, Form 1.4 needs a lift in the treble and it does so with a peak in the lower treble. While the 7kHz peak ensures that percussion instruments have a sharp attack and definition, it can also make cymbals too thin and lacking definition. In addition, it sometimes adds a shrillness to the cymbals, which is starkly apparent in Nosound’s “Winter Will Come“.
Falling off sharply after the 7kHz boost, the 1.4’s softened upper treble doesn’t offer much lift or brightness, which in turn makes the midrange darker. Treble detail is mediocre and there isn’t much micro-detail retrieval and little in the way of sparkle or airiness.
The soundstage dimensions are fairly intimate. Form 4.1 has good width but is limited in depth and height. Instrument separation is quite good and gives each element its own space on the stage albeit placed fairly close together. Stereo imaging is solid but forward and rear positions are vaguer in terms of spatial positioning.
Shozy Form 1.1 ($75)
Form 1.1 (review here) has a similar sound signature to the 1.4. Bass style is comparable but slightly less emphasized. Less upper midrange presence gives the 1.1 a darker, almost veiled midrange but in juxtaposition, the added upper treble increases overall resolution.
Build quality is very alike between the two but the 1.1 has a slightly smaller shell and narrower nozzle. Taking all the similarities into consideration, I think that the 1.4 is a hard sell at more than double the price of its predecessor.
Tipsy Dunmer Pro ($189)
The Dunmer Pro (review here) is just slightly more V-shaped due to having a less forward core and upper midrange plus added upper treble presence. Although the bass looks identical in measurements, it doesn’t feel as heavy or thick as the 1.4: this is likely due to the extra definition and slam it gets from a boost around 5kHz and a faster decay.
The Dunmer Pro has better clarity and leaner note size in the midrange which makes vocals more articulated and opens up the soundstage. Furthermore, the extra upper treble presence gives the Dunmer Pro’s sound a light airiness, brightens up the overall tonality and adds sparkle.
The Shozy Form 1.4 is a beautifully crafted IEM that simply oozes with style and build quality. Genuine wooden faceplates mean that each pair is one of a kind. It shares a similar sound signature to the 1.1 and while it is an upgrade in terms of audio quality, I think the price is a bit steep for what it delivers. However, if you’re looking for a beautiful and comfortable earphone with powerful bass and a warm but lively sound, the 1.4 could be the one (1) for (4) you.