The LZ A7 is a new in-ear monitor from this brand who put out a series of A-named IEMs with tuning filters that screw-on the nozzles of the IEM chambers. The tuning filters change the sound signature by adding or decreasing bass, mids, and treble by the screens used internally, and the A7 comes with 5 different sets of filters in a colorful array.
First off, the A7 was sent to me by Linsoul for my opinions. They can be purchased directly from Linsoul's store at http://www.linsoul.com for $338 USD.
The A7 has a driver arrangement of 1 dynamic driver, 4 balanced armatures, and 2 piezoelectric ceramic drivers in each side. There is also a tuning switch on the outer-face of each shell that dips or raises the mid-range. They are aptly tuned "Pop" or "Monitor" modes.
LZ have also included a gunmetal-colored braided cable with mmcx connectors, as well as a green leather (?) round case with their logo and branding embossed into the top lid. The tuning filters are screw on and come in a metal holder that has threaded holes to attach the filters into for storage and transport.
This will be a general impression of the LZ A7 in-ear monitor. I was considering whether or not to do a full review of every possible setting there was on this IEM, but that's 10 different configurations and to be honest, I don't like this product enough to give it that much time away from other products.
First off, I think the LZ A7 has pretty solid technical chops, especially at this price range. I found the resolution to be good, and the sound stage to be open and imaging and separation to be on par with others in its price range. I have no qualms with this aspect of it.
The bass in the monitor mode is nicely tuned and elevated slightly just the way I like it, and the mid-range is generally flat and smooth through the lower mid-range giving the A7 a nice warm and uncolored sound. In Pop mode, the bass is a bit more elevated and the mid-range dipped to provide a more V-Shaped tuning. This mode isn't my preferred tuning though, and I primarily stuck with the monitor-mode for most of my time with the A7.
In general, I found the gold filter my favorite of the bunch, and that paired with the Studio switch setting. The others seemed too shouty or bright, or just too recessed and dark (red filter) for my liking.
My main concern with them is it's treble tuning. Of all the tuning switches, none of them fix the gaping hole between 4.5-6KHz that is present on the A7. For me, that is an area that I am accustomed to having present and sometimes even emphasized. Instead, no matter the filter, I found strings and female vocals to sound veiled, lacking life and quite subdued to the point where it could come across as low-resolution.
This was quickly a problem in one of my test tracks, which unfortunately for the A7, emphasizes female vocals and an array of stringed instruments -- Alison Krauss & Union Stations' "Restless". This bluegrass-pop track sounded quite nice, except that area of emphasis, which for me, sucks the life out of the song.
That said, some people may like this more laid-back and darker presentation. The A7 isn't necessarily dark -- its got a Mangird Tea-type presentation where it has a major dip in the treble, but then extends quite well in the upper registers and this gives its presentation a somewhat open and airy, while having the upper harmonics sounding present and accurate. I just can't really get past the suppressed lower treble though, much like I found problematic on the Tea -- though in this case the A7 doubles down and dips even further.
I am not a huge fan of switches being used and I think I'm even less of a fan with screw-on filters. Even in this case, with each filter and switch making a big change, it's still seems like it can be a lot of wasted effort. But alas, I think some people will like the ability to find an option that works for them. In this case, despite having 10 available options, I am not really enjoying any of them personally.
I do find the technical performance of the A7 to be at least alright and on-par with other similarly priced items, but the tuning just isn't what I prefer. Maybe those who like the darker sound signature will like this one.