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Sony IER-Z1R Review

There are very few brands in the audio industry that appeal to audiophiles across the globe — and Sony falls into this category.

A saying goes thus: “different strokes for different folks.” It also comes into play when it comes to headphones preference.

Over the years, Sony has been able to consistently satisfy a wide variety of individuals looking for different qualities in headphones. Little wonder why they have become one of the audiophile’s go-to brands.

One of the Sony headphones that have taken the audio industry by storm is the Sony IER-Z1R. These headphones are presently priced at $1700, which is quite expensive.

But are they worth every penny?

Can they be classified as one of the best headphones on the market?

We have got all the answers you need stated in this in-depth review. All you have to do is keep reading to discover the truth for yourself.

Let’s get started.

Specifications of the Sony IER-Z1R

Here are the specifications of the Sony IER-Z1R:

  • Headphone type: Closed, Hybrid
  • Headphone form factor: In-ear (Intra-aural)
  • Headphone technology: Balanced armature/ Dynamic
  • Series: Signature series
  • Type: Closed-back
  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Weight: 0.92 Oz/ 26 g (without cable)
  • Driver unit: Hybrid
  • Dynamic driver: 5 mm
  • Impedance: 40 ohms (1 kHz)
  • Frequency response: 3 Hz – 100,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 103 dB/mW
  • Cord type: Detachable Y type
  • Cord length: Approx. 1.2 m (48 in), silver-coated OFC strands
  • Cable length: 4 ft
  • Plated Connector: Gold
  • Plug: L-shaped non-magnetic gold-plated stereo mini-plug / L- shaped non-magnetic gold-plated balanced standard plug
  • High-resolution sound: Yes
  • Sound output mode: Stereo
  • Diaphragm: 0.5 in
  • Connector Type: Mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm

What is in the Box?

  • Clip
  • Carrying case
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Cable holder
  • Cord adjuster
  • Earphones
  • Headphone cable: approx. 1.2 m (47¼ inches)
  • Hybrid earbuds (SS/ S/ MS/ M/ ML/ L/ LL)
  • Triple comfort earbuds (SS/ S/ MS/ M/ ML/ L)


The Sony IER-Z1R is easy on the eye, making them difficult to ignore. You will appreciate the design of the Sony IER-Z1R if you love headphones with luxurious looks.

The drivers of these headphones are housed by a zirconium alloy shell that gives them an impressive ergonomic feel.

At a glance, you can easily mistake the faceplates of the Sony IER-Z1R for earrings because they are beautified with a similar, adorable perlage pattern design. Sony certainly lived up to its reputation of manufacturing headphones with beautiful designs.


The shell of these headphones fits deeply into your ears and can feel a bit heavy. However, when you use either the triple comfort or hybrid tips, you will be amazed at how comfortable you will feel.

Using the triple comfort or hybrid tips, you can listen to music for hours at a stretch without feeling any discomfort.


Nothing hurts more than buying an expensive headphone that lasts for just a few weeks or months after you were sold the dream that you could use it for many years.

Truth is, no one wants to regret their buying decision after spending big on anything — including headphones.

If you are skeptical about going all out to get the Sony IER-Z1R because you know little to nothing about their level of durability, it’s understandable.

But not to worry, you won’t regret buying the Sony IER-Z1R. These headphones are built like a tank. They can last you for years to come. So, throw your doubts out the window. The Sony IER-Z1R is here to stay.

Every accessory that comes with these headphones is high-quality and durable. You won’t be needing new headphones anytime soon. And that’s a beautiful thing.


These headphones are designed to provide users with a natural sound capable of stirring up emotions and revealing even the minutest detail of your music.

Simply put, the Sony IER-Z1R brings you closer to the music, immersing you into every lyric, rhythm, groove, beat, and the like.

The introduction of the 5 mm dynamic driver as the super tweeter of these headphones allows them to produce up to 100,000 Hz.

Sony also used advanced technology that serves as a crossover to get around the undesirable incoherence from the drivers.

Furthermore, the addition of the tubing system gives the Sony IER-Z1R freedom to belt out a well-balanced natural sound with a broad sound stage.

These headphones are ideal for every music genre. But you’ll truly appreciate what they offer when you use them to listen to J-pop/K-pop.

Below is a detailed sound profile of the Sony IER-Z1R.

Low End

Many sound lovers looking for outstanding IEM bass responses opt for the Sony IER-Z1R for a good reason.

These headphones offer one of the most exciting and textured low-end timbres on the market. Once you insert the Sony IER-Z1R into your ears, you will immediately notice that the bass these headphones offer is as powerful as it comes. This is a standout moment that will undoubtedly win over bassheads across the globe.

The mid-bass also packs a punch, featuring a reasonable drive that makes constant synth beats particularly thrilling.


The Sony IER-Z1R is less effective in the midrange. This minimizes the exhilarating factor for a less exciting tonality when compared to the vigorous low-end.

However, the mids have impressive clarity and detail, even though it serves as a crutch making way for more emphasized parts within the frequency response. In a nutshell, the mids are well-balanced.


The Sony IER-Z1R’s treble offers laudable detail and accuracy. One of its greatest highlights is the height it gives to the imaging.

Although the resonance of the highs is softer, it doesn’t roll off substantially. The treble these headphones provide will easily be accepted by many listeners, even during times when some details can’t be noticed immediately.

Pros and Cons


  • Excellent sound
  • Impressive build quality
  • Deep and punchy bass
  • Clean and smooth treble
  • Comfortable fit


  • The bass might be too much for some individuals
  • Pricey

Final Words

No doubt, the Sony IER-Z1R has many outstanding qualities that would catch the eye of any audiophile. Not only is the sound signature of these headphones incredible, but also the bass is everything that a bass lover can dream of.

Similar to other headphones, the Sony IER-Z1R has a few drawbacks. However, if you can turn a blind eye to these flaws and consider the overall package, you will realize that they are one of the few under $2000 headphones on the market you can bank on.

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