When it comes to earphones China has always been the hub for things weird and wonderful but over the last year or so it has truly blossomed into something crazy. With stores like Easy Earphones on Amazon & Aliexpress, small time manufactures and DIY experts have been able to distribute their creations worldwide and there are some exceptional looking products. You are getting hybrid IEMs with removable cables for prices as absurd as £20… and they look the part as well! I have lost hours sitting scrolling through these all new and intriguing creations, wanting to try them all.

16LZ A3

While we may look at some of the cheaper models in the future, today we are reviewing something a touch more expensive at around $165 from the brand LZ. I am not 100% sure what or who LZ is, I have read that it could in fact be a person who is the brains behind this product more than a complete brand, which would make a lot more sense. LZ actually made a huge buzz at the start of the year with the triple hybrid A2 that wowed everyone but was recently discontinued to make space for the A3 we have for testing today. The A3 is also a triple hybrid with a titanium diaphragm dynamic driver and a pair of balanced armatures for mids and highs, so a very similar set up to Dunu’s DN-2000J that we love so much here at Inearspace!

16LZ A3-2

In Great Taste

While the included box is quite simple and not the most elaborate or heavily branded, there is something about the presentation that has impressed me. It is simple but they have included a lot in terms of accessories and the product itself just has a special feel about it. While the included carry pouch is just a tiny square and far from the best I have ever seen, I liked how they included a whopping 4 kinds of tips as well as ear guides. A broader tip selection is something that is becoming more common these days but is still something I have to compliment. A tip really does change how an earphone sounds and it shows a lot about a brand when they recognise this!

16LZ A3-3 16LZ A3-6 16LZ A3-5

Having seen images of the A2 it seemed like a pretty ordinary IEM, from a purely aesthetic point of view anyhow. The A3 however is much more unique and one of the reasons I found myself being drawn to it. It looks unlike any other earphone I have owned and clearly shows it has had work in all aspects. It also makes sense why the A3 came so quick after the A2, maybe they had the sound ideas worked out with the A2 but needed to give some extra work on the new housing… or make some extra cash to fund doing it! However it worked out, I am glad it did. The earphone is metal and more in the over the ear teardrop style although there is an option to wear it straight down if you rather. It seemed taller and thinner than the usual earphones of this design, hence you can wear it straight down, it surprisingly is very ergonomic and feels comfortable and absent in my ear, even though it is made completely from metal. How odd but not a time to whine!

16LZ A3-4 16LZ A3-10

The housings are copper from their MMCX connector to the lipped sound bore, meaning I wouldn’t know where to start in faulting build quality. Metal earphones are my favourite and one of the reasons I have taken such a liking to Campfire and Trinity’s earphones!

16LZ A3-11

Furthering why I feel like these are such a special model is the inclusion of a different cable. Another one out of Campfire’s book, just at a fraction of the cost. This included cable is not the most expensive thing in the world, being sold from the Aliexpress store for $12 but it is just a nice change from that same old stock cable most earphones come with these days. The cable claims to be silver plated, silver plated what I have no idea, but silver plated something and on closer inspection seems to be a combination of two copper strands and then a silver strand. That may not mean much to what the cable is made of but gives a cool look nonetheless. Even more importantly the cable doesn’t suffer from any microphonics and is also really flexible even if it has tangled on occasion!

16LZ A3-8 16LZ A3-7

 

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Sonny Trigg
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