Sony IEM's - IER-M7, IER-M9, and the IER-Z1R

Solaris and Z1R are behemoths. The VX is also pretty large too – all are much larger than most iems.

Big IEMs for big sound :wink: !

Thanks for that @jrockwell, well written and very informative !


Thanks man!

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Hey guys, which Android Dap would suit best for the Z1R? Thanks in advance!

The Cayin n6ii drove it really well when I had it.


@jrockwell How did the Z1R work for you, have you still got them? And how do they compare to your Solaris long-term?


I owned both for a while last summer and ultimately decided in favour of Solaris…both have their own strengths and ultimately perform at the same level. Following are some thoughts I posted a few days ago when I was asked this same question. I will copy and paste it here:

Solaris --> Less v-shaped more balanced); more coherent across the FR; a little punchier overall; more presence in the mid-range, particularly lower mids; tighter, more controlled bass with touch of the “BA timbre”; better layering and separation of sounds

Z1R --> Bass, treble & Sony sexiness. More v-shaped, a little more bass impact, pure unalloyed delicious DD bass, though a bit “mushy”, probably more extended up top, more upper mid presence, but recessed lower mids, a little disjointed between the highs and lows.

In terms of things like detail, imaging and soundstage it’s a bit of a wash. As someone who has owned both I think it’s misleading to suggest that one is objectively better than the other-- they each have strengths in areas the other lacks and whichever of the two is preferable will depend on the tastes, sensitivities and listening preferences of the individual. I would say this same thing about certain other top tier IEMs (like the u12t)-- they all have their own strengths & character and individual preferences are the biggest factor in determining what is best.

One of my favorite qualities of Solaris is the sense of air and space you get coupled with the density and texture of DD bass. It’s a very nice balance overall and imho captures the best of a few possible worlds. Both Z1R and Solaris are hybrids but Z1R bass is pure DD whereas Solaris has a full range BA driver in its makeup. This means that Solaris has a dash of “BA timbre” in its bass response. Personally I feel that it is a plus. A hybrid, after all, is a mixture of two different driver types and Solaris does a great job merging the best qualities of the BA (tactility, articulation and speed of decay) with the density and muscularity of a DD. You get the best of both worlds. Solaris, for example, renders a TR808 bassline better than any other IEM I’ve heard.

Z1R on the other hand is pure DD and has a slower, perhaps more natural decay. Unfortunately (for me) in order to preserve the bass decay/response I think they allow parts of the lower mids to be recessed a wee bit. I remember with the Z1R feeling as though a section mids felted tucked behind a slight veil of bass. The Legend X does the same thing, though obviously much more dramatically…but the net effect is the same in that after sessions with both I find myself craving the air and space Solaris provides.


Thanks for the extensive reply! I found the original Solaris not a good fit for my ear, but i did enjoy the sound in the limited time spent with it. Can’t really relate to the Z1R as too much time passed between me testing the Solaris and getting the Z1R, which despite being a bit challenging too comfort-wise, I can at least place decently in my ear.

I’d really like to try the new Solaris 2020 - the smaller size might be just right.

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Yeah from what I gather the smaller size of the 2020 Solaris is a game changer for many. Z1R vs Solaris is an interesting one because on the one hand there isn’t really anything quite like either-- namely a DD/BA hybrid that goes for a balanced type sound-- but while the two are closer to each other than either is to anything else on the market now they still each provide a sufficiently distinct take on that sound that they can complement each other nicely, and I have talked to a good many people who have and love both in their collections without finding either redundant.

How do you like the Burr-Brown module for that Cayin? Everywhere I read people say it is warm and buttery sounding. Think it will be my end game dap.

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I’ve never tried the Burr Brown module (the T01). Mine came stock with the A01 (AK chip) and I later upgraded to the E01 (a sabre chip)…the E01 is by far my favorite.

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I have to agree with you @SleepyRhythms it’s a truly wonderful Dap. Likewise @jrockwell I really like the E01 module it’s fantastic. The A01 is also very good too but the extra clarity I feel I get from the E01 is more inline with my favoured sound.


Pretty sure the E02 also just came out a little while ago. It’d be interesting to compare all these different modules.

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Yes it did. I haven’t heard it but there are plenty of positive reviews online. It’s not an easy task deciding which module to get.


Seeing as we don’t have an official Z1R thread…I’ll post this here,does size matter? lol love both sets :smiley:


Woow. :clap: :clap: :clap:


When SONY wants to put on a show … they put on a show. Those are really sweet looking.

Mark Gosdin


nice pic. how do you like the Z1R over the P1?

Ha a good question that and I’ll have to start by saying though it defies all logic but I have a harder time getting the P1’s to fit well compared to the Z1R’s…I listen pretty much exclusively at home and not otg to my sets, once I have a good fit with the P1’s I try not to move too much, where as the Sony’s give me no issues fit wise what so ever, although the supplied tips didn’t work for me and I resorted to one of my go to’s the CP145’s and job done and happy to listen to them for 4hr sessions no probs.
I’m not one to get into how various sets differ in their presentation but if their sound sigs were compared to swords then the Z1R would be a broad sword large in size and presentation, hand forged with love and detail, heavy hitting but surprising fast when needed.
The P1 would be a Rapier, fast, quick full of speed but when used correctly can hit hard lol.

Basically I use the Z1R (still pretty new to me ie honeymoon period) for serious listening, My daily drivers are Reecho & Peacock Spring 1’s, IT00’s and occasionally FH7’s…for more etherial listening ie Folk, female vocals, chamber music and chill out then I use my OG Andro’s and for D n’ B, Electronica, Dub Step etc then it’s the Vega’s all from a MacBook Pro > Amazon HD > iFi iDSD Micro silver, pretty happy with this set up tbh.

How ever if a lottery win was on the horizon??? then I could be tempted by a pair of MMR Thummim’s and Luxury Precision P6 :smile:

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