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Not much to introduce here. Shozy is a Hong Kong company with roots in the DAC/amplifier/DAP industry, with their entry into the IEM scene being a more recent venture.
I’ve recently covered their 5BA BG, a clean-sounding IEM great for those seeking clarity. Of course, Shozy’s lineup is filled with some bad eggs as well (the Hibiki, Pola and V33 are prime examples of that) so it seems that they’re a mixed bag in terms of product consistency.
The Form 1.1 and Form 1.4 are their latest dives into “traditional” BA/DD hybrid IEMs, both with similar builds and sound signatures (more on that later). Let’s see if the Forms can join the BG & CP as one of Shozy’s few hits, or fall into the pit of mediocrity like the others.
These two IEMs have been kindly provided by Linsoul.
Shozy Form 1.1
Product page: https://www.linsoul.com/products/shozy-form-1-1
Driver configuration: 1BA + 1DD hybrid
The signature of the Form 1.1 can be described as “warm neutral”, though I can also see it being described as a “warm V-shape” depending on your perception of its treble.
The Form 1.1 manages to hit my neutral target curve (at least, in terms of its pinna gain) so in terms of tonality, it’s expectedly proper for my ears. My biggest gripe with it tonality-wise would be the bass response; the wide-band boost of its lower midrange and bass coupled with its arguably-suppressed upper midrange makes for a rather thick and hefty weight to the notes, while lacking the bite and texturing required for instruments like electric guitar and even female vocals.
I wouldn’t call Form 1.1 “muddy”, though it probably pushes that boundary a tad. The small treble emphasis helps in reining in its pervasive warmth, but not by much. There is a a kind of richness (perhaps one could describe it as a “grandness”) to the way it presents music, certainly a rather “coloured” tonality that isn’t the most natural but also not something I’d consider objectively bad. At least nothing sounds overtly strange despite the colouration and there is at least some semblance of balance in the Form 1.1’s tone, so I’d say it gets at least a pass grade here.
In terms of technicalities, the Form 1.1 struggles to maintain a clean attack so fast percussions in particular tend to suffer. Notes tend to blend together on busier tracks, so I wouldn’t consider this IEM if you were a fan of, say, metal or metal-based genres. Music that’s heavy on sustain instruments such as bowed strings tend to fare better, but also isn’t very strong on soprano instruments such as violin.
Imaging capabilities, like many out there, are simply average. Nothing stands out in terms of soundstage width or positional accuracy.
But at any case, the strong point of the Form 1.1 is its price. While the competition in the sub-$100 has gotten much stronger over the years, with sub-$50 IEMs managing to compete with the sub-$100s, I think the Form 1.1 would at least be worthy of a consideration when working with such a budget. It’s not the best in terms of sheer value but it’s also the furthest thing from the worst thing you can buy with your money.
Shozy Form 1.4
Product page: https://www.linsoul.com/products/shozy-form-1-4
Driver configuration: 4BA + 1DD hybrid
This section would be rather short because it’s basically a rehash of the section above.
The Form 1.4 has a warm-neutral signature. Its notes are presented in a thick and heavy way, not quite to the point of being muddy but it dances around the line. Not very good technicalities; attack isn’t the cleanest and struggles on percussions within faster, busier tracks. Average imaging.
Shozy Form 1.1 vs Form 1.4
As I had mentioned, the Form 1.1 and Form 1.4 perform on a very similar level. So close to the point where I don’t know in what situation you’d get the Form 1.4 and its $125 premium over the Form 1.1.
Both of these IEMs are close in terms of… well, everything, but most notably tonality since that’s the aspect that’s most immediately measurable. If anything, the Form 1.4 has slightly smoother (and less sparkly) treble, though this isn’t quite a plus point considering that the Form 1.1’s treble peak serves has a counterbalance to its warmth. Whereas in the Form 1.4 it’s more-or-less just a warm sound through-and-through, but the differences aren’t significant enough to really call either a clear winner.
Now I know some people would now cry that I review purely by graphs, and so of course the Form 1.1 and Form 1.4 would’ve been rated similarly given their similar measurements. So allow me to make a pre-emptive defence: while I’ve distinguished between the concepts of tonality and technicalities, there will be some IEMs that are simply equal (or similar) in both regards. The Sony IER-M7 and IER-M9 for instance; while having similar FR and thus similar tonality, have drastically different technical abilities for whatever reasons, hence their differing rankings. While other comparisons like the Moondrop Starfield and KXXS share a similar tone and technicalities, hence their identical ratings.
The Form 1.4 may have a very, very slight edge in terms of the sharpness of its attack and its imaging capabilities, but it’s really not enough for me to call it a superior IEM. And it’s certainly not enough for me to justify the added price premium.
In my opinion, if you’re considering the Form 1.4 I believe that you’d be better off saving that $125 and getting the equally-matched Form 1.1. I don’t think this is the verdict that Shozy would’ve wanted, but you as the customer would be spending less anyways.
If anything, this is probably a blessing during these mad times. Stay safe out there.
Shozy Form 1.1
Grade: C+ ★
More info on the Ranking List grading system
Shozy Form 1.4
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