Shozy Form 1.4: vinyl incarnate!
Updated: Oct 19, 2020
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What I’ve got here is the Shozy Form 1.4. I’ve already reviewed the Shozy Form 1.1 in the past, and this is it’s successor, at a high price tag, so is it worth the upgrade, the high price tag, or does it offer something different from the Form 1.1?
Disclaimer: Per usual, Linsoul has provided the product to me, but they have not tried to influence my review otherwise, and all views, comments, and opinions are my own.
So let's get InToit!
The build of the Form 1.4 is fantastique! It is a bit heavy, but it is just small enough and fits in my ear just as good, if not better than any other Shozy I have worn to date. Based on my experience with Shozy thus far, I have found the fit with all Shozy products to be exceptional in general. So comfort is not a problem. Unlike the Shozy Rouge, which did not come with a sufficient accessory package, the Shozy Form 1.4 comes with a nice 3.5mm to 2-pin cloth covered cable that lays flat without much adjustment and is stress-free e to use. It also came with the grey, cloth-lined, hard-shell carry case, which I prefer to all other Shozy cases. It is significantly smaller than their other offerings, and while it could be a bit thinner, this is the case that I will be using with my Rouge for EDC in the future.
The 1.4 also comes with a variety of tip options, but oddly, other than the foams, which seem to be normal sized, the silicone tip varieties here appear to only come in the super small, small, or medium variety. So if you have large ears, you’re going to have to invest in alternative tips, unless you like the included foams. I preferred to use Final Type E tips with this set, but their included double flanged tips were also a good option, don’t feel that it is necessary to upgrade the tips in the case of the 1.4. Generally, I found the sound of the Shozy Form 1.4 to be less influenced by alternative tips than other Shozy models that I have come in contact with previously.
The best descriptor of the sound of the Shozy Form 1.4 is “vinyl incarnate.” These sound like listening to vinyl as your source, so if you like listening to records and are looking for an IEM that mimics the properties of vinyl, then you’re in luck with the Shozy Form 1.4. These also remind me of the presentation of E-MU Teak, so if that’s your headphone of choice at home, and you are looking for something similar as a portable carry, look no further than the Shozy Form 1.4.
Like the Teaks, this is a warm and relaxing sound signature, but lively and revealing at the same time-despite its rather smooth sonic profile. Clarity and resolution are excellent for its price range, thanks in part to its 4 balanced armature, 1 dynamic driver, hybrid configuration. In comparison to the Shozy Form 1.1, the sonics of the 1.4 are more resolute, but less lush, thick, and earthy sounding in comparison. So, while clarity is enhanced, the presentation is notably leaner in the mids and treble regions, and closer to the rest of the IEM marketplace- distinguishing itself from these more unique qualities of the Shozy Forum 1.1. Nevertheless, this is still a very musical, somewhat delicate, and extremely enjoyable earphone. Unlike other reviewers, I do think the price hike between the Forum 1.4 and 1.1 is absolutely justified given that details, separation, and other sonic characteristics are immensely enhanced.
The soundstage was somewhat disappointing, as unlike the rest of the 1.4’s sound profile, it was relatively average. These aren’t particularly wide, and the sound primarily takes place between your ears. Depth and height of the sound-field was also pretty average, but better than its width. Imaging is generally excellent. Instrumental placement and separation are good, but instrument distinction could be lost on busier tracks at times.
Bass reproduction is romantic, and has a mid-bass emphasis, but there is better bass extension and more audible sub-bass presence here than in the 1.1. The low-end presentation is also smoother overall. Nevertheless, the bottom-end is accentuated on this set, and is more of a musical bass than an articulate one. It sounds like a 2-channel system where the bass crossover is set just slightly too high. These remind me of a pair of Salk speakers with Rythmik subwoofers that I encountered in the Schiit Audio room at Axpona in 2019. The bass does bleed, but it adds to this earphone’s warm sound and unique sonic character.
Mids are clear, and articulate, but lack forwardness at times. Vocals are notably in the mix, and contribute to this earphone’s relaxed presentation. The treble is well extended, but never harsh after a break-in period. Further, I would describe the treble presentation as being a little rounded, but not rolled. This set does have a somewhat mild, airy character to its top-end, but there is not necessarily air in abundance. Yet, at its price-point of $199 dollars, you are definitely getting a good value here in my opinion.
Overall, the Shozy Form 1.4 is a great IEM for someone who wants a warm, and relaxed sound signature that is also lively and revealing, but never harsh. The bass is emphasized, but not overly so. In this case, the low-end elevation simply contributes to the 1.4’s warm, glowing tone. Unlike the opinion of other reviewers, I find the 1.4 to be more sophisticated, have enhanced clarity, and be worthy of the upgrade over the Shozy Form 1.1- if one has to pick between the two. Nevertheless, I can also see someone wanting to own both Shozy Form sets, as they vary in warmth, liquidity, resolution, and tone overall; with the 1.1 being drier, more direct, and uniquely earth-toned in character, while the 1.4 is smoother, more resolving, and better distributed across the frequency range. This IEM reminds me of listening to vinyl, so, if that’s what you’re after, these will most likely be for you.
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