The Shozy Neo CP: outdated and outclassed...
Updated: Dec 7, 2020
Hey everyone! Welcome back to InToit Reviews. It’s Your Friendly Neighborhood Reviewer here, and today we’re going to be looking at the Shozy Neo CP. I don’t know if I’ve heard a Shozy IEM that I haven’t liked yet. For what they are, the Form 1.1, Form 1.4, and Rouge are all pretty unique and fulfill niches within the audiophile marketspace. But what about the Shozy Neo CP?
Let’s get InToit!
So before we get started, let me give a big “Thank You,” and shoutout to Farsil The Wizard for sending the Neo CP into the channel for review. Farsil knows that I was pretty excited for the Neo CP since I discovered its existence. Why? Well, unlike Shozy’s other offerings that I have reviewed at the channel, which have all been hybrids. The Neo CP is only constructed of three balanced armatures. I tend to like BA only driven sets when they do a good job of handling the low end, and offer a natural tone. And while sets like those may be a scarcity, I had hopes for the Neo CP given what I have heard from Shozy to date. But, we’ll get to how the Neo CP preforms when we talk about the sound.
Check Farsil The Wizard at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCq4oZDBAZABMTPdIFHi8IxA
For now, let’s start things off with the build. Like I’ve already said, this is a 3 BA set, which are encased in a resin shell with an MMCX connection. The shape of the shell is reminiscent of Shure IEMs, and it mostly fits comfortably in my ear depending upon tip selection. With most tips, my ear had plenty of clearance, but with larger tips, the back curve of the IEM might rest up against my posterior concha, towards the anthelix. Even so, this wasn’t much of a bother, but it did make the fit more awkward when utilizing tips of this variety.
Uniquely, the BA’s in this set are resign encased, and sound tubes are utilized to deliver sonics to and through the stem. This is a technic generally, reserved for more expensive IEMs, so this was nice to see. This set also comes with two sets of metal, screw-on filters to adjust the sound to your liking. We’ll get into the impact of these different filters on the sound, when we get to that portion of the review. The colorway of the shells is described by Shozy as being clear, red and blue, but in actuality these look more like a clear shell with metallic, pink and teal, BA’s showing underneath.
The cable terminates in an unbalanced 3.5mm connector, and like I’ve already said, utilizes MMCX connections at its initiation points. And, this may be the best cable I have ever received in the box with an IEM a touch and play perspective. It is soft to the touch, remains free from tangles with use, and seems like it would come with a much more expensive IEM. This is the type of cable that should have come with the Shozy Rouge.
Beyond the cable and the filters, the Neo CP’s package comes with a variety of tips and the standard, black, Shozy carrying case that also comes with the Form 1.1. Like in the case of the Form 1.1 and the 1.4, one thing to know about the included tips is that, while you get a large amount of choice in terms of type of tip, you do not get many choices in terms of size, as it only comes with what appears to be super small, small, and medium varieties included for a number of different tip types, including the double-flanged silicones that I liked on the Form 1.4, and also would recommend for this set. Other, third-party tips that I enjoyed on this set were ePro Horn-Shaped Ear Tips, and JVC Spiral Dots- the latter of which was my preference for what I’m going to call the “laid-back” filter, while the double-flanged silicones or my preference for the “intense” filter.
So, in general, this is what I would call a “neutralish” set, with each filter acually pushing the tone of this IEM towards either side of the neutral line. In other words, the “intense” filter was quite a bit brighter than the “laid-back” filter, which has a warmer tone in comparison.
Nevertheless, this is a mid-forward set, overall, no matter the filter. But, the laid-back filter is smoother and more cohesive, especially in the mid-range, while the intense filter is more audibly “W-shaped,” with greater vocal separation and presence, greater bass percussion, and heightened treble in comparison. While, the intense filter should be seen as a more average presentation in the grand scheme of things, it is also notably leaner and more piercing in comparison to the laid-back filter, which has a thicker and smoother tone.
With more specific regard to the treble, graphs available online show that there is a relatively early roll in the treble, as things begin to drop off steeply at around 8K. I would suspect that these graphs were measured with the more laid-back filter, but I was unable to verify this in the course of this review, as these graphs also do not list which filter the measurements were taken with. Notably, I will say that there is decreased brilliance and air because of its roll off, but there is also more noticeable in the laid-back filter in comparison to the intense filter.
However; no matter the filter, there is some BA harshness, grain, or grittiness, which negatively impacts clarity and resolution for this set on the whole, and also dates it within the audiophile marketplace. Nevertheless, I find the laid-back filter more gritty, and the intense filter more harsh in its upper mid-range and treble presences.
The stage is also somewhat different between the filters. The laid-back filter provides a more spacious, natural sounding stage with good depth, height, and width to it, while the intense filter is more narrow, and less cohesive overall. In other words, switching to the intense filter seemingly shrinks the stage.
Consistent between filters, these IEMs are straight-up, imaging monsters, and they have decent decay, good transients, and excellent peripheral details. But, with that said, I find the overall presentation of the laid-back filters most certainly the enjoyable between the two sets. On this set of filters, image placement is accurate, instrument distinction impressive, and image separation sufficient.
With that said, where this IEM really suffers is in the low-end. The bass is rather one-note, lacks detail, and often lacks presence, even on its more intense set of filters where the bass has greater impact and pressure. But, no matter the filter, the bass comes across at least somewhat compressed, and neither macro nor micro dynamics are particularly strong points on this set. And it’s not just the bass that suffers from compression, but whole the sound profile, at least somewhat, in general.
It may sound like I am being too harsh on the Neo CP. And honestly, I don’t want to be, because ultimately this is a good IEM, even despite its faults. Having said that, its price is too high, and its level of resolution and clarity is insufficient to justify not only its price, but also its place in the audiophile marketplace at this stage in the game. This IEM screams that it is outdated. With regard to resolution, these are akin to something like the TinHiFi T4 at best (which is commonly $79), which falls in between the Form 1.1 and the Form 1.4, being better than the 1.1, but having less detail and clarity compared to the 1.4; and don’t get me started on the Rouge. For the money at $165, I don’t think these do anything that the Rouge doesn’t do significantly better at $180. And while, I understand that the Rouge is $15 dollars more expensive, and you will need to buy both tips and a cable, it is still worth it in my eyes to invest in the Rouge instead of the CP. So, unless you’re allergic to a solid, linear low-end, I can’t imagine recommending these over the Rouge to anyone. In my eyes, by releasing the Rouge, Shozy has effectively made the Neo CP irrelevant amongst its own IEM lineup. I just wish they would give the Rouge the Neo CP’s cable. And, with that, I’m out… for now…
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