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ZERO AUDIO-Ear Stereo Headphone Carbo Tenore ZH-DX200-CT
|Form Factor||In Ear|
About this item
- Make sure this fits by entering your model number.
- Noise-canceling: non-compliant
- Surround: non-compliant
- Maximum input: 150 mW
- Weight: 3.2 g
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|Sold By||Nakano Syouten U.S.Branch||Amazon.com||AUDIO EQUIP||Amazon.com||Linsoul Audio||AUDIO EQUIP|
|Item Dimensions||6.5 x 3.74 x 1.46 inches||47 x 0.25 x 0.25 inches||—||47 x 0.25 x 0.25 inches||—||0.47 x 0.98 x 0.39 inches|
|Item Weight||0.11 ounces||—||0.53 ounces||—||3.52 ounces||0.63 ounces|
|Special Features||lightweight||—||Lightweight||—||Dual Dynamic Driver Earphone, HIFI||—|
Top reviews from the United States
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The bass is way forward on these with some of the highs rolled off. While they sound relatively crisp, the mids are colored by the bass, and a lot of musical detail goes missing in the mids section. Highs are very musical and clear but slightly laid back. Cymbals and vocal detail (especially for female vocals) can sound incredible at times.
They're pretty good given that 80-90% of IEMs below $100 stink. I wouldn't buy these again if they broke, but I don't regret having them.
On the other hand, if you like bass but are not a basshead, you will probably like these a lot. The mids are clear enough and the highs are relaxed without becoming irrelevant. The soundstage is quite wide and instrument separation is very good (the ones you can hear, at least).
My only gripe is that my head hurts after a while because of the amount of sub-bass and some of the instruments I'm used to hearing (rhythm guitars, pads/synths) are wayyyyy far back in the soundstage to be relevant.
Being a sound engineer for live music and studio, it's just too hard to find something that's satisfying for cheap. WIth that said, the Carbo Tenore's are better than most of the IEMs in the sub-$100 range for a slightly bass forward sound with lots of detailed yet laid back treble.
I wish they'd charge $10 more and give you some better quality in the cables & accessories department, but sadly that's not the way it goes. Still a great value and well worth it if you're looking to try it out.
I am still blown away by these. They seem rather tough too. I've had a few dozen (yes, a few dozen) occurrences where either the left or right earbud gets yanked *very* hard right out of my ear while I'm just going about my business while enjoying my music. Yeah, I'm a bit clumsy. Each time it happens, I expect to find that the earbud that was yanked out no longer works, yet they are still both producing excellent audio quality for me.
If anything, I think they are getting better and better with continued use, kind of like how a fine wine gets better with age. I never believed in that whole break-in period with speakers before, but maybe it's true because I certainly keep thinking that they seem to have an even better sound than they did brand new. I'm not 100% convinced it's true yet, but I'm certainly no longer 100% sure it's just The Placebo Effect! I'm beginning to believe there's something to it.
Finally, I have to repeat something I said in my original review because I definitely still feel this way: if I ever break these, I feel my only choice for a replacement on the entire market is another pair of these! Sure, the temptation would be there to say that it's an opportunity to try some other earbuds in this price range (that is, something I can afford), but I'd be afraid of never finding anything that have as good of sound as these do (without spending a few hundred dollars, which I never have).
-Update on November 16th 2018:
Someone here on Amazon named EZAS updated their review to say they sent theirs back. This person claimed their reason was some kind of "graininess" to the audio quality. I'm not hearing this at all, so I don't know what they are talking about. They said it kept their music from being musical. While testing their new Carbo Tenores, this person said they were easily staying focused on testing and skipping to the next track instead of forgetting they were just testing (that is, they weren't getting lost in the music). Again, I don't know what this person is talking about. The sound I get is extremely clean and perfectly balanced, and it takes me away every time. I even recently used these for watching a movie, and it was an amazing experience.
This person also said they have to turn the volume up to get these to sound their best. Really? That's not my experience. If I can say anything related to using a high volume, it's that these are so well balanced that I can use a high volume when I'm in the mood for a high volume and I never get any fatigue.
Perhaps the Carbo Tenores that EZAS ended up with were defective. All I know is, I'm not experiencing anything negative. It's all 100% positive and I'm also rediscovering my music. I admit that I'm a little bit of a bass head though, so I guess if I were asked to find something to complain about, then it would be that these aren't improperly balanced with a boosted low frequency range! I had Sony MDR-EX71 earbuds (look them up) that finally quit working on me recently, and those were rather bass heavy - while also being nice and clear and balanced. I kinda miss that bass heaviness, but I do realize that such a bass heaviness gives a false impression of what the music was intended to sound like. Please allow me to elaborate.
I'm in the middle of listening to all of Dream Theater's studio albums. With the Carbo Tenore earbuds, I discovered something interesting. On Dream Theater's album called Systematic Chaos, they did a fantastic job changing the sound of the drums to match the music. On some songs, the bass drum was super powerful and very up-front with extra low-end and punch. On other songs, it was much less noticeable. What I'm getting at is, if I were using earbuds that are designed to be bass heavy (like I think the Sony MDR-EX71s are), I think those songs with a much more powerful bass drum sound would have been enough to make me want to turn the volume down. However, thanks to the extremely good balance that the Carbo Tenores have, I didn't need to adjust the volume at all.
I would rate the sound quality of the Carbo Tenores as "THX Certified".
If I ever break these or lose these, there's absolutely no question about it: I'd buy them again as though they are the only earbuds that exist.
Be advised though: with earbuds that have this type of tips (it's a very common type), you have to create a perfect *WET* seal in your ears. You can't just insert them dry because that won't give you a perfect seal and it will result in sound leakage, and sound leakage makes the sound become weak and thin and unpleasant. You want to create perfectly sealed little studios in your ears. When you do, you'll know it. This is just the way it is with earbuds like these. It's nothing new.
You also need to try all 3 of the tip sizes provided because if you don't, you might be missing out on a noticeably superior sound. I've had these earbuds for 9 days, and today I discovered that the large earbuds provide a much better sound for me than the mediums due to a much better studio-like seal in my ears. I was already very happy with these earbuds, but now I'm blown away.
Update after a month:
I sent these back. The problem is a very slight graininess. It's slight, but it keeps music from being well musical. I wouldn't call them sterile or analytical. They do have a nice detailed sound. They are slightly revealing of poorly recorded music or low bit rate. They need a little bit of volume to sound their best. I have about 25 songs I use to audition speakers and headphones. While using these I found myself skipping to the next song instead of forgetting that I was auditioning headphones and getting lost in the music. And while using them that bit of graininess on horns or grating vocals (think Bob Dylan) would pull me out of what I was doing. They are very light and I wasn't crazy about the angled cord but it wasn't a big deal either. Another pair of phones might be better if you wear them wire over the ear but these are so light you may not feel the need to wear them over ear.
Knocking a star off for the slightly irritating sound on some music.
First let me say these only have about 20hrs of time on them so I would not call them fully broken in yet but they should be over that new out of the box sound.
Like a lot of people I'm looking for all the sound I can get in cheap headphones. And technically these are very good and the internet is filled with great reviews. The highs are good and just walk the line of sibilance. If sibilance is there you can hear it, but it's not going to make you want to scratch your ears out. Mids are nice but not particularly impressive. Mid bass is not as controlled as I'd like but it's not smeared either. Drums are handled adequately. I'd like to hear a little bit better separation between kik drum and bass guitar, but it's not bad either. There is a very subtle bloom/extension on the bass. You don't really notice it but you would notice if it was missing. The bass is quirky. If you like a big emphasised bass it's not here. If you like super controlled bass (like hearing the beater on the kik drum and the pluck of fingers/pick on bass guitar strings) it's not here either. But for many people, I think they would find the bass handled well overall. The level of detail on bass I'm talking about just doesn't come on sub $50 headphones.
They do a very good job with acoustic guitar. Where I think they do best is on details like cymbals, and other things with 'ring'. Don't get me wrong these are very nice phones, i'm just being super picky for people who are trying to pick based on the sound signature.
I'm not a soundstage guy, but I would say that soundstage on these is barely adequate. There is no sense of space around the instruments and all the instruments sound like they are in a straight line. There is little sense of the room the instruments are being played or and/or you can't hear much of reverb on the instruments. I'm not saying that these things aren't there at all, but they don't stand out.
What I'm saying is they do a very nice job, and do a nice job for the price, but I'm not hearing the $100+ headphone beaters some make these out to be. But I can see where some people would really like these, and many people do if you read reviews They just are not super impressive in ways I look for. While I could make a case that these are technically better I liked my Vsonic GR02 Bass Edition more. And I liked my old NUFORCE 700M's (about $90 at the time) much better.
At times they are a touch forward and a bit unforgiving of poorly recorded music. Not bad, just a bit unforgiving. A case can be made that is a good thing in 'phones because that is accuracy. And I agree but sometimes it is enough to take me out of the music. If something is bit blaring, like a trump, you are going to notice it is blaring. If you hate Bob Dylan's voice you will really hate it with these. LIke right now I'm listening to Miles Davis and the horn just doesn't sound right. Yeah it should be raw and in your face and it is, but it lacks a certain depth of the horn that would/should balance that out.
They can be a tiny bit dry, a bit sterile? By that I mean they lack a bit of musicality that makes me want to listen to more music. When I was first auditioning with my music I found myself skipping to another song instead of getting lost in the song and forgetting that I was auditioning headphones.
I suspect that these might benefit from a headphone amp, but I"m not going to buy a $50 amp for $50 headphones. I'd rather put that money towards a bigger budget for the phones themselves.
I wanted to try these to see what I think of these and if your budget is less than $50 they are probably hard to go wrong with for a balanced sound. Not flat, not V-shaped, and not too fatiguing. If you told me I had to keep these I would not cry myself to sleep but I plan to up my budget a bit and find something that suits me a bit more. At touch more musicality, a bit more air around the instruments, and more impressive mid-range.
Note: in spite of my criticisms I'm giving these 5 stars because they really are very good and I could see where people would really like these.
Top reviews from other countries
BUT, I'm not sure if it's a manufacturing issue, these cables seem sensitive and tend to make my earphones imbalanced/lose their power from one side or both. If I wiggle my earphones slightly they might not work at all. This is a big issue seeing as I've paid £35 for these, but then again I might be the fool to have taken the gamble.
Mind you, from the date of my purchase (not even a week) and I'm already experiencing these issues. Durability is disappointing over all.
Buy at your own risk.
The sound is great and well defined. Great bass and well balanced overall sound
The cable went after 6 months and can't be fixed.
So this has become another item in the bin.
Used it on my phone while at work so was a 5 days/week use with no great stress to the cable that could justify the cable to get damaged. Just get real and make it properly lasting.
The first is that my pair died after just over a year of moderate-to-heavy use. One of the buds just doesn't produce sound any more; I can get it to flicker back on a bit by wiggling the cable, but have been unable to properly fix it.
The second is that, despite this rather short lifespan and the high cost, I'm still planning to get another pair.
True, it's not great value for money, but the quality of sound and ear-comfort on these is hard to overstate for someone who's only ever used cheap/device-included earbuds before. Decent sound quality on my headphones is something that I never realised I needed until I tried it, and as someone who wears them for multiple hours daily, I think it's worth the money purely as a QoL investment. Yes, you can get an alternative for a tenth of the price, but these are genuinely worth the extra cost if you use them a lot.
So, a cautious recommendation from me, the generic disclaimers regarding personal circumstances and use-cases notwithstanding.
Feels great to wear and they feel sturdy despite the fact that they are made solely from plastic.
The phones sounds to bright for professional use, but the separation is excellent.
You guys should make professional headphones for mixing engineers and for Hifi nerds.
I think you could make a difference and grab a peace of the market place with your fine products and price range.
Good luck with your company and in inventing new products.
All the best!