Top critical review
Disappointing sound quality
Reviewed in the United States on November 21, 2019
I am a big fan of Sony products. I've owned Sony XBR TVs for years, plus I have two other very good Sony headphones, a Sony NW-WM1A Walkman, and a TA-ZH1ES headphone amplifier. So, I expected to be pleased with the Z1R. It has had mixed professional reviews, including a critical review from InnerFidelity. It turns out, the InnerFidelity review is exactly right. The Z1R has a bit too much bass, although that didn't bother me much. What I could not accept was the treble peak that made orchestral strings sound unnatural. I listen mainly to jazz and classical music, and orchestral music just sounds wrong on the Z1R. Amazingly, Sony has a much better headphone, the MDR-1AM2, which is more natural sounding, with only a small emphasis in the bass and treble. So, if you are looking at the Z1R, consider the much less expensive MDR-1AM2. Or, in the $2,000 price range, a much better headphone is the Ether 2 from MrSpeakers (now Dan Clark Audio).