Review - HZSound Heart Mirror Pro

Review - Blon Z200

English | Español

Also available on YouTube in Spanish: Acho Reviews YouTube 

The Blon Z200 have been sent to me by Linsoul in exchange for the publication of this review. As is usual with Linsoul, they have made absolutely no requests, therefore, my review will aim to be as unbiased as possible (as always).

You can find the Z200 on Linsoul here: https://www.linsoul.com/products/blon-z200?variant=43201430487257

As with all of the links I publish, the above is a non affiliate link, meaning that I receive absolutely nothing in exchange for any clicks or purchases made by using the link.


Intro…

I really don’t think that I need to go into details on who Blon is or what they are known for, I have done that many times in the past, as have many others.

There are no shortage of Blon IEM models, some of which are better than others, but they have never really managed to hit it out of the park like they did with the BL-03, a set of IEMs that still remains highly praised after many other models have been and gone, even if I personally preferred the BL-05s.

The Z200 is the latest model from the company (unless any other models have been released since I received it, which is always possible in the land of IEMs) and with the quality of budget IEMs getting better and better lately, I was actually quite excited to try it out and see if they had developed something that could compete with the many other great budget sets that are on the market at the moment.

In their publicity they say that the Z200 features a Carbon Diaphragm driver that has evolved from the BL-03 with better acoustical performance. Seeing the praise that the BL-03 got (and gets), that is quite a claim.


Presentation…

Not much has changed with the presentation of Blon IEMs except for the spelling of their catchphrase. The Z200 arrive in a rectangular white box with clear plastic cover sporting their usual blue lettering and showing the IEMs inside.

The IEMs sit inside a cheap plastic moulded tray, something that doesn’t give the impression of quality at all. I have said many many times that I really don’t care for how a set of IEMs is presented in such a budget range, these cost less than 20€, but other brands manage to give a much better first impression in the same price range.

Inside the package we get the IEMs with a non-removable cable, a few sets of the typical Blon silicone tips, the usual Blon drawstring bag that gives off a recycled vibe and the user manual.

As far as presentation, in general it is pretty poor. I will say once more that the presentation is something that I pretty much ignore on budget sets such as this one but it really does give off a cheap vibe when opening.


Build and aesthetics…

The IEMs are made of an alloy metal, meaning they are very light and use a shape that is similar to many others that I have used lately. I normally find this shape very comfortable and the Z200 is also comfortable except for one thing, the length of the nozzle. Many people had fit issues with the BL-03 due to the short nozzle and although I can still get them to fit (and they are fairly comfortable), I find that I have to use larger tips which allow them to seal with a much shallower fit.

I must say that I am not a fan of the Blon tips and after some testing, I found that I had to opt for either the Spring tips in a larger size than usual (which is what I have used for this review) or a larger set of Xelastec which seal better when inserted for a while but make it a pain to remove and reinsert the IEMs regularly.

The aesthetics are a little more complex than the usual Blon offerings, with a gold moon crescent on a black shell. They are not my favourite design but they don’t look bad and are a nice touch on such a budget set.

The cable is non-detachable, even though it does look like a detachable cable (if you try to remove it, you will pull the cable out of the IEMs). This is not the end of the world on a budget set (in my opinion of course) as it does its job and stops people worrying about cable upgrades, yet I do feel that it is a step backwards in comparison to other Blon models such as the BL-03 or BL-05s.


Sound…

I guess the first million dollar (or $20 dollar) question is, are they better than the BL-03?

Well, better is very subjective and it is a term that I try to avoid. I was also not the greatest fan of the BL-03 (as I said, I preferred the BL-05s), even though I do feel that they (the BL-03) are a decent set of IEMs in their price range. In fact, the BL-03 was one of the better options until recently when many sets have come along and raised the bar quite a bit.

But let’s get on with the usual descriptions and categories, first starting off with a look at the graph in comparison to my personal preference target, the BL-03 and the BL-05s because, well, why not?

Starting off with the subbass, there is plenty of it on the graph yet it doesn’t come across as boosted to my ears as it looks on paper, at least with the Spring tips. It could be that I am turning into a sub bass-head but I feel it is more due to the way the subbass is implemented, with that slope down into the midbass which I find works really well on IEMs (in my opinion of course).

Testing the Z200 with the usual “Chameleon” workout, the subbass is definitely there, giving plenty of rumble to those lowest notes, yet it doesn’t become overpowering and actually does a decent job of keeping things defined. It is certainly not the best subbass I have heard but I can’t really bring myself to complain at 20€.

The midbass is the part that I feel brings these IEMs down. One of the things I disliked about the BL-03 was the excessive midbass that just made things a little too incoherent in the bass and lower mids. The Z200 is very similar in this regard. 

On the graph I showed previously, you can see how the midbass is very similar on both sets and I would venture to say that the Z200 is even more congested in this regard. This is due not only to the overly present midbass, which is elevated into the lower mids, but also the lack of mids in general, being even more recessed than the BL-03 in this regard. 

This could probably work well for certain genres of music, especially for those who like a very present (and bloated?) bass, but for the majority of music I listen to, I find that it makes things sound too congested throughout the mids. Even with very simple tracks, such as “Happens to the Heart”, the voice of Leonard Cohen seems to just be too smoothed over.

At the higher end of the mids, there is a bit of a boost to try and bring back the presence of vocals yet it is just not enough to compensate for that elevation in the lower ranges. I find that most vocals seem to be struggling for presence in tracks that have things going on in the lower ranges. With acapella tracks featuring female vocals, such as “I Concentrate on You” by Nellie McKay, there is a lot of warmth to her voice that could be pleasant if it wasn’t for the fact that it comes at the expense of clarity and definition.

Moving up in the frequencies, we hit a peak at the 5kHz mark which, as you may know by now if you follow my reviews, is not something I like at all. I am very sensitive to the 5kHz mark and that is probably the only part of the tuning that I preferred on the BL-03 to the BL-05s. I’m afraid the Z200 is even more pronounced in this area than the BL-05s, giving a peak that I find painful at times. It is not quite as bad as it could be, due to that extra warmth in the low end that (over)compensates, but it is still something that can jump out at me in certain tracks.

The extension of the upper ranges is actually not bad for a budget single dynamic driver but once again, the additional low end takes away from the clarity, removing the appreciation of those higher ranges.

The sibilance, tested as usual with “Code Cool”, is also quite acceptable. There is a little throughout the song but in general it is kept in check and is certainly not the focus point (again, due to the low end and recess in the mids, smoothing Patricia Barbers voice more than usual).

Soundstage and imaging is around average, maybe on the lower end of average, as is the detail retrieval. I feel that the driver could do much better in regards to details yet that overall sound signature is smoothing things over far too much to be able to appreciate the details.

And last but not least, isolation. The Z200 is actually much better in this regard than the BL-03 or the BL-05s. The added isolation, along with that presence in the bass, should mean that it will be able to compete quite well in noisy environments without too much of a change in performance.


Conclusion…

I really wanted this to be something new and exciting from Blon, yet I haven’t come away with that sensation. Yes, I am sure there will be people who really enjoy this set of IEMs but I am not one of them.

At the moment of creating this review, there is a difference of less than 5€ between the Z200 and the BL-03 and while I am not a huge fan of the BL-03, I think I would still opt for it over the Z200.

In my opinion, the Z200 gives a better response in the subbass and a better paint job, for 5€ less. However, the cable is fixed, the nozzle is still too short, the tips are still bad, the mids are more recessed, there is more of a peak at 5kHz and while there is a little more extension in the upper ranges, it is difficult to appreciate.

Again, I am sure there will be people who love this set of IEMs, unfortunately I am not one of them.


All FR measurements of IEMs can be viewed and compared on achoreviews.squig.link
 
All isolation measurements of IEMs can be found on achoreviews.squig.link/isolation

To comment or contact, visit any of the following social media platforms: