TECHNICAL SKILLS and SOURCE MATCHING
Technically the LZ Big Dipper is quite strong and comparable to many high level IEMs. First of all it has very good resolution across the whole spectrum. It has a very clear and seperated sound thanks to the black background. Sure it’s not something like over 1500USD IEMs but it’s still very impressive for the price it’s going for. Once again it pleases in those regards and exceeds my expectations.
Soundstage-wise it again is quite impressive as it sounds airy and stage dimension is great in terms of width. Depth-wise it’s not super impressive like the IEMs that go for double the price. Because of the flatter bass response and missing texture of lows, depth takes a hit. But it’s no way bad, still very good, especially with something reference like the TOTL Walkman WM1Z.
Separation is wonderful if you leave the 1st switch closed. If you open it to get more bass kick, it veils the mids a little bit unfortunately. So you don’t get the best resolution that this IEM offers that way. But if you can live with a flatter, reference-like bass character than you can leave the switch off and enjoy a great instrument separation. In addition, transparency across the mids is wonderful at all times. Especially listening to female vocals is a joy. You can hear their voice perfectly clear as long as the recording is well mastered.
In terms of source matching I recommend bassier sources to compensate the bass character. My Sony ZX2 and the Sony WM1Z served me well in this regard as they both give great bass response and warmness. Of course the WM1Z is in another league. On the opposite side, I wouldn’t recommend sources that give a cold and clinical presentation.
LZ Big Dipper has a 25 Ohms impedance 115db sensitivity. So it’s easy to drive and every kind of DAP or phone should drive it without a problem.
vs. Oriolus Forsteni: I think Forsteni and LZ Big Dipper share a similar character in terms of mids and treble, but Forsteni has a more textured bass with its dynamic driver. On the other side, I think Big Dipper has better mids overall, and much better soundstage as well.
vs Oriolus: Oriolus is my special IEM. And LZ Big Dipper can’t touch its amazing bass response of course. Other than that, I think Oriolus has a wider and deeper sound stage and a more coherent presentation overall. It sounds warmer but has a better background as well. Therefore it has a better separation. For the Big Dipper’s side, mids are more open and energetic. Treble is more pronounced with similar amount of extension but it’s so hard to deny the amazing Oriolus’ cohesiveness.
vs LZ-A4: The obvious versus. The A4 was such a big hit in my opinion. But to be honest, except the bass succession, the LZ Big Dipper is better in every way, as expected from the price. Mids and trebles are way better than with A4. A4 has great bass, no doubt about it, and has an atmospheric sound which is very special. But technically it’s Big Dipper by a margin.
vs UM Martian: Martian has a great bass quality and quantity, which is superior to Big Dipper. Mids are similar in terms of openness and tone as well as trebles. The differences are the sound stage and bass presentation. Bass is superior on the Martian, but the sound stage is wider on the Big Dipper. They’re evenly matched so it’s up to you as always.
I think LZ is spot on with the LZ Big Dipper, as in my eyes they proved themselves with this one. I had my doubts when I first saw the news, because you don’t usually see a big step up from Chinese brands in this short time. Also, we’ve seen many companies that released higher priced products right after a successfull budget product. LZ-A4 was great, one of the best values in the market to me, but this is a nice move from LZ to wink higher class levels of IEMs.
There are some points to improve here and there, such as the bass presentation and treble succession (I mean the 3rd switch, it’s good when it’s off). But I can’t say anything about the mids, resolution and the sound stage for the price as they’ve left me an excellent impression.
I hope LZ will upgrade this monitor in the future as I want to see what this man can achieve with even more technical opportunities.