Note: This article was first published on 10th August 2018.
Hard to believe that it’s already been four years since the launch of the MDR-Z7 at IFA Berlin back in 2014. And now, there’s a brand new MDR-Z7M2 that promises better sound than before.
The new headphone inherits technologies from the original, with the Fibonacci-patterned grill and 4.4mm balanced cable connection. However, while the drivers are again 70mm in diameter, they’re paired with aluminum coated Liquid Crystal Polymer diaphragms for more natural sound with less coloration.
The dome of the diaphragm in the new model has been increased and now boasts an optimized profile for clear sound in the mid-low range matched with brilliant sound in the mid-high range. The magnet is also larger now, giving it stronger driving power which should result in better clarity.
There’s now also a dedicated acoustic port on the housing known as Beat Response Control that controls the airflow behind the driver and moves the diaphragm with extra precision when dealing with low frequencies.
Aluminum alloy hanger and sliders have been incorporated to lower the overall weight and three-dimensional sewing on the ear pads ensure they better fit your head, with less pressure applied. Thus, both sound leakage and comfort issues are resolved for a more comfortable listening experience even over extended periods.
For these headphones, we started our brief audition with a recording of Hotel California by The Eagles, and were impressed by the naturalness of the MDR-Z7M2. The imaging on this is certainly impressive, as we could easily pick out more detail in the guitar work. The shakers in particular, felt like they were barely 30cm to the left of us – an immersive experience indeed.
Moving on to a recording of Missing You in every Minute by Sandy Lam, we thought the headphones again did a great job in the mids, but also showed off good staging. Lam’s vocals and the backing instruments were nicely balanced so that neither outshone the other, and there was a nice warmth to the sound overall.
Finishing off with Michael Jackson’s Slave to the Rhythm gave us a taste of how the headphones handled a faster moving piece, and we’re glad to say they did so with ease. The introduction to this piece is fairly dramatic, giving the headphones a chance to show off its dynamics. We’d say the lower mids can be a little dry with these headphones, but they’re certainly delivered with enough body to have impact.
It certainly seems like Sony has substantially improved on the already-excellent MDR-Z7 with these headphones, though we’d much prefer to do a proper audition before making judgement. The MDR-Z7M2 will retail for S$949 from September 2018 onwards at all authorized Sony dealers.