-warmish cohesive tuning
-good macro resolution
-smooth upper mids
-natural enough timbre
-good attack speed
-safe but exciting and fun musicality
-generous amount of accessories
-blunted attack edge
-excited warm bass that bloom mids
-lack attack snap, sparkle and air
-jack of all trade master of none
-not a sound quality upgrade over 2 times cheaper HZsound Mirror
SOUND VALUE: 7.5/10
HZsound was a rather unknown chinese IEM company until they launch their best selling Hearth Mirror earphones, which I still consider king of technical performance under 100$ even today.
Since then, they have launch other IEM and even earbuds, like HZ Bell and Waist Drum, 2 very potent offering with good sound value, but it show a departure from their HZ Hearth Mirror crisp neutral signature too.
Did the pro will follow this more safe and mass appealing tuning approach?
Let see in this review.
Its very same housing than original HZ, but come in darker grey or full black.
Yes, these are quite small which will permit universal fit whatever the size of your ears. The mirror finish is both eyes and finger prints catching, so you need to take care of those as micro-scratch happen easily with mirror finish IEM, even if it cost 2K like the Sony ZR1 or A8000. Cherish your beauty.
So the construction is 2 piece of solid alloy stick together perfectly, no maladjustment often found with sub-100$ iem. The nozzle is angled and long enough so you can use any type of ear tips you want without fitting issue. The 2pin connector is solidly embedded in body and near flush so again, you can use a wide range of cable without issue which is a big plus for me that hate it when 2pin connector are deep inside the shell.
The CABLES is a nice 4cores OFC silver plated cable with mic of above average quality for it’s price range and it have a metal L shape jack, smooth braiding and not too thigh ear-hook. But this is more of a bonus since the big upgrade here its the MODULAR cable that come with 3 plug-3.5mm single ended and 2.5mm and 4.4mm balanced. Its the very same cable than TRN spc modular cable, which cost 15$. So, let say it make it a little bit less exciting, yet, it’s nice to have one.
Other accessories are very generous and include extra spc cable with mic, beautifull leather like carrying case, 12 pair of silicone ear tips and memory foams. Very nice.
Tonality goes V shape here, gone is the W neutrality and crisp near reference level HZ mirror sound, we are into an attempt to charm the mass here…which is conter intuitive since HZ Mirror appeal was all about high resolution and fast attack speed.
Does this mean the Pro are bad? Nope. Badly named? Yes.
Pro reflect higher technical performance and more refined tonality, which isn’t the case at all here. In fact, on Taobao, they are call HZsound MOOD. Which is sure more appropriate, cause it’s a different mood indeed, an excited bassy earphones with balanced bright signature that is far from being inferior to other IEM in this price range with similar signature.
But i’m biased here, since i’ve listen SO much the original HZ Mirror…and love them still. If I had a V shape dream with those, it would be surely with a 2 dynamic driver setup, at least, it would be about adding bass quantity without affecting it’s quality.
Yet, with a single dynamic of this type, HZ have push to the limit the bass quantity without going all messy, HZ goes safe tuning here, yet, it’s a risky one for first gen of Mirror lovers.
Bright V shape with energic resonant mid bass, fast in attack but not fully free of boomyness. Fowards enough mids, with good upper mids energy free of sibilance, which is impressive, but not shoutyness due to damping and well, those upper mids. Treble is darker and crunchier. We are betwee energic V shape and W shape with damped upper mids and upper treble tonal balance here.
Bass hit fast, it’s excited in mid bass boost yet keep a tight pace with resonance that bloom lower mid range, separation is rather mediocre, unless its not hard hitting or very energic bass hit or slap.
You know when you feel the bass have extra ”oomph” to it, this add entertaining distant sub woofer like physicality, well this is mostly what you get, since slam isn’t well define, and the edge is blunted in resonance as noted. I don’t think its a pro mastering trick here and bass quality let to be desired. Extension is muffled-muted, texture is gently blurry and warmed, energy slam of bass line and kick drum tend to mix togheter and their slight mids bleed or romantic bloom. Lower mids are thickned by this. Its not very textured bass and control will depend of how beat heavy is you music, but for complex IDM it will feel a bit muffled and too warn, it’s not a very tight bass and lack bit of bite for proper articulation. Nonetheless, with R&B, Soul and slow beat heavy or pop music, the result can be very pleasant, it’s a bass to be enjoy laid back way, since when you enter critical listening you easily find it’s above mentionned flaw, unlike with original HZM.
Mids are warm and full sounding, timbre is dense and note weight is good even if scooped in definition edge. Upper mids have more dynamic energy yet aren’t sibilant, just perhaps a bit shouty since female vocal can sound too loud in amplitude gain sometime, making me lower the volume. Overall resolution while not completely dark is a bit foggy, vocal will tend to overshadow other instrument, in fact, instrument of same range will struggle to keep their clean space and feel hollow as a whole. Woodwind instrument tend to sound very good, saxophone being densely lush and natural, not dry or saturated with timbral imbalance, the opposite can be say for sharp instrument like electric guitar which lack abrasive texture and details richness or violin lacking bite for proper attack definition. These seem to be tuned for versatile vocal presentation since both male and female vocal have bodied presence, but aren’t the most easy to understand in term of clear word spelling. Overall, the mid range is warm and dynamic with average clarity.
Now for the treble, its notably more colored than original HZ, it’s what I would call a safe treble with hint of extra energy in upper highs, just an hint that tend to extract part of percussions or micro details slightly without making it spiky or unbalanced. It very cohesive and understated. The edge is very softed in attack so its not a clean or crisp treble. It lack sparkle and snap and air. Clavichord sound muted with the PRO for ex, and texture very polished with most of instruments. It doesn’t really affect the tone, but timbre sure feel a bit too dark some time, for ex if a cello and violin play in same pitch, it will be hard to differentiate them. This is a ”jack of all trade, master of none” kinda treble to me, safe yet not too smooth, with very polish lower treble and just a hint of snap in snare.
Soundstage wise, it’s just average. Just enough wide to don’t feel in your head, as if your very near 2 deskp speakers, center spatiality lack deepness too.
Imaging isn’t good and feel hollow blurry, its very hard to position precisely instrument and separation will have bass or resonance bloom affecting visibility.
It’s important to understand that if I haven’t heard the original HZsound Mirror, my review will surely find more positive side to the PRO, since it’s far from being bad. It a fun warmish V shape with potent technicality and vivid dynamic. The fact its free from sibilance or treblyness is a big plus too, its quite versatile sounding too. I do think those that dislike first HZ will love these, since they were complaining about treble sharpness and lack of bass mostly, 2 things that indeed have been ”improve” with PRO tuning, to the cost of resolution-imaging and attack sustain-release naturalness.
VS TRIPOWIN OLINA
Well, while original HZ Mirror was superior technicaly to Olina, here the dynamic tweak impact on the Pro make it inferior in this department.
Tonal balance is more V shape with the Pro and overall warmer, Olina is more balanced W shape to energic neutral and resolution is notably higher too.
Bass have better definition, its less boomy and resonant and more textured with the Olina. Lower mids are warmer-thicker with the Pro, more blurry too, while cleaner in presence with Olina.
Rest of mid range is more foward and open with the Olina, better resolve and more textured, separation with bass is better, their less bloom in definition and attack have more bite. Female Vocal can feel a bit dryer and thinner with the Olina, yet cleaner in resolution and not impacting other instruments. Treble is darker with inferior definition with the Pro, attack is more blunted, lacking proper definition edge. Olina dig more micro details and texture nuance, have better transparency, more snappy and balanced treble.
All in all, Olina offer a more mature neutral tuning with edgier attack, better resolution and imaging, less blurry, warm and compressed spatiality.
VS BLON BL05S
These underatted Gem are surely the best IEM from Blon yet nobody praise them. Firstly, these are the HZ Pro bassy IEM we wish to get, since it’s notably better resolved and balanced than the Pro. Sure, it’s a brighter V shape, so you have more attack bite and edge, more texture, more resolution! HZ Pro have warmer more boommy bass that veil lower mid range while the BL05S keep it well resolved with a tighter better define and hint less agressive in slam low end. The bass is less resonant, hitn dryer yet the punch have proper definition and separation. Mids are brighter with more upper mids energy but less shouty dynamic, so resolution is notably superior and imaging is sharper. Timbre is less warm, but vocal are more detailed, less veiled and better easier to understand due to clearer articulation. Mid range is very muddy and veiled with HZ Pro compared to the BL05S, it feel compressed in loudness too. Now, treble part is very different, this is where people will decide if they prefer BL05S fuller brighter and more crunchy treble, it’s more agressive in presence and texture and make distorted instrument like electric guitar sound way better, more full, detailed and abrasive, where PRO tamed part of texture and make them sound boxy and distant, very artificial. So, the high dig more sound info yet are less colored and darkened in upper range, so timbral balance is less affected even if less warmed too.
Soundstage is notably more open, wide and deep. Imaging is superior, bass doesn’t interfer with accuracy of placement and we have both better separation and layering.
All in all, the Blon BL05S is superior both in energic balance that have less V shape bass boost and technical performance which are not tamed in speed nor uncontrolled in bass impact. The choice is easy here. HZ Pro is a warmer bassier darker BL05S.
VS HZSOUND HEARTH MIRROR
So here we are, and let begin by saying HZ mix up PRO terminology here since first HZM is way more profesionnal audio sounding, with a more crisp neutral tonality and magnify technical prowess unlike tweaked performance of the PRO which are damped in proper dynamic restitution.
HZ is notably less boosted, warmish and boomy in bass, its better separated, more textured and better controlled, less resonant and blunted overall. Sub bass line and kick drum have better separation too.
Mids are more transparent and lean with the HZ, resolution is higher and less blurry, the Pro have warmer thicker mids and hint more shouty yet less edgy too, overall vocal are more organic and natural yet not as well define. Overall mids of HZ are colder, more clinical yet more refined, clean and accurate.
Treble is biggest difference here and the big trade off from HZ to PRO, gone are the sparkle, brilliance, gone is ultra fast sannpy attack that create fascinating percussions restitution, gone is the clean edge too since it’s blunted now, darkened, safely polished so you have less texture, less micro details. For some it will feel more cohesive and balanced, and it’s partly true even if it impact negatively imaging capacity.
Soundstage is very similar as expected, perhaps bass resonance tend to widen the PRO a bit more, anyway, what is certain is that HZ is way more deep in spatiality, cleaner and more airy.
This make imaging way more accurate and positioning have more space between instrument, here, it put to shame the PRO since both layering and positioning is cleaner crisper.
All in all, the PRO are warmed more V shape sidegrade of first HZ, the technical performance are now inferior due to damping of attack speed and bloomy resolution, these are more fun and weighty in dynamic and safer choice for treble sensitive people.
The HZsound Hearth Mirror Pro, while offering a well balanced bassy tonality, isn’t aimed at fans of the first version and doesn’t represent a sound quality upgrade in term of performance.
It’s aimed at those that doesn’t like the first version, and find offenssive it’s more edgy crispness or its lighter bass or rather thin timbre, since in that regard, the PRO is a winner.
Yet, to the risk of being categorize snobbish, the original HZM earn my big applause exactly because of its mature audiophile near analytical tonality as well as vivid attack speed that wasn’t damped in dynamic or blunted in edge.
Since it deliver notably higher and cleaner resolution, snappier attack control and sparklier more brilliant treble edge, its very hard for me to find the PRO appealing, since there plenty of better V or U shape IEM in sub-100$ price range, Moondrop Aria and even cheaper Blon BL05S being prime example of this.
Nonetheless, out of my subjective appreciation and expectation ”bias”, I don’t think the HZ Mirror Pro are bad sounding IEM, not at all, in fact they are superior technicaly than lot of other too.
For those enjoying fun bassy musicality with a sens of immediacy in dynamic, this might be it.
PS: I wanna thanks Keephifi for sending me this review sample after I manifest them my curiosity about it. I’m not affiliated to this audio distributor nor influenced in any way.
You can buy the HZsound Hearth Mirror Pro for80$ here: