Current testing methodology is v1.2
Every time I get good-sounding IEMs from a particular brand, I end up buying more from the brand, hoping for better quality.
After getting the FZ Liberty Z1, which impressed me, I got the FZ Liberty Max. It’s another budget IEM from FZ, which is a sub-brand of TRN – a popular Chi-fi brand with many decent products that won’t break the bank.
I bought the Liberty Max for around $8 (the price may vary depending on where you buy it from.) I’m unsure if the Liberty Max is the last IEM in FZ’s Liberty Lineage or if it came before the Z1 or Z2.
Anyway, let’s find out if the FZ Liberty Max is worth getting.
FZ Liberty Max
Excellent IEMs from a new player in the game.
The FZ Liberty Max is a budget earphone from FZ, a rising Chi-fi brand. It has a warm V-shaped tuning with an elevated bass region, making it suitable for energetic types of music, like pop, EDM, rock, and R&B.
Its midrange poses a bit of recession but it’s not much of a big deal. The treble also has nice tuning and doesn’t cause any ear fatigue.
For an IEM at this price with wow-factor performance, the FZ Liberty Max is a superb deal for IEM enthusiasts out there.
- Driver: 8mm Dynamic Driver
- Cable: 3.5mm Line Type
- Cable Length: 125 ± 0.05 cm
- Frequency: 20 – 20,000Hz
- Impedance: 16Ω
- Sensitivity: 118dB
What’s in the Box?
- FZ Liberty Max earphones
- 2-pin detachable cable
- 3 pairs of ear tips
- Instruction manual
Stuff I like
- One of the best in its price range
- Warm sounding V-shaped
- Has nice clarity
- Non-fatiguing sound
- Decent treble extension
Stuff I like less
- Needs more resolution
- Sound is unnatural at times
- Lack of inclusions
Comparable products to consider
The KZ ZAR is a great option despite the mindblowing number of drivers it has, which didn’t make much of a difference to its sound.
For around $20, the TangZu Wan’er looks premium and has a warm sound signature and natural timbre, good for long listening sessions without tiring your ears.
The FZ Liberty Max comes in a typical rectangular box. The front of the box features an image of the Liberty Max in one of the color variants. It also has an illustration of a random anime character with a motorcycle.
The earphones come in three different color variants: black with red indents, silver with blue, and silver with yellow. I got myself the black and red variation.
Inside the box, you get the earphones, stock ear tips, a 2-pin detachable cable, and the instruction manual. Honestly, I was expecting more inclusions, like a pouch or even a case for the IEM but for its price, I think FZ focused more on the Liberty Max’s sound quality and build.
Now, let’s talk about the build quality of the FZ Libert Max.
For me, one of the most impressive things that FZ has done with this IEM is its metal faceplate. It’s stylish yet minimalistic any a praise magnet. It feels rugged and sturdy.
It also appears to not be prone to scratches and dents. My cat actually dropped mine several times while it was playing on the table and so far, I haven’t seen any significant scratches or dents.
The shell is made up of some type of transparent resin. It has a weird shape where the upper part has some sort of bump similar to the KZ ZAR. Its nozzle is also identical to the FZ Liberty Z1, which is gold-plated and attached to the shell.
The nozzle isn’t an issue to me as it doesn’t interfere with the seal in my ears. However, some people with different ear shapes or sizes may have issues with this type of design.
As for the ear tips and detachable cable – the quality is pretty standard. They’re nothing special and they look like the ones you’ll commonly find in other budget Chi-fi IEMs.
Fit and Comfort
Regarding the fit and comfort of the FZ Liberty Max, I found no issues except for the weird bump on the shell. While it didn’t affect my wearing experience, it may be problematic for users with different ear shapes and sizes.
The earphones were comfortable and I’m even wearing them as I write this review. Wearing them for long listening sessions didn’t cause any fatigue or soreness.
One thing to note is that its ear hooks are a bit stiff but once worn, they’ll form according to the user’s ear shape and the stiffness won’t be a problem anymore.
The stock tips were nice but they could’ve been better. I constantly change the pre-installed tips (which are always medium-sized) to my preferred size, which is the largest. Luckily, the larger stock tips gave a better seal and bass effect.
However, some type of hack helped me find the perfect seal with this unit. The earbuds don’t need to go that deep inside your ears as they’ll leave an open space. What I did was just simply put them on my ears and gently push, which created a vacuum seal-type of effect.
And for the second time, FZ impressed me again with the Liberty Max’s performance regarding sound quality.
The sound signature of the FZ Liberty Max falls under the warm V-shaped category which is suitable for listeners who just want to feel the music and not be that hyped.
I think the reason behind this is the well-presented lows that don’t overpower the mids, the controlled midrange with forward vocals, and a well-extended treble that’s sparkly without being overwhelming.
Also, the clarity and details are surreal although sometimes, some unnatural sounds can be heard but this isn’t really much of a concern at this price point.
The bass region of the FZ Liberty Max falls under the heavy category due to the weight produced by the bass. It also has a decent extension that’s well-controlled and doesn’t overpower the midrange but crosses the treble a bit.
The sub-bass’s only con is its resolution as I find it lacking in some tracks. The mid-bass, on the other hand, isn’t as powerful as the sub-bass. It impacts the lower region by giving soothing vibrations in my eardrums. Still, it’s not enough to carry out the energy of the music.
It’s worth noting that the bass produces a good amount of clarity that defeats other IEMs within this price range.
The midrange of the FZ Liberty Max is somehow good but still needs improvement.
The vocals are the first thing I’ll discuss in the midrange section. Male and female vocals aren’t equally presented as the male vocals were more prioritized while the female vocals were more relaxed and sounded like they were behind the instruments.
And in my observation, the heavy note weight and the pleasant timbre complemented the male vocals.
The good thing with the midrange is that although it’s recessed, it didn’t affect how the instruments sounded, making them still on point.
The treble of the FZ Liberty Max seems pretty fair with its price. There are no hints of sibilance or muddiness, and it has clarity and well-contained brightness.
It’s well-extended but shows a bit of darkness due to the overpowered bass. The cymbals are also rendered with neatness because of the on-point timbre. The treble’s smoothness complements other regions, which makes up the warm V-shaped sound.
The micro-details aren’t that neglected and still make their way into the mix. I was also surprised that the treble didn’t roll off, even at the most complex tracks.
This type of treble profile is well-suited for treble-sensitive people, as it doesn’t cause any harsh experience to the user’s ears. Overall, the pros outweigh the cons in the treble section.
The FZ Liberty Max’s soundstage is surprisingly good, considering its price. It has an above-average quality of sound staging, wherein the width is much more noticeable than the height, but still reasonably good.
The layering is also good, plus the detailing and separation of the instruments are notable. I hope FZ won’t lose this consistency with the micro details in their future releases.
The FZ Liberty Max is a rare IEM as it comes at a low price but does more than expected.
It’s suitable for most genres, except if you’re a fan of instrumentals. It does well with fast-paced tracks and the sound doesn’t get cluttered. There are times when its sound may feel unnatural but it has other features that compensate for this.
If you like a warm V-shaped sound that’s friendly on the budget, then the FZ Liberty Max is the right IEM for you – plus it comes with a cool-looking faceplate.
Shaik, a college student, part-time musician, and proud fur parent. Currently pursuing his degree in architecture.
As a part-time musician, Shaik enjoys expressing his self creatively through music. Whether it's writing original songs or performing covers, music is a significant part of Shaik's life
This post was last updated on 2023-12-04 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.