Current testing methodology is v1.2
It was a random day and as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, I came across an ad for the FZ Liberty Z1 (maybe it’s the algorithm doing all the magic). I scrolled past it as I thought that it was just another bootleg IEM with rubbish quality.
When I used my phone again later that day, the Liberty Z1 ad came up for the second time, and it intrigued me somehow because it has a nice metal faceplate considering it only costs less than $5.
So, as you’d have guessed, I ordered it.
FZ Liberty Z1
A new competitive player in the game
The FZ Liberty Z1 is a budget IEM with great specs for its price. It’s from a new Chi-fi brand, FZ, which is a sub-brand of the more famous TRN.
With its remarkable sound quality, the Liberty Z1 is a great addition to any collection of budget IEMs, and I think it’s a must-have. It has a warm sound signature that can go with most genres.
Its bass has a nice depth and rumble but is much more focused on the mid-bass. The midrange is good as it’s recessed but not that laid-back. The treble is also exceptional with its decent extension that has smoothness without struggling with complex tracks.
All in all, The FZ Liberty Z1 is an affordable IEM with overqualified specs for its price.
- Driver: 10mm Dynamic Driver
- Cable: 3.5mm Line Type
- Cable Length: 1.2m
- Frequency: 20-20,000Hz
- Impedance: 16Ω
- Sensitivity: 118dB
What’s in the Box?
- FZ Liberty Z1 earphones
- 2-pin detachable cable
- 3 pairs of silicone ear tips
- Instruction Manual
Stuff I like
- Deep bass and powerful mid-bass
- Wide soundstage
- On point resolution
- Comfortable to wear
Stuff I like less
- Lack of inclusions
- Slightly recessed midrange
- Details lacking at times
- Mid-bass bleed
Comparable products to consider
The TRN MT1 features a nice V-shaped sound signature and is one of TRN’s budget IEMs that was highly anticipated by audiophiles.
A Bit of Background
For someone who’s always on the search for new affordable IEMs, the FZ Liberty Z1 caught my interest. It has a unique name with a touch of professionalism because of the word “Liberty.”
The Liberty Z1 is a budget IEM from FZ, which is an emerging brand in the Chi-fi community. It’s also a sub-brand of TRN – a name that’s more familiar to audiophiles given its successful releases such as the TRN MT1 and the TRN EMA.
I also saw a bunch of other models from FZ, like the Liberty Z2 and the Liberty Max – which I plan to test and make a detailed review of very soon.
For now, let’s talk about the performance of the FZ Liberty Z1. Let’s see if it has the usual TRN tuning or if it will stand out.
The FZ Liberty Z1 came in standard packaging, similar to IEMs from KZ and QKZ. It features an image of the Z1’s variations: black and metallic. It also has a random anime character, which is quite common with Chi-fi IEM boxes.
The Z1 itself has a resin shell with a metal faceplate. It also comes with a 2-pin non-detachable cable with an L-shaped plug. Overall, I thought the design looks good.
The accessories were pretty basic as they only included three pairs of ear tips in different sizes. These ear tips feel generic but considering that these earphones cost less than $5, there isn’t much to complain about.
The FZ Liberty Z1’s build quality is pretty solid for its price. It feels pretty sturdy and has a neat metal faceplate engraved with the brand’s name. The faceplate also has carved grooves which I’m not that fond of.
The shell feels like it’s made of resin. What’s cool about it is that it’s completely transparent in a way that you can see its wirings and the driver.
What I find unique about the Liberty Z1 build is its nozzle. It’s some type of gold-plated metal attached to the shell, which makes this set unique from other IEMs, with their nozzle molded to the shell being wholly a part of it.
The included cable is oxygen-free copper-plated cable, typical with IEMs within the price range. It has a transparent cylindrical wire splitter and an L-shaped 3.5mm plug.
Overall, I like how FZ provided the best for its customers. For an ultra-budget pair of earphones, it would seem as if they didn’t do any cost-cutting in terms of design and build quality.
Fit and Comfort
I haven’t encountered any significant issues regarding the FZ Liberty Z1’s fit and comfort as wearing them has been a delight so far.
The Liberty Z1’s cable pre-built ear hooks are great. They’re not loose or tight, and they’re just perfect for my ears. Also, I didn’t feel much wearing these earphones because they’re super light considering that the faceplate is made of metal.
Lastly, the included ear tips are nice but definitely not the best. It gives a decent seal but isn’t enough in certain circumstances. I changed the ear tips to my preferred ones, which worked like a charm.
Overall, Z1’s fit and comfort are excellent as it has the typical IEM shape that fits my ears perfectly. However, the fit may vary for some people as it still depends on the user’s ear shape and size.
For a brand that’s just starting to make a name for itself in the IEM market, I must say that FZ did a good job making its first impression with the Liberty Z1’s sound quality. It has a warm sound signature that’s good for long listening sessions.
Its bass has great depth adding energy to the overall mix. I consider the midrange recessed, though the vocals still have its body and aren’t laid-back at all. With the Z1’s treble, I’d consider it as smooth but it lacks the power that I always look for in IEMs.
However, the Liberty Z1’s soundstage is incredible as it has nice depth and width that contributes to the dynamic of the tracks.
Going to the FZ Liberty Z1’s bass region, I noticed that the mid-bass is more oriented in the lower ends.
Listening to Taylor Swift’s “Fearless,” I immediately heard the strong mid-bass attack in the intro part although the only con of the powerful mid-bass is it crossing into the midrange. It’s overpowered but not to the point that it becomes bloated.
As a bass guitarist (I mainly use an electric guitar, but sometimes play bass at some gigs), I personally like hearing the mid-bass standing out in the mix because of the nice punch that gives listeners a groovy feel to their music.
The Liberty Z1’s sub-bass is also commendable. Its low ends provide a rumble with a nice presence and impact that makes every kick in the bass drum relevant. It isn’t that authoritative compared to the mids but it’s sufficient to deliver every listener’s needs.
Considering everything, the bass region isn’t that big but it has the potential and can compete with other IEMs. If you feel like the bass is lacking, swapping the tips helps.
Trying the FZ Liberty Z1 with different genres led me to the conclusion that its midrange is the main contributor to the overall warmth.
The impact of the midrange isn’t that great but it adds a lot to the warmth. One of the main reasons that the midrange can feel recessed is the overpowering mid-bass crossing the midrange.
However, the recession in the midrange doesn’t affect vocals and instruments much. Both male and female vocals have the same level as they’re well-spaced and articulate. They aren’t laid back, although the voices have a hint of metallic timbre.
Instrumental separation was also a very notable trait of the FZ Liberty Z1. Even with the most complex tracks, these earphones ensured that every instrument is well intact and won’t clash with each other.
In conclusion, the Liberty Z1’s mids are recessed but keep up with the micro details.
The tuning that FZ did with the Liberty Z1’s highs is quite impressive for a budget IEM. It has a smooth personality, which also contributes to the warm overall sound.
The consistency of the treble is also a great addition, as it doesn’t sound grainy on the notes. Although at times, the treble may feel unnatural. The good thing is that the Liberty Z1 has minimal sibilance and is friendly to treble-sensitive listeners.
To sum it all up, the FZ Liberty Z1’s performance surpasses its price.
If you’d look at other IEMs, this type of sound quality can make the Liberty Z1 stand out as it’s not that common with IEMs at this price range. This type of performance can be expected with more expensive IEMs.
With deep and powerful lows, sufficient midrange, and a consistent treble, these earphones are a solid contender in the ultra-budget space and can be a great addition to your IEM collection.
The Liberty Z1’s appearance also adds to the overall quality of this IEM. It also has a neat metal faceplate and transparent resin shell that looks premium for $5.
If you’re looking for an IEM that’s budget-friendly without sacrificing sound quality, the FZ Liberty Z1 is one of your best options in the current market.
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 2023-11-28 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.