Current testing methodology is v1.2
Another IEM I ordered recently arrived on my doorstep, and it’s the FZ Liberty Z2.
The FZ Liberty Z2 is a budget IEM from a relatively new Chi-fi brand, FZ, which is a sub-brand of TRN. TRN has made its name in the audio community with its successful releases and I hope that FZ will also have the same quality as TRN is offering with its products.
I recently reviewed the Liberty Z1 and the Liberty Max, and both were satisfying in terms of performance. This is my third set from FZ and I’m curious if it can keep up with the quality of the two other IEMs.
Let’s find out in this detailed review.
FZ Liberty Z2
Not the best in the series but still a decent budget option
The FZ Liberty Z2 is a part of the Liberty series of FZ, a sub-brand of TRN. It has the typical IEM look look but it stands out because of its neutral V-shaped sound.
It’s pretty mild on the ears because of its high resolution with minimal distortion sound quality — which I like. However, this IEM may not be the best unit in the Liberty series. Still, for its price under $8, you’d definitely get your money’s worth, and maybe even more compared with other IEMs in this price range.
- Driver: 10mm Dynamic Driver
- Cable: 3.5mm Line Type
- Cable Length: 1.2m
- Frequency: 20-20,000Hz
- Impedance: 22Ω
- Sensitivity: 116dB
What’s in the Box?
- FZ Liberty Z2 earphones
- 2-pin detachable cable
- 3 pairs of ear tips
- Instruction manual
Stuff I like
- High-resolution sound
- Not harsh on the ear
- Deep soundstage
- Bang for the buck
Stuff I like less
- Poor treble extension
- Veiled midrange
- Lacks sound balance
- Lack of inclusions
Comparable products to consider
Another budget IEM with excellent sound quality, the SGOR Venus has a nice warm Harman tuning and a decent resolution, making it a solid option.
With its excellent price-to-performance ratio, the KZ EDXS has a bright tuning that may change the perspective of treble-sensitive listeners.
The FZ Liberty Z2 comes in packaging that’s similar to that of the Z1 and Max.
The box of the Z2 shows an image of the two color choices of the IEM and a random anime character playing the violin. The back of the box shows the specifications.
As mentioned, the Z2 comes in two color variants: green and black. I got myself the green one because black IEMs are quite common, and I wanted to be the main character… kidding!
Opening the box showed the earphones right away and I immediately noticed a minor mismatch between the advertised image and the actual product. The images shown online and on the packaging show a blue FZ logo on the faceplate, while the IEM itself has a white logo.
To be honest, I was delighted with the said issue. I really don’t dig the color combination of the blue logo with the green shell.
Another funny thing I also encountered was the included ear tips. The medium pair differed from the others as it came in black, while the others were generic silicone ear tips commonly found in budget IEMs.
The set also includes a detachable cable and the most anticipated user manual.
The FZ Liberty Z2 has a semi-transparent resin shell that vaguely exposes the drivers and wirings inside. This type of material is quite common with budget sets sold by Chi-fi brands.
The faceplate has 12 holes and is mainly made of metal. I infer that the holes are for aesthetics and not for sound quality. The nozzle is made from a gold-plated type of metal and it’s attached to the resin shell, similar to the other Liberty models.
The detachable cable is the usual oxygen-free copper-plated cable with a 3.5mm plug. I’m actually glad that FZ has been consistent with their inclusions. And since the cable is detachable, you can easily replace it with a new one having the same pin if it becomes faulty.
Overall, the build quality is decent. The Z2 seems durable enough to sustain years of usage.
Fit and Comfort
As for the fit and comfort of the FZ Liberty Z2, it was nothing special because wearing these earphones feels the same as other IEMs within the same price range.
The IEM itself is a bit heavy so a little weight can be felt when worn but it’s not too much of a problem. One can get used to it and these earphones can be worn for long periods without any discomfort.
The pre-formed ear hooks were stiff but once worn, it’s pretty much the same feel as ear hooks from other cables.
The pre-installed ear tips were medium-sized and they gave me a good seal. Using the larger tips was also lovely as it gave a better bass effect. The larger ear tips also provided more noise isolation.
The FZ Liberty Z2’s sound profile hints at a bit of neutrality while having a V-shaped sound.
It has an average bass response and rumbles that need additional power, while its mid-bass needs more punch. Meanwhile, the midrange region sounds wide and deep, producing an inaccurate or veiled sound and the treble region isn’t the most energetic compared with other IEMs.
This IEM would be more suitable with multi-track instruments as it doesn’t get too cluttered and muddy to listen to. It also works well with energetic tracks like K-pop, rock, and EDM.
Overall, the FZ Liberty Z2’s sound quality isn’t that impressive, but it does absolutely well considering its price.
Overall, I found the bass of the Liberty Z2 too shallow and this affects the sub-bass’s impact. The bass drum from different tracks was thick but it lacked rumble because of the shortcomings in its depth and a need for more note weight.
For the mid-bass, there was much more prominence compared to the sub-bass. Despite this though, I still thought it lacked tightness in every note. There were vibrating feelings usually present in my eardrums, but I didn’t feel satisfied with its impact and I was left wanting more.
The mid-bass gave off warmth and a minor lack of detail (though just a teeny bit) that I usually look for. On the plus side, the mid-bass doesn’t cross the midrange, which is a common issue with IEMs in the same price range.
To summarize, the lower end of the Liberty Z2 lacks impact in the overall mix but is superior compared to other units in its generation. Some tweaking in the EQ can improve the performance of this earphone.
The FZ Liberty Z2’s V-shaped tuning makes its midrange sound slightly left behind, but not too much for it to be completely recessed. While using the IEM, I also noticed the wide range that spanned from left to right and the width made the midrange’s texture a little off.
Despite the slight recession to the midrange, the instruments were still present in the mix. The guitars, trumpets, and pianos weren’t left out and had some natural tonality to them.
Regarding the vocals, the male ones fell short and were a little inferior to the female vocals. Where the female vocals sounded sparkly, the male vocals sounded like they were left behind because of the midrange’s inadequate tone and note weight.
I think that the treble became a pitfall of the FZ Liberty Z2’s overall sound quality.
One thing that stood out to me was how the treble sounded mellow and not generally energetic as it’s supposed to be. And I think it became a major contributor to its definition of sound.
Although there was minimal sibilance, the higher frequencies gaps weren’t really a pro. Still, these would be appreciated by treble-sensitive listeners.
Due to its high resolution in the higher frequencies, some notes became grainy but retained their presence. But even with the treble’s high-resolution quality, the sound balance was still off at some point.
Wrapping up, I can say that the FZ Liberty Z2’s performance was just like that of any other IEM.
What makes this unit different from others is the minimal distortion and the high-resolution sound it produces. It also has a surprisingly solid build quality for something that retails for under $10. It doesn’t have a wow-factor soundstage and technicalities but it’s good enough to sustain your listening needs.
The FZ Liberty Z2 may not be the best release under the Liberty lineage but it’s still a good option for a decent-sounding earphone on a limited budget.
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 2023-12-02 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.