Sound War Z. Testing MusicDealer speakers and headphones
In our online store, the beginning of 2020 turned out to be melodic. The Madrobots team tested the headphones and speakers of the domestic brand Z. Spoiler: a real war still did not happen, the similarity of musical tastes saved.
Under the cut are the pros and cons of devices, unexpected discoveries and brand answers to our questions.
Access to new gadgets is the most interesting in our work. Sometimes even raw prototypes fall into the hands, to which a note from the manufacturer is glued (hide the joint, swap the buttons, the color will be different). Minus – you need to part with the news after the test, and you have time to get hooked on a good gadget in a week or two.
What are we testing?
Z is a Russian audio brand. His first MusicDealer product line is the result of a joint work of Kennerton experts and sound engineers from the creative creative Gazgolder.
To test the line, we selected 2 models of headphones: a novelty – completely wireless Monochrome iron and a model with a rim on the neck XS BT. And also 2 columns: miniature Rare and revolutionary double Double Beef About the second recently on Habré there was a detailed analysis (in the literal sense of the word). We read it with great pleasure, thanks.
All devices in the review – with a Bluetooth connection. The main workhorses were iPhones – from 5S to XR. But for the purity of the experiment, they were still connected with Android, from the iPad and from ASUS, Xiaomi laptops. Colleagues did not part with the gadgets for more than a week, and then they came to the editor and honestly talked about their feelings.
The first general impression is just a holiday. All products are packaged in metal boxes (you know how to store tea or cookies). Inside, besides the devices themselves in cases and foam rubber, there are a lot of small things: stickers, cup holder, and chevron … It will be pleasant to rummage around both the fans of the Gazholder and the fans of leisurely unpacking. Instructions are also in place. True, as it turned out, none of us read the instructions. But this did not become an obstacle to connecting and operating.
Z MusicDealer Rare Portable Speaker System
Bluetooth 4.1 | Speaker: 40 mm | Speaker power: 5 W | Playback Frequency: 70 Hz – 20 kHz | Work time: up to 5 hours | Charging: 3 hours | Range: up to 10 m
- What is it: 158 g miniature speaker, works via Bluetooth or AUX connection.
1 9901 592 Р according to the HABRZ promotional code
- Who tested: Anna Tin, Head of Marketing, Madrobots
- What listened: electronic music, hip hop, punk rock
About dancing with a tambourine
– For me, the most important thing is a quick and easy connection. The Rare column appeared in the list of devices immediately – and immediately connected. With other speakers, it happened that you had to dance with a tambourine to find them. Everything is intuitive here. Maybe all normal devices should be. But my experience suggests otherwise.
– Weight, shape, design, in my opinion, the top five. The speaker is very light, it looks nice, high-quality plastic – it’s nice to hold one in your hands. And the AUX cable included is also pleasing.
In the upper part, along the edge, an LED strip is laid – warm, pleasant light, 3 operating modes: constant, slow blinking and fast blinking. It is a pity that Rare blinks in its rhythm, and not in time with the music.
About big and clean
– Listen to melodic music, electronic or hip-hop on the speaker comfortably. Even at high volume – a clear voice, sound. If we turn on something heavier, for example, punk rock, the sound becomes “dirty”. Admittedly, she is not friends with bass. But at this size – very loud. At the maximum – kapets is loud.
About gum and eyelet
– Take Rare on the road – it’s the most: it does not add excess weight and fits in a jacket pocket or glove compartment. For ease of listening, you can hook it somewhere — from the bottom an elastic band with an eyelet. The kit comes with a hard, high-quality carrying case (I love all kinds of cases and boxes): there is less chance of scratching on the way.
The main thing
– The biggest plus is the price / quality ratio: listening to melodic music without bass is a cool option.
Z MusicDealer Double Beef Portable Speaker System
Bluetooth 4.2 | Speakers: 10 W × 2 | Playback Frequency: 70 Hz – 20 kHz | Sensitivity: 95 dB | Operating time: till 14 o’clock in a talk mode; up to 6 hours in playback mode | Charging: 2 hours | Range: up to 10 m
- What is it: a column of two halves to create a stereo effect, each of the parts can be used as a standalone speaker; Connection with devices via Bluetooth.
5,9904 792 Р according to the promotional code HABRZ
- Who tested: Anton Lennov, Category Manager, Madrobots
- What was listening: rock, pop, electronics
About the feeling of a holiday
– This is one of those gadgets that starts with packaging. As soon as you see the box, the mood becomes New Year’s. You open it and immediately pay attention to the build quality and materials: smooth, neat joints, nothing sticks out anywhere, everything is in protective films …
About two in one
– The column is divided into two parts. One half can be hung by a loop, the second – put. The halves were always connected the first time and on all devices (iPhone, iPad, Android, Xiaomi laptop). Double Beef claims smart stereo effect (DSP-processor ensures even distribution of sound between the two parts). The stereo feels, but I failed to check how smart it is.
On each half there are three buttons: louder, quieter and on. Using the volume buttons, you can switch tracks (also works with YouTube, by the way) and backlight. The power button is multifunctional. This is a pause, and start, and the answer to an incoming call, and the connection.
In each of the parts – on the battery at 1,500 mA / h. A full charge is enough for the whole working day. You can charge the halves individually.
– Any device has a certain handwriting of sound, its own voice. There is also a specific one, but I liked it. The main plus is good sound in its segment. Double Beef works great with calls. Although it was unusual to speak through a column, they heard me very well.
About the unusual
– The speaker has an additional volume level. I can’t understand whether this is good or bad: you make the maximum sound on the device, and then you can further increase the volume on the speaker. But in this mode, serious sound distortion appears.
About moving nature
– I want to warn you: the column is movable. At high volume from the bass, the halves begin to jump. Halfway through, they can be on the floor, you have to be more careful.
“What infuriates me in all wireless devices is that when they are discharged, they start to disgust every few minutes to report it.” Okay, I realized that you are running low. Ok, I see, the indicators have changed. But you’ll work another half hour. And the signal will be repeated regularly. He just ****** [задолбает].
– Double Beef can be used as computer speakers. But the connection is only via Bluetooth: there is not a single “hole”, except for the charging port. At first I thought it was a minus. And then I tried to remember: in a few years of using wireless speakers – did the wire come in handy for me. Never come in handy.
Z MusicDealer XS BT Wireless Headphones
Bluetooth 5.0 | Speakers: 8 mm | Playback Frequency: 20 Hz – 20 kHz | Sensitivity: 95 dB | Microphone Sensitivity: 40dB | Resistance: 16 Ohms | Operating time: till 14 o’clock in a talk mode; up to 8 hours in playback mode | Range: up to 15 m | Colors: black / white
- What is it: wireless version of the XS headphone model; FlexArc-arc with a full headset.
2,2901 832 Р according to the HABRZ promotional code
- Who tested: Valentin Mitrokhin, Head of Content, Madrobots
- What was listening: indie rock, indie pop, electronics
– In acoustics, I am a retrograde. The more wires I have, the better. But the XS BT design was a good compromise for me. On the one hand, wires hang around the neck as usual, the embossed vinyl sheath is pleasant. On the other hand, there is an order of magnitude more freedom.
About the collective mind
– Make friends XS BT with a phone and a computer the first time. Then they connected instantly. One thing: launching them is accompanied by a voice. In a terrible, mechanical voice: TURN ON … THE HEADPHONES ARE CONNECTED … TURNED OFF. After this, you’re waiting for the not-favorite track. You are waiting for the implants to be inserted into your brain – and connected to the collective machine mind. Although then I got used to it.
About the value of communication
– The buttons on the arc are mechanical, convex, grope without problems. The middle one can run the voice assistant. Thanks to this feature, a couple of times I accidentally called numbers from the Favorites list. At the same time I checked the microphone – it’s quite comfortable to talk through these headphones.
About the feeling of freedom
– Tested as a gaming headset. Convenient: while nothing interesting happens, you can hit the kitchen – they will call back. In terms of music – for the most part, the model also suited me. In the collections I have tracks with strong vocals, with an emphasis on voice. Everything sounds perfect here. If you take some compositions with a complex musical arrangement – it seems that the nuances are overwritten.
But the form factor outweighed for me. It’s nice that at any time you can insert “ears” – and fall into the music. Even while wandering around the office or apartment, when I left the phone on the table: the claimed 15 m connection range in place. Duration of work too: in the “on the way to work and a little during the day” mode – a full charge lasted almost a week.
About the dress code
– The bulges on the arc, for example, are perfectly hidden under the collar – this is if you wear headphones with a shirt. The body is metal, weighty. Capsules are able to magnetize to each other – and hang securely on the neck. It turns out a very worthy accessory.
Z MusicDealer Monochrome Iron Wireless Headphones
Bluetooth 5.0 | Speakers: 9 mm | Playback Frequency: 20 Hz – 20 kHz | Profiles:
HSP / HFP / A2DP / AVRCP | Case Battery Capacity: 420 mAh | Earphone battery capacity: 45 mAh | Hours: up to 7 hours | Charging time: case 2 hours; headphones: 1 h | Range: up to 10 m
- What is it: fully wireless headphones with a futuristic design; metal case and case.
5,9904 792 Р according to the promotional code HABRZ
- Who tested: Ivan Lukyanov, Marketing Manager, Madrobots
- What was listening: classic, punk rock, black metal, drum and bass
About the background
– Over the past six months, I really listened to a lot of things. I stopped at three options for headphones: bluetooth with a rim on the neck, TWS-model and wireless with a headband – I use them at home for movies. I mainly listen to music on the go.
About futurism and wow effect
– When I saw Monochrome Iron – I immediately realized that the guys worked on them. There are no flashy logos. Everything is done very futuristic and simple. There is a wow effect. The first two people who saw me in the headphones said: “Wow, this is with you, let me see.” The charging indicators on the headphones and on the case glow blue, fantastic.
About Guy Ritchie and Russian Winter
“The case itself is heavy.” As they said in one wonderful film: “Gravity is good. Heaviness is reliable … ”There is a flip side to the design. The case is all smooth, and the lid is often poked with a fingernail. In winter, gloves open the case on the go is inconvenient. And you won’t put the headphones in it blindly: you need to turn it over, watch which one is right, which left.
But in the Iron case itself they are confident – a good magnet. Turn over, shake lightly – for them it will be normal.
About the benefits of the equalizer
– You can’t just take it and listen to music on VKontakte in Iron. Without an equalizer, as in Yandex.Music, I would not recommend using it. Specifically, in these headphones I had to lower high frequencies. Otherwise, you listen to some good solo on drums with cymbals – and “c-t-tts, c-t-tts” cuts your ears. With an equalizer, these headphones are really cool. And with the bass in them, everything is fine by default.
About double bass
– It should be noted that the sound is quality. I listened to The Squidbillys – and they really hear double bass: not muffled, but clean. My other headphones couldn’t. For an active week, the case charged only once: for this, half an hour was enough, along with headphones. Range – confident 10 m.
He also called without any problems: in Iron, I could be heard calm both on the street and in the car. The only thing: you must understand how your microphone is located. When I turned the “ear”, they said to me: “Yes, now you are perfectly audible, like on the phone.”
Questions to the brand
After testing, we wanted to know more about products. We turned to the representative of the brand Z. Answered our questions Marina Syunikayeva, marketing director.
– Why Z? Brand name – a reference to the Z generation?
– In fact, Z is a letter that Gazholder often emphasizes in its communication. MagaZ is an example. But, of course, here is a reference to the Z generation.
– MusicDealer is your first product line. Will it expand? Are there any other lines planned?
– The line will expand. We are at the stage of agreeing on new models, but so far we are not ready to disclose information. Stay tuned for announcements.
– Are the headphones and speakers of MusicDealer focused primarily on the Russian market? Or immediately international?
– As a first step, we wanted to test the concept of products in cooperation with Gazholder on the Russian market.
– Are there any peculiarities in the requests of Russian music lovers for headphones and speakers?
– Russian buyers are demanding and feel good value for money. Whatever photograph you put on the packaging, if the product does not satisfy the buyer and does not give him confidence that he is not overpaying “for the brand”, there will be no sales.
– At the heart of your products are ready-made form factors and components, with which further work is carried out on customization. How large is this work? How does the original “template” change?
– The original template is changing quite seriously. In fact, the entire filling is re-assembled based on our ideas about the required quality of the products.
– How do you control the build quality and which one do you provide a guarantee for your products?
– Warranty – one year. Even if the buyer does not have a receipt confirming the purchase, we do not drop it, but solve the problem by the central office. We are open to communication through any contacts listed on the site and our social networks.
We have built a control system at every stage: pre-production (prototype quality analysis, creation and approval of a gold sample), selective control during production and finished product control (in accordance with ANSI / ASQ Z1.4-2008 level II, permissible reject level 1.0 , 2.5). At the packaging stage, 100% of the products undergo a functional test – checking the operability of the main modes.
Control involves testing acoustic and electrical parameters, checking for compliance with the appearance, materials, components and build quality of the product to a gold sample and functional compliance according to the instructions and technical description.
– Among the advantages of the devices, the increased diameter of the speaker and driver is mentioned. How important is it? How does it affect listening experience?
The larger the speaker, the more voluminous and, in general, high-quality sound you can hear.
– We had a case on the test: at high volume and on bass, 2 parts of the Double Beef speakers started to jump. This is normal, how to be?
– Install them on a surface capable of damping vibrations. You can use, for example, the rubber bonfires that we supply in the kit.
– Why is the XS BT warned about turning it on and off in such a scary voice?
– This is the voice of one of the members of the Gang of Gaza. On the one hand, this is unusual for you, but on the other, you see, we have attracted your attention. In general, we like the idea of making custom functional sounds for our products and we will continue this story.
– Monochrome Iron has a very stylish, sleek case. But we ran into the problem that, for example, on the street, on the go, opening it with gloves and inserting the left / right earphone into its cells is very difficult. Have you performed the appropriate tests? Take into account the feedback / wishes of the audience? Do you “work on bugs” when releasing new models?
– Of course, we collect feedback and work on bugs. So far, the first remark about the inconvenience. But we, for example, have already taken into account the wishes of some buyers that the warning about low headphones would not occur 3-5 minutes before turning off, as it is now, but 15 minutes.
In the finals, as always, good news. Until February 20, 2020, the entire MusicDealer line in our online store is valid. 20% discount on HABRZ promotional code.