In our review today we listen to the new Shozy Magma in-ear monitor which uses the company’s latest 4-driver electrostatic-infused hybrid design. It is priced at $499.
Disclaimer: This is a sample sent to us in exchange for our honest opinion. Headfonics is an independent website with no affiliate links or status. We thank Shozy for this opportunity.
To read more about Shozy gear that we have previously covered on Headfonics click here.
Note, that this article follows our latest scoring guidelines which you can read up on here.
Shozy needs no introduction in the portable audiophile community. They are pretty well known across the different price ranges, from the budget Hibiki MK2 to hybrid IEMs such as Shozy Form 1.4. and the unique open-back Black Hole.
Today, we’re treading on a mid-fi quad driver IEM offering from Shozy, the Shozy Magma. This $499 IEM is the first of Shozy’s entry on a tribrid design that includes electrostatic Drivers.
Electrostatic drivers in IEMs have been around for a while now with even entry-level monitors coming equipped with some form of piezoelectric or Sonion design.
However, performance and execution are more important than driver count or variety and some early electrostatic incarnations were at the least, a bit undercooked. Will the quad-driver Magma live up to the promise of a good hybrid e-stat design?
The Magma has a tribrid design with a quad-driver configuration including dynamic, BA, and electrostatic drivers. For the dynamic driver, Shozy included its 9.2mm, proprietary compound-molecule dynamic driver. Its high magnetic flux is designed to have a fast and natural bass response.
Popular drivers such as Knowles and Sonion drivers are also included. To be specific, a Knowles midrange BA driver, and a dual Sonion electrostatic super-tweeter.
To put it all together, a 3-way high-precision cross-over design was implemented to have smooth transitions across the whole frequency.
The Shozy Magma is exactly how I imagined it to be. The color reminds me of cooled magma that eventually formed volcano crusts. The face plate has a foil-like texture design with a metallic copper brown color with beautifully layered textures.
What’s interesting is that no two units are alike. All production units are assembled, built, and polished by hand with each pair having a unique texture and color combination.
The shell appears to be ergonomically shaped, with 3 small circular vents found on the top. The shell material is nothing exceptional, a black simple acrylic shell.
Comfort & Isolation
The Magma’s shell is relatively smaller than other shells. It has an average insertion length and the shell does not bother the side of the ears. They are very comfortable to wear, which is proven even for long periods.
Isolation with this pair is quite good. While listening to comfortable volume levels, outside noise is drowned out. No need to drown out the noise by increasing volumes that might otherwise hurt or fatigue the ears.
The Magma has 2 sets of tips included in the box – stock black silicon tips and grey silicone tips. Do note that the sizing on the grey tips is unusual, they run small.
The difference between the 2 tips is their internal width and their depth. The black tips are taller and narrower. On the other hand, the grey ones are wider and shorter. Comparing the two, there was no sound difference felt. I do however get a better fitting with the black medium tips, with the large grey one next.
Based on looks, the Shozy Magma cables appear awkwardly thin. It’s a 2-core high-purity silver-plated copper cable. Despite its appearance, it is said to pair well as it lowers the overall distortion in signal transmissions.
The memory wire on the ear-hook side is quite flexible but retains the shape very well. It is terminated with a 2-pin 0.78mm and a 3.5mm straight plug.
The cable is also light. The upside of having a light cable is that it’s easy to move around with them. There was no problem walking around with them as microphonics on this cable was at a minimum.
Packaging & Accessories
To be frank, the unboxing experience with the Shozy Magma was underwhelming. For a $499 monitor, I would expect a more thought-out unboxing experience. Although, I wouldn’t mind if they poured all of the packaging budgets into the monitor if you get what I mean!
Everything is enclosed in a simple small box. Inside, the contents are neatly arranged. The contents are as follows – 1 pair of monitors, cable, 2 sets of S, M, L tip, semi-hard case, and cable.
The case is quite nice. It’s irregularly shaped – its shape which reminds me of the SHOZY logo.
The bass on the Shozy Magma can go low – if you wanted it to. It has a natural bass presentation. It neither feels boosted nor bloated to give an extra oomph effect. Let’s put it this way, they can deliver full and deep lows when needed, otherwise, it gives just the right amount.
The sub-bass has a notable presence that gives this monitor depth. It’s well-controlled, resulting in a deep and clean sound. The mid-bass is also well defined. With every hit of the bass, notes are distinguishable. The bass response has a fast attack and decay response. There are no unnecessary delays, which means successive notes do not bleed into each other.
Although, if I were to nitpick, it would be nice to have a more full-bodied bass. It feels lacking at times, although very rare, which I think will be the case for audiophiles who prefer and are leaning more toward a warm tonality.
The Magma has a relatively balanced midrange region, with a slight heft on the lower midrange. After long periods of listening, there are times when I felt the male vocals have more presence than the female vocals. Aside from that, instruments appear to be well balanced, with no complaints whatsoever.
The overall tonality tends to skew on a typical BA timbre – dry and cold. That goes to say that the depth of the bass region helps a lot when seeing the whole picture.
Diving more into the vocals, it has an exceptionally clean and neutral presentation. Very low distortion is noticed, which is quite noticeable when compared to other similar monitors.
Detail retrieval is also exceptional. Even with busy tracks, the vocals stand out in their overall tuning. Male vocals tend to have some thickness to them with good articulation, which makes them stand out.
Female vocals also sound fresh and articulate. My only complaint is that it tends to be thin at times. It’s almost unnoticeable, only when thoroughly evaluated.
Treble on the Magma is audible even in high frequencies, better than most of the monitors at this price point. Although the overall volume is a bit recessed compared to its midrange. This is most noticeable with tracks wherein an expected cymbal hit sounded faint and lacking in presence.
Just to be clear, the treble tuning is not dark. It’s just right, not bright but not too dark. Its extended frequency is still audible, in the back seat, like an accessory, which is actually what some people prefer. Extended shimmer is observed, with an overall aura of sparkle and airiness.
The clarity and control are well noticed with the treble presentation. High frequencies were consistently smooth, with no audible drops or harshness overall. Its treble tuning is quite conservative. I imagine users with treble sensitivity will love the Magma’s treble tuning.
Staging on the Magma is wide, better than similar monitors. It has enough depth and height to have a good perception of spatial sound. Instruments are distinct with enough gaps to fill the space.
Imaging is also accurate. Overall sound positions are realistically placed. Sound is multi-directional, with vocals and instruments coming from different directions. Vocal layering is also exceptional with this pair.