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7Hz Salnotes Zero IEM Review

Rate this IEM:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 1 0.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 8 3.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 29 13.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 182 82.7%

  • Total voters
    220

amirm

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This is a review, listening tests and detailed measurements of the 7Hz Salnotes Zero IEM. It was kindly donated by a member and costs US $22 ($20 on Amazon now).
7Hz Salnotes Zero IEM budget cheap good Dynamic Driver in-Ear Earphone IEM review.jpg

The molded plastic looks cheep and the left and right markings barely visible. The included tip was extra soft/thin which may be a good thing for comfort but made for very difficult measurements. You could easily deform it to the point of it blocking most of the sound in the fixture. When I wore them on my ear though, the fit was excellent and with their light weight, I could barely feel them.

7Hz Salnotes Zero Measurements
Per above, I had a heck of a time measuring these IEMs but as if by magic, I toughed the off channel once and it created perfect fit and alignment with the other channel:

7Hz Salnotes Zero IEM budget frequency response measurement.png

As you see, compliance with our target is excellence. There is a peak around 12.7 kHz but the fixture is not accurate in that region so don't know if that is extra energy there or not.

Here is the deviation from our target:
7Hz Salnotes Zero IEM budget relative frequency response measurement.png

Headphone/IEM measurements are not accurate enough for these differences to be descriptive but you are welcome to try to tune further with EQ.

Distortion was impressively low other than a resonance around 1 kHz that was still quite low:
7Hz Salnotes Zero IEM budget relative distortion THD measurement.png


Here it is in absolute:
7Hz Salnotes Zero IEM budget distortion THD measurement.png


Group delay is very clean other than another indication of something going on around 1 kHz:
7Hz Salnotes Zero IEM budget group delay measurement.png


Impedance is flat and low:
7Hz Salnotes Zero IEM budget impedance measurement.png


Combined with average sensitivity, you should have no trouble using this IEM with just about any source:
Most sensitive IEM easy to drive review.png


On my RME ADI-2 Pro, relatively loud listening was around -25 dB.

7Hz Salnotes Zero IEM Listening Tests
I always use the same tracks in my listening tests to allow good familiarity with their tonality. It took all of 2 seconds to realize this is the same accurate, neutral response I like to hear. Track after track confirmed the same. I was at times surprised by the good externalization/spatial effects of this IEM. Sub-bass reproduction was excellent for an IEM and overall fidelity beyond belief at times.

I took a shot at equalizing the peak at 12.7 kHz. Unfortunately I can't easily do that by eye. Trying anyway, with narrow Q, it made no audible difference. With wider Q, it may have gone past the peak in the response. There, some highs/brilliance were taken away. I could see someone liking it better that way but I liked it without.

Conclusions
Technically the 7Hz Salnotes Zero IEM is excellent. It has almost perfect tonality and combined with low distortion and excellent spatial qualities, it puts a smile on my face. The plastic is a bit cheap and so are the tips. But once I wore them, all of that was forgotten.

I am happy to put the 7Hz Salnotes Zero IEM on my recommended list. So much fidelity for so little money!

P.S. I bought this a year ago and only now getting to testing it! Since then, there is a new version called Zero 2. May get that to test as well.
------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

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amirm

amirm

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Manufacturer Specifications:

Technical Details​

Model 7Hz Salnotes Zero
Driver 10mm dynamic driver
Impedance >32ohm
Sound pressure level 108dB/v@1kHz
Frequency response range 10-20000Hz
THD <1%/1khz
Cable connector detachable 0.78mm 2Pin
 
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AudioKC

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Have one. Love it. Good balanced budget sound. Though some fancy upper mid range per my taste.
 

khensu

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That’s some impressive hugging of the curve! Now I’ll have to pick up a pair, for reference if nothing else.
 
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amirm

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How would you rate this compared to the Truthear Crinacle Zero Red (or Blue)?
I knew someone was going to ask that. :) Answer is that I don't know. I don't have them handy to do AB and even if I did, it takes so much work to swap one for the other that it makes it very hard to compare. At high level I would say they are very similar.
 

AudioKC

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MZKM

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I have this and the Truthear Zero (Blue). They sound near identical but I think I prefer the 7Hz, but the shell has a pointed corner that pushes on my ear and becomes uncomfortable after a while. Give me the 7Hz sound in the Thruthear shell and I‘d be happy.
 
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LTig

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I knew someone was going to ask that. :) Answer is that I don't know. I don't have them handy to do AB and even if I did, it takes so much work to swap one for the other that it makes it very hard to compare. At high level I would say they are very similar.
I thought so. Seeing how much SQ one can get for such low price I really wonder what a highend IEM like the Sennheiser IE-800 (which was € 800 when it came on the market) can deliver. I think the point of diminishing returns is very low nowadays.
 

MacClintock

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Thanks for the review, Amir. The measurements confirm that it was and is an amazing IEM. Independent of price. Good that you wrote "Technically the 7Hz Salnotes Zero IEM is excellent", because almost all reviewers repeat to say that the "technicalities" (totally invented term without any meaning) are clearly not as good as from a $1,000 IEM. This is just because they need to justifiy their tier lists and other reviews etc. Version 2 remedies the weakish bass and the treble spike.
 

DavidK442

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I got excited thinking this was the new Salnotes Zero 2 that I just preordered. I have been enjoying this first version for a couple years now so great to have confirmation that it is a great sounding IEM. Such amazing performance can be had for so little that it really begs the question, where can the market go from here.
 

MacClintock

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I got excited thinking this was the new Salnotes Zero 2 that I just preordered. I have been enjoying this first version for a couple years now so great to have confirmation that it is a great sounding IEM. Such amazing performance for so little that it really begs the question, where can the market go from here.
Luxurious shells and accessories, expensive and numerous drivers of different kinds for no real reason and making customers believe that they are missing out. Unfortunately for many it works.
 

mc.god

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Thank you Amir for this review!
The final and irrefutable confirmation for us loving this iem, and while we all may already know the FR, distortion measurement is astonishing.
Adding the ultra affordable price, here it is something all music and hifi lover can rejoice for.

Curious if you can test the Zero 2, it is almost the same with a bit more bass, so probably even more compliant with the target (but not my preference), Crinacle says it uses a better driver, but seeing what we already have here i don't know how much better it can be.
 

phoenixdogfan

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Luxurious shells and accessories, expensive and numerous drivers of different kinds for no real reason and making customers believe that they are missing out. Unfortunately for many it works.
Kind of think I am going to sit tight with my Zero Reds. I do EQ them and really like how they sound on my V20. But the 7hz Salnotes-Zero should make an amazing stocking stuffer.
 
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AdamG

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I own these and they are the best $20 bucks in IEMs. If you don’t know if you will like IEMs these are the ones to try. If you end up not liking them then give them to someone else and you’re out 20 bucks. They are light, and regular diameter ear hole so not too big in this department. They sound great and with the low distortion across the board you can safely eq them to practically any style. Great for Running, biking, hiking and just chilling with some tunes. A fabulous stocking stuffer for anyone in your family.
 

MacClintock

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Kind of think I am going to sit tight with my Zero Reds. I do EQ them and really like how they sound on my V20. but these should make an amazing stocking stuffer.
Well, I also have a few soft EQ settings for the Red, but basically it is not in need of any.
 
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