This is my review of the Shozy Ceres. I have won this IEM in a giveaway hosted by Linsoul. As a disclaimer: I am not paid or asked to say anything good or bad about this product. The review is about my true impressions.
Shozy Ceres: https://www.linsoul.com/products/shozy-ceres
The Ceres came in a rather plain black box with the only indicator of a Shozy product inside being the small branding up top. Opening the box which is kept shut by small magnets revealed the grey hard-shell carrying case.
Although the box looks rather plain, it is truly satisfying opening boxes which have magnets as a closing mechanism. This is everything nice I can say about the unboxing experience.
The earpieces and cable came in their individual plastic bags as well as the tips which were separated in another bigger plastic bag located in a different chamber within the box.
Unboxing: 2/5 – underwhelming but magnets always nice
Build quality and design:
The build quality of the Ceres is fine. I mostly have and certainly prefer IEMs made out of metal but the Ceres proved to be sturdy and showed me benefits of plastic/resin, mainly being overall weight. The nozzle is made out of metal.
The cable feels very nice. Build quality seems good although I could not find out which material the cable is made off of. The connectors are made out of relatively thin but solid feeling metal with a stress relief on the 3,5mm connector. The cable is braided and has a metal Y-split dividing the main cable into two going to each earpiece. The braiding of the cable is just alright due to the fact that my cable at the 3,5mm connector already started two unwind a bit which should not happen for a $180 IEM.
Within the package there were many tips included. Silicone, double-flanged and foam tips in 3 different sizes each with the silicone tips being black and the double-flanged as well as the foam tips being white. The silicone and foam tips are high quality while the double-flanged tips feel a little bit cheaper. Overall the tips are very nice.
Build quality: 4/5 – everything feels solid, cable braiding could be better
Design wise I have not much to say other than awesome. My Ceres came in blue 3D printed resin with flower parts inside. They are not flashy but classy and are an eye catcher for everyone looking twice at your IEMs.
Design: 5/5 – awesome, no complains
Fit and comfort:
As I discussed earlier the Shozy Ceres are made out of 3D printed resin making them very light which together with the shape and insertion depth makes them very comfortable for longer listening sessions. I currently have the biggest silicone tips on my Ceres and they insert relatively deep into my ear canals. It does not bother me but other people may find it irritating or uncomfortable, although they do not insert as deep as many KZ IEMs due such as the KZ ZSA.
For me the fit is excellent for my ears and with the big silicone tips they even passively blocked a lot of outside noise making it easy to forget them while wearing.
The biggest problem is the cable. It is relatively short making it almost unusable in a desktop environment. I often pulled at my amplifier moving a little bit away from my comfortable listening position at my desk.
Fit and comfort: 4/5 – almost perfect for me but cable too short
Long story short: The Ceres are very easy to drive. My phone had absolutely no issues pushing the IEMs to above comfortable listening volumes.
When I tried the Ceres at my desktop setup I noticed an overall quality uplift. I cannot test them at very expensive equipment of many amplifiers so I cannot give any information about scaling with better equipment.
Power: 5/5 – good for mobile use and quality improvement with proper setup
The Shozy Ceres have an overall laid-back and rather dark/warm tuning.
Bass is a bit boosted while extending very far into the sub-bass region. Tracks like „Why so serious?“ from Hans Zimmer hit deep into your guts while also not being overpowered. Big drums like in „I Will Remember“ by TOTO sound very nice and impactful. While the bass is slightly boosted it is never bothering nor did I feel the need to equalize. It is easy to listen to and makes some tracks very fun. The only problem here is a small bleed into the midrange. While not particularly bothering it is quiet noticeable.
Furthermore the midrange is recessed making male vocals less engaging as they could be. Midrange focused instruments lack a bit of power while listening but the midrange dip is not that noticeable in instruments as it is in vocals. Upper midrange is also a bit recessed making female vocals also not as powerful as well. Ariana Grande for example lacks a bit of power in her songs that IEMs like the Moondrop Aria blast in your brain.
While treble extension is also very good the highs are also recessed a bit, though not as much as the midrange. This makes the treble region lack a bit of sparkle as well as stealing female vocalists a bit of „air“. Definition and detail is nice but feels like it is holding back a bit. String instruments and cymbals lack a bit of impact and sparkliness.
Soundstage on the other end is very good, especially for an IEM not only of this price-range. Horizontal staging extends quiet a bit with vertical staging also being excellent but extending not as far. Separation and imaging within this stage is also very well done. You can quiet clearly locate instruments in almost every well done track as well as pinpoint sweeping tones that move through your head. This combination makes the Shozy Ceres also good for gaming. „Subnautica“ was very immersive and I could hear screams of leviathans far away from my position, knowing that I do not want to go this direction. Location of footsteps in shooters was a bit more difficult due to the midrange dip but also manageable when concentrating.
Furthermore the layering of instruments is also very well done. I had no problems differentiating between various instruments in especially orchestral tracks like „The Firebird“ by Igor Stravinsky. This made music more intense and more immersive.
Overall detail seems also good for a $180 IEM. There is no doubt that the Ceres would benefit from more midrange and treble to make it even better. Detail in string instruments when hitting individual strings is there and not that difficult to pick out.
With that being said, Timbre could be better. From my experience I was able to differentiate between for example different guitars in a song on other IEMs and headphones. Not to say that the Ceres does it in a bad way but it needs more focus on this specific characteristic.
Sound: 3,5/5 – a bit dark but very good soundstage and easy to listen to
The Shozy Ceres is a worthy $180 IEM.
The build quality and design is very nice, exceeding my expectations really, with a quiet above average carrying case.
The Ceres is good for very long listening sessions due to its laid back nature and very comfortable shape, weight and tips. It is also very nice for mobile use blocking out a lot of sound and its low power requirements. In addition I liked them for single-player open-world exploration/story games as I found them very immersive for this purpose.
I would not use them for any critical audio work or as a reference IEM to test other IEMs with or mixing and mastering tracks on. It lacks detail especially in the a bit recessed midrange and treble. Though soundstaging is very good with very nice imaging and separation as well as instrument layering.
I give the Shozy Ceres a 3,5/5 rating.