The Shozy BK has a classic, almost vintage look that simply oozes character. The sculpted matte black housings combined with that angular braided cable and Oyaide jack all create a very hand-made aesthetic while retaining an air of premium quality that one would expect from a $165 audio product. Shozy also offer the BK with a balanced Ranko connector for $25 extra.
The BK is an earbud meaning they don’t form any real seal nor do they provide any meaningful isolation. They are therefore best suited towards more passive listening within quiet environments and are even a nice option if you enjoy listening to music when sleeping. I’ve definitely grown fond of the earbud form factor over the years due to their faultless long-term comfort and expansive, non-fatiguing soundstage devoid of that sense of pressure created by sealing earphones. They also permit some awareness of your surroundings and work exceptionally well in a social environment.
And among earbuds, Shozy’s have always stood out in build and design. Shozy utilises the typical Yuin styled shell that I find to be better shaped than competing designs. Shozy also employ more premium finishes that add an extra layer of quality on top of the plastic shells. The matte finish on the BK feels soft in the hand and the ear, providing a very minimalist look that draws attention to the very unique looking cable just below. The earbuds come pre-equipped with donut foams that provide slightly more comfort and seal, extending bass response and adding more body to the midrange. The foams are easily removed and replaced to modify the properties of the sound though I found the included foams to be perfectly matched towards the earbud’s tuning.
Ergonomically, the Stardust is unsurprisingly identical to the Cygnus and Yuin earbuds. They are a compact earbud that will easily fit smaller ears but find plenty of stability in larger ears too, especially with the foam covers which provide some extra traction. The stems are perfectly offset, providing a nice fit depth and long term comfort is flawless; it’s easy to forget you’re wearing the earbuds. Isolation is essentially non-existent though the earbuds manage to provide a solid bass response even in the presence of ambient noise.
Shozy have past experience building custom cables and this definitely shows in the BK’s cable which is easily as good as the cables included on boutique earphones costing several hundred dollars. Perhaps the most universally renowned feature of the original Cygnus was the earbud’s phenomenal cable that was incredibly supple, compliant and aesthetically pleasing. It’s truly one of the best cables I have ever handled, my only gripe is that it was also prone to oxidisation, turning green over time. But Shozy have topped their past work with the BK, offering twice the conductors (8-core vs 4-core) and adopting higher quality OCC copper conductors.
The cable has a fascinating angular aesthetic with an interesting cable that really compliments the black housings. The earbuds also employ an authentic Oyaide plug which enables them to take full advantage of those high-purity OCC conductors.
The cable has a tighter braid that is a little stiffer than the Cygnus cable but also considerably smoother and more tangle resistant. Memory is minimal and the cable is compliant enough to remain coiled when stored. Strain relief is good on the jack and the y-split doesn’t require any as there is no severing of the cable. The earbuds themselves could do with some external strain relief but they have been internally fortified for longevity. The BK’s have a chin slider though microphonic noise is unnoticeable during wear.