Earbuds have become a surprisingly popular market, I couldn’t hope to keep up with all the new manufacturers and models popping up on a daily basis. And within this market pervades a pricing model that has redefined the perception of value for many, the $5 VE Monk+ bring the most notable example. And within a community that is dangerously close to luxury saturation, earbuds hold an important role as an affordable gateway into the hobby, delivering fidelity to the average listener.
But earbuds are maturing, both in sound and in reputation, enabling premium earbuds to successfully enter the market. There still aren’t too many premium earbuds, but among the few I’ve tested, the Shozy Cygnus definitely stood out; it’s not hard to find other reviewers or listeners who agree either. And from the success of the Cygnus, Shozy have further developed and refined their earbud formula to produce the new BK (Stardust). But with an RRP of $165 USD, almost twice that of the already premium priced Cygnus and also more than a lot of leading in-ear earphones like the TFZ King and Hifiman RE-400, can the Shozy BK provide a substantial performance increase over these models? Let’s find out.
I would like to thank Shozy very much for providing the BK at a discounted price for the purpose of review. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the earphones free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective in my analysis as possible.
The BK is packaged very much like the Cygnus before it with a small cardboard box containing the carry case and earbuds themselves.
No other accessories are included, not even an additional set of foam covers. This is honestly disappointing given that the earbuds are so expensive and that foams have a limited lifespan. It was also hard for me to source foams that sounded similar to the included units, all of the third party foam covers I’ve found were slightly thicker, muffling the sound. The included case is also a little impractical though it will suit those who carry a small DAP with their earbuds due to its accommodating dimensions.
Of note, the BK’s come with a 1 year warranty which is standard among leading manufacturers but a rarity with earbuds who tend to have a higher failure rate due to their smaller batch numbers. Given the BK’s higher price, it’s good to see some manufacturer support.
Next Page: Design