After reading a stellar, 5 star review of the Rock Zircon IEMs at Audiobudget.com I knew I had to try a pair. I immediately ordered a pair from AliExpress, at the ridiculously low price of $10.99, with free shipping. 10 days later I was tearing open the box and put them to work with Rage Against the Machine’s Take The Power Back. From the very first bass drum hit I knew the Rock Zircon’s would be fun. A nice, full, impactful bass for sure but once the guitars and vocals kicked in I was pleasantly surprised at the level of detail and wide soundstage. The highs are there too, but not overly harsh or painful.
Next up was the New York Philharmonic recording of Verdi’s Dies Irae, one of the most power and dramatic classical works. Here too I felt the impact of the bass drums, the instruments and vocals were clear and sharp and the Zircon’s.
Curious as to just how good the bass is on these things, I tried them with Late Night Tip by Three 6 Mafia. The constant bass rumble was powerful and clear but at the same time the vocals and snare hits were sharp and clear. Very impressive for such a cheap IEM! How about the ridiculous Bassgasm (Ultimate Woofer Test) by Techmaster P.E.B.? This song is so insanely bass heavy that it’s basically unlistenable, seemingly made for car audio subwoofer competitions. But the Zircons handle the insane bass with aplomb, to the point where it feels like the bass is scrambling my brain from the inside.
While the Zircons provide a lot of fun, accurate bass the higher ranges don’t seem to be colored by it. An a capella track like Suzanne Vega’s Tom’s Diner sounds completely clear and natural, every nuance of her voice can be heard, right down to the almost imperceptible sounds of wetness on the lips. A guitar heavy track like AC/DC’s Touch To Much sounds properly clear and bombastic, right up the threshold of bearable volume. The one weakness here is the cymbal crashes sound a touch washed out, not quite as clear and sharp as they could be. But again, for 10 bucks that’s a very minor quibble.
The build quality seems pretty good on the Zircons. They have a nice braided cable that doesn’t snag or tangle easily. The buds themselves are a little funky looking with their tapered shape but they’re fairly small and comfortable, I’ve had no problems listening for several hours. Due to the small size they do tend to move around a little but I suspect that if you used some compressible foam tips it would alleviate that issue.
The Rock Zircons are my new favorite IEMs, I even prefer them to my Shure SE215s that cost nearly 10 times as much. The sound is nearly as good and the Zircons are much easier to slip in and take off, and the cable is lighter and easier to deal with. You really can’t go wrong with these things. Amazon has them for $16.88 with free Prime shipping, in some places it’s even free next day shipping. I think they’re the best IEM for under $20, give them a try.