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Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread

post #1 of 617
Thread Starter 

Not too long ago, I stumbled across some interesting looking in-ears on Aliexpress and Taobao called the KZ-A1. They promised subwoofer type bass and showed a frequency response graph that looked pretty good, and it was only $10. I gave it a shot, and I loved it. It really did have deep punchy bass as stated.

 

Then I found their two stores, and noticed they had a ton of other models, and seem to come out with a new one every two weeks. (use chrome to translate)

http://taoctt.taobao.com/index.htm?spm=2013.1.w5002-218015938.2.xIC2vr

http://shugong.taobao.com/?spm=2013.1.0.0.W8WxBm

 

A lot of the shell designs are based on other iems in the market (Audio Technica, Sennheiser, V-Moda), but the use their own materials, drivers, OFC cords..etc, and they don't try to pass them off as knock offs. Each have Knowledge Zenith logos and distinct features separating them from the designs they are based on.

 

Here are some of the models so far:

KZ-A1 (9mm $10):

Subwoofer type bass, but clearer than a standard Beats IEM

 

Micro-Ring (CKN70 look, 5.8mm $10):

A micro driver (5.8mm) tuned to sound like a balanced armature. Plenty of bass.

 

CKM9 (CKM99 look 14mm, $12)

CKM99 type signature. Boosted bass and treble.

 

GD1 C56R

 

DS

 

RX

 

LP

 

CKW Pro

 

R1

 

R35

 

C3

 

Spartacus

 

Piston

 

IE80

etc etc..

 

Most of them punch well above the price they are going for, which is normally $10-30. They are available on aliexpress and Taobao, although Taobao is the best way to purchase them. If you do not live in China, you will need to use a Taobao forwarding service such as mistertao.com and ugomark.com. There are lots of reviews from chinese users under each of the models as well.


Edited by bhazard - 1/5/14 at 11:25am
post #2 of 617
Nice initiative, since I got the a1's today I'll join the party smily_headphones1.gif
post #3 of 617
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by peter123 View Post

Nice initiative, since I got the a1's today I'll join the party smily_headphones1.gif

Thoughts on it? IMO it's a bass monster that is clearer than a Beats IEM and the $8 Monoprice, and that's all you can really expect it to do, which is still excellent for ~$10.

post #4 of 617
So far I've just heard it for about 30 minutes. Short first impression is very clear and very much bass. I hope the bass settles a bit with some more use.
post #5 of 617

Hell yeah for a KZ appreciation thread! :gs1000smile:

post #6 of 617
Bhazard: if it's not to much trouble could you please add a small comment to the models that you have/heard in the first post. This way it would be easier for others to see what signatures/quality they each have. That will make it easier to purchase the ones one most likely will prefer. I hope that others (including myself) that try the KZ line can contribute with their impressions as well smily_headphones1.gif
post #7 of 617
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by peter123 View Post

Bhazard: if it's not to much trouble could you please add a small comment to the models that you have/heard in the first post. This way it would be easier for others to see what signatures/quality they each have. That will make it easier to purchase the ones one most likely will prefer. I hope that others (including myself) that try the KZ line can contribute with their impressions as well smily_headphones1.gif

Of course. I'll add a few now.

post #8 of 617
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhazard View Post

Of course. I'll add a few now.

You're the man:)

Thank you!
post #9 of 617

Quoting myself from the Asian/Chinese thread regarding the KZ A1:

 

I got the KZ A1 and my impressions with them are a bit diversed: they have a terrific clarity for the price and the sub bass is really deep. With music that has a lot of fast bass I do find the bass to be a bit overwhelming. Some exaples: listening to more accoustic music whit good bass like Ben Howard, Cowboy Junkies or the Abbey Road Sessions with Kylie Minouge they are really really good, not only for their price. Listening to Robyn or Depeche Mode on the other hand it feels like I get bass a bit all over the place leading to litening fatigue pretty fast. To sum it up I think the bass is a bit slow and if there's a lot of midbass in the music it bleeds togheter with the subbass. 

post #10 of 617

Subscribed.

What is the KZ's Flagship model?

post #11 of 617

KZ-CKW1000 looks good also KZ-IE8

are these good? looks like knock-off the Sennheiser IE80 and Audio Technica CKW1000

post #12 of 617
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bananiq View Post
 

KZ-CKW1000 looks good also KZ-IE8

are these good? looks like knock-off the Sennheiser IE80 and Audio Technica CKW1000

The shape is similar, but they use their own style of cords, housings, and drivers. They don't use any logos or anything from the models they are inspired from, and they also have a lot of their own designs.

 

Flagship wise, the KZ-2013 and KZ-2014 seem to be the most popular. They are pretty good for ~$30, but they won't blow away $100+ earphones.

 

I like the $12 Micro Ring better than both of them.


Edited by bhazard - 1/9/14 at 1:52pm
post #13 of 617

So you also don't like KZ A1 anymore? If they use different drivers too, I wonder how they match the sound signature of the originals.

post #14 of 617
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bananiq View Post
 

So you also don't like KZ A1 anymore? If they use different drivers too, I wonder how they match the sound signature of the originals.

The KZ-A1 is more of a one trick pony. It has really nice, deep, punchy bass, but is a little recessed in the mids and could use a little more clarity. Still excellent for $10, and blows away the Monoprice easily.

post #15 of 617

Thanks, so what Asian IEM would you consider to beat 100+ dollar IEMs?

Do they have dual BA IEMs or something similar to that fashion?

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