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: EPZ K1

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500+ Head-Fier
EPZ K1: Frisky As It Is
Pros: △ Resin shell chassis are well-constructed and beautifully crafted.
△ Excellent fitting.
△ Minimalist carbon fibre-like aesthetics (I'm a fan of hypercars so its given)
△ Decent quality stock cable and it has a mic with basic buttons for calls and playing music.
△ Versatile sound signature for almost all types of music genre.
△ Two new types of ear tips to choose from for our preferred isolation and comfort.
△ Slamming and incisive bass response.
△ Clear and mildly warmth midrange
△ Quite flexible on vocal type whether its a male or female.
△ Good for tracking on string and woodwind instruments.
△ Bright treble quality for clarity and detail.
△ It has decent technical capabilities for a hybrid driver entry-level set.
Cons: ▽ A bit recessed midrange presentation.
▽ Wishing for better cable.
▽ Some instances of a little bit shrill and metallic sound.
▽ Not a neutral sounding set that I can recommend to other fellow neutral heads.
▽ Forewarning to treble-sensitive folk, might be a bit intense for your hearing sensitivity.

"Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie"

~~John Milton, English poet and intellectual.

EPZ Audio is one of the newest audio brands emerging from China and releases some products that garner some good reputation from audio enthusiasts due to the overall good quality of their products either its sound quality or build quality. But take note, they were once part of a company that specialised in acoustics engineering, product designing and both software and hardware development. This company also provided some manufacturing expertise and R&D to produce 3D-printed moulded resin shell IEMs to some brands too.


I did a review on their EPZ Q5 and I find it somehow pleasant to use it on a casual listening session. And what I have here is another product and this one somehow did receive an accolade from the prestigious award-giving body for audio/visual products from Japan, VGP.


This is EPZ K1, a hybrid driver IEM with 1 dynamic driver and 1 balanced armature driver set-up. Its dynamic driver is a 9.2mm dual-chambered configuration with composite diaphragm capable for high output and better acoustic performance on low frequencies. The custom BA driver (either made by E-audio or Bellsing) will give a more clarity and better resolution on midrange and high frequencies.


Then, these drivers were housed in a 3D-moulded resin shell chassis, and this resin is of a high quality as it was sourced from the EU, specifically Germany and it is dermatologically-tested material. It takes a UIEM-style form factor to give a better sealing to achieve that 26 db noise isolation rating. The faceplate of this set has a black colourway with carbon-fibre pattern and brand logo printed in gold colour. Unlike the Q5, the K1 uses a standard 0.78mm 2-pin connector as its interlocking mechanism on detaching cable.



Its cable is a 4-core OFC silver-plated copper wirings that were twisted for better signal transmission and less microphonics, and the variant that I got for this set has a built-in mic and button for receiving & ending calls, and also for play & pause commands. On its termination plug, it uses a standard 3.5mm SE and it was gold-plated for corrosion-resistant and better conductivity.


Regarding its fitting and comfort, The UIEM-style contours of its shell is quite smooth and it rests well into my lugholes and was able to achieve a good noise isolation that EPZ claims on their ad marketing of this set. Job well done! EPZ.


With its product packaging, The EPZ K1 has a larger than usual rectangular packaging box and its content presentation inside was somehow well-organised.


Here are the following contents inside the packaging box:

● Pair of EPZ K1

● Stock cable

● Three (3) pairs of black-coloured flat ear tips in different standard sizes.

● Three (3) pairs of black-coloured double-flange ear tips in different standard sizes.

● Ear tips tray

● Felt cloth storage bag

● Paperwork like instruction manual, Q.C card, postal card with Q.R. codes and warranty card.



In amplification and power scaling, it appears that EPZ K1 is quite easy to drive and device sources such as smartphones, laptop and tablets are able to give a proper power output on this set. With sufficient power output, this set sounds dynamic and able to encompass the whole frequency spectrum to achieve that full range sound.


This set has a U-shaped with a tinge of brightness on it as it has more emphasis on both low and high frequencies and a tad neutral midrange on the subjacent presentation.



The low frequency is pretty accented here in this set as its bass response is quite authoritative, deep and thwacking. It seems that it has a more prominent presentation on the mid-bass rather than the sub-bass itself that will give a volume on some instruments and vocals.

It has a decent presence of sub-bass as I was able to hear some faint reverberations and rumble sound from instruments like synthesisers, low tone guitar, drum machines and octabasses. Mid-bass on this one has an ample texture to give more body and acuteness on bass-focus instruments and a certain vocal type. Bass guitars have a weighty, earthy and rasping sound on them on every plucking of its strings on either fretted, fretless or slapping techniques as I enjoy listening to John Paul Jones, Steve DiGiorgio, Cliff Burton and Patricia Morrison of The Sisters of Mercy. Bass kick drums has a tad thunderous, thudding and sustaining sound on them as I was able to enjoy John Bonham's authoritative bass kicks on When The Levee Breaks, Gene Hoglan and Dave Lombardo on their rapid double bass drumming and Marduk's Fredrik Widigs on his bass kick drum on The Blond Beast. Bass-baritone vocals have sufficient depth and dark tone to have a guttural and dense sound as I'm delighted to listen to some artists with these type of vocals like Peter Steele, Barry White, Louis Armstrong and Andrew Eldritch.


The midrange frequency on this one is a tad notch in the overall presentation in frequency spectrum, but it has sufficient warmth, clear and energy to give a density note weight on vocals and instruments.

Male vocals has a texture and depth to add more focus on baritones, tenors and countertenors. Baritones have plush, warm with good smoothness on them while tenors have brassy and metallic sound in them, and then on countertenors, they have a tender and a bit glowing sound on their vocal qualities. Meanwhile on female vocals, they have these lush, vivid and energetic characteristics albeit there are some instances of having a little bit of shrillness and screechy particularly on high pitch vocals like sopranos. Contraltos have sufficient depth and lushness for rich, smokier and hefty vocals. Mezzo-sopranos have a smooth, warmer and fiery sound on them with their distinctive florid and rapid vocal passages of their upper tessituras. Sopranos have a shining, gleaming and metallic sound as I'm please on listening to them either in operatic or in modern music format.

Here are some sample artists on specific vocal types:

Baritones - Jimi Hendrix, Scott Weidland, Eddie Vedder, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Robert Merrill

Tenor - Ronnie James Dio, Robert Plant, Justin Timberlake, Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras, Luciano Pavarotti

Countertenor - King Diamond, Daron Malakian, Robert Gift, Andreas Scholl, Philippe Jaroussky

Contralto - Annie Lennox, Tracy Chapman, Toni Braxton, Anggun, Ella Fitzgerald

Mezzo-sopranos - Andrea Corr, Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac era), Sharon Den Adel (Within Temptation), Dolores O'Riordan, Cecilia Bartoli

Soprano - Mariah Carey, Alison Krauss, Tarja Turunen, Diana Damrau, Olga Pereyatko

Instruments on this one sounds quite natural with some added brightness on some instruments like strings and woodwinds. On strings, guitars have crisp and ceiling sound on them as I hear clearly in every pluck of its strings, and the violins have a vibrant and metallic sound on every stroke of its bowstrings. Woodwind instruments like concert flutes, piccolo, clarinets and saxophones have a bright, clear, penetrating and reedy sound respectively. As for brasses, trumpets have an intense and stately sound on them, while horns have warm and metallic sound on them, and then on trombones, they have a brassy and tense sound on blaring its notations. On percussives, snares have sharp, metallic and shrill sound, tom drums have warm, full and ringing sound on them, field drums have sonorous and a tad boominess on its tonal colour, and then , kettledrums have their deep and heavy sound on every rebound of its drum strikes. Pianos have a quite balanced sound and it has a warmth and bright tone on them.


The general treble response on this one is quite bright and energetic due to some noticeable peaks on the upper-mids and presence part. Those prominent peaks able to give a more precise attack of percussive and rhythm instruments and a better vocal definition. It also boost some presence of detail, clarity and crispness of its overall sound quality but there's a catch, it has some observable tinny and a tad shrilliness but somehow it managed to control the possible instances of sibilances and I don't hear any jarring sound that might be detrimental to listening experience.

It has a good amount of sparkle and a sufficient amount of air on its brilliance region. On some instruments, cymbals have shimmering and sizzle sound while hi-hats have its distinguishable chick sound which is a shortened buzzing tone. Celestas have bright and glistening sound on their long resonating notes and glockenspiels have a piercing and shimmering sound on them either on keyboard format or in a mallet-type.


projects a decent and quite proportional sound field size in which I consider it as above-average. It has fairly significant width span from left to right, good height reach and depth from front to rear that it gives me reasonably spatial head room with my hearing perception.

Stereo imaging projects a rather two-dimensional presentation and somehow I was able to track the placement of instruments and vocals decently across its soundscape. Surprisingly, it has good separation and quite decent on organising some layers of frequency and instrumental tones that will give a better playback on more complex tracks like orchestras and jazz.

The cohesive performance of its hybrid driver configuration is excellent as the dynamic driver is capable of delivering a fast transient response that really syncs well with its balanced armature driver to deliver a more homogenous and coherent sound. Resolution capabilities is quite competent as it has solid macro-dynamics and has decently sharp definition on micro-detail retrieval on how it managed to extract some nuances and subtle details from an audio track.



■ Like the K1, it has the same driver configuration as it also has 1 DD + 1 BA set-up but it was encapsulated in a composite shell chassis made of polycarbonate plastic and metal alloy shell. It also has tuning switches for more sonic profile options and it has a better stock cable.

■ As it features tuning switches, it offers a variety of tuning profiles that makes them more versatile but it is still leaning towards a v-shaped sound signature. The "high definition mode" of this one will be the closest one to be compared with K1 in tonal basis. Then it has a similar bass response as it also has sounds punchy and incisive, midrange presentation is more recessed but it has more vibrant, bright and energetic sound for female vocals and string instruments. It has also a bright treble response but compared to K1, it's even more shouty and prone to sibilance. On technical aspects, it has an average sound/speaker stage, a typical two-dimensional stereo imaging and decent separation but less refined layering capability.


■ This set is also a hybrid driver set-up but it has additional BA which is a Knowles driver that solely handles the midrange to some parts of treble. It also has toggle tuning switches and its shell chassis is made of lightweight aluminium alloy. Its stock cable isn't that impressive at all and it uses a QDC-type 2-pin connector.

■ As it has tuning switches that offer different types of sound signatures, CVJ MEI appeals to be more versatile. This one will be set in 1 DD + 2 BA mode and will be compared to K1, the bass response is less punchy but its texture is quite sufficient to give an ample body on some bass-focus vocals and instruments, it has similar midrange presentation but it has energy and crisper sound, then on treble, its is even more shimmering and sparkling with better airy extension but there are some instances of jarring and prone to sibilance. On technical attributes, MEI has an average to above average soundstage size, decent layering and separation and good cohesive performance of its hybrid drivers. It has fairly good resolution capabilities, that it has solid note weight and texture on its macro-dynamics while its on micro-dynamics, it able to extract some decent nuances and subtleties and details from an audio track.


■ TANGZU's first hybrid driver IEM, it has 1 DD + 2 BA and it was encapsulated in a 3D-printing resin mould shell chassis with CNC-milled aluminium alloy faceplate. And it also has better accessories too as among its inclusions, it was supplemented with more premium ear tips and a bit better stock cable.

■ As for its tonality, the FU DU has a U-shaped, warmish-balanced tuning on it. It has borderline boomy bass response, a more warmer and well-bodied midrange which will be more beneficial to male vocals and brass instruments, and a smoother and relaxed treble response. In overall tuning, this set sounds more analogue-ish that reminds you of some vintage cans and speakers. As for its general technical performances, it has an average sound/speaker stage dimensions, a typical linear two-dimensional stereo imaging, decent separation and layering and decent resolution capabilities as it has a good macro-dynamics and acceptable detail retrieval.

As I summarise and put up a conclusion on this set, this hybrid driver set from EPZ is quite impressive for its price on both tonal and technical performance. If some audio enthusiasts are looking for an enjoyable and engaging sounding set with a premium looking shell at just under US$50/£40, this is one of the sets that I can simply recommend without hesitation.


Here are some unaffliated links if anyone interested to buy this set:



And you can check out my first review of an EPZ product:

● EPZ Q5



PLUG TYPE: 3.5mm,

Some Tracks Tested: ( * = 16-bit FLAC, ** = 24-bit FLAC, *'* = MQA, '*' = DSD, *'= .WAV)

Alison Krauss -When You Say Nothing At All *
Jade Wiedlin - Blue Kiss**
Led Zeppelin - When The Levee Breaks **
Mountain - Mississippi Queen *
Queen - Killer Queen **
Guns N' Roses - Patience *'*
Eric Clapton - Tears in Heaven '*'
Sergio Mendes- Never Gonna Let You Go '*'
Pearl Jam - Daughter **
Roselia - Hidamari Rhodonite *
Assassin - Fight (To Stop The Tyranny)*
Celtic Frost- Visual Aggression *
New Order - Blue Monday *
The Corrs- What Can I do (unplugged version) *
Jimi Hendrix Experience - Voodoo Child *
The Madness- Buggy Trousers *
Metallica - Motorbreath **
Mariah Carey- Always Be My Baby *
Destiny's Child - Say My Name *
Malice Mizer- Au Revoir *
Mozart - Lacrimosa *
New York Philharmonic Orchestra - Dvorak- Symphony 9 " From the New World." *
Eva Cassidy - Fields of Gold (Sting cover)*
Michael Jackson - Give In To Me *
Exciter - Violence and Force *
Diana Krall - Stop This World **
Debbie Gibson - Foolish Beat *'*
The Sisters of Mercy – Lucretia My Reflection**
Suzanne Vega – Luka **
Lauren Christy – Steep *
Ottoman Mehter - Hucum Marsi *
Diana Damrau - Mozart: Die Zauberflöte*


I am not affiliated to EPZ nor receive monetary incentives and financial gains as they provide me a review unit for an exchange of factual and sincere feedback from yours truly.

Once again, I would like to send my gratitude to TEAM EPZ for providing this review unit. I truly appreciate their generosity and trust towards me and other reviewers.

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