Knowledge Zenith KZ EDX Single-Dynamic Driver Earphone

General Information

The KZ EDX is the company's current budget offering in the $10 segment. It features a single dynamic driver.

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cappuchino

Previously known as sub30
Pros: Attractive “clear/crystal” shell
Cheapest IEM with removable cable
Good quality cable
White Starline tips
"Decent" bass quality
"Decent" separation and imaging
Cons: Treble P.E.S.
Non-existent layering
Metallic timbre
Harsh midrange
Easily gets old even with the price (there are better options at the same price bracket)... don't get caught by the hype
Disclaimer:

I would like to thank CCA Earphone Store for providing a review unit of the EDX. Check out their store on Lazada (Shop at CCA earphone store | lazada.com.ph). Rest assured that my impressions written in this review are my own personal thoughts and opinions and in no way influenced by outside parties.

I am not an expert in this hobby nor claim to be an audiophile. I just love listening to music and am fond of writing articles.


Introduction:

Knowledge Zenith – the man, the myth, the legend. Arguably the most important figure of the Chi-Fi world, at least one of the companies that brought it to its glorious state in present times. The most recent releases have all been multi-driver IEMs, most not in the “budget-range.” But, out of a sudden, they release the KZ EDX, reminiscent of their very first single-DD offerings, that one can say made them who they are today. The KZ EDX is the cheapest IEM with removable cables. At just under 6 USD, depending on your region, you can choose between five different colors – black, white, smoked grey, crystal, and jade green/blue, with the last two being quite “rare” colorways and are only available in select stores. Rated at 112 dB with an impedance of 23 ohms, these are fine to drive with a phone.



These were plugged to my iPhone 5s with the SD01 amplifier for the review.



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Build and Comfort: Generic IEM shell that is used in multiple products, one in particular is the QKZ VK4. Has two vents – one at the center of the driver, and the other close to the edge of the nozzle base. Mine is in a crystal/clear finish, and it looks beautiful on hand. For those saying that the KS1 shell is the same, it’s not. The KS1 has this contour to the body that makes it more comfortable than the EDX, in my case. The cable that it comes with is a 4-core cable, in a rose gold/copper-esque finish, ending in a 0.75mm 2-pin connector. A bit tangly but definitely something that you didn’t expect from a 6 USD IEM.


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Now, onto sound:



For this review, the IEM was left in stock mode, without mods/cable change and only a tip change as the white Starline didn’t work for me. It was also really harsh OOTB and was hurting my ears after a few songs, burning them in helped in my experience (~30 hours using Cascade Burn-In).

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Bass –
it’s good. Not amazing, but good. Extends up to sub-bass so it does not sound lacking. Not that tight but has texture. Might be a bit boomy for some as it is quite elevated and doesn't have the best quality.

Midrange – recessed and has this metallic tint to it. Lower midrange is also lacking and thus sound particularly thin on male vocals. Female vocals are unnatural, sounding overly sharp. Coupled with the upper midrange elevation, and it’s a rough experience. If you’re a vocals lover or listen to vocal-centric tracks, I can’t recommend these. It has this harshness that I’ve never heard before, until the EDX. Annoying instances of sibilance as well.

Treble – P.E.S. - Peaky, Elevated, and Splashy. I despise every bit of this region. It’s the only gear that hurt my ears after listening to a few songs. At low volume, it’s alright. But then start increasing loudness, and in shows the pierce that it has.

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Timbre –
metallic. It sounds lifeless and unnatural.

Soundstage – surprisingly wide. That’s it. No perception of depth or instrument layering at all. The presentation is very 2-D.

Imaging – decent at best. Moving sounds become quite blurry.

Separation – fine. You’ll survive.

Detail-retrieval – faked as heck using the treble peaks.

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Conclusion:


Man, I didn’t want to have this first experience with the KZ brand. I actually expected a lot based on the “hype” it has garnered, but I say the hype’s not real for me. Midrange is harsh and metallic, treble is P.E.S., non-existent soundstage depth and instrument layering, fake detail-retrieval, and blurry imaging. The only redeeming qualities of the EDX are the beautiful crystal shell, removable and good-quality stock cable, white Starline tips that you can’t buy anywhere, surprisingly wide soundstage and the decent, but not amazing bass. Oh, and for 6 USD, I still don’t recommend these. You’re better off looking at earbuds which offer much more value for way less the money.



There are others that suggest to cable-roll and tip-roll. I didn’t have the resources during this review to do so. One of the “best” combinations that I’ve read is a “pure silver” cable and either foam tips or wide-bore tips.



****If you have other questions/concerns with the IEM mentioned, feel free to message me****​
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JasonLucas

New Head-Fier
Best iem under 10$ period
Pros: Sounds excellent for 10$ especially with pure copper cable
Cons: Stock cable no good, none for cost
Don’t use spc or stock cable or you get all the negatives of the below reviews, and don’t forget to 48hrs burn in!
Kz edx
😃
Loud sub bass
Good dd for edm
Benefits massively from a copper cable and a short burn in period
Almost ba like treble speed and extension
Best dd under 10$ period, ever
Best iem under 10$
Great imaging separation and staging
Very similar sound to tc01 ( possible same dd ) highly likely
Comfortable fit , good tips, doesn’t need amp to shine.
Stock cable can cause treble to be slightly harsh
Near bass head levels when calls for it.
Tip to reduce bass or eq slightly will improve sq
Excellent vocals and mids
Insane value at 6$
One of my favorite kz
Everyone should buy one to try but not from the KZ store on aliexpress
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Dessyboi

New Head-Fier
KZ EDX the cheapo that sounds niche?
Pros: Balanced Bass (Not overly boomy or punchy)
Good coherence of male and female vocals (Mids)
Cheap
Cons: Treble (Most of the things related here sucked)
- The DD is not fast enough to replicate and sounded distorted
- Too many peaks, very unbearable
- Harsh sounding
Specifications
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Bass
As expected of a 1DD, it have incredible amount of bass. Unfortunately, I can hear a little bleeding into the male vocals (low mids). Although there is a substantial amount of bass, it is not boomy and does not overwhelm listener. For this bass, I believe everyone would like it, bass-head or not. However, bass-heads will probably want a little more which can be easily archived with simple mods such as changing the tips or using KZ's own gold & silver plated copper wire instead of the stock cable.

Mids
The mids is very pleasant for both male and female vocals. Both in coherence to each other and do not have the problem of "fighting over the stage" to outshine the other. The only issues here is the bleeding from bass, making a small range near the crossover to sound a little muddy.

Treble
To keep the story short, I did not like the treble section. It was a little too harsh for my tolerance (I have slightly better tolerance than most here) which I did not expect from a DD. Secondly, something I have expected to occur, the DD is not fast enough in reproducing the treble and it sounded distorted, a limitation of a single driver trying to juggle the whole spectrum. Lastly, I appreciate the extension past 10k which is not the norm in 2020, unfortunately the peaks make it extremely unbearable

Conclusion
This one is definitely worth the price and overall the tuning is splendidly done. Most of the issues are limitations of a single driver unit, "overworked in managing too big a spectrum" and "not fast enough". Right off the box, this thing is in my opinion 3.5 rating, the mods I done below made it worthwhile for a 4.3ish? But to be fair I have to mod it somewhat so I shall call it a 4.0 for its potential.

Mods
Here are somethings I did to get my preferred signature... First of all, changing the stock cable to the KZ's gold and silver plated copper cable. Followed by a crazy EQ of cutting anything past 8k by -12db on my hiby music player using android phone. Desktop application I have a tube buffer amp which is warm and sort of negates the painful treble and so I did not EQ it.
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