KZ ZS10 Pro 2

General Information

KZ ZS10 Pro 2

Crafted for Seasoned Audiophiles
The Second-Generation 10-Driver Professional DD&BA Hybrid IEM
  • 10mm Internal Magnetic Dynamic Driver
  • Dual 31736 Balanced Armature Drivers (x2)
  • Precise 3-Way Crossover Technology
  • 4-Level Custom Tuning Switch
  • Exceptional Acoustic FR Curve
  • Classic Design Aesthetics
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Hardware Configuration Beyond Hi-Fi Standards​

Tailored for the most discerning music lovers, the KZ ZS10 Pro 2 features a blend of a 10mm super-linear internal magnetic dynamic driver and dual 31736 balanced armature drivers. This combination sets a new benchmark in audio quality, surpassing even the loftiest Hi-Fi standards, catering to the needs of professional musicians, audiophiles, and those with the most exacting sound quality demands.

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1- Lightweight metal cover
2- Dust filter
3- 10mm Internal magnetic dynamic driver
4- Tuning switch
5- 31736 Dual array balanced armature drivers
6- 0.75mm Gold-plated socket
7- Skin-friendly resin cavity
8- Acoustic filter mesh
9- Foam ear tips


Low, Medium, High, Ultra-High Frequency​

All Have Different Drivers Responsible for Accuracy
The dynamic driver handles the mid-to-low frequency range, delivering ample low-frequency response and natural mid-frequency transitions to enhance the music's dynamics and atmosphere. On the other hand, the balanced armature drivers excel in the high-frequency range. Its compact structure and rapid response allow for precise reproduction of high-frequency details, resulting in a clear and transparent sound texture.



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1- 10mm Internal magnetic dynamic driver
2- 31736 Dual array balanced armature drivers



If You Are Looking for a Music Companion, the KZ ZS10 Pro 2 Can Meet All Your Needs​

KZ ZS10 Pro 2 reproduces every melody with precision, vividly presenting them, whether it's the vibrant clarity of high frequencies or the rich depth of low frequencies. It can take you on a journey through the ocean of music, immersing you in lossless, pristine sound quality and offering an unparalleled auditory feast.

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Industry-leading Balanced Armature Driver​

Our exclusively customized 31736 balanced armature drivers are responsible for high-frequency and ultra-high-frequency output, accurately capturing and reproducing every subtle variation of each note. Whether it's rich details or a wide dynamic range, they can accurately present them.

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Highly Integrated Internal Soldered High-Performance Dynamic Driver​

KZ's original internal magnetic design creates a stable magnetic field environment within the driver unit, greatly enhancing the purity and stability of the sound. This allows for the precise capture of every subtle variation in music.

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Newly Designed Crossover Circuit for Enhanced Sound Control​

Precise Integration of Dynamic Driver and Balanced Armature Driver
KZ ZS10 Pro 2 utilizes a brand-new electronic crossover circuit, precisely calculating the impact of each frequency on the sound quality of different frequency bands. This ensures seamless integration between the low, mid, high, and ultra-high frequencies, achieving an overall three-frequency balance, delicate auditory sensation, and rich detail in the listening experience.

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Acoustic Curve Beyond Conventional Earphones​

KZ's innovative electronic crossover technology breaks tradition, enabling precise control over the interaction between balanced armature and dynamic drivers. This allows each driver to excel in its designated frequency range, showcasing music details with unparalleled clarity.

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Built-in Professional Filters​

4-Level Custom Tuning Switch
To meet the diverse demands for sound quality, we've specially designed a 4-level custom switch. It effortlessly caters to your preferences, whether it's clear vocals, deep bass, or rich chords. Whether an audiophile or a professional creator, you can find your unique sound signature through this intricate audio control.

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Expansive Soundstage, Wide Dynamic Range​

KZ ZS10 Pro 2, with its hybrid balanced armature and dynamic driver technology, exhibits a powerful soundstage and wide dynamic range. Whether it's the delicate emotional nuances in music or the exhilarating climax, every detail is captured and faithfully reproduced without compromise.

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Continuing the Classic Design Legacy​

Setting New Standards in Appearance
Inheriting tradition while embracing innovation, we've infused our product with a fresh visual impact while retaining its familiar and profound essence. This rejuvenation brings unparalleled charm and radiance, setting new aesthetic standards. It's not just about pushing the boundaries of appearance; it's also a steadfast testament to exceptional quality and unique personality.

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Latest reviews

Ceeluh7

500+ Head-Fier
KZ ZS10 Pro 2 Review
Pros: -Design (yes, I know we’ve seen this before, still a cool design)

-Tuning Switches that work

-Boisterous and energetic macro-dynamics

-Bass ranges very far with switches

-Snappy, punchy or even heavy and robust low-end depending on switches

-Airy midrange, detailed, very resolute for the price

-Transients are tight throughout the midrange

-Lively treble region with good extension

-Very open sounding treble region as well

-A nicely detailed playback

-Separation
Cons: -Same old design

-Those that hate switches

-Thinner note weight

-May come across fatiguing for some

-Some BA timbre shows up from time to time

-Warm/dark lovers will want to keep looking

-Slight sibilance in some settings

KZ ZS10 Pro 2 Review



ZS10P2 Featured image

ZS10P2

KZ ZS10 Pro 2

Hello everyone, today I am featuring (from my point of view) one of KZ Audio‘s latest iems, the KZ ZS10 Pro 2. The ZS10 Pro 2 is part of one of the greatest budget legacy series of iems that this hobby has ever seen. No matter how you feel about them, the ZS10 series is unquestionably a super success in the world of audio. This is undeniable. The original KZ ZS10 was one of the first times that a budget set would come with five drivers housed within one shell and sold for under $100. Far below $100 actually. Not only was it five drivers, but it was also a hybrid iem. These were all hurdles to overcome in those days and at those prices, and KZ did it. Over and over and over again. In fact, they created so many hybrid iems over the years that I have a hard time even remembering the names. KZ would ultimately go on to basically show the rest of the audio world a blueprint for successful budget hybrids. It was KZ folks, like it or not. It was KZ which crafted one of, if not thee, most successful hybrid iem series in all of audio in the KZ ZS10 series.

Very well known

The ZS10 was actually one of the first KZ iems that I ever purchased. Followed by so many that naming them would get a bit boring. CCA (KZ sister brand) then came out with the ZS10’s alter ego in the CCA C10 and C10 plus and thus would form the foundation of how KZ & CCA would market their iems moving forward. KZ, then CCA, KZ then CCA and this has gone on ever since in many ways. Truly a groundbreaking series. Whether you liked them or not, the ZS10 is one of the most well-known iems on the planet. Fast forward many years later and there’s still a buzz around each new iteration within this series. Each variation gets slightly upgraded from the last. It’s a solid method and one which keeps them on their game.

Some history with this brand

I’ve actually reviewed a number of KZ iems and in each KZ/CCA review, I usually list them. I don’t know why I do this, maybe you are curious and would like to check out my thoughts. However, I feel the real reason is to show you all just how proficient this company/brand has been. I’ve given a couple of not-so-great reviews, and I am always as honest as I can be. Yet I’ve given many more very positive reviews to this brand’s creations. As I look back, depending on what was out on the market, each KZ/CCA set would usually be “at” or “near” the top in each respective iems price bracket. Obviously, the audio game keeps moving and never stops and those sets got usurped by better sets. We all know the history. But it’s a testament really. It’s a testament to KZ/CCA’s constant drive to produce better for less. Price to performance. Whether you like it or not. Whether you agree with those words or not. The market dictates who are in the lead folks, and KZ is constantly at the top of the list. Here are some of those reviews over the course of the last couple years:

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AS16 Pro
VXS
CRA+
PR1 Hifi
EDCX
Linglong
ZVX
D-Fi
X-HBB PR2
Duo
EDXS
AS24
Krila
AZ20
ZAT
Rhapsody
PR3
ZSN Pro 2
Trio
Symphony
Hydro

Tough price point…

I don’t expect you to go through each review and I’m sure you have a good idea about the progressions of KZ’s iem growth. The point is that the ZS10 Pro 2 comes from this long string of sometimes “incremental” or even “grand” improvements. It’s also true that they’ve had some setbacks as well. Even setbacks make you better. I just reviewed the CCA Hydro (Hydro Review) and to be 100% honest, I do believe that a great number of hobbyists are going to look at that set like it’s one of the better hybrid iems that you can purchase under $200. I say that without batting an eye. So, does the magic that happened with the Hydro, the Trio, the Rhapsody and the AS24 trickle down to the ZS10 Pro 2? This is something that I am eager to find out. I want to know if the ZS10 Pro 2 is going to be a set that carries that same lineage as the previous ZS10 series of iems or does KZ switch it up with this set? Is the ZS10 Pro 2 even a good deal against the current crop of under $50 iems? It’s a tough, tough, price point to play in. So, without further ado, the KZ ZS10 Pro 2…

Non-Affiliated Purchasing Link’s:

kz-audio.com
Amazon
Concept cart

Disclaimer:

I received the KZ ZS10 Pro 2 from KZ as a review sample and in exchange I will conduct a full review and feature at Mobileaudiophile.com. I have not received any payment or any other form of compensation for this review. This set is a review sample iem. KZ has not requested to pre-read any review and doesn’t have any control over “what” or “when” anything gets published to mobileaudiophile.com. All thoughts within this review are my own, though please take note that I will always have my own biases. This is impossible to get around. I try to be as objective as my subjective self can be, but this is an opinion piece folks. Thank you to KZ, and thanks for reading.


ZS10 Pro 2
The ZS10 Pro 2 attached to the iBasso DX240 with a Faaeal balanced SPC cable


Gear used for testing
Hidizs S8 Pro / Simgot Dew4x / Shanling M6 Ultra / Fiio Q15 / iBasso DX240 / KZ AZ20 / Ifi Go Blu

Gear used for testing

KZ AZ20

Ifi Go Blu

Hidizs S8 Pro Robin

Simgot Dew4x

Fiio Q15

iBasso DX240 with Amp8 MK2

Shanling M6 Ultra

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Packaging / Accessories

Unboxing

Nothing new to explain here. We all know what we are going to get with a budget KZ product. This is a bare bones, utilitarian, and pretty naked set of accessories for the price. However, I don’t think anyone is necessarily expecting a whole lot more either. We are used to the KZ/CCA packaging and speaking for myself… I’m okay with it. You get a small white box with a picture of the ZS10 Pro 2 on the front and some specs on the back. Open it up and you’ll see the ZS10 Pro 2 chilling in cardboard cut-outs. Under the earphones is the cable, the tips, and a dip-switch tool. That’s about it folks.

KZZS10P2 Packaging
KZZS10P2 Packaging
KZZS10P2 Packaging



Eartips

KZZS10P2 Eartips

Just like all previous KZ sets, you’ll receive three pairs (S, M, L) of the white KZ Starline eartips. For whatever reason within the packaging that KZ sent me only had two pairs of Starlines, which is okay. It happens. I actually use Starline tips from time to time and so I welcome getting more Starline tips. KZ Starlines is actually much better than some of the tips you’ll get from other brands near this price point. KZ also added in a pair of black slow rise foam tips. I honestly don’t have a whole lot to say about this that I haven’t already said in quite a few reviews now. Also, I should note that I didn’t use the Starlines with the ZS10 Pro 2. I instead gave that job to the KBear 07 tips. No eartips fit me quite like the 07 tips as they seal perfectly in every instance. I could also understand why some folks would at least try foam tips with this set too. The ZS10 Pro 2 can get a bit fatiguing up top and near the upper midrange and so the foamies do help to smooth those peakier areas down a bit. I would use them, but I generally can’t stand foam tips.


Cable

KZZS10P2 Cable

The cable provided is the same cable that KZ has been using for years now. It’s the same opaque/white, QDC style 2-pin SPC (silver-plated copper) cable with a right angle 3.5 single ended jack. The included cable isn’t a horrible cable at all and will work just as intended. I must have about 30 of these cables sitting around however as I always swap them out for something balanced for my balanced sources. Having said that, for any 3.5 single ended use I do use the included cable and it works like a charm. No it isn’t the most gorgeous cable on planet earth, but it does the job and that’s the least we can ask for. I actually went with a white Faaeal 8-Core SPC balanced cable which obviously helps in my ambition to listen mostly on balanced sources.



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The KZ ZS10 Pro 2 and the Fiio Q15


Build / Design / Internals / Fit

Build Quality

Have you seen any KZ set over the last six or seven years? If you have, then you probably know the shell mold that was used to craft the ZS10 Pro 2. It’s the exact shape and size as any of the ZSN series, ZS10 series and about 20 other series from KZ/CCA to KBear and about five other budget minded audio brands. This is the regular ole’ iem shape that we’ve grown accustomed to. You have a plastic shell casing with an alloy faceplate. The plastic isn’t some cheap and chinsy feeling plastic as the build quality is still pretty good, as always. The faceplates have the same “diamond-plated” appearance as always. You’ll also notice this set has the usual three allen-key screws holding the faceplates on. One curious thing is that the ZS10 Pro 2 actually has slots open to the shell with a metal mesh underneath. Now, I don’t know if these “slots” are actual vents making the ZS10 Pro 2 “semi-open” or not. My guess is that these are strictly ornamental, but I could definitely be wrong about that. The blown-up image that KZ provides in their promotional material would indicate that this set does have a semi-open build, but I’m not sure. On the backside of this set you’ll find the four tuning switches as well. The nozzles are right around 6mm in width (very common size) and about medium length which will fit most any ears.

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Design

The design hasn’t changed much over the years. Like I said, it’s the same diamond plate metal look on the faceplates. Again, we have the three allen-key tiny screws which adds a tough industrial type of appearance. It’s a nice-looking set. But also, this series has always been nice looking. I do enjoy the transparent shell which enables me to look inside at the inner workings of the ZS10 Pro 2. It’s a traditionally shaped iem which has the standard universal body style, but KZ has a neat way of crafting iems which have a certain appeal to them. They are very good at this. I’d actually say that KZ specializes in design. They can take a body style that we’ve seen hundreds of times in the past and style it in such a way that feels fresh and relatively new. On top of that, there’s also a definite nostalgic feeling which harkens back to the KZ sets from back in the day. However, we are in the present and the ZS10 Pro 2 certainly has its own design appeal. One thing I really like is the metal mesh resting under the holes on the diamond plate faceplates. Again, I have no idea (need to take em’ apart) if these are semi-open (probably not) but it sure looks like it. The design is great and I’m glad KZ hasn’t changed a thing. Stick to your guns KZ! Stay with what made you what you are. You can always design other sets which take on a new and crazy design language.

Internals

Once again KZ went with the obvious driver count. Being that the name is the ZS…”10” Pro 2, it is to be implied that we have five drivers per side. We’ve always quipped that maybe KZ and other Chi-fi brands should probably refer to its “five” drivers per side when it names its set like… ZS5 Pro 2 instead of ZS10 Pro 2…but that’s just semantics, unimportant, and also… I don’t care so… moving on. So, KZ went with five drivers per side going with a 10mm dynamic driver of unknown material. They also went with their now tried-and-true dual 31736 Balanced Armature arrays. Meaning two sets of two using the 31736 Balanced Armatures. They’re actually the back-to-back arrays BA’s. The DD handles the lows to the mids while one set of two BA’s handles the highs, and the next set handles the high highs. KZ also added in a three-way electronic crossover circuit which evenly doles out each frequency band (lows, mids, highs) with good separation and distinction. These crossovers are really doing some great work anymore as the sound comes through much cleaner and better delineated between each 3rd of the mix. On top of that, KZ did add in four tuning switches which doesn’t seem like it’s an “internal” per se, but the magic happens internally. At any rate, you have to give KZ a pat on the back as they really are crafting some nice drivers and audio tech. They make their own folks, and this shouldn’t go unnoticed as it’s pretty impressive.

Tuning switches

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People have a hard time liking these tuning switches. I suppose at the surface I understand. However, how much better is it to be able to switch up the sound to your liking? So, you have to get the little switch tool and push a switch…So difficult! Obviously, I’m joking at the expense of folks who complain about dipswitches. I’m only playing folks. Okay, so the switches on the KZ ZS10 Pro 2 are actually very easy to explain as KZ/CCA has really dialed in these bad boys. Perhaps better than almost all switch implementations within the Audioverse. Seriously, every other iem by KZ has switches now, they should be good at it by now.

What do they do?

The explanation of how the switches work has been made very easy. But first I’ll explain for review purposes that “on” is “1” and “off” is “0”. So, all switches on will look like “1111”. Easy enough. The first three switches each bring up the low-end by 1 level and each “level” equates to 1-2 decibels. From what I understand anyways. Now, turning on the fourth switch actually reduces the highs by 1 level, or a few db’s. I really like that KZ added in a “lowering” of the highs rather than an increase. Especially for a set like the ZS10 Pro 2. Traditionally this series has been rather bright in the treble department and so being able to decrease the treble sensitivity is valuable to many hobbyists. Also, the switches do make pretty dramatic swings in the overall tonal character of the sound which hits your ears. Personally, I went with the “1110” configuration. Definitely I like the three-level bump up in the bass and the slight lowering of the highs. I don’t mind “1111” or “1100” either but primarily for critical listening I went with the first three up and the last down. I hope that all makes enough sense to you but please comment if you need more of an explanation.

Fit / Isolation

The fit for the ZS10 Pro 2 is identical to most any KZ set from this ZS10 series, or the ZSN series. Identical. Same housing shape, nozzle length (I think), and same size. The fit is good folks. There’s a reason that this body style has worked for so long and why it has always been so popular. For me I have to make sure that I get tips which fit me well enough. Like I mentioned earlier, I went with my favorite KBear 07 large sized tips and honestly didn’t give any other tips much of a try. The 07’s worked so well and so why play around. Now, the Starlines do work just fine but I like the presentation so much more with the 07’s on this set. The bass gets this hard punch to it, more rigid sounding whereas the Starlines increase the low-end a titch more, but also, they soften the impact for whatever reason. Anyways, the fit is great with either and I suspect that most folks won’t have an issue either. Isolation is about average. These aren’t meant purposefully for stage use (though many do use KZ earphones for that purpose) and are only about average in passive noise isolation.



ZS10P2



Drivability

The KZ ZS10 Pro 2 is rated with an impedance of 25 to 28 ohms depending on your switch orientation as well as a sensitivity of 108dbs. This translates into a very sensitive earphone. Really, you shouldn’t have an issue driving this set from even a simple smartphone. I used the ZS10 Pro 2 a lot with the KZ AZ20 Bluetooth adapters which are not the most powerful Earhooks and the ZS10 Pro 2 had plenty of headroom. Using my iPad was also a breeze when connecting straight to its 3.5 single ended port. Again, plenty of headroom.

Mobile Listening

ZS10P2

Using my more mobile listening devices was a breeze and I found that the ZS10 Pro 2 paired a bit better with warmer sources. I especially liked the Simgot Dew4x, Ifi Go Blu, EPZ TP20 Pro, and the Hidizs S8 Pro. Each of them has a slightly warmer hue to the sound which really does synergize for me. Of course, you may feel drastically different and enjoy a cooler and brighter approach.

More juice

Using my iBasso DX240, Fiio Q15 and Shanling M6 Ultra showed me that the ZS10 Pro 2 does marginally scale to more output power. You’ll find the usual scaling of dynamics, extension and overall tightness of the delivery. I should also note that these devices are also quite a bit more talented than my dongle dacs. So, whether the scaling is occurring from more output or because I’m simply using better devices is questionable. Perhaps it’s a little of both. There is a significant enough difference between 3.5 se and 4.4 balanced and so maybe there is some scaling with more juice. I felt the Shanling M6 Ultra was a perfect match for the ZS10 Pro 2 with its velvet sound & completely resolving nature. Note weight got a nice boost and macro-dynamics got some boost in presence.

What do you need?

All you actually need is a 3.5 single ended port on… Anything. A smartphone should be fine. I would at least recommend a decent Dongle Dac with pretty good output power, but we all have different financial situations. Anyways, the ZS10 Pro 2 doesn’t need a lot. Plug her in and have fun.

ZS10P2



Sound Impressions

Listening to the KZ ZS10 Pro 2 I feel we have a totally new and refined tuning to an otherwise legendary series of iems. Gone are the extra tinny & shrill highs and gone is the muddier and more obtrusive bass, the far back mids too. This is a much better version of the old ZS10 Pro and a better version of the ZS10 Pro-X (which I don’t have on hand to compare, sorry). Tonally I do feel that you are still getting a bright/neutral, V-shaped sound with a less fatiguing nature to it. Now, this brighter sound can also be tamed quite a bit with use of the dipswitches. Like I said earlier, I enjoy the “1110” configuration which pushes the bass up three levels as well as drops the highs down a few db’s. This does add a decent dynamic balance of the spectrum in my opinion. Anyways, overall, the ZS10 Pro 2 has a crisper delivery with a very nice technical foundation. I find the sound is nicely contoured, a dash of fun away from being analytical. Transients are relatively fast and tight with a clean delivery. Separation is very nice between elements within the stage. I’m telling you people, this is a very good sounding earphone if you enjoy that bright, neutralish, clean attack, and hard-edged delivery. It isn’t a soft or smooth sounding set, in general. Obviously, different tracks can make that last statement a liar out of me but again, in general this is a crisp and swift sound that’s leaner than it is lush.

Condensed Sound Between the 20’s

The low-end is punchy but moderate. It’s tightly wound but never beefy. This is a departure to some extent from previous versions. Upping the bass through the switches beefs it up a bit and does make the bass hit a bit harder but for the most part the bass is just north of neutral with a defined attack and peppy decay. Sub-bass is pretty deep with good extension. However, that extension is not heavy or overbearing at all. The midrange is slightly recessed, a hair thin in body but also well resolved. It has that clean and lean type sound which will likely appeal to people who enjoy good note definition. The upper-mids come through with good shimmer and levity. I’d say the midrange has some very good instrument distinction aided by nice separation and better imaging than many iems within the price point. The treble is bright, with note hugging texture, though the brilliance may be a bit much for some. Of course you can switch up the dipswitches, but warm/dark lovers will want to keep looking. Detail retrieval is better than it should be, and the treble is also pretty snappy too. Technically the ZS10 Pro 2 does stand out pretty well which is pretty impressive considering that KZ made sure to add in a spike of fun to the sound too. This isn’t some analytical, anemic, or bone-dry sound. In the same breath the ZS10 Pro 2 also isn’t rich, milky and emotional sounding. However, it is the best ZS10 series iem to date and that is without question.



ZS10P2 Graph
“0000” Graph courtesy of Paul Wasabii, Thanks!

Bass Region

The low end is like I said earlier; impactful, punchy, moderately emphasized and never muddy. This is a clean bass region that doesn’t seek to stuff up the frequency with unwanted veil or masking. The ZS10 Pro 2’s low-end has some oomph yet in a slightly leaner profile which can take on faster passages of music relatively easy. This is most certainly NOT a basshead iem. In fact, it isn’t even a moderate basshead set. To an extent it’s somewhat of a departure from those older ZS10 series iems. The bass doesn’t really balance the mix dynamically unless you use the “1110” settings. This is where you bring up the low-end and drop the highs a bit. Personally, it’s my favorite and I do feel that the bass has enough rumble and boom to take on most genres without coming across too bulbous or too mucked-up in bass resonance. The bass is generally tight, quick to react, and it can be pretty fun too.

Sub-bass

I won’t spend too long in these sections as the ZS10 Pro 2 is pretty cut n’ dry. The sub-bass is certainly there, it gets pretty deep with some good haptic reverb and physicality. However, it’s a short-lived decay. This is not an atmospheric sounding bass per se. Of course, there are tracks which are recorded as such and so the ZS10 Pro 2 will reciprocate. I find the sub-bass to have good extension into the lowest of lows and hit some pretty deep notes nicely. Having said that, don’t expect the sub-bass to plump up any other areas of the mix or overcrowd the mid-bass. It won’t do that. Listening to “Paradigm” by The Head and The Heart” it is obvious that the ZS10 Pro 2 is not weak in this area. Clearly it can rise to the occasion and really grumble with some decent density. On the flip side, bassheads will likely want more out of the sub-bass. Again, this is a quicker, lean-muscle mass, quick to react bass which is great in a more technical setting. Good for slightly faster or more complicated bass tracks. Transients move along with some swiftness and depending on what you are into sounds nice.

Mid-bass

The mid-bass is slightly less emphasized compared to the sub-bass region. They are fairly close though. The quantity seems closer to equal, though the mid-bass does take an earlier descent into the midrange, though it flattens out around 300hz, which is nice. The mid-bass does give the slightest bit of warmth to the lower-mids but it doesn’t have that pregnant hump that’s going to give you the boom and slam that so many desire. I feel that bass guitars could use a hint more fullness, but it isn’t deficient either. Just enough gritty plumpness to carry the song “Groove” by Ray Wylie Hubbard. The beautiful thing is that the bass does nothing to mask over any vocals or any other instruments. This is a very clean, defined, and crisp mid-bass that is far from overwhelming. Kick-drums feel a hair held back as well but I’ll repeat what I said about bass guitars, not exactly deficient either as it’s still adequate. In the track “Billie Jean” by Weezer (Michael Jackson cover) I hear tight, marginally deep kick-drums followed by a snappy and hard pang from the snare drum. The texture is there for this track as the kick-drums have that tacky style of attack with a quick hollow boom following. It isn’t as resonant and round as some sets, but also, the definition is very good for a DD. So, there’s some give and take with this set. Not even close to one-noted and on the faster side of the aisle. Couple that with the fact that the mid-bass still has enough in the tank to surprise me with some fairly heavy bass drops making the bass pretty darn nice for what it is. Certainly, this is quality over quantity.

Downsides to the Bass Region

The first obvious downside is the fact that bassheads or even slight Bass-bois will want more amplitude in this region. So many of my friends yearn for that slow decay and heavy bass response full of vibratory resonance. So those folks will likely not be impressed. This is a low-end for people who really desire a snappy and punchy low-end with good snap at attack. That crisp and pointed attack that feels hard edged at the crest of a note. The only other thing which may turn some folks off is those who really want that full and groaning bass guitar. Not that the ZS10 Pro 2 cannot be that, it just that it isn’t that all the time and definitely there are sets which can give that fullness.



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Midrange

The mids are simply clean folks. They aren’t hampered by the bass, and they aren’t wilting in dryness either. They are a happy median where transient attack through release is perceived to be zippy, or fast. The midrange has great separation of instruments and voices and does so with better imaging than many sets. But also, the sound is a bit thinner in actual note body and less robust than some sets tuned with a more invasive bass region. Granted, I wouldn’t call the midrange outright “thin” either. So again, a give and take. The positive thing about this region is that the sound has good presence against the rest of the mix. Some would call the midrange recessed, but I wouldn’t exactly say that. No, they aren’t in your face and ultra forward, but their cleanliness and pinpoint accuracy provides a very well contoured sound. The low-mids sound a hair pushed back but slightly warmer, while the upper-mids come across vibrant, shimmery and forward. Details stick out very well in this region and I don’t hear any annoying sibilance which might derail a listening session. That all said, I don’t feel that the timbre is as organic as some recent KZ / CCA sets. You have this heightened delivery which will skew the sound to the brighter side of the spectrum, no matter your switch settings. So, the tonality and timbre will not come across all too natural. However, who says “natural” is the best way to hear music? In the same breath, the sound isn’t all wonky, grainy, tizzy or odd in its reproduction of my music either. Just a hint brighter, very fleet-footed, snappy and nicely textured.

Lower-midrange

The lower midrange takes a hint of bass region warmth and uses it as much as it can. Only the slightest bit of weight and body are flooded down to the low-mids. I’d say that the lower-mids are probably the weak point of the tuning in my opinion. This doesn’t make them bad though. Male vocals aren’t the picture of authenticity, but they are very nicely resolved and a hair more energetic sounding than most sets. Voices like Chris Stapleton in “Higher” is one which moves up and down the midrange hitting different octaves but mostly chills near the low-mids. The ZS10 Pro 2 does a nice job of not adding more sizzle and grain to his already gravely southern voice. His voice is pronounced enough to not sound undertone or pushed too far into the background. Now, I only hear moderate warmth and fullness to his voice. His voice really does need that body to hear him and all the little intonations and melodic modulations that his legendary voice deserves. Again, not bad at all, it’s just a preference thing here. However, listening to Noah Kahan in the track “Stick Season” tells a different story as his vocals shine on the ZS10 Pro 2. His voice is already thin and wiry. Again, the ZS10 Pro 2 doesn’t exaggerate these qualities but instead puts them on a pedestal. Instrumentation in this region follows suit. Probably could use some more body, but at the same time they all come across very clean and the ZS10 Pro 2 early has better resolution than many sets in the price point.

Upper-Midrange

The upper-mids on the other hand have a lot of energy. They have that profuse vibrance and detail-oriented sound that illuminates every last subtlety within my music. Again, this is an area that will have to align with people’s preferences. To the person who desires less energy and a slightly less vivacious sound they’d probably not be thrilled with the upper-mids on the ZS10 Pro 2. However, to the person who loves that dynamic, enthusiastic and sparkly upper midrange with plenty of shimmer for female voices, those people will find this set very appealing. Coincidentally that is what I’m trying to help you all with. The ZS10 Pro 2 is not a bad set by any stretch of the imagination. It’s just tuned a certain way which aligns with a certain type of listener. That’s it.

Upper-mids cont…

Anywyas, the upper mids have a fast and textured attack which decays rapidly. There’s a crispness that prevails throughout the whole of the midrange but crescendos at the upper-mids and comes across almost sprightly and with plenty of luminance. The beauty of this region is that the ZS10 Pro 2 doesn’t sound ultra sharp or glaring either. KZ tuned this set to do that vubrant/piercing dance and they did it pretty well. Without question the switches can help you teeter one way or the other. I prefer the “1110” which pulls those upper-mids down a tad and props up the bass for a more dynamically balanced sound. Still, listening to Olivia Rodrigo in the track “Drivers License” I cannot help but adore the way the ZS10 Pro 2 handles her higher register head voice as well as her longingly solemn chest voice. There’s so much sad teenage angst wrapped up in this emotionally charged sound and the ZS10 Pro 2 does justice to her voice. I wouldn’t call the ZS10 Pro 2 a traditionally vocal leaning iem though. Many sets are tailored for this region. The nice thing about the ZS10 Pro 2 is the fact that it doubles as a good female vocal set as well as a very technically savvy set. That dance I was talking about.

Instrumentation

Instruments fall in line with all that I’ve tried to convey. I’m not going to go into each Instrument and how it sounds. I have done that in the past and other reviewers do that too but it kind of makes zero sense. Each track and each recording may skew the sound one way or the other. All I can really do is tell you all that the sound of each instrument will come across a bit more elated and subtly brighter than perfectly natural. You won’t have those drawn-out harmonics of something like a piano key being thunderously punched down on. The decay is a BA decay which cuts off some of those harmonics. However, the harmonics you do hear are very crisp, clean and very well detailed. Strings will all carry a certain bite to them. You’ll hear all the finger scrapes and slides. Percussion will also usually have that pointed snap to them. Cymbals will have more of a ringing and clanging with a more tinselly sound. Woodwind instruments sound fine, for the most part. In fact, all instruments sound fine. We’ve heard these types of tunings in the past and while the ZS10 Pro 2 isn’t the picture of analog and organic, it does have some very rewarding qualities that many folks will find awesome, and some won’t. That’s the nature of the hobby folks. It also happens to be the beauty of the hobby too.

Downsides to the Midrange

The biggest drawback of the midrange is the timbre, in my opinion anyways. Like I’ve stated, the ZS10 Pro 2 doesn’t have the most earthy and natural sound. You don’t have that bodied warmth and atmospheric decay that leads to a more emotionally musical sound. Think fast, lean, tight, vibrant and precise. Those are the descriptors which best describe the midrange in my mind. Not everyone wants those descriptions replaying their music. That’s a downside. Also, the upper-mids do get a bit too peaky, especially on some switch settings which bolster that region. Something I didn’t cover all too well in the “Upper-Midrange” section of this review (probably should have). Yes, the ZS10 Pro 2 can get a tad too shouty on the right track and yes, the switches can dial that back, tip changes help too. Still, overall, the sound has that brightness to it and that never really goes away. That all said, KZ did a great job of crafting and tuning a good V-shaped iem that is dynamically emphatic but also very well controlled. It’s the control that separates this set from previous iterations. The background is clean too which really does help to provide an unsullied listening experience.

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Treble Region

The treble has plenty of foreground brightness with a luster that sort of commands the attention of the listener. Without question the treble seems to be the focal point of the ZS10 Pro 2 and the most prominent frequency range. Right from the lower treble on-out we have a highly energetic treble that carries a very crisp and thin sounding disposition. The highs on this set can be brought down to earth a little bit by propping up the low-end and dropping the treble back a few db’s with the switches. This does help to a degree. I hear a very tidy treble region with very good clarity featuring some subtle treble bite and very good extension into the upper treble. The treble can be very tinselly and even slightly metallic in the right tracks. Certainly, there is a little bit of BA timbre. However, don’t let those words dismay you if you are one who enjoys a more vibrant and vivacious treble display because the treble is actually quite good for the price and for the tuning. This treble has a very unclouded, translucent and lucid type of clarity with good density in for how lean each note is. There’s an actual edge to each note, some bite, and the decay is fast which comes across as solidity. If that makes any sense to you. Just think about it.

Levity to the mix

One thing I do enjoy about the treble is how it impacts the overall sound. I do hear an airy presentation up top with a very open feeling to what I hear. Even with the switches in position to dial them (treble) back. It’s just… always open sounding. There is more than enough room for instruments to exist with space between and clarity is such that I hear well-defined outlines of the notes. Of course, on brighter tracks the sound does veer off and get a bit tizzy and even gains some slight sibilance at times. That all said, I feel that budget treble heads will thoroughly enjoy the ZS10 Pro 2. Seriously, stop looking around at other budget-oriented sets treble-bois, I think I found your diamond in the rough. The KZ ZS10 Pro 2 has a very rambunctious lower treble clear through to the air region, past 10k. What this does to the overall sound is bring levity to every area of the mix as well as bring a certain level of air to the sound, as I said at the beginning of this paragraph.

A step up!

Technically the treble really does invoke good detail retrieval, yet somehow, I don’t feel this is a case of forced resolution. Please trust me that I’d usually call it that. Not on this set. This treble feels purposeful and almost tailored this way. It’s the treble that brings on this openness across the mix which also happens to provide a very crystalline midrange too. What this does is add very micro-details and even good micro-dynamics. I don’t feel the treble cancels anything out or masks the rest of the spectrum either. Unless of course the track you’re listening to has a very heavy-handed treble showing. I suppose because the treble is leaner in note profile and airy enough that you don’t sense the congestion as much. At any rate, for a treble heavy and bright sound I do feel that KZ did a nice job here. Certainly, a huge step up from the equally bright KZ PR3 or the KZ ZSN Pro 2. Huge step up!

Downsides to the Treble Region

Now, I say all these nice words, but those words will only impact a portion of the community in a pleasurable way. Of course, this set is going to be too bright for a group of people. That’s just the truth. I’m an anomaly because I truly can find enjoyment in almost any sound signature which does help an awful lot for reviews. However, I know many folks who don’t share my enthusiasm. The treble is also pretty sibilant at times which can be a nagging problem for some folks. Like I said you can combat this sibilance with some different tips and with the switches. I will also say that the treble can get ever-so-slightly splashy on very energetic tracks past 8k. It’s rare but it’s there. You will hear some cymbals sounding more like a splash than a crash. Beyond those issues, I honestly don’t see anything else that’s very wrong about this set. I mean, some people might have issue with the fact that this is a leaner sounding treble but… really? Listen folks, this is tuned for a particular style of listening. I realize that not everyone likes that style. Despite that fact, everything isn’t created just for you or me. Some things are actually quite good… even if you don’t agree. KZ tuned the ZS10 Pro 2 to be highly energetic and ferociously dynamic with fun in mind and to be highly capable technically. I’d say they nailed it.



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Technicalities

Soundstage

The soundstage is probably just above average in width and the ZS10 Pro 2 has good height too. Now, depth isn’t as deep as I’d like, below average I’d say. There’s some depth on the right tracks but for the most part this is a flat plane type of display. Does this make it bad? Absolutely not. You don’t need amazing depth for decent sound. The sound field is still nicely wide and tall with a good sense of positioning. Folks this is a budget set and it’s very nice in the area of soundstage for what it is. Also, different tracks will present different psycho-acoustic perceptions of the sound field. Without question there are tracks which do sound well layered and deep. Tracks like “Hook” by Blues Travelers for instance. That track sounds as though front to back has distance between the foreground and the background. I just feel that generally the sound isn’t as deep as other sets in this regard. Overall, not bad at all.

Separation / Imaging

This is one area that the ZS10 Pro 2 truly shines as separation of elements within an imaginary stage sound very well partitioned off from each other. I hear very well separated and delineated instruments and vocals with crisp edges and well-defined notes. Imaging follows suit as well. There are some layering issues but for the most part imaging is very nice. Perhaps there’s some blending on treble heavy tracks or bass dominant tracks but for the most part these are two areas that excel.

Detail Retrieval

Another area that the KZ ZS10 Pro 2 truly excels at. Details are very perceptible and easy to distinguish. You have an airy and open sound, fantastic clarity, resolution, with well-defined notes and great separation. Take all of these attributes and add them up. What you get is good detail retrieval. I think all you detail hounds will enjoy what you hear with this set.



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Is it worth the asking price?

This is a polarizing set. It just is. When you have any iem that sits heavy to one side of the spectrum then it will be polarizing. Not everyone is going to be a fan. Whether it’s a warm/dark set or a bright/neutral iem like the KZ ZS10 Pro 2. So, how does one answer this question? Well, that’s easy, you answer this question for the people it’s tuned for. I don’t expect a warm loving basshead to enjoy the ZS10 Pro 2. That would be ridiculous. On the flip side, I do believe that budget-oriented hobbyists who love and adore a bright presentation that still has some good punch and kick down low to really enjoy the ZS10 Pro 2.

The Why?

Because the build is nostalgic and actually quite good for the price. This is not a very inexpensive set for a five-driver hybrid iem at $40. The looks are pretty cool too. Yes, we’ve seen this look to an extent in the past, but the design is still a good one. However, as always, the sound carries the answers to the question “Is it worth the asking price”. Again, I have to answer this for those who love a dynamically revealing iem that leans slightly to the right (bright) but also who love a good and punchy well defined and clean bass region. Despite people’s misgivings about the tuning, the KZ ZS10 Pro 2 has a good handle of the spectrum with good control and a very nice technical ability. Details are great, its spacious and open sounding, the sound has a lively energy and those who enjoy a brighter treble will probably like this set. Now, personally I would pick up a few iems before this set but that simply because it isn’t my preferred signature. So maybe for me it isn’t up to some other sets. Kinda like the CCA Trio which is from the same company and around the same price. Still, for those who dig this type of sound…without question the ZS10 Pro 2 should be worth the $40 that KZ is asking.


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Ratings (0-10)

Note: all ratings are based upon my subjective judgment. These ratings are garnered against either similarly priced sets or with similar driver implementations or styles with the unique parameters of my choosing. In the case of the KZ ZS10 Pro 2 ratings below, that would be $25 to $55 hybrid driver earphones. Please remember that “ratings” don’t tell the whole story. This leaves out nuance and a number of other qualities which make an iem what it is. A “5-6” is roughly average and please take into consideration the “lot” of iems these ratings are gathered against. $25 to $55 is a large sized scope of iems and it is very competitive. It’s a large enough pool of iems that seeing a “9.0” for example, should mean something. My ratings are never the same and each set of ratings tells a different story. Each time you read one of my ratings will be unique to that review. Basically, I create a Rating that makes sense to me.

Aesthetic

Build Quality: 8.5 Built well, HeyGears build.

Look: 8.5 Tops in class.

Fit/Comfort: 9.2 Fit and comfort is great for me.

Accessories: 5.5 Accessories are not KZ’s fortay.

Overall: 7.9🔥🔥


Sound Rating

Timbre: 8.1 Decent timbre for a hybrid.

Bass: 8.8 Impactful, tight, well-defined.

Midrange: 8.3 Resolving, detailed, dynamic.

Treble: 9.6 Extended, detailed, precise, bright.

Technicalities: 9.7 All technicalities are great.

Musicality: 7.2 Technical over musical.

Overall: 8.6🔥

Ratings Summary:

I feel like there isn’t much to explain here. The ZS10 Pro 2 has a very particular tuning and one that I feel most of us can agree on. However, if there was anything to explain myself over as far as the ratings goes then it would have to be the treble. Listen, people who don’t dig this much treble emphasis are flat out not going to enjoy the treble as much as others. Plain and simple. Certainly, they wouldn’t give the treble a “9.6” in the midst of a crowded field of iems. I get it too. That’s a super high score. So high that there are very few iems in the price point that can even compete. Every other rating I feel is pretty much justified in my eyes. I took these ratings against a slew of iems between $25 and $55 dollars and the ZS10 Pro 2 did very well in some areas and not as good in others. That’s what you get with a very well done, but also polarizing tuning. It’s a nice set, just not for everyone.

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Conclusion

To conclude my full written review of the KZ ZS10 Pro 2 I have to thank the people of KZ for sending this review unit to my door in exchange for a feature at the website etc. Thank you very much. Ya know, I actually had a good time reviewing this iem. Well, I have a good time reviewing every iem. Still, this one was fun for me to try to explain how I see it and where I think it fits within the Audioverse. No, it isn’t a raving review, and no I didn’t give it high marks across the board either. It’s a very good set and a definite upgrade from previous versions of the ZS10 series. Without question. Also, thank you to everyone who chose to click the link and read this review. I cannot thank you enough. Every click is big for our website and every click is important, so thanks.

Different perspectives

Please check out other reviews of the KZ ZS10 Pro 2. We are all vastly different and we all don’t see this hobby in the same light. To one the ZS10 Pro 2 will be a fantastic iem while the next guy may think it’s one of the worst. That’s life and that is humanity. So read, watch, or listen to other thoughts and hopefully you’ll be able to make a good and educated decision. That’s it folks! Please take good care, stay as safe as possible and always…God Bless!

ZS10P2

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SherryLion

New Head-Fier
Pure Kz Formula but Better I think? The KZ ZS10 Pro 2
Pros: 1. Bright v-shape sound
2. Tunable bass response
3. Can be tuned, specifically towards a neutral sound
4. Good forward and energetic-sounding vocals
Cons: 1. Metallic timbre with peaky and shouty mids
2. Sibilance is often introduced in the mix
3. Lacks note-weight and desinty

Review Of The KZ ZS10 PRO II


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Introduction


It's been a long since I've tried a KZ IEM; if I recall well, it was their latest rendition of the full-range planar IEM, the KZ PR3, which I really liked. When it comes to KZ, it has a particular place in my heart because their IEMs were the first ones I explored and stepped on in the audiophile world; I had no idea at the time that sound could be this fantastic, and I desired to have the best sounding IEM. Now that I know there is nothing like that, it is too late for me, but for most people, including myself, Kz serves as a bridge between the average consumers and audiophiles. Not that I say they're the best, but they did their job as a specialised electro-acoustics manufacturer and one of the oldest, offering their products at a price that anyone can enjoy excellent sound. I believe KZ deserves some space and love regardless of what they've done in the past, though I do wish they would stop claiming things that give an ignorant vibe. Returning to their offerings, one of their most popular IEMs, hailed by many when it was first introduced, was the ZS10 Pro, which I also possessed for a full two years until they died. They just introduced a new version, the ZS10 PRO 2, after the ZS10 PRO X. Fortunately, I was able to obtain a pair of ZS10 PRO 2 for review, but before we go any further, I'd like to clarify a few things.

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Disclaimer


*Since this unit tour was organised by the kindly people at Linsoul, I am grateful to them. As I've said in all of my evaluations, the same is true for this one: all of the concepts I've expressed below are entirely my own, original ideas that haven't been influenced by anyone else. If interested, go to this link.
*I am not associated with the connection, and I receive no financial assistance from anyone.
*For the remainder of the review, I will refer to these IEMs as “ZS10 Pro II.”
*I am using different Ear-tips for convenience and better versatility.
*Finally, I will only evaluate the ZS10 Pro II based on its performance, even though I will explain how it feels and seems physically and aesthetically.
*For source I relied on the Sony WM1A and Apple Dongle for my review.


Specification


The ZS10 PRO II features a multi-hybrid driver configuration made up of two dual 31736 balanced armatures and a single dynamic driver. All of their five drivers are custom-made by KZ and are coupled via a 4-switch tuning board, allowing for four alternative tuning options. The shells are constructed of high-grade plastic, which KZ currently uses for all of its IEMs, and the faceplate is metal with an open-back design. To be honest, the IEM looks cooler than its predecessors, albeit the addition of tuning switches makes me a bit concerned about the design. The comfort is excellent since the IEM adheres to their classic yet extremely ergonomic design, and neither the fit nor the comfort of any Eartips I tried were compromised. The cable included with the IEM is the standard two-wire silver cord that KZ provides with their more priced IEMs. The cable features QDC connections on one end and an L-shaped 3.5mm termination plug on the other. Aside from the wire, the accessories include three pairs of eartips in varying sizes, a pair of foam tips and a tuning pin. According to the technical parameters, the impedance ranges from 25 to 28 Ohms, and the sensitivity is 108 dB. The frequency response ranges from 20Hz to 40kHz.

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Sound


While reviewing the ZS10 Pro II, I noticed that the factory set tuning, with all switches, toggled upwards, made it sound more like a bright V-shape tuning with a highly focused upper mid-range and entire treble and equally emphasised bass, but when it comes to the mid-region, this time around they brought a more energetic response in the upper mid-range to not drown the vocals. When it comes to competing with its rivals like Forteza, Sonus, Jojo, etc, I believe it is well-positioned to appeal to consumers who want the typical KZ sound but with an upgraded and cleaner sound, which is far too clean in my opinion. Let's go further into the sound to learn more about it.

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Treble


In terms of sound, the treble is the most exciting part of the mix. The response has multiple peaks, resulting in a highly upfront and sharp sound that appears detailed and clear while simultaneously adding sibilance and tinniness to the mix. The upper treble offers excellent extension and air, with vocals and instruments sounding front and lean yet with a clear response. The lower treble has a vibrant response, but with peaks at 5k and 11k, the response becomes much leaner, disclosing the notes, but the sibilance makes them seem incomplete. Tracks like Kent Ito's My Factor sound thrilling and lively, with a strong hold on his voice, but when the busy segment appears during the chorus, the reaction becomes sibilant, which is understandable given the track's lively and sparkling sound. Tracks like Kokoronashi by Majiko sound delightfully revealing, especially the vocals; because the notes in the track have a deep response, listening through the ZS10 Pro II balances the sound. As a result, the overall presentation of the treble region is vibrant, lean, and revealing, despite the frequent introduction of sibilance.

Mid Range


The mid-range response sounds as vibrant as the treble, but with greater note weight, allowing for a more bodied response. The upper midrange resonates with the same energy as the lower treble but with a softer presentation and less lean notes. The voices and instruments sound forward and clear, with an excellent understanding of note presentation, such as details and timbre, albeit metallic timbre appears frequently. The lower mid-range produces a subdued response, making the notes of the vocals and instruments seem imprecise but clean, but I want the sounds to sound richer and full. The note weight and density are quite low. Tracks like Gotye's Somebody That I Used To Know demonstrate this extremely well; the male vocals maintain a natural sounding response while the instrumentation does not allow for a lean response, but the female vocals become light and a bit hot in terms of high notes. Tracks like Elton John's I'm Still Standing have a highly energetic and lively response; because to the forward upper mid-range, the response provides a very crisp and resolved sound with improved note location without sounding lean or harsh. As a result, the overall presentation of the midrange is energetic, upfront, and clean sounding, despite the fact that high notes might become a touch hot at times.

Bass


The bass response has a strong presence, but the noticeable intensity of the higher frequencies keeps it in check and under control. The bass has a presentation that changes with the tuning alterations, but more on this later. The bass response is well-controlled, so the bass notes sound clear and detailed, with enough bottom presence. The focus is on the sub-bass, which reaches deep enough to provide a slight rumbling impression; on the other hand, punches hit forcefully and resolve swiftly, resulting in a clear-sounding response. The mid-bass has a solid presence as well, but the heaviness and weight are lacking since the slams and thumps sound far too clean and rapid, particularly the bass guitar notes, which sound lifeless, but the kick drums have adequate content. Tracks like Kaori Maeda's Unconventional Humans sound incredibly clean, especially when the bass guitar strikes; the notes seem as if they are produced by a synth, but the kick drums have a significant heaviness that is well accommodated and does not produce a lifeless sound. Tracks like Hello by RXPHY feature massive bass drops that the ZS10 Pro II produces sufficiently, particularly the sub-bass notes after the bass drops, which sound incredibly articulated and clear, giving the response a spacious and clean sound. Overall, the bass response is well-controlled, powerful, and clean-sounding.

Technical Performance


In terms of technical performance, the ZS10 Pro II compares favourably to competitors such as the 7Hz Sonus, Kiwi Ears Forteza, and Blon X Z reviews JoJo. Although I prefer the staging and details on this pair, the other aspects result in an underperforming response. Let's be more specific.

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Soundstage, Sound Imaging & Separation


The soundstage is more stereo-positioned since the response sounds more effectively in the left and right directions than in the front or rear. The stage's width and depth are sufficient to produce a vast sound. The imaging is clean, although it could have been crisper and clearer. The separation also lacks distinction between the notes, making it difficult to determine which direction the sound is coming from.

Speed & Resolution


Regarding resolution, the representation is enough for the macro details that the ZS10 Pro II provides, however, I do notice that the micro details suffer a bit in surfacing in the mix. The assault and decay of the notes are swift, which is remarkable for a KZ IEM that is not planar, therefore it does not introduce imperfections into the mix.

Tuning Switches


There are four tuning switches that vary the tune differently each time it is toggled or played with; nevertheless, in my view, it functions more like a bass level switch, as the more switches you toggle upwards, the more bass appears in the mix. During my tests, I discovered that the more I switched down, the more the higher frequencies stood out in the mix. In terms of personal taste or preferences, I prefer a neutral with a sub-bass boost, which I was able to achieve with a combination of UUDD and UDDD. Still, surprisingly, I preferred the UUUU combination because it made it sound more tonally pleasing rather than lean or shouty in my opinion. As a result, tuning switches are completely pointless to me unless I want a dark-sounding track to sound clear and revealing.

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Tracks


Millet - Anytime Anywhere
Anri - I can’t stop the loneliness
Kohana Lam - A Few Sentimental
Kohana Lam - Loving Me, Loving You
Uru - Kimino Shiawasewo
Uru - Kamihitoe
Kujira Yumemi - Kenka
Majiko - Kokoronashi
Anly - Sukinishinayo
Kohama Lam - A Few Sentimental
Kohana Lam - Loving Me, Loving You
Miliyah - Kono Yumega Samerumade
Rokudenashi - The Flame Of Love
Yu-Peng Chen - A New Day with Hope
Yu-Peng Chen - Another Hopeful Tomorrow
Yu-Peng Chen - For Riddles, for Wonders
Valentino Khan - Satellite
Kai Wachi - Happier By Now
Jawns - Erotica
ISOxo - how2fly
Kai Wachi - Happier By Now
Weeknd - Popular
YUNGBLUD - When We Die(Can We Still Get High)
Bring to Horizon - Kool-Aid
Middle Kids - Bend
FLETCHER - Leads Me On
Loathe - Aggressive Evolution
The Weeknd - Save Your Tears
Sigrid - Burning Bridges
AURORA - Black Water Lilies
AURORA - Runaway
X Ambassadors - Renegades
Lupe Fiasco - Words I Never Said
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Can’t Hold Us
Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know
Jay-Z - Run This Town
Lady Gaga - Poker Face
Lady Gaga - Just Dance
Ladytron - Ghost
Travis - Love Will Come Through
LINKIN PARK - Somewhere I Belong
DJ Shadow - Six Days (Remix)
Hoobastank - The Reason
Ricky Martin - I Don’t Care
Tool - 7empest
Tool - Vicarious
A Flock Of Seagulls - Space Age Love Song
Zack Hemsey - Vengeance
Elton John - I’m Still Standing
The Moody Blues - Nights In White Satin
Micheal Sembello - Maniac
Guns N’ Roses - Sweet Child O’ Mine
A.R. Rahman - Kun Faya Kun


Conclusion


To summarize this review, I believe Kz continues to serve as a bridge for consumers and novice audiophiles to learn more about their tastes and what they enjoy. ZS10 Pro II is an appealing product for a newcomer looking for a conventional bassy sound with great-sounding details at a reasonable price. The ZS10 series has been and will continue to be a fun and engaging IEM, with each new release enhancing details, clarity, and tonal presentation. So I suggest this IEM for individuals looking to dig deeper into the audiophile realm or for an IEM that sounds engaging, vibrant, and exciting.

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mars chan

New Head-Fier
KZ ZS10 Pro 2 review and comparisons.
Pros: .
+ Excellent Value for money.
+ The Fun Factor is through the roof.
+ low distortion.
+ Sensitive and easy to drive.
+ excellent dynamics
+ clear, open and airy treble.
+ a very nicely tuned V-shaped sound.
.
Cons: .
- could cause fatigue in long listensing sessions for some listeners.
- could sound raw and unpolished on rare occasions.
.
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KZ ZS10 Pro 2 review and comparisons.

I'd like to thank Linsoul Audio for providing me this to review. Linsoul Audio never told me what I could and couldn't say, so you can be assured that this review is all my own.

KZ Audio is one of the oldest earphone brands still in business today. They produce a lot of different earphone models in quite short intervals; sometimes, they release great-sounding earphones, and I'm happy to say that the 55-dollar KZ ZS10 Pro 2 is one of them.

There are various audio camps, one of which focuses on accuracy and the other on fun. The KZ ZS10 Pro 2 falls into the latter category; it trades accuracy for a fun sound; it was never intended for critical listening, in my opinion, but because of its distinct V-shaped tuning, it sounds more like a live musical performance than many of my other accurate-sounding sets.

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Packaging, eartips, and cable:

It's mundane, just the usual KZ budget packaging that doesn't waste a lot of material, and I like it for that. It includes three pairs of eartps, one of which is a foam tip, and the other two are the famous KZ Starline silicon tips.

I tried various manufacturers' tips and discovered that the ones supplied are most suited to the ZS10 Pro 2. The foam tip produces a smoother sound, but it reduces bass impact. I dislike using foam tips, therefore for this review, I only utilized Starline Tips, which sound more powerful and bassy.

The provided cable is only usable if you don't have any other cables, but it's preferable to replace it with a thicker third-party cable that doesn't tangle easily, because the ZS10 Pro 2 deserves a better cable, in my view.

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The graph:

I am pleased to report that I have an amazing copy of the KZ ZS10 Pro 2. The channel matching (please see photo) is outstanding; I wasn't expecting that, but I am pleased with the measurement result. The peak at 8 kHz is a measuring artifact. I utilized silicon TRN T-tips as my normal measurement tips. I tried foam tips, and the peak was much lowered. However, I can still audibly detect a boost in response at 8 KHz, which adds bite and texture to the treble.

Switch settings:

I use only the default on,on,on,on setting as I didn't like the other settings.


Sensitivity, drivability, power handling, and distortion:

I'm also pleased to report that the ZS10 Pro 2 meets all of the criteria in this sector, since it is both sensitive and easy to drive. It is easily driven by any device having a phone output. It can handle high power and be very loud without sounding distorted; this is fantastic.

Synergy and dynamics:

The KZ ZS10 Pro 2 is not very picky about the sound of the sources it pairs with, but it dislikes sources that are very analytical and bright, such as my Fiio M15s. It sounds fantastic on my other, lower-resolution sources, like the Hidizs S9 Pro Plus Martha, Moondrop Moonriver 2, and Dawn Pro. For this review, I used the Hidizs S9 Pro Plus Martha, which I find to have a good balance of sounding analytical and musical, but regardless of the Dac/amps I use, the ZS10 Pro 2 sounds above average in dynamics and enthusiasm.

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Sound signature:

It sounds very V-shaped at low volume levels where the midrange is recessed compared to the elevated bass and treble, but it becomes only moderately V-shaped at medium and high volumes. It sounds energetic and never boring to listen to.

Sound stage and imaging:

The sound stage size is above average, and the form is broader than it is deep, with a respectable height. The imaging is acceptable but not outstanding; it lacks the accuracy of the finest I've heard in this regard, and as a result, the holography isn't as good, as is the instrument separation. However, they are to be expected at this price point. If you want an IEM that shines in this area, you'll have to look at IEMs that cost more than $200.


Bass:

It has a strong sub-bass presence that provides perceivable excitement and tension to some music tracks, and it is also present to some degree in the majority of songs. The bass is boosted with considerable fullness and enthusiasm, but at the expense of precision, tightness, clarity, and resolution—indicating a low-cost driver. The good news is that it doesn't merge into the midrange and doesn't dominate the overall sound.

Midrange:

It is clearly recessed at low level, but it balances out with the bass and treble at mid to high volume. It provides a natural and clear sound with excellent vocal presentation, although there is a modest elevation in the upper midrange, which can sound overly enthusiastic at times. Some individuals are really sensitive to this, so be aware. On a positive note, the ZS10 Pro 2 has remarkably little distortion, and the upper midrange elevation is carefully tuned so it simply adds vitality, forwardness, details, and realism to the entire sound.

Treble:

It sounds brightly lit, open, airy, and evocative, as clear as noon on a sunny day. However, I occasionally detect too much enthusiasm in the hi-hat hits, and the details are pushed too far forward at times, but because of the low distortion, it doesn't sound awful and is quite pleasing for me, and I believe this is the price you pay for—listening to a fun-sounding set—an acceptable compromise in my opinion. Treble-sensitive people, take note.

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Compared to CCA Rhapsody (50 USD):

The Rhapsody is an older cousin of the ZS10 Pro 2, and it is tuned to be near-neutral.

Bass: The rhapsody has dry-sounding bass with less sub-bass extension, while the ZS10 Pro 2 has full bodied and fun sounding bass that bubbles with energy.

Midrange: The Rhapsody has more forward sounding midrange but the ZS10 Pro 2 has a more forward sounding upper midrange, they are both fine sounding for me, but the problem with the Rhapsody is the distortion in the upper midrange, when you turn up the volume it becomes shouty, while the ZS10 Pro 2 has more linear dynamic response in this region.

Treble: The Rhapsody is somewhat congested and dynamically challenged in this region, especially when compared to the energetic ZS10 Pro 2. It also lacks micro details and upper treble extension and ultimately sounds boring in comparison.

If I had to choose between the two, without a doubt, I'd choose the ZS10 Pro 2.

Compared to the TangZu x HBB Xuan NV (79 USD):

The TangZu x HBB Xuan NV is tuned to be near neutral in the midrange and treble, but the bass is very tastefully elevated. I prefer the bass on the Xuan NV.

In the midrange and treble, they are both good-sounding but not comparable; the ZS10 Pro 2 is obviously V-Shaped in comparison.

In terms of sheer fun factor, the KZ ZS10 Pro 2 wins hands down; however, the Xuan NV sounds refined but also fun to a lesser extent, so deciding between the two is difficult for me because I can listen to the Xuan NV for many hours, whereas the ZS10 Pro 2 may cause fatigue during extended listening sessions, but it is so much fun during relatively short listening sessions. So, If I had to do it over, I'd select both since they complement each other.

Compared to CCA CRA (10 USD):

The popular CCA CRA is an old cousin of the KZ ZS10 Pro 2; they both have the KZ V-shaped house sound tuning.

This is an unfair comparison, but I included it to point out that the KZ ZS10 Pro 2 is superior to the CRA in every aspect of sound quality. It really is, so I believe the KZ ZS10 Pro 2 to be an excellent upgrade to the old CCA CRA.

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Pros:

+ Excellent Value for money.
+ The Fun Factor is through the roof.
+ low distortion.
+ Sensitive and easy to drive.
+ excellent dynamics
+ clear, open and airy treble.
+ a very nicely tuned V-shaped sound.

Cons:

- could cause fatigue in long listening sessions for some listeners.
- could sound raw and unpolished on rare occasions.

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Minor complaints:

On a rare occasions, I believe the KZ ZS10 Pro 2 sounds a touch raw or unpolished, but this is a minor quibble given the set's low price and other excellent attributes.

Final thoughts:

I had low expectations, but man, I was blown away on the first listen. I instantly noticed the open sounding treble that was balanced by the very extended bass, which, together with the energetic sound, made the ZS10 Pro 2 seem more like a live musical performance than my other in-ear monitor (IEM) earphones.

Let me remind you that this is a V-shaped sound signature, so if you are looking for accuracy, this is clearly not for you. However, if you are looking for a fun sounding set to complement your serious sounding earphones, or if you are a beginner looking for a better sounding V-shaped IEM than those offered at lower price points, I highly recommend the KZ ZS10 Pro 2.

Happy Listening!

5-8-2024

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