KZ ZS7 (Knowledge Zenith)

General Information

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Brand: KZ Acoustics
Model: ZS7
Driver/Transducer: Hybrid (1-10mm dynamic driver + 4 balanced armatures)
Sensitivity: 105 dB/mw (109 db/mW per Hakuzen's measurements)
DC resistance: 24Ω (21.5Ω per Hakuzen's measurements)
Connection: 2-Pin 0.75mm diameter
Frequency response range: 7-40KHz
Wire length: 1.2m (approx. 3.9 feet)
Plug diameter: 3.5mm

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Hakuzen measurement @ Post #41060 on page 2738:
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/knowledge-zenith-kz-impressions-thread.698148/page-2738

ZS7 (pink) vs ZS6 (gold)
ZS7 vs ZS6 frequency response.png

Latest reviews

chillearphonehub

New Head-Fier
Pros: Big bass
Easy to drive
Detailed sound signature
Metal build
Cons: The Bad Memory wire tanglish cable
Mid bass blend
Peaks in upper mid ranges
Limited Acessories
Disclaimer: I would like to thank the linsoul team for providing a free unit in exchange for an honest review here at headfi. I have no affiliation with linsoul or any other companies and the review is completely only subjected by my honest thoughts.

Hello there fellows! Today we will be reviewing the kz zs7 from knowledge zenith. This iem is a hybrid iem with a combination of 4 balanced armature drivers and one dynamic driver. Its shell has two colours which are the dark rich blue and the black which is more in the inside area of the iem.


Specifications:
  • Driver unit: 1DD+4BA hybrid driver unit
  • Impedance: 24Ω
  • Earphone sensitivity: 105dB/mW
  • Frequency range: 20-40000Hz
  • Earphone interface: 2Pin Interface
  • Cable Length: 1.2m±5cm



Packaging and Accessories:
The kz zs7 comes in a luxurious black box with the brand logo "kz" in the front of the box. Opening the front flap reveals the earphones seated in a soft, black foam insert. Down at the bottom is the now-familiar kz metal plaque.
The accessories that come with the kz zs7 are:
-kz starlight tips: small medium and large.
-0.75mm detachable brown cable
-User guide
-Warranty card
-Qc pass

I was really disappointed to see kz coming back to the ugly memory wire cables

Build quality and design:
The KZ ZS7 sports all-metal housings that are similar to the previous ZS6 model. It has 3 angled vents on the faceplate and 3 screws attaching the faceplate to the shell. There is only one choice of colour available

The earpieces have a little bit of heft to them without feeling heavy and overall they feel very well built for the price. On the inside of the shell, there is a single pinhole-sized vent close to the base of the nozzle.

Comfort and noise Isolation:
I find the ZS7 to be a lot more comfortable than I was expecting. In pictures, it looks quite chunky and angular but in reality, the edges are smooth and the shape of the earpieces fit naturally in your ears. I have not problems listening all day with this earphone when it comes to comfort.

Noise isolation is about average for this type of in-ear monitor. Outside noise is partially blocked but once the music is playing you won’t hear much else. For use in transit, on public transport and most everyday environments, it will be just fine.

There is a bit of noise leak but it shouldn’t be of any concern unless you’re really blasting your music in a quiet place.

Sound:
The gear used in this review are my trusty sony wm1a, shanling m0 . sony nwa 55 and fiio q1 mark ii.
The KZ ZS7 has a V-shaped sound signature that’s big and bold from top to bottom. A solid, enhanced bass, recessed but clear midrange and a smooth, somewhat laid back treble add up to a sound that is tuned for frivolous fun but is also deceptively technically adept.

Bass:
The ZS7 manages to bring a large quantity of bass when needed but doesn't overwhelm the rest of the tracks. Like I said before there is no mid-bass bleed and these go plenty low. They deliver a nice punch to your music. This is very much appreciated for people like myself who like bass but don't want the rest of the music to be overwhelmed by it.

Mids:
The mids are nice but nothing is standing out to me either good or bad. They have a good amount of detail retrieval in the vocals due to a little bit of sparkle in the upper mids. They sound a bit recessed to me though. The image separation is also really good and the sound stage is nice and large.

Highs:
The ZS7 doesn't suffer from the piercing highs that many in KZ's lineup did like the kz zs6. The rolled off the treble earlier which keeps any form of sibilance or piercing from being produced which is good.

Conclusion:
The ZS7 has managed to come out as a well rounded IEM that can deliver a punch on the low end. There are some negatives like the slightly recessed mids and in my opinion bad cable but overall its a very nice sounding iem.

KZ ZS7 vs CCA C10:
The CCA C10 has much less sub and mid-bass which is also less textured than the ZS7’s bass. Its midrange is less recessed and has thicker notes but is still very resolving with excellent instrument separation. Vocals are smoother and sound more rich and vibrant on the C10.

Thanks for reading :)5-800x445.jpg 3.jpg pwP6M9y.jpg
L
LaughMoreDaily
You should mention a better cable if you say the cable isn't very good.
C
chillearphonehub
Thanks for the advice and reading through my review, i suggest the trn 8 core cable retails for 8 dollars

solidary121

New Head-Fier
Pros: Minor Improvement on Overall Sound of ZS6, with the Same Build Quality
Great Clarity
Great S/N Ratio
Cons: Memory Wire on Default Cable
So, I can't really add too much to the detailed reviews of the sound profile of the ZS7s, but I will offer my perspective as a musician. I studied opera and jazz in college, and after not focusing on too much music for about 5 years, I've been playing bass for a few years now. I used Shure 215 IEMs at our old church a couple years ago, and I was always disappointed with the balance and isolation, but it wasn't terrible. I'd been thinking about spending $300-400 for some good Westones or possibly more to get some custom in-ears, and my wife was interviewing for a position as the worship leader for another church where the main campus pastor had bought everyone in the band some KZ ZST earphones. My wife found those were easily as good as the Shure 215 earphones for 1/5 of the cost.

Fast forward a bit, and after I bought several different types of KZs to go with my previous collection (I have owned Etymotic, Shure, Ultimate Ears, Monster, Sennheiser, Sony, Beyerdynamic...), I bought 3 pairs of ZS6s to stop my wife from breaking the plastic-shelled earphones when she stepped on them. Eventually, every band member had bought a set of the ZS6 earphones, and I kept watching thephonograph.net to see when the next pair was coming out, and I saw the ZS7s announced.

Yeah, they're better than the ZS6s: the highs aren't quite as sibilant, and I don't get the same high noise floor as I did with the ZS6s in quiet parts of the music. I don't have to turn up my wireless pack as hot due to the isolation and high sensitivity, and it's just a better and more clear sound overall. For $40-50, they're the best value IEM that I've tried so far. I still use my Beyerdynamic DT770 80 for monitoring purposes when I'm not playing, but when you don't want to wear full headphones, these are some of the best you can get unless you're going to spend a LOT more money.

Nimweth

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Deep powerful bass
Clean open treble
Superb Soundstage
Present mids
Superbly entertaining musicality
Cons: Cable could be better
Very stiff memory wire
Bold V shape signature might not be for everyone
The five-driver ZS7 is the latest flagship hybrid design from KZ (Knowledge Zenith). It employs one 10mm dynamic driver for the bass region, one 29689 midrange balanced armature, one 31005 mid/high frequency BA and two 30095 BA treble units in a four-way configuration. This contrasts with the former model, the ZS10 which uses two 50060 midrange BAs and two 30095 BAs in a three-way arrangement. In some ways, the ZS7 is a combination of the AS10 (5BA) and ZS10 in the shell of the ZS6.

The ZS7 comes in new packaging which has a more premium feel than that used in the ZS10 and other recent KZ designs. The charcoal-coloured box opens with a lid revealing the earpieces nestling in a foam cut-out below which is a KZ ZS7 identification plate. Lifting up the foam insert reveals the detachable 2-pin (0.75mm) cable which is a copper-coloured braided type featuring a right-angled 3.5mm plug. The section of cable closest to the ear is furnished with a wired ear guide, which is rather stiff. Also included is some documentation and three pairs of the Starline tips, the medium size being pre-fitted on the earpieces.

The earpieces themselves are similar to that of the ZS6 with an angled design inspired by the Campfire Andromeda. They have an attractive blue anodised faceplate and are very well constructed in a light alloy material with all components perfectly aligned. The body of the earphones is finished in black with “ZS7 1DD+4BA” written in white in a sans serif font. There are three angled vents for the dynamic driver on the rear of the earpiece which should provide an improved soundstage. There is a small pinhole vent at the base of the nozzle.

I found the pre-installed Starline tips did not give me a good fit and so I replaced them with the medium silicone tips from the TRN V80, which I have also used successfully on other IEMs. These gave a very good seal and fit and good isolation. The supplied cable is very long from the Y-split to the 2-pin plugs and is prone to tangling, so I also replaced this with a high quality silver-plated cable.

The earphones were left burning in for 100 hours before testing and included tracks of white and pink noise, glide tones and other audio conditioning tracks. After this I used a Hifi Walker H2 DAP via line out with a Topping NX1a amplifier for evaluation.

My first impressions were of a powerful, engaging sound full of detail and space, with an attractive “bloom” which endowed the lower frequencies with a rich, woody tone. The midrange had plenty of detail and the treble was extended, clean, detailed and smooth. I would describe the overall balance as mildly V-shaped but still retaining a good midrange presence. In more detail:

Bass

The bass performance of these was superb, being deep, impactful and very well textured. There was a real sense of weight, with sub-bass reaching down to the depths. A good example of this was in Kevin Kendle’s “Deserts” from his electronic album “Terra”. This is a portrait of the windswept dry landscapes of the earth. There was bass you could feel as well as hear providing a perfect foundation for the panoramic sweep of the accompanying electronic effects. Orchestral music also benefited from this superb bass extension, lending the recording an attractive vinyl-like bass response with excellent recorded ambience. The timpani at the conclusion of “Mausoleum at Halicarnassus” from Stuart Mitchell’s “Seven Wonders Suite” displayed real depth and power as well as a wonderful spatial quality. It was easy to discern the positioning of the percussion section in the recording venue. The deep bass drum and keyboard washes of “Cluster One” from “The Division Bell” by Pink Floyd were very impressive with all the atmosphere of this moody instrumental piece being conveyed beautifully.

Mids

The midrange carried on where the bass left off with a lush and highly entertaining quality and superb dynamic range. Climaxes left a great impression with impact and power. The lower mids were free from bass bleed and displayed a pleasing open quality with good separation. In “Boisterous Bouree”, the first movement of Britten’s “Simple Symphony”, the definition of the string parts was excellent, enabling the lively counterpoint to be heard clearly. The sound had great transient attack and was full of life. The ambience of the recording venue, The Maltings at Snape, was reproduced beautifully with a wide and deep soundstage. Andrew Heath is a British music artist who has produced a series of albums of ambient music featuring “found sounds” and a quiet, atmospheric quality. In “Always Falling” from his latest work, “Evenfall” the soundstage was wonderfully three-dimensional with subtle electronic and natural sounds appearing all over the stereo image. Piano and guitar notes followed a gentle melodic path which was delivered with grace and precision, enabling the listener to get lost in the music.

Treble

The high frequencies of the ZS7 were very extended, lending this part of the spectrum a clarity and sparkle which contrasted well with the powerful bass and expressive midrange. The resolution was very good with excellent micro-detail. There was no sign of harshness or sibilance and no discernible peaks. The treble was a little above the midrange in level but not so much as to dominate, in fact, the effect was quite well-balanced. Jonn Serrie’s “Fantasy Passages” from his album “And the Stars go with You” begins with deep bass and electronic effects and then opens out into a strong melody, accompanied by sparkling synth effects which came over beautifully with real incisive impact. The clean tonality and crisp sonorities were testament to the ZS7’s treble extension. The high violin harmonics at the conclusion to Finzi’s beautiful “Introit”, performed by Lesley Hatfield with the Northern Sinfonia under Howard Griffiths were wonderfully reproduced, giving a natural and believable timbre to the instrument and an open, airy acoustic.

Soundstage

The ZS7 had a superb soundstage and stereo imaging. Listening to “The Watchers” from Jean-Michel Jarre’s “Equinoxe Infinity” my ears were assailed from all sides by electronic effects, synth washes, percussion beats and lead synths, producing a jaw-dropping experience! Recorded ambience was also excellent, with instrumental positioning being precise and well-rendered. “Enchanted Forest” from Jeff Clarkson’s electronic album “Peace and Quiet” had a holographic soundstage with nature sounds and electronic percussion accompanying the synth strings and electronic woodwind leads. The sense of space and movement was remarkable and created a magical atmosphere. The positioning of instruments of the orchestra in Holst’s “Saturn” in a recording by the Vienna Symphony under Herbert von Karajan was very impressive, with each orchestral section occupying its correct place in the beautifully spacious stereo image.




Comparisons

ZS10

The ZS10 was the first five-driver model from KZ and has a 10mm dynamic bass driver and four balanced armatures (2 x 50060 and 2 x 30095). Its bulbous body and short nozzles make choosing tips problematic, but with an acceptable fit a good result can be obtained. It does carry the classic KZ DNA, however, of a prominent lower bass and a mid-bass emphasis which can bleed into the mids, which tend to be recessed. The treble does suffer from some harshness and peaks with an emphasis in the presence region and spikes around the crossover region which can cause some edginess. It is a classic KZ V shape as seen in the ZST, ES3 and ZS4. The tuning of the 30095 BAs has certainly been improved in the ZS7 which does not suffer from these artefacts.

CCA C10

The CCA C10 is, like the ZS7, a five-driver IEM, with a 10mm dynamic bass driver and four BAs (2x 50060, 2x 30095). Its signature is well-balanced and it has a mild V shape with a warm bass and relaxed treble, which, although rolled off, displays plenty of detail and air. It is not as extended in the bass and treble as the ZS7, but its genre-friendly tonality makes it a relaxing listen. The 30095 BAs have been tuned very well here. There is good separation and imaging in the mids and it is one of the most accomplished IEMs in its price range and is certainly preferable to the ZS10. It does not have the impact and flair of the ZS7, however and might be considered as having a “safe” tuning in comparison.

CCA C16

The C16 is an ambitious design featuring eight BAs per side, and has been voiced with a natural, neutral tuning with a bright upper register. Its detail retrieval is probably its strongest suit along with its clean, tight bass and excellent soundstage. Separation, precision and imaging are top class. The ZS7 is warmer in tone with greater impact. In comparison the C16 can sound slightly clinical and analytical. Having recently been using the CCA C16 as my reference IEMs, the bass impact of the ZS7 was a revelation. The C16 has a clean, accurate and neutral sound in the bass but does err on the safe side. The ZS7 has a more extended response at both ends of the spectrum, leading to a more V-shaped profile, but with the midrange still clearly delineated. At around half the price of the C16, the ZS7, although having a different presentation (V shaped rather than balanced) represents excellent value.

Conclusion

The ZS7 is the newest hybrid model from KZ and is their best so far that I have heard (I have not heard the AS10). Its presentation gives music, especially large-scale orchestral works and instrumentals, a wonderful cinematic feel, in the words of the song “Stereophonic Sound” from the film “Silk Stockings”, you get “Breathtaking CinemaScope, Glorious Technicolor and Stereophonic Sound”. It is a presentation which is larger than life, and although V-shaped in the traditional KZ style, the midrange does not come over as recessed. It is certainly, as some have described, a “fun tuning” but does display excellent detail retrieval and an unusually fine soundstage. It is a different tuning from the more neutral and balanced C16, C10 and **** which I have been listening to recently but it has reminded me just how important it is to enjoy music as well as appreciate the technical prowess of a set of IEMs. These are definitely earphones for music lovers!

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Comments

tacit

100+ Head-Fier
Strange, I could not find it anywhere, not even in KZ official store. Is it some kind of fake news?
I saw it too, still looks suspicious, no mention on official store, not real reviews anywhere. I wish it to be true, I love their ZS6, they are better than Andromeda (which are 5 drivers per ear piece and 1 grand price) IMHO and my instinct to jump on ZS7 but reason still makes protestations:).
 

DocHoliday

500+ Head-Fier
Strange, I could not find it anywhere, not even in KZ official store. Is it some kind of fake news?
I understand. Best to wait for NiceHCK or other reputable seller to list it then. You might also ask in the KZ thread for feedback on the current seller. I'm excited about the ZS7 as well. ZS6 is my favorite and it would be quite impressive for KZ to offer an in-ear that improves on it, in my opinion.
 

javableak

New Head-Fier
Hello friends, right now I just bought them at another Aliexpress store, I'll have to wait 1 month. I'm curious to try them. I bought my KZ zs6 1 year ago, then I tried and returned the following: KZ ZS10, KZ BA 10 and TRN V80, at the moment none of these models exceeds the sound quality of the ZS6 !!! Now I'm going to try it with the ZS7.:beerchug:
 

mikesoke

New Head-Fier
Hey, guys, I legit got these in like less than a week from aliexpress straight from Shenzhen to New York City and they sound amazing. They are definitely not fake I have the plaque in the new box with the warranty card and everything. I'm putting them through their paces now but at the moment these headphones sound great. I haven't done any extensive testing yet but no shrill highs like the ZS6 had, I also have the ED16 which were also known as ZS7 because it said it on them, the ZSR's, ED9's and also just got the AS10's a few weeks ago. These really sound amazing by putting that dynamic back in instead of all balanced armatures that are tuned well it's definitely a go for bassheads but also has an amazingly clear soundstage and I am using them at the moment on the TRN Bluetooth pin headset. I also have Rock zircon's, Trn V20's and V80's, and the MEMT X5 micro drivers, so I have been putting in a lot of Chinese IEM research lately, and these may just seem like KZ is pumping out too many models but I can say without a shadow of a doubt these things sound amazing and when I drive them optimally later I can't wait to hear their full potential after a little burn in etc. I got them for 38 dollars using a coupon on aliexpress and phonograph's coupon with free fast shipping. I can't believe how fast they got here considering it is Christmas season, first time buying IEM's from aliexpress and they are legit. If you guys need pics or anything message me and i'll be happy to prove anything you guys need to see. I've listened to a few genres so far and the separation is great, absolutely my new favorite pair of IEM's, and next out of the ones I have would probably be a tie between the TRN V80's and the different and extremely loud AS10's with their different BA bass signature.
 

mikesoke

New Head-Fier
Strange, I could not find it anywhere, not even in KZ official store. Is it some kind of fake news?
DocHoliday, that is the vendor I got them from and I can verify they are legitimate. Read my quick thoughts as soon as they're approved. I think I may be the first person to have put up a proper review so far, and they sound goooood. That seller is fine ThePhonograph.com listed them with a coupon code so I figured they were legit and they are. also very nice and great communication. https://www.aliexpress.com/store/119089 I got them in like 5 days from china to america....also it is the holidays and they gave me a discount when i left them in my basket for a few hours
 

javableak

New Head-Fier
I am looking for a cable compatible with KZ (2 pin 0.75mm).
That is high quality, multicore Hi-FI and I know there are many, but there is none that incorporates a volume control and microphone!

I found some cheap cable of poor quality that incorporates these functions, but not a Hi-fe multicore cable.
Does anyone know any brand?
Thank you.
 
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