Gorillaphant

Head-Fier
KZ ZSN Pro X - First Impressions
Pros: Good bass characteristics
Above average stock cable quality
Build quality is good at this price point
Cons: Highs can be a little harsh
Average Soundstage
Intro:

The KZ ZSN Pro X is one of KZ’s recent offerings in the entry-level IEM space. Visually, it looks almost identical to the KZ ZSN/ZSN Pro, with the main difference being the color of the faceplate. I was recently given a pair of the ZSN Pro X for review and spent a few hours listening to them before writing down my first impressions.

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Packaging and Presentation:

The ZSN Pro X comes in pretty standard KZ packaging. Inside the box, you will find the IEMs, the stock cable, and some replacement KZ “starline” tips. Not expecting too many bonuses here, especially at entry-level pricing.
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Construction and Build Quality:

I was pleasantly surprised by the build quality of the ZSN Pro X. The review unit I received had a gold faceplate. The color and finish are definitely attention grabbers. I usually wouldn’t go for an IEM that stands out like these do, but I can definitely appreciate the build. Also, the stock cable is actually pretty decent. Frequently at this price point, IEM stock cables are kind of garbage, but the one included with the ZSN Pro X feels pretty good and I probably wouldn’t bother to look for a replacement cable. There isn’t anything remarkable about the extra included tips.

Bass:

I think the bass is where these IEMs stand out the most. It is very present and very impactful, and is especially noticeable if you listen to genres like Hip Hop/Rap/EDM. The bass is a little boosted and does sometimes sound a little muddy, but overall helps to create a “fun” sound signature for these.

Treble:

This is where my main complaint lies with the sound quality of the ZSN Pro X. The treble is also a little bit boosted and it’s fine most of the time, but occasionally this leads to some harshness/sibilance which can be pretty distracting.

Mids:

The mids are a little recessed here. I didn’t really have an issue with this, but it may be an issue for listeners who are looking for an emphasis there. Again, at this price point, there isn’t a ton to complain about.

Soundstage:

The soundstage is pretty average – not too great, not too terrible.

Overall Impression:

I think the above-average stock cable and the build quality of these IEMs are what make it stand out a little in the sea of IEMs offered at this price point. The sound signature is pretty consumer-friendly, with the exception of the highs that can sometimes be a little overwhelming. If you already have the original ZSN or ZSN Pro, then these may not be different enough to justify the purchase. However, if you are just getting into the hobby, then I think these are a great starting point.

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T
theguy69
How do these compare with the kbear ks2 for something like rock music?
Gorillaphant
Gorillaphant
I will send you a PM to discuss.

PotatoWhisperer

100+ Head-Fier
Excellent Entry into IEMS
Pros: Excellent price/performance
Build quality and aesthetics
More cohesive and neutral than predecessor
Cons: Mids slightly recessed
Bland packaging/accessories
Intro:

The KZ ZSN was an iem that many people loved at the $20 price tag. It had a fun tuning and a unique, original design that KZ started using which was refreshing, considering KZ's reputation around that time frame. Fast forward almost 2 years later, and I have with me the new and updated KZ ZSN Pro X. With the new iteration, the KZ ZSN Pro X sports a new dual magnetic dynamic driver, and an updated 30095 high frequency balanced armature. What's also immediately noted is the new sleek faceplate that looks and feels premium. But do all these updates lead to a new and improved iem?

Accessories/Packaging/Build Quality:

In terms of packaging, this is the standard KZ/Chi-Fi affair. It's barebones, basic, and resembles most earphones in this price range coming out of these budget companies. Inside the generic box, there are very generic eartips, the standard KZ braided cable and a basic user guide. I will note that if this is your first pair of serious earbuds, the cable isn't the worst thing ever and is actually reasonably supple and many people wouldn't bother uprading, especially considering the price. The eartips are average, and are all silicone tips. I would try the out to see if they suit your needs before buying 3rd party alternatives, especially if your wallet is tight.
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Moving on to build quality, this is where I can forgive the light packaging. The gold/bronze faceplate looks absolutely gorgeous, and I'm not just saying that lightly. I've owned the original KZ ZSN and where that one had a shiny metal faceplate, this bronze is annodized with a nice finishthat really looks and feels great. A big round of applause for KZ this time around for this beautiful iem. I've already gotten my fair share of complements about the iems.

Comfort/Isolation:

The comfort and isolation of the ZSN Pro X are two more areas that these iems get right. The shape of the shell allows for both a comfortable and deep insertion. I've found that even for extended periods of time, the comfort has been a bright spot. Because of the deep insertion and the universal type shell, the isolation is above average. The sound leakage is also minimal because of this. Big props to the design of the shells, as they really are one of the more comfortable designs I've tried, even with my somewhat finnicky ears.
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Overall Signature/Staging:
Onto the sound, I think for a roughly $20 iem, these are absolutely fantastic and a real deal. You can't go wrong with the price tag. The signature overall is a slight v-shaped signature and I think that it's a reasonably easy sound signature for many people to enjoy. Staging is a bit average for me, and while I'd like more separation and air between notes, I think that it's an improvement over the last generation of the ZSN's and KZ is definitely headed in the right direction. Again, for the price point, it really does not bother me and is not a deal breaker at all.

Highs:
I found the highs and lows the star of the show for the sound signature of these iems. Overall, I think the technical ability of the iems are very good for the price point. There is a good amount of sparkle and you can really appreciate the work of the balanced armatures here. Overall, the soundstage is relatively average. While the high's aren't too sharp or fatiguing for me, I am not super treble sensitive. I wouldn't say that it is overly bright overall, though, so if you are treble sensitive, these iems should'nt deter you.

Mids:
The mids on these iems are probably the lowest point. I find these iems to be slightly V-shaped and the mids are ever so slightly recessed, though I think that KZ has done a good job of making the overall signature more neutral. Vocals feel a little less natural than other higher priced iems but there is reasonable detail, energy, and speed. If you're a mid-head, these iems might not be your cup of tea. The mids are not very forward here.

Lows:
I think the lows are absolutely the star of the show. Compared to the other ZSN models, I think the lows are dialed back just a smidge, but it's a lot more tight and still plentiful. I personally prefer this since it gives the earphones a more refined sound and gives it more flexibility. With a dynamic driver for the low end, you get the speed of the BA's with the impact of the DD driver. With other iems in the price range or lower, it's harder to get a bass that is both plentiful and more reigned in. Cohesively, this is in my opinion the most balanced and cohesive version of the ZSN's.

Closing Thoughts:
If you're looking to try and see if the audiophile iem scene is for you, I think this is a very reasonable first entry. For the price, I would say to save up for this if you cannot spend any more, since I think you get a whole lot of iem for what you pay for here. From the aesthetics, to the sound quality per dollar, I think it's hard for me to recommend getting any of the competition that is lower priced, even from KZ's other lines. KZ really created a real winner with this iem, and I'm interested to see what else they come out with next!
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MDH12AX7

100+ Head-Fier
Huge bass, flashy looks and a small price tag.
Pros: Huge bass, flashy looks and a small price tag. Great for electronic music!
Cons: huge bass? V-shaped signature. Might be too aggressive for some.
KZ ZSN PRO X

The ZSN PRO X is a hybrid 2 way earphone with a 10mm dual-magnet dynamic driver for lows and a balanced armature for highs. The shells are made of translucent resin with zinc-alloy faceplates. The gold looks particularly nice! I find these to be very comfortable.

The stock cable is silver plated copper wire and is replaceable or upgradable. Kinboofi has many beautiful cables compatible with these if you want a little bling.

THE SOUND:

I did all the listening on my Hiby R3 pro using all flacs of 16bit 44.1k or better.

These have very powerful and controlled bass that extends deep and hits hard! Kick drums are fast and powerful and electronic music such as hip hop or edm just rocks! Big bass! Don't get me wrong, they are capable of fast punchy bass as well. Good bass control.

The mids are slightly recessed but not to the point that they are lost. They have good detail and they keep up with the bass and treble.

The treble is very crisp and detailed. While boosted, the treble is not siblant. It is bright and clear.

Soundstage is about average.

I listened to many different genres of music and these performed well on all, but I can see fans of electronic music loving these! They are great for bass heavy music!

They also do a great job with metal. Guitars cut through the mix. Double bass kick drums are fast, and powerful with nice cut in the click attack. These would be great workout earphones. High energy! Replacable cable. Light weight and secure fit.

You can't go wrong with these for the money.

I want to thank Kiki from Kinboofi for sending out this sample.

Thanks for reading!

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DallaPo

New Head-Fier
a twin rarely comes alone
Pros: good, inexpensive introduction-IEM to the audiophile hybrid world
firm and strong bass
detailed treble
Cons: sbilants
not always fatigue-free
not very natural
Rating: 7.6
Sound: 7.5

Intro
To be honest, I find KZ has been making it a little easy for themselves lately with their wired IEMs. You take a good selling product, put an "X" on the name and sell it again with a new cable and different faceplate colors. Then I write in the description some hair-raising improvements to the predecessor and the new bestseller is ready.

Visually, sonically and technically (for the most part) I have a KZ ZSN PRO in my hands and wonder what exactly the world really needed in the KZ ZSN PRO X.


Handling
Black, blue, gold. Here are the faceplate colors of the ZSN PRO X. The ZSN PRO was "only" available in light and dark gray, with different plastic housing colors. It doesn't really matter, because it's not enough to remarket an IEM. There must be more behind it.
But there is no more difference to the ZSN PRO, except that we get a silver-coated copper cable with the typical KZ limited accessories, which feels better haptically and seems a little more robust.

The ZSN PRO X wears and isolates well and is not the ugliest duckling on the market for my taste.

Sound
Whether it's the X, Y, or Z version of the ZSN PRO, it doesn't change the fact that KZ makes us feel like rubbing a good selling IEM under our noses again, without any significant sonic improvements, which one would look for here, if at all, with a magnifying glass.

I don't want to recite one-to-one the review of the ZSN PRO, but I'll be brief, since almost everything is already written in it.
The bass is for me the most positive sonic characteristic of the ZSN PRO (X), together with the decent stage. It's fun, it's not too exposed, and it has an appealing extension and can handle any genre. It's certainly not a detail monster, but it has good control and that certain something, especially when it comes to quantity.

The mids are reduced in the V-, or actually W-Signaur, and get a slight coloration from the bass. Female voices have more presence, but can also become demanding a bit faster. The mids are not a milestone in the tuning history of KZ, but they are quite okay and appropriate to the price. I don't find them particularly homogeneous or natural, but they are more for showmanship.

The highs have a bite, but unfortunately also a too strong one. They tend to emphasize sibilants and can sometimes be a bit tinny. Nevertheless, I would describe them as very detailed, even if this can sometimes sound a bit artificial. They give some instruments a little more presence than necessary, but that makes them sometimes more exciting than neutrally tuned IEM representatives. Depending on the genre, they can tend to get tired in the long run and the sibilants bother me a bit too much.

i can't really blame the imaging and the stage because the separation works just as well and provides a clear sound image. Together with the bass this is a plus and certainly not too common in the price range.

Outro
Well, my conclusion was to be guessed I think. The ZSN PRO X is neither an upgrade nor a sidegrade to the ZSN PRO. Even though KZ promises a handful of improvements compared to its predecessor, objectively I can hardly order any. I imagine hearing a bit more brilliance and micro details in the high frequencies and can make out slight technical improvements, which makes up stage and separation, but it's all subtle, if not imaginary. The frequency response doesn't really show any difference and so only the driver characteristics themselves could provide an improvement. The cable is a small upgrade, even though the silver-plated copper cable, unlike its predecessor, emphasizes the highs a bit more, which may not always be beneficial. In addition, the ZSN PRO X is a good 2 dB louder than its predecessor. But that was it. If you are interested in the ZSN PRO (X), you can be happy that the ZSN PRO is now even cheaper and thus represents more and more value.

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