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  1. mrbuzzer
    Just Another Top Sounding KZ
    Written by mrbuzzer
    Published Oct 31, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Well rounded and mature sound
    Nice extended treble without being annoying or harsh
    Never tedious for extended listening
    Cons - Still not a big fan of the KZ braided cable
    KZ just keeps turning out top flight earbuds at an outstanding rate and it is getting hard to keep up. It gets to the point that you are going to be guaranteed a certain listenable quality piece for $50 or less, and it's just a question of your preference in tuning and comfort levels. The new KZ ZSX is a perfect example of this phenomenon. This gear bills itself as a 6 driver per side IEM with a newly developed higher frequency balanced armature driver and, like others in this lineup, it is quality made metal face plate and very attractive, although perhaps a little bulky for some. I am not a huge fan of the braided cable that now seems standards on the KZ line, but at least this model had the more comfortable and springy ear wrap at the attachment points, which is a must for me. I can wear these without discomfort despite their weight.

    My impression on sound is that this KZ ZSX is a much more mature and less in your face presentation that some of the previous KZs I own, like the ZS10Pro, which is a similarly styled over the ear unit. The ZSX puts the music together is a more holistic way and, after some break in period, I noticed some nuances in male vocals that I hadn't heard in some of my earlier KZ models. When I upgraded to a better source unit, or popped an Audioquest Dragonfly on the iphone, the quality and smooth presentation became more obvious. The sub bass in substantial but well controlled, The mids are clean, nothing spectacular, but the treble stands out as detailed with a nice reach and a touch of sparkle but not in an annoying way. It is simply about as listenable as you are going to get at this price point and a very attractive package as well. I will follow up later after I spend more time with the ZSX.
  2. chillearphonehub
    KZ ZSX: 6Driver KZ
    Written by chillearphonehub
    Published Oct 24, 2019
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Clean and deep bass
    Good sound
    Solid build quality
    Price
    Cons - Unique shape
    The midrange is not as good as the highs and bass
    T 3A7609F3-E003-4AD9-91EE-6EF9B1F368BB.jpeg D69B7EA8-8B1E-4640-9637-F1F09F9B1E53.jpeg F35A8923-FABC-42B4-BA90-216D0B7BD334.jpeg 578006B0-2F29-42FA-A839-6CF102678DD7.jpeg 8B2C0245-834A-4C7F-BDDB-77F37E3CE785.jpeg 20105402-1B27-495F-841F-AB004A95136A.jpeg DF876B0F-660F-4936-B909-B5B68426E458.jpeg 41046CC8-9B5B-4840-9255-EA6E3B2B4179.jpeg 3A7609F3-E003-4AD9-91EE-6EF9B1F368BB.jpeg Greetings! Today we are checking out the Kz ZSX which was provided by EE Audio store in aliexpress. This is a hybrid 6 driver item! Hope you enjoy the review!

    Disclaimer:
    This sample was provided for the purpose of an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.
    If you are intrested, the link is down below:
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000104929305.html?spm=2114.12010615.8148356.2.3748b256a7TGdh



    Specs



      • Driver: 5BA+1DD
      • Impedance: 24ohm
      • Sensitivity: 111dB
      • Frequency Response: 7Hz-40kHz
      • Length:125cm
      • Plug Type: 3.5mm Plug

    Build quality

    KZ appears to have hooked onto a typical topic for their shell D69B7EA8-8B1E-4640-9637-F1F09F9B1E53.jpeg 3A7609F3-E003-4AD9-91EE-6EF9B1F368BB.jpeg D69B7EA8-8B1E-4640-9637-F1F09F9B1E53.jpeg F35A8923-FABC-42B4-BA90-216D0B7BD334.jpeg 578006B0-2F29-42FA-A839-6CF102678DD7.jpeg 8B2C0245-834A-4C7F-BDDB-77F37E3CE785.jpeg 20105402-1B27-495F-841F-AB004A95136A.jpeg DF876B0F-660F-4936-B909-B5B68426E458.jpeg 41046CC8-9B5B-4840-9255-EA6E3B2B4179.jpeg structures recently as well, "When you're onto something worth being thankful for, stay with it." So, by and by, we see a slight variation of what is by all accounts the new all-inclusive KZ shells. We get an aluminium faceplate with a straightforward acrylic shell. The faceplate has a cutting edge look with a progression of V-formed edges and pointed triangular shape. "12 Hybrid" is imprinted on the face, advising us that this financial limit IEM has a high driver tally (despite the fact that there are just 6 drivers for each side). No doubt there are 3 well-known shading decisions in humankind's future and those are the accessible decisions for your shade of ZSX shell, which incorporate dark, cyan and purple.

    Comfort

    For my medium measured ears, the ZSX is a decent match however it might be unbalanced for those with littler ears. It's greater than the ZS10 Pro and projects out from the ears more. The spouts arrive at more profound which could be fortunate or unfortunate, contingent upon your ears and favoured ear tips. Actually, I can wear these throughout the day no stresses by any stretch of the imagination.

    Commotion detachment is quite great and these are appropriate for loud situations and open vehicle. Clamour hole is genuinely insignificant as well, so you needn't stress over that.


    Sound
    The ZSX has a vivacious and forthright introduction. Supported bass, drawing in mids and energetic treble are portrayals that rung a bell. It performs well beyond what I typically expect for a sub $100 IEM. Lucidity? Got it. Tone? Got it. Instrument division – without a doubt.


    Bass
    Here's the place things are extremely fun. The new 10mm driver is punchy and tight. It remains clean, doesn't overwhelm different frequencies and keeps up an OK by and large parity.

    Low bass reaction is exceptionally better than average and the mid-bass is forward in the blend and, subsequently is extremely captivating. Shake, EDM or Hip-Hop fans will discover a great deal to like with the ZSX. It hits hard however with control and artfulness.

    The ZSX bass resembles a sand trap. At the point when your initial phase in it feels ordinary. At that point, before you realize it you're tapping your feet and overwhelmed with it. I'm certain even the Avengers' Mr Fantastic would be intrigued by the compass of the ZSX's low end.

    A sensibly quick assault gives the mid-bass some smartness and surface however the long rot is the place the weight and authority originate from. Regardless of its plenteous circumference, the bass doesn't feel drowsy and keeps up a decent pace.


    Mid
    The midrange is consistently the weakest piece of the house KZ sound. With the ZSX the midrange is sensibly forward with average body yet simply doesn't convey to a similar degree as the upper and lower frequencies. There is almost no treble or bass seep over, so the midrange, while to some degree recessed in the blend, remains clear and point by point.

    Voices run over common and female vocals appear to sparkle more than male. Truly, the midrange is fine, it simply doesn't have an incredible 'amazing' factor as the bass and treble

    ZSX has a genuinely nonpartisan midrange until it begins to ascend in the upper mids. Normally, it gets some glow from the bass however the lower midrange is generally uncoloured and genuinely lean. There is a lift in the upper mids that includes a little brilliance and assault to guitars and percussion.

    Male vocals are a touch dry and could utilize some additional glow to sound increasingly normal yet female vocals are fresh and dynamic. The leanness of the midrange notes makes for a nitty-gritty introduction and great vocal enunciation.

    High

    For me, the treble has improved the most when contrasted with the ZS10 Pro. There's no indication of the standard KZ steely treble timbre. It never again seems like somebody swinging a sledge in the kitchen sink.

    By and large, it's a fresh and itemized treble with great tone and great augmentation. It's not sibilant or cruel and the 10kHz pinnacle includes air and lucidity in with the general mish-mash. This is the sort of treble that KZ ought to accomplish all the more regularly.

    There is a wealth of splendid detail accessible. The ZSX treble is very broadened and to some degree raised, yet the decent armatures stay clear and sensibly free of sibilance or weariness.

    The treble is an extraordinary antithesis to such tight bass on the opposite end. By and large the sound mark stays adjusted yet pleasantly broadened (both high and low). Music is introduced neatly, obviously and intensely.

    The ZSX is an extremely enthusiastic sounding IEM; super-captivating and fun.


    Soundstage

    The ZSX makes a normal stage with more width than profundity. The vocals are situated toward the back of the stage while instruments are set nearer to the front. There isn't much in the method for layering but since of the better than expected instrument partition, the stage feels genuinely open. Imaging and positional prompts are strong for something in this value go.

    Vs ZS10 PRO
    I truly like the ZS10 Pro, so the undeniable inquiry is the 6-driver (per IEM) ZSX an overhaul over the 5-driver ZS10 Pro?

    I lean toward the littler size and in general style of the ZS10 Pro, however it's a nearby thing. Both fit my ears easily and look very great.

    Sound quality is additionally very comparable, yet I accept the gesture needs to go to the new challenger. The ZSX highs are a piece more clear and increasingly definite. Generally the sound is a smidgen increasingly forward and locks in. Bass, while maybe somewhat less profound than the ZS10 Pro, is better controlled and cleaner on the ZSX.

    It is not necessarily the case that the ZS10 Pro isn't even now an incredible spending plan IEM. (It is!) The ZS10 Pro and the ZSX are unbelievably comparative items, at for all intents and purposes a similar value point, and discharged by a similar maker inside a couple of months. No big surprise online discussions are brimming with people asking which one they should purchase.


    Conclusion
    Practice is without a doubt making ideal for KZ. They keep on discharging a surge of new models, and it can feel like each new IEM is a beta test for the following one, yet they truly improve. On the off chance that you tuned in to before models and kept in touch with them off, this is the ideal opportunity to give KZ another possibility.

    Keep in mind, this is another spending limit IEM model around $50. KZ as of late explored different avenues regarding a more significant expense point with the AS16, however at $100+, the standard heap of adornments, construct, and the sound quality wasn't exactly as convincing. With the ZS10 Pro and now the ZSX, KZ has made progress to (*ahem*) end the challenge at this lower (entirely moderate) value point
  3. Aibo
    Wanna have some fun?
    Written by Aibo
    Published Oct 18, 2019
    3.5/5,
    Pros - - great clarity and separation
    - not as bright or harsh as some older models
    Cons - - recessed lower mids
    - price
    New day, ne KZ model. :) I'll try to keep it short and to the point here.

    BUILD QUALITY - they look and feel built like a tank, I didn't notice any QC issues. These are the bulkiest KZs I head so far, bulkier even than ZS10, and that did create some small comfort issues for me when I tried to insert them deeper into my ear canal to make a more secure fit.

    SOUND QUALITY - is very nice. Overall clarity and separation is top-notch while sound signature is still V-shaped with recessed lower mids. Anyway they do sound fuller and juicier than ZS10 and I definitely appreciate that. Overall I feel these are the best sounding KZs I've tried so far. It's just that I can get this same overall sound quality with even better frequency balance and much fuller sounding vocals from the likes of TIN Audio T2 and Senfer DT6. Moreover both of these cost less too, hence 3.5 stars for ZSX. But if you prefer V-shaped sound with emphasized upper register - I guess there's nothing really wrong with choosing them.

    I made a video comparison with T2s

  4. Wiljen
    KZ ZSX - does it terminate the competition?
    Written by Wiljen
    Published Oct 14, 2019
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Well tuned signature with good mids and less treble than we are used to for KZ.
    Cons - Treble still a bit grainy and can get harsh occasionally, cable still sucks.
    disclaimer: Due to a miscue in communication, I received the KZ ZSX from both HifiGo, and Linsoul Audio. At time of this writing, both vendors have the same pricing for the ZSX and a variety of other models available. I recommend checking out both as I have been well pleased with my purchases from both organizations.

    These can be purchased directly from hifigo for those interested.


    Unboxing / Packaging:

    The ZSX comes in a new style box for KZ, gone is the white slip cover with the graphics on the front, replaced with a book fold box in matte black with a KZ logo in satin black. Its a nice understated look and gives the feel that what is inside is of higher quality than their typical packaging. Opening the cover and the earpieces are revealed nestled in a foam block with a placard similar to that which came with the Zs7. The cable and tips (SML Stars) are hiding under the foam. No case or other accessories are provided.

    KZ-ZSX-box-front.JPG KZ-ZSX-box-open2.JPG KZ-ZSX-box-inner3.JPG KZ-ZSX-kit2.JPG



    Build/Fit:

    Shells are 3 parts with a metal face plate, a plastic inner shell (available in multiple colors), and a metal nozzle. The shape is a departure from previous models and looks a bit like an art deco, Zs10 Pro. In photos they look like a triangle that sits tip down, when worn that tip is to the front while the short side of the triangle sits against the rear of the ear. These are more comfortable than I anticipated when first looking at them. They are a mid-sized iem and the shape does a lot to make them feel smaller than they actually are. Nozzles exit the shell with an upward rake and allow for fairly deep insertion which makes isolation reasonably good. A single vent sits directly over the dynamic driver on the inner shell. For those looking at both, the shell shape of the ZSX is more comfortable than that of the CCA c10 as the C10 doesn’t have any of the shaping to the inner shell that the ZSX does. I have tried to get a few photos to show the differences in the comparison section.

    KZ-ZSX-back2.JPG KZ-ZSX-inside.JPG KZ-ZSX-nozzle.JPG KZ-ZSX-nozzle2.JPG KZ-ZSX-pair1.JPG KZ-ZSX-shell.JPG KZ-ZSX-side2.JPG KZ-ZSX-top-bi-pin.JPG


    Internals:

    The ZSX is a 6 driver per side design using a single 10mm dynamic driver to provide low end grunt, four DWEK midrange balanced armatures to bring the mids to life, and a single 30095 balanced armature to give the highs a voice. This is a departure from earlier models that doubled down on the treble and often showed quite a spike as a result. Nominal impedance is listed as 24Ω with a sensitivity of 111dB/mW and based on how easy I found the ZSX to drive, I have no reason to doubt those numbers.

    [​IMG]



    Cable:

    This is the biggest let down of the ZSX, the same brown cable KZ has been using for everything with no correction for the ultra-low on cable splitter and no chin slider. Luckily the hooded-bi-pin style connector is now popular enough that many replacement options are available. I promptly replaced the stock cable with an upgrade cable from Nicehck designed for the Nx7 and it worked perfectly and remedied some of the issues I have with the stock cable.

    KZ-ZSX-jack2.JPG KZ-ZSX-mic.JPG KZ-ZSX-remote.JPG KZ-ZSX-splitter.JPG KZ-ZSX-bi-pin.JPG



    Sound:

    I found the ZSX to be less tip sensitive than many models and found the provided mid-sized tips worked fine for me so I stuck with the starlines for testing.

    KZ ZSX FR.jpg


    Bass:

    The ZSX has good sub-bass when called upon with roll-off only becoming evident below 40Hz. Mid-bass has slightly less emphasis than the sub-bass but still provides good thump. One thing I did notice right away is the bass has considerably faster attack than decay which gives the bass an interesting mix of thickness and texture. While I would prefer the bass decay was a hair faster, it doesn’t get gummy or sluggish, it just fills the space to give a heavier feel than faster decay would. The attack gives the kick drum a nice snap on the initial hit and keeps the bass from sounding less defined. Overall, not a ton of detail in the bass, but a nice thick presentation that won’t leave the user wanting for bass quantity.



    Mids:

    There is some mid-bass bleed that colors the lower mids, but it isn’t overstated and brings some warmth to what might otherwise be a bit dry presentation by the balanced armatures. As you move up, the mids climb forward giving female vocals a bit more presence than their male counterparts. This also gives higher range vocals a bit more body than their lower counterparts with the lower voices sounding a bit dry and slightly lean by comparison. The upper mid push does a good job of bringing electric guitar to the front, but isn’t to my liking when listening to strings as it brings them too far forward at times.



    Treble:

    Those expecting me to state that the ZSX has the stereotypical KZ treble will be disappointed to hear that the ZSX has replaced KZ’s normal splashy, harsh treble with a much more polite version of itself. Lower treble is still a bit forward, but at least it doesn’t smack you in the face with a brick like the Zs6. As treble moves up we see a distinct step back at about 8kHz and a peak between 10 and 11khz that brings back some top end air and sparkle without jumping way out in front of the rest of the signature. Treble detail is only average, but clarity is good and extension is better than expected.



    Soundstage / Imaging:

    This is where the ZSX falls down. Soundstage is only average for class with considerably more width than depth and only minimal height. Instrument separation is above average and this probably saves the ZSX as it keeps the sound fairly clean without a lot of overlapped instrumentation despite the stage size. Imaging is acceptable for something in the <50 USD price range, but not anything special and I did find a tendency for guitars to step in front of vocals, particularly when vocals were in the lower registers.



    Comparisons:

    CCA C12 – these two are siblings with a lot of commonality. Cables are the same, shells vary in dimensions but not in materials, and drivers are the same between the two. The ZSX is tuned with a bit more warmth and a bit more lower mids while the CCA has a bit less grain to the treble but a bit more dip in the mids. Both are more similar than not in sound signature with differences being a matter of degrees. I prefer the CCA version slightly as I think the treble is a bit cleaner, but those looking for a bit livelier sound will probably prefer the ZSX.

    ZS10 Pro – Another cousin to the ZSX with one less BA and a different tuning. Shell on the Zs10 pro is slightly smaller which will be an advantage to those with small ears. Sound wise, these two are also very close but the ZSX bass is slightly better extended and slightly more pronounced so it comes off as thicker without sounding clouded. Mids are too close to call on these two as if there are differences in detail level or signature they are beyond the scope of what I can hear. Treble extension and control are both good on both models but slightly better on the ZSX in my experience. Honestly, if you own one of these two, you can probably skip the other as the degree of difference is not earth shattering.



    Thoughts / Conclusion:

    The seemingly never ending stream of KZ models marches on with no slow down in sight. At this point, having reviewed a lot of KZ products that are more similar than not, I can honestly say I would much prefer that they slow down and choose 2 or 3 of the best models to really work on developing and improving rather than continuing to release a stream of more of the same. I ended up with two ZSX due to a communication error and with already owning the Zs10 Pro, I realistically have 3 of the same thing. Yes they are nicer than one would have expected for the price, but they are not a great departure from previous efforts. Tuning has improved greatly on the KZs of late (for the most part) but the bass still lacks definition and the upper end still has a tendency to get strident on occasion compared to top end models. Overall, the ZSX is another evolutionary step but a very small one. If you have an interest in the ZSX, it can be purchased directly from Linsoul or from their Amazon Store here.

    images

    1. KZ-ZSX-feature3.JPG
      B9Scrambler likes this.
  5. FcConstruct
    The Pinnacle of KZ
    Written by FcConstruct
    Published Oct 10, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Fun, enjoyable tuning
    Good subbass extension
    Upper mids/lower treble forward presentation
    No sibilance or treble peaks
    Cons - Uncomfortable fit after a while
    One-notedness to the bass
    BA timbre
    [​IMG]

    This is a review of the KZ ZSX, a $50 KZ IEM that contains 5 BA and 1 DD. I got this as a review unit from Linsoul. If you're interested in it after reading this review, you can grab one here.

    Overall Sound Signature: A very enjoyable and unapologetically energetic V-shaped IEM that is unfortunately marred by BA timbre.

    Bass: The bass on the ZSX is elevated and at the forefront of its presentation. The DD is quick and provides a deep punchy bass response with great subbass extension. Decay is quick and the ZSX never gets boomy nor bloomy. However, like the many other KZ models, it suffers from a one-notedness to the sound quality, lacking the nuance in note timbre found in higher quality DD's (or even its budget friend the BLON BL-03). Midbass response is likewise pushed forward and the tightness of the DD helps bring out note clarity in quick bass lines. There isn't much bass bloat or muddiness, with the DD having a distinction from the BAs of the mids.

    Mids: The lower mids have a slight incoherency issue as the midbass transitions into the lower mids and the BAs take over from the DD. At times, you can hear when notes are caught in that midpoint where the note timbre sounds distinctly off. Although the lower mids are elevated as part of the tuning, the ZSX doesn't sound too warm thanks to its pronounced upper mids. Vocals are forward and clear with surprisingly good vocal separation. Electric guitars are crunchy without lacking body. Once again, however, the BA timbre does shine through and doesn't sound fully natural.

    Treble: As a V-shaped IEM, the ZSX is a little odd in that it has lower treble in spades but quickly drops off when it comes to the higher registers. The lower treble on the ZSX is crisp and distinct, especially when it comes to the cymbals/hats with nice definition upon the initial attack of the lower notes. However, sustained playing on the cymbals/hats at higher frequencies gets relegated to the background almost as a messy noise since the ZSX simply doesn't emphasize the frequencies there. The upside to this is that the ZSX doesn't have any sibilance in the vocals for me, is not peaky, and is not fatiguing to listen to. That said, it's not as if the ZSX doesn't have upper treble, it's just much less pronounced in comparison to its forward upper mids/lower treble.

    Staging and Imaging: Like many other KZ models, the staging and imaging are that of traditional IEMs. That is to say, average at best. Nothing to complain about, but nothing great either.

    Resolution and Separation: The resolution of the ZSX is definitely above that of similarly priced IEMs thanks in part to speedy BAs and the lower treble emphasis, making it feel clean compared to the smeariness of other budget models. As mentioned earlier, separation is great for vocals and other instruments with a distinct upper mid focus but can get fuzzy at crossover points like the lower mids or at in the treble.

    Build and Fit: KZ seemingly has evolved their products to have a very standard style nowadays, and the ZSX is no different. It sports an over-ear design with a largish ergonomic shell design that seals easily for me. However, the issue I have with the ZSX is that it is relatively shallow fit while having a large nozzle that is uncomfortable to wear for longer periods of time. The cable and included tips are standard KZ, so nothing special there.

    Should you buy it?: For $50, I highly recommend it. I think the KZ ZSX is a great value with a fun tuning that fits almost everyone. I very much enjoyed listening to the ZSX, something that I can't say for any of the past KZ products I've had to listen to before. It's simply a solid V-shaped IEM that you can't go wrong with, either for yourself or as a gift. While it may not be as technically proficient as the BLON BL-03, I do personally prefer the ZSX's more energetic tuning, especially for rock. Just watch out if you really care about bass quality and a more natural sound than what BAs provide.
  6. darmanastartes
    Big as a House
    Written by darmanastartes
    Published Oct 5, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - engaging tuning, solid technical performance for price point
    Cons - tangle-prone cable with no chin slider, large housings
    DSC04111.jpg
    The KZ KZX is a hybrid in-ear monitor (5BA +1DD ) retailing for around $42 at the time of this review. I purchased the ZSX from the MissAudio Store on Aliexpress for $37.10. I was given a small discount in exchange for a fair and objective review.

    This review is also available on my blog: Bedrock Reviews

    SOURCES:

    I have used the KZ ZSX with the following sources:

    Windows 10 PC > JDS Labs The Element > KZ ZSX

    Pixel 3 > Fiio BTR1K (Bluetooth Apt-X) > KZ ZSX

    Windows 10 PC > Fiio BTR1K (USB-DAC) > KZ ZSX

    Pixel 3 > Apple USB-C to 3.5mm dongle > KZ ZSX

    I have tested these headphones with local FLAC, Spotify Premium, and Amazon Music HD. Visit my last.fm page to get an idea of what I listen to.

    PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES:
    DSC04113.jpg
    The KZ ZSX comes in a small rectangular black box with a lid that opens to the left. The box is unmarked apart from the KZ logo printed on the front of the lid. Stickers on the left face of the box indicate the selected mic and color options, as well as KZ’s contact information in Chinese and English. The ZSX comes with a detachable .75mm 2-pin cable, three pairs of KZ Starline-type black silicone eartips (S, M, L), one pair of generic black silicone eartips (M), a user manual, a QC pass chit, and a warranty card. The ZSX does not include a carry bag or case.

    BUILD QUALITY / DESIGN:
    DSC04026.jpg
    The KZ ZSX has a similar design to other recent KZ-affiliated IEMs, with a metal faceplate and a clear inner acrylic body. The acrylic body is diamond-shaped with a rounded-off top corner. The acrylic body has a bulbous protrusion on the top corner, while the nozzle is swept forward from the bottom corner. “KZ-ZSX” and “Left/Right” are printed on the front side of the acrylic body. The total driver count (12) is printed on the faceplate. The nozzles are metal, with a small lip for securing eartips. Each earpiece has two small circular vents on the inner face of the housing. The ZSX has mild driver flex.
    DSC04059.jpg
    The cable is braided copper with clear plastic housings for the 2-pin connections and an L-shaped black rubber housing for the 3.5mm jack. The cable has little-to-no microphonics. The 2-pin connectors use the KZ “type-C” recessed connector. The 2-pin connectors have indented markings to indicate left and right. The cable has pre-formed ear-guides without memory wire. The KZ logo is embossed on the 3.5mm jack housing. There is no chin-adjustment choker. The cable is less tangle-prone than the CCA-C10’s cable, but more tangle-prone than the Tripowin TP10’s cable. There strain-relief above the 3.5mm jack and at all junctures of the Y-split.

    COMFORT / FIT / ISOLATION:
    DSC04102.jpg
    The KZ ZSX is intended to be worn cable-up only. The ZSX has a moderate insertion depth and I was able to get a good seal using the stock eartips. Despite my small ears and the size of the housings, I did not experience any issues with comfort. However, other users have noted comfort issues with the bulbous protrusion on the top corner of the acrylic housing. There is negligible sound leakage and isolation is above average.

    SOUND:
    DSC04096.jpg
    The KZ ZSX has a temperate V-shaped tuning that is engaging without being exaggerated.


    Sub-bass is well-extended. There is more sub-bass than mid-bass, but the mid-bass is elevated enough to give the overall sound signature a sense of heft. The bass has good texture but is not precise. The bass has a fast attack but lingers a hair longer than I would like during fast and complex musical passages. While not bloated, the elevated bass does create some congestion in the lower midrange.


    Female vocals are a bit further forward than male vocals. Male vocal intelligibility suffers a little from the congestion created by the elevated bass but the lower midrange has plenty of warmth and body. The overall timbre is passably realistic, but some instruments, like drums, can sound thin. There is enough presence to give distorted electric guitars bite without being fatiguing.


    The treble is exciting but can stray into harshness, particularly with poorly recorded music. Cymbal crashes have a satisfying sizzle. There is a good amount of air and moderate sparkle. Resolution and detail retrieval are average. Soundstage and instrument separation are average for a multi-BA hybrid. Imaging is average.


    MEASUREMENTS:
    KZ ZSX.jpg
    My measurements were conducted with a Dayton iMM-6 microphone using a vinyl tubing coupler and a calibrated USB sound interface. The measurements use a compensation file derived from comparing my raw measurements with Crinacle’s published measurements. The measurements are presented with 1/24th smoothing. There is a resonant peak at 8k. Measurements above 10k are not reliable.


    AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS AND SOURCE PAIRING:

    The KZ ZSX can be driven to comfortable listening volumes with a smartphone or dongle. There is noticeable hiss with some sources.


    COMPARISONS:

    KZ ZSX [$35] vs Blon BL-03 [$30]
    ZSX vs BL-03.jpg
    The Blon BL-03 uses a single carbon nanotube dynamic driver. It has a more neutral sound signature, with a more restrained bass presentation and a less forward upper midrange and treble response. The BL-03 has better bass definition and articulation. The BL-03 has slightly more natural sounding treble transient delivery. The ZSX has more presence and immediate clarity but its lower treble can be harsh. The ZSX has more air. The ZSX has better imaging and instrument separation. It is much easier to get a good seal using stock tips with the ZSX. Because I need to use double flange tips with the BL-03, the ZSX is more comfortable. The BL-03 has worse driver flex. The ZSX is easier to drive but is much more prone to hiss. The ZSX does not come with a bag or carry case, while the BL-03 comes with a Blon-branded pouch.

    KZ ZSX [$35] vs TRN V90 [$38]
    ZSX vs V90.jpg
    The TRN V90 is a five-driver (4BA+1DD) hybrid IEM. The two IEMs have very similar tunings, but the V90 has even more sub-bass than the ZSX and has a more elevated lower treble response. Despite this, the V90’s treble is smoother-sounding than the ZSX’s. The V90 has more defined, better articulated bass than the ZSX. The V90’s upper midrange is a touch more forward than the ZSX but has no issues with sibilance. The V90 has better clarity and detail retrieval. The V90 has better imaging. The V90 has slightly worse driver flex. The V90 has less hiss. The V90 has the same venting issue as the Simgot EM1, where if the inner vent is covered during insertion, the sound produced by the IEM is muffled, and must be gently tugged away from the ear to restore proper clearance. The V90 is more comfortable.

    CLOSING WORDS:
    DSC04021.jpg
    The KZ ZSX is a good budget hybrid IEM with no deal-breaking flaws at its price point. However, the similarly priced TRN V90 edges it out in terms of raw sound quality. Both IEMs present different and distinct usability challenges, with the ZSX being potentially uncomfortable depending on your ear size and shape, and the V90 having an annoying venting issue. Of the two, potential buyers should purchase the IEM with the usability concern they personally find less worrisome.
      DynamicEars, 1clearhead and ShakyJake like this.
  7. paulwasabii
    KZ ZSX Review
    Written by paulwasabii
    Published Sep 27, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - A bigger, better ZS10 Pro
    Same fun sound, but more balanced now
    Best sounding KZ today
    Cons - Bass is still big, a bit slow, and not as precise as more expensive IEMs
    Shell sticks out of your ears like a Frankenstein bolt
    Treble is a big improvement, still can use more richness compared to more expensive IEM or the Blon BL-03
    The stock cable needed an update for the ZSX
    TL;DR It is everything good about the ZS10 Pro but better. KZ still needs to tighten the bass and thicken the improved treble.

    Intro: The KZ ZSX is the latest hybrid IEM from KZ utilizing 1DD and 5BA. Coming from the ZS10P, that is an extra BA which happens to be a new model fo KZ called the DWEK (actually 2 DWEKs used in the ZSX). On paper, that is the biggest change from the ZS10P.

    Packaging: New fancy packaging for the ZSX.

    Cable: Same cable as the ZS10P. I wasn’t very impressed with the ZSX with the standard cable. I have no proof, but some of the initial reviews saying the ZSX is a side-grade to the ZS10P or this mids were probably using the stock cable. I went with a 16 core copper and it really adds some thickness to the bass and mids. The KZ silver/gold is also better than the stock cable. I wasn’t a cable believer until the ZSX. I had the same cable on the ZS10P and I do not think it changes the sound much at all.

    Fit: Not the same as the ZS10P. For me, the ZS10P was the best fitting KZ and the flat back always feels flush even if it sticks out a bit. The ZSX is more like Frankenstein bolts in your ears if you look in the mirror. Fit-wise, they don’t bother me at all but I know this is not the case with everyone. I slipped on the large star tips just as I did with the ZS10P.

    Sound: There are a couple of FR charts on here, take a look, the two look very similar up to 7K, the ZSX dips and the extends out further than the ZS10P. I do not think these on-paper changes capture the in-ear experience of the ZSX. I think the sum, the entire package, is more than what I expected from the added driver since KZ hasn’t always been the more is better company.

    The bass is very much like the ZS10P which means plentiful but not necessarily fast or refined. With the 16 core cable, it is squarely in basehead territory. This is EDM, rap, pop bass rumble and punch, not Jazz trio precision bass. More so than the ZS10P, the bass punch is impactful, creeping into TFZ No. 3 territory. The TFZ is both more refined and more impactful, but the ZSX is in the ballpark.

    The mids are quite similar. As I mentioned, the lower mids will be thicker, meatier with a different cable. What I noticed most from using the ZSX, it is difficult to find vocals that do not sound right. Usually, there is a Prince or Peter Gabriel or Tracy Chapman that doesn’t sound right on a KZ. The ZS10P was the higher range of voices, some Prince or Sam Smith. Generally, everything sounds more like it should on the ZSX, more like a pure dynamic driver, not a hybrid. More natural or organic timbre.

    The treble is where the ZSX differentiates itself from the ZS10P. I never found the ZS10P fatiguing or too bright even on fatiguing music from Deadmau5. The ZSX just gives you more texture in the treble, not necessarily any more detail or resolution. Deadmau5 incessant rising notes sound more tolerable up until the drop. Less “steely” is how everyone describes it and I agree. The detail and resolution on the ZS10P were great for the price range and the ZSX retains the tiny vocal details and airy echos. Now the ZSX has a treble to match the bass so it seems much more balanced than the ZS10, again it feels more like a dynamic driver than a hybrid.

    The soundstage was good on the ZS10P. Compared to the ZSN Pro, the ZS10P came with a much wider soundstage. I don’t necessarily think the soundstage is any wider or deeper (maybe deeper), but instrument imaging is better, more defined. Hard to put a pin on it, but the psychoacoustics are better than the ZS10P. Maybe it is simply the instruments sounding better so they are more noticeable on more complex tracks.

    Conclusion: Despite the minimal changes on paper, the in-ear experience makes the ZSX a worthy upgrade to the ZS10 Pro. Unless your musical preferences go towards fast, precision bass, then it may not be a match for you. For me, no other KZ effortlessly played EDM, pop, rock, classic rock, hard rock, and metal was about as far down that path as I go.

    reddit.jpg amazon1.jpg
      1clearhead and ShakyJake like this.
  8. DallaPo
    KZ ZSX | 1*DD & 5*BA | Rating: 8.7
    Written by DallaPo
    Published Sep 27, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - dynamic, punchy bass that is under control
    Transparent, detailed heights with futer extension
    good wearing comfort and stable housing
    Cons - Same spartan accessories as always
    Midrange can't quite keep up with bass and treble in technical terms
    rare peaks
    Intro
    Knowledge Zenith delights us in regular decency with new in-ears. The "Terminator", or ZSX, is one of the more interesting models. It is strongly based on the signature of the ZS10 Pro, which in my opinion is one of the best models the company has thrown onto the market lately. The ZSX comes with a BA driver more and also the dynamic driver has been replaced. In addition a new design is introduced, which reminds a bit of the ZSR in terms of fit and ergonomics.

    Handling
    The ZSX is astonishingly shining again in a new design and is not just a change of the front plates, as with many other models. At first glance, it looks a bit bulkier, but fits perfectly, making the ZSX even more comfortable than the ZS10 Pro. Unfortunately, the front panel doesn't sit 100% on the body, so there's no smooth transition, but that's a haptic flaw and doesn't change the wearing comfort! In other words, the ZSX looks more robust than the ZS10 Pro, but not as valuable.

    When it comes to packaging, Knowledge Zenith goes back to the AS10, which gives us a nice black box to unfold, where the earphone is embedded in foam. Nevertheless, we don't get any other accessories than usual. Cable (with or without Mic) and three pairs of silicone tips.

    The isolation to the inside is very good, but the external perception for others is only good average.

    Sound
    On paper, we get almost the same frequency response as the ZS10 Pro. However, this doesn't always mean that the sound is exactly the same. Admittedly, the difference is marginal, but I would still consider the ZSX a small upgrade.

    The bass is a bit punchier and more powerful than the ZS10 Pro and therefore a bit more tuned for fun. On the other hand, it doesn't have the same depth, which isn't particularly noticeable due to the prominent, dry and clean midrange bass. As with the ZS10 Pro, we get a bass that you not only hear, but also feel! If the bass of the ZS10 Pro was sometimes a bit too obtrusive, or in rare cases booming, the bass of the ZSX seems even more controlled and more on point, but doesn't quite have the depth. These really aren't big jumps, but a slight fine-tuning.

    The mids aren't on the same level as the bass and the treble, but also on a higher level in the price category. Here they don't take anything away from the ZS10 Pro, but they can shine a bit more because of the more controlled bass, because subjectively it doesn't push too much into the mids anymore. Lively and emotional is the stick word here. The upper mids are emphasized as so often, but this doesn't get too intrusive, gives voices a natural tonality and makes guitars crisp. Also voices don't jump directly into the face. It still stands in front of the instruments, but is more on one level.
    Everything that makes the ZS10 Pro good here is also done by the ZSX.

    In terms of treble, I'd say that the ZS10 Pro has a small advantage over the ZS10 Pro, as does the bass. Knowledge Zenit manages to work out details finely here and scores with a fine resolution and very good expansion. It feels like one of the best I've ever heard from the company in the high frequency range, in relation to the permanent audibility. In rare cases, the ZSX's treble can also be a bit demanding. But if you're already used to this from Knowledge Zenith, you won't have any problems, otherwise the old ZS10 would rather be the choice, with losses in the mid-range.

    Where the ZSX doesn't turn out to be a terminator is the stage, but in this segment it is in the upscale range and above all the very good transparency and separation make up for a lot, also in the depth.

    Outro
    Anyone who already owns the ZS10 Pro can confidently skip the ZSX, because the sound benefit is too low for that. However, if you are looking for an audiophile all-rounder with a fun response, the ZSX is just the thing for you and in my opinion it is the best in-ear from Knowledge Zenith at the moment!

    AMAZON
    ALIEXPRESS
    ___________________________________________________________
    More reviews: https://david-hahn.wixsite.com/chi-fiear
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CHIFIEAR/
      1clearhead likes this.
  9. Wretched Stare
    ZSX the best KZ yet!
    Written by Wretched Stare
    Published Sep 18, 2019
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Clear treble and mid details great bass depth and decent soundstage with less of the KZ sparkle some find too harsh. A refined U shaped signature that is most pleasant.
    Cons - Typical KZ accoutrements, not the best but acceptable for this range.
    The ZSX is one of those stand out IEMs of the new earphone explosion in the past few years. KZ continues to improve and push the boundaries of the bang for buck ratio.

    The ZSX Terminator comes in at only $50 US and offers flagship quality features inside with 12 drivers in all.

    The sound on the ZSX is easily described as a superbly refined V to U shape with vocals being forward and quite clear mids, bass response is speedy with mid-bass and sub-bass details being clean, the highs have just enough sparkle to them to not make the treble sensitive cringe with certain tracks, it falls off at the right point in my opinion. IMG_20190904_154221_195.jpg
    1. Talisker90
      I was super sad...I loved the sound from these but for some reason were very uncomfortable. i couldn't wear them for more than 40 min. So I went for the smaller ZS10 Pro.
      Talisker90, Nov 11, 2019 at 11:27 PM
  10. Nimweth
    ZSX: Long live the King!
    Written by Nimweth
    Published Sep 18, 2019
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Powerful and extended bass
    Clean and detailed midrange
    Extended open treble
    No bass bleed
    Superb Soundstage
    Very musical presentation
    Cons - Cable and accessories (as usual with KZ)
    I have recently acquired the KZ ZSX and the CCA C12, the latest flagship hybrid models from these companies. They are both very impressive and share many similarities while at the same time having their own character. Here is my take on the ZSX:
    The ZSX is the latest flagship hybrid design from KZ (Knowledge Zenith). Dubbed “The Terminator” it is a 6 driver IEM (1DD + 5BA). Whether the name “Terminator” denotes that no further hybrid models will be released is unknown. The Dynamic driver is 10mm in diameter and is a development of the unit featured in the ZS10 Pro, a dual magnet design with a field strength of 1 Tesla. The balanced armatures include two sets of the dual DWEK BA, a mid-high frequency design, coupled with a 30095 driver covering the extreme HF.

    The IEMs arrive packaged in a black box similar to that supplied with the ZS7 with the earpieces displayed in a foam cut-out above the KZ plaque seen in other premium models. The words “12 Units Hybrid Technology Earphone” are printed below. Under this cut-out you will find the detachable cable, a set of three Starline-type tips and documentation. A set of plain soft silicone tips with a medium bore are pre-fitted on the IEMs. The shell is a new design with the faceplates finished in a matt charcoal colour with “12 hybrid” written on it and the resin underside finished in a deep greenish colour (called cyan). They look very smart indeed. There are two pinhole vents on the inner surface of the earpieces. The fit was very comfortable with the “fin” on the end of the earpiece providing stability. Isolation was also very good.

    The detachable cable is identical to that supplied with the KZ ZS10 Pro. It has a clear plastic connector (known as “Type C”) with the pins covered in a plastic shield. It is still possible to use other cables, which can be plugged into the protruding sockets on the IEMs. The cable itself is composed of braided copper and has a very long section between the chunky Y-split and the earpieces and as a result is somewhat prone to tangling. The plug is the usual right-angled plastic 3.5mm TRS type. It would have been good to see a more premium cable with a flagship model, and please, KZ, can we have a chin slider?

    The earphones were left burning in for over 72 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 with a Fiio A5 amplifier and a Sony NWZ-A15 for evaluation. The supplied tips were used but I changed the cable to a 16 core silver plated one from TRN.

    The immediate impression was of a huge soundstage, powerful bass and a lively engaging presentation. It reminded me of my favourite KZ so far, the ZS7, but with an improved more forward midrange, better staging and layering and a more extended treble. Sensitivity was good with adequate volume obtained via the headphone socket of my DAP but a more authoritative and controlled sound was obtained using an amplifier.

    Bass

    The bass performance of the ZSX was excellent. Starting in the sub-bass, extension and power were first-rate. Depth was impressive while still retaining good texture and clarity. A good example of this was in Jonn Serrie’s “Land of Lyss” from his “Midsummer Century album. This track contains some of the deepest sub-bass you will hear and the ZSX handled it with aplomb. I was able to hear more detail here than ever before with the deepest notes being reproduced cleanly and with low distortion. Orchestral bass instruments also benefited from the ZSX’s ability in this region. The bass drum and timpani in Holst’s “Uranus” performed by the LSO under Andre Previn were very impressive and possessed great impact and immediacy along with weight and power. The mournful trudging of the double basses in “Saturn” were also testament to the cleanliness of the bass with remarkable detail and resolution. Popular music too, sounded good with the bass guitar and bass drum rhythm section in Al Stewart’s “Year of the Cat” being nicely separated and defined, yet combining to produce a very satisfying foundation to the track.

    Midrange

    The midrange performance carried on where the bass left off with good resolution and separation, and not suffering from any bass bleed. The complex guitar arrangement in Ray Lynch’s “Over Easy” depicted this perfectly. Each instrument was clearly defined and at the same time, beautifully integrated with the whole. There was good transient attack, excellent portrayal of studio ambience and accurate stereo imaging. Electronic music enjoyed a particularly clean reproduction, with Mark Dwane’s “Geoglyphs” from the “Variants” album displaying superb “slam” in the percussion and clearly-defined synth layering. The whole combining to produce a really entertaining result. The tuning of the new DWEK dual BAs certainly seems to be very successful. There was a little emphasis towards the upper midrange which occasionally resulted in a sharper tonality but this only occurred on certain tracks. In general the midrange was very well-tuned. The modern tonalities in Elizabeth Maconchy’s “Proud Thames” overture played by the LPO displayed excellent timbre and the differentiation of the brass and woodwind sections was well handled with good integration and thus preserving the musicality of the piece.

    Treble

    The treble was clean and well-extended, which was, I feel, due to sharing the upper register between the DWEK units with a single 30095 driver which, I would guess, has a higher crossover frequency than in former designs like the ZS10 Pro. This resulted in a very clean reproduction with few of the harsher or peaky artefacts seen in earlier KZ models (excepting the ZS7). The 30095 unit would appear to have been well-tuned here. Richard Burmer’s “The Forgotten Season” from the album “On the Third Extreme” possessed a clean, smooth tonality in the treble with excellent separation and detail, having a kind of “etched” quality. This also manifested itself in Matthew Clifford’s “Accumulus”, a kind of synthesiser multi-tracked symphony from 1989. Incisive flute-like synth patches soared above the bass accompaniment in superb style. The high string melody in Britten’s first “Sea Interlude” played by Andre Previn and the LSO was clearly depicted. Set against the scurrying woodwind figurations and supported by deep bass drum, it retained its detail well and stood out clearly from the accompaniment.

    Soundstage

    The soundstage of the ZSX was one of its best features. In fact it possessed the most impressive spread I have heard in an IEM. Width, depth and height were all of high quality, enabling the production and the character of the recording venue to be appreciated fully. This airy soundstage endowed the ZSX with an open, relaxed presentation and well-recorded pieces displayed an impressive sense of space. Vangelis’s “Theme from Antarctica” was a perfect example. Synthesised bass, drums, lead voices and percussion effects assailed the ears from all directions, all contained within a huge, cavernous acoustic. Classical music also benefited from this with accurate imaging and positioning of instruments within the ambience of the concert hall clearly defined. The second movement of Britten’s “Sinfonia da Requiem” was very impressive in this regard, with the brutal percussion scoring impressively powerful and precisely placed within the stereo image.

    Conclusion

    The ZSX impressed in all areas. With new components, including a revised dynamic driver and DWEK dual BAs, KZ have really “nailed it” with this model. Powerful yet controlled in the bass, clean and articulate in the midrange and smooth and detailed in the treble, added to this was a wonderfully expansive soundstage. All of this came together to produce an impressively musical IEM which combines the impact and entertainment of the ZS7 with the detail and resolution of an all-BA design like the CCA C16 or A10.

    Released at the same time as the CCA C12, it is tempting to compare the two. These two IEMs share the same components but in a different shell design and internal configuration. Traditionally, KZ IEMs have been “V-shaped” whereas CCA models have been tuned with a more neutral signature. This is also the case here.

    The ZSX has a gentle V profile but does not suffer from bass bleed, nor is the midrange notably recessed. There is a slightly emphasised bass region and a mildly raised upper midrange and treble but this did not produce an unbalanced presentation. The soundstage is very large and the tonality somewhat warmer than neutral. As a result, the ZSX displays a very musical character. In fact, “character” is a quality with which the ZSX imbues each track and the overall tonality more resembles a full-range DD design rather than a hybrid.

    The CCA C12 on the other hand, sounds clean, clear and detailed in the manner of an all-BA IEM. The overall effect is like adding a DD to the existing A10. The tonality is brighter than the ZSX which gives the impression of more detail, though when examined closely, the ZSX does not lack any resolution in this area.

    The similarities between these two, I feel, are closer than the differences, which is unsurprising given that the same units are employed in both models. It is more a nuance than an obvious contrast, but the differences, though subtle, are there and may influence a choice between them according to taste. However that may be, it is undeniable that the ZSX is the finest IEM to date from KZ. P1010219.JPG P1010221.JPG P1010218.JPG
    1. KipNix
      Here's a reviewer who knows his BA drivers. We get the added bonus of a comparison with its "sister", the CCA C12. No disguised hype-train for another make here, either. Thanks.
      KipNix, Oct 30, 2019