Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread
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Johnny_Joestar

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I hold a special place in my audiophile heart for KZ. Their ZS3 IEMs were the thing that brought me into the audiophile world. It let me learn about microphonics, how to properly wear IEMs, and other fun things. Sadly, because the ZS3s are deatchable, I lost one of them. Even if I go to higher priced territory, I'll never forget these guys for bringing me on this wuld audiophile ride.
 
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Slater

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I hold a special place in my audiophile heart for KZ. Their ZS3 IEMs were the thing that brought me into the audiophile world. It let me learn about microphonics, how to properly wear IEMs, and other fun things. Sadly, because the ZS3s are deatchable, I lost one of them. Even if I go to higher priced territory, I'll never forget these guys for bringing me on this wuld audiophile ride.
This is an all too common issue with the KZ 2-pin models, and is usually caused by accidentally plugging in the cable backwards.

The stock KZ plug will technically "fit" when plugged in backwards, but the only thing holding it in is the friction of the pins (allowing it to separate & fall apart at any time). Plugging one side in backwards will also cause that side to be out of phase.

When both plugs are oriented properly and seated fully, there’s a tight mechanical fitment due to the plug's shape - curved on one end and flat on the other. It’s designed to fit like a key in a lock.

Update: This guide only refers to KZ Paragraph A and Paragraph B. The new Paragraph C is not keyed with a flat end. It's symmetrically rounded on both ends. Although be aware that Paragraph C can still be plugged in backwards!!

Anyways, I've included the below photo so people can double check their Paragraph A and B connections to make sure they're correctly oriented:

kz-2pin-plug.jpg


Note that only the stock KZ cables have the rounded/flat keyed plug. Non-KZ 2-pin 0.75mm cables will fit KZ models (TRN, BQEYZ, CCA, Kinboofi, NiceHCK, HiFiHear, etc). However, the plugs on those cables are flat on both sides so it’s wont be obvious. You’ll need to verify the proper orientation using a multimeter to identify which pin is ground, so you know which way to plug them into a KZ IEM. On KZ IEMs, the FLAT side is ground, and the rounded side is +. Some aftermarket cables do have a red dot on the 2-pin plug, which indicates that pin is +. If you have a non-KZ cable and are confused or unsure of the proper orientation, ask 1st before plugging it in to prevent possible damage to the IEM.
 
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peskypesky

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Then moved on to headphones
Takstar Pro 80
Superlux HD668B
Superlux HD661
Audio technica ATH-AD900X
Did you like the Superlux HD661's? I'm thinking of ordering them.
 
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Slater

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Did you like the Superlux HD661's? I'm thinking of ordering them.
A friend of mine at work has been considering them. I have read that they are treble-cannons, and can have pretty significant sibilance (unbearable to some). That sound signature it way too bright/sharp for me, but he says he likes lots of treble. I stumbled across this recent mod (by member @joshuadapitan) that is supposed to provide some improvements: https://www.head-fi.org/f/articles/superlux-hd661-anti-sibilance-and-comfort-mod.19634/
 
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trollin863

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I use these on my ZS3. Love em.

http://m.ebay.com/itm/SYMBIO-Silico...niversal-Ear-Tip-Eartip-Eartips-/122455642972

There's also a wide bore version, but I don't know how they'll affect the sound.

http://m.ebay.com/itm/SYMBIO-W-Wide...ecial-Hybrid-Universal-Ear-Tips-/122463282100[/QUOTEisttwistwitwt to haveyou DoD
Spider, Yeah I was likely going to be buying the Mandarins like we were discussing.

I forgot to ask is about insertion. With the Mandarins, do you have to roll the foam in your fingers to compress the foam(like you have to with other foam tips)

Or can you just place the nozzles in your ears like you would any other plastic tip?

Was thinking 2 pairs medium, 1 pair large of the Mandarins. Or all 3 pairs medium. Can't decide. Is medium the only size you use with other iems as well. (I know you said you use mediums with the zs3)

I've never worn anything but a medium.
 
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SpiderNhan

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Spider, Yeah I was likely going to be buying the Mandarins like we were discussing.

I forgot to ask is about insertion. With the Mandarins, do you have to roll the foam in your fingers to compress the foam(like you have to with other foam tips)

Or can you just place the nozzles in your ears like you would any other plastic tip?

Was thinking 2 pairs medium, 1 pair large of the Mandarins. Or all 3 pairs medium. Can't decide. Is medium the only size you use with other iems as well. (I know you said you use mediums with the zs3)

I've never worn anything but a medium.
There is no need to squeeze them as they behave like normal silicon tips. I bought 2 M and 1 S actually wonder if I should've gotten a large to test. The small is too small and the mediums work, but not with all IEMs. They work best on the ZS3 out everything I have. I couldn't get them to seal on the ZST and on other IEMs the fit was awkward in my left ear. However, none of my other tips worked on the ZS3 at all
 
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benandfaith

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Did you like the Superlux HD661's?
I have read that they are treble-cannons, and can have pretty significant sibilance (unbearable to some).
I don't like them. For the reason slaterlovesspam has said. Too much treble of the sibilant nature.

Clamping force is a bit tight also.

Going to save them up for my kids when they are a bit older.
 
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SomeTechNoob

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I think someone bought a KZ headphone and gave them a scathing review. Bad build and sound. Stick with IEMs lol.
 
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Slater

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Anyone know what KZ model is this?

http://imgur.com/SMJ3AJn
That is the KZ LP5 (bluetooth).

I own the KZ LP3 (the predecessor to the LP5). And I can tell you that the LP3 is the biggest hunk of junk in my headphone stable by a long shot. It has horrible build quality and even worse sound. KZ makes awesome IEMs - I love them as a company and own dozens of their IEMs. But IMO they make full size headphones equal to something you'd find on the clearance rack at a dollar store.

Until they can prove that they're able to build a full-size headphone with the same level of sound and quality as their IEMs, I would run, not walk, from any full-size KZ offering.

There are WAY better choices in full-size bluetooth headphones out there, because it's such a crowded market. Sooo many good choices, even as cheap as $20-$40.
 
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nocchi

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Update: Can anyone identify what this item is (mounted vertically on the edge of the shell)? Is it simply a connection board (serving as an attachment point for driver wires), or is it indeed a crossover? The photo is too grainy to tell, and it also looks too small to be a crossover.

Those are the solder pads of the DD.

I'm thinking of harvesting the ZS5 drivers and retune them with crossover and reshell them.
 
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Those are the solder pads of the DD.
That's what I was thinking. Looked way too small to be a crossover, and there would be more wires running to it.

I'm thinking of harvesting the ZS5 drivers and retune them with crossover and reshell them.
That would be awesome. If you do so, please detail the process. Not sure how you'd safely extract all of the drivers though, since they glopped everything in with the 2lbs worth of glue!
 
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TheWongWrong

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That is the KZ LP5 (bluetooth).

I own the KZ LP3 (the predecessor to the LP5). And I can tell you that the LP3 is the biggest hunk of junk in my headphone stable by a long shot. It has horrible build quality and even worse sound. KZ makes awesome IEMs - I love them as a company and own dozens of their IEMs. But IMO they make full size headphones equal to something you'd find on the clearance rack at a dollar store.

Until they can prove that they're able to build a full-size headphone with the same level of sound and quality as their IEMs, I would run, not walk, from any full-size KZ offering.

There are WAY better choices in full-size bluetooth headphones out there, because it's such a crowded market. Sooo many good choices, even as cheap as $20-$40.
Do you mind kindly listing down a few of those good choices you mentioned?
 
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Slater

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Do you mind kindly listing down a few of those good choices you mentioned?
In no particular order: Bluedio T2/T2+, Bluedio T3/T3+, Bluedio Vinyl, Bluedio T4, Ausdom M06, Ausdom H8, Avantree Audition

The prices of all those I listed are under $100, and offer good quality, good sound, and bang for the buck. Some have NFC and aptX, and some are just bluetooth. The Bluedio + models have a built-in microSD card that can play music right from the card. The Bluedio T3/T3+, T4, and Vinyl are metal construction. Best battery life is Bluedio T2/T2+, T3/T3+, & T4. Most can be used in wireless or hard wired mode.

Obviously there are many other choices, but the ones in the list are ones I've either currently or previously owned, listened to, or know someone who does and they've reported being very happy with them. The only exceptions are the T2 and T3, as my experience is with the + version. But the + versions are literally identical with the only exception being the addition of the microSD function.
 
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TheWongWrong

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In no particular order: Bluedio T2/T2+, Bluedio T3/T3+, Bluedio Vinyl, Bluedio T4, Ausdom M06, Ausdom H8, Avantree Audition

The prices of all those I listed are under $100, and offer good quality, good sound, and bang for the buck. Some have NFC and aptX, and some are just bluetooth. The Bluedio + models have a built-in microSD card that can play music right from the card. The Bluedio T3/T3+, T4, and Vinyl are metal construction. Best battery life is Bluedio T2/T2+, T3/T3+, & T4. Most can be used in wireless or hard wired mode.

Obviously there are many other choices, but the ones in the list are ones I've either currently or previously owned, listened to, or know someone who does and they've reported being very happy with them. The only exceptions are the T2 and T3, as my experience is with the + version. But the + versions are literally identical with the only exception being the addition of the microSD function.
Have you tried the Superlux HD681EVOs? Looking to get one but will have to look at some of your suggestions now :D
 
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