Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread
Jun 13, 2017 at 3:51 PM Post #18,243 of 56,859

B9Scrambler

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Anyone else not that thrilled with the ZS5? It sounds off, artificial. I'll have to try the stock cable next to see if maybe it is just my silver cable causing issues.

I've got two (blue and grey) and they sound no more artificial than any other hybrid...*shrug* More natural than either the ZST or Audbos/Magaosi K3 imo.
 
Jun 13, 2017 at 5:58 PM Post #18,245 of 56,859

groucho69

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Oooh. That sold me. They are sold out of the Grey, so I got blue. Mahalo SpiderNhan.

edit: Now that's strange. They were out of the grey not 20 minutes ago, and now they seem to be back.

Grey must be magic
 
Jun 13, 2017 at 7:22 PM Post #18,246 of 56,859

Zoide

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I've got two (blue and grey) and they sound no more artificial than any other hybrid...*shrug* More natural than either the ZST or Audbos/Magaosi K3 imo.

How does the ZS5 compare overall to your TFZ Exclusive King and Fischer Audio Dubliz Enhanced? Thanks
 
Jun 13, 2017 at 9:12 PM Post #18,247 of 56,859

bhazard

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I've got two (blue and grey) and they sound no more artificial than any other hybrid...*shrug* More natural than either the ZST or Audbos/Magaosi K3 imo.

Interesting. Mine may be either different, defective, or just not to my liking. Needs EQ to shine. Measurements show anything but natural.

Preliminary measurements. Big spike at 2-4kHz in the mids.

ZS5.jpg
 
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Jun 14, 2017 at 3:16 AM Post #18,250 of 56,859

themindfreak

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Be careful of using the silver cable the wrong way. I had the pins backwards, causing it to sound off. The graph is stock cable.
Could you possibly take a pic showing which way the cable should go in? I tried both ways on my silver cable but I'm not sure if I can tell a difference...
 
Jun 14, 2017 at 7:45 AM Post #18,251 of 56,859

B9Scrambler

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Interesting. Mine may be either different, defective, or just not to my liking. Needs EQ to shine. Measurements show anything but natural.

Preliminary measurements. Big spike at 2-4kHz in the mids.


That's a pretty wacky looking mid-range there :S Can see why you're getting the impressions you are. I'm not in agreement with the feedback that the ZS5 are balanced, but they definitely don't sound off-kilter like that, lol. I almost think of them as a ZST with more mid-bass, better sub-bass extension, and with less prominence and sizzle to the treble. Mid-range sounds pretty even with no particular excessive dips or spikes, though female vocals seem slightly more prominent. It's missing the mid-range quirks that I didn't like about the ZST. Could just be the tracks I've been using them with though. Treble presentation is my least favorite aspect of the ZS5 though I don't mind it. It just comes across as edgy and mildly uncomfortable at times. I think they perform near the same level as the Audbos K3. Similar signature and overall performance. Not bad for 30 bucks :D I also like the build. They're light yeah, but they feel rock solid and for me at least are the most comfortable of the new KZs. They're the only one I can just pop in and get a good seal right away with. No twisting to find the ideal position like with the ZS3 and ZST.

The memory wire has proven not to be problematic for me either since I have it bent like this, with the tail end tilting in towards the nozzle keeping the cable against my head/neck;

20170607_180635_HDR.jpg
 
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Jun 14, 2017 at 10:37 AM Post #18,252 of 56,859

Mus1c

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That's a pretty wacky looking mid-range there :S Can see why you're getting the impressions you are. I'm not in agreement with the feedback that the ZS5 are balanced, but they definitely don't sound off-kilter like that, lol. I almost think of them as a ZST with more mid-bass, better sub-bass extension, and with less prominence and sizzle to the treble. Mid-range sounds pretty even with no particular excessive dips or spikes, though female vocals seem slightly more prominent. It's missing the mid-range quirks that I didn't like about the ZST. Could just be the tracks I've been using them with though. Treble presentation is my least favorite aspect of the ZS5 though I don't mind it. It just comes across a edgy and mildly uncomfortable at times. I think they perform near the same level as the Audbos K3. Similar signature and overall performance. Not bad for 30 bucks :D I also like the build. They're light yeah, but they feel rock solid and for me at least are the most comfortable of the new KZs. They're the only one I can just pop in and get a good seal right away with. No twisting to find the ideal position like with the ZS3 and ZST.

The memory wire has proven not to be problematic for me either since I have it bent like this, with the tail end tilting in towards the nozzle keeping the cable against my head/neck;

As far for comfort how its handle? Does it hurt a lot after long sessions of listening.
 
Jun 14, 2017 at 10:45 AM Post #18,253 of 56,859

B9Scrambler

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As far for comfort how its handle? Does it hurt a lot after long sessions of listening.

I can wear them pretty much all day no problem, but I don't see that being the case for everyone. If the edges touch your inner ear I'm sure they'll cause hotspots. I can see these being pretty hit and miss for comfort depending on the shape of your ears.
 
Jun 14, 2017 at 12:01 PM Post #18,254 of 56,859

Pete7

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I noticed that you have the Westone 4R, which I also have :)

Are the ZS5 or any of these Chi-Fi IEMs comparable? Or is the astronomical price difference still justified?

Thanks

The ZS5 has a nicer treble extension and bass impact than the W4R, but in terms of refinement, imaging and all-around versatility it falls short. The housings of the ZS5 would be another area they fall short, especially in my case. The fit of the ZS5 in my left ear is off, and when I move around I hear a swooshing sound no matter which cable I use. I also had a similar fit problem with the ZST. I like to be able to be mobile (walking, working out) with my IEMs. Price-wise though, I'm not sure spending 300-400 dollars is justified for any "premium" IEM in which the design isn't really cutting edge anymore and may be outdated.
The best Chi-FI IEM I've heard and own is the Magaosi K3 Pro. While it's more expensive at $110, it not only competes with my 4R and W30 and stacks up really well, and may even exceed both of them. The K3 Pro also has more traditional style housings, smaller than the Westones, yet someone manages to fit 2 BA's and 1 DD in each earphone.
 
Jun 14, 2017 at 4:07 PM Post #18,255 of 56,859

bhazard

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After finding out I had my cable pins reversed, the ZS5 sounds much better. I'll retake measurements because it doesn't sound as off as my graph indicates, but you never know. It isn't very comfortable to me either, and I hate the memory wire on the silver cable.

I don't think this can really match the K3 or K3 Pro, but it isn't far off and costs much less. Best KZ to date.
 

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