Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread
Oct 20, 2017 at 10:30 PM Post #23,806 of 56,700

Aevum

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so my KZ-ZS6 arrived...

First of all i ordered the wrong cable, got the ES3 silver cable instead of the of the ZS5/6,

The bee tips are meh at best, they isolate less then the complys, but then again i have a cold and my ears hurt, i have to try them again when i recover.

the iem´s..

Im slightly disapointed with the build quality, the connector rattles a bit inside the headphone,

sound signature wise, the KZ-ZS5 is darker and boomier, but the ZS6 is much brighter and more airey and spacious, but sometimes it feels like it falls apart or trips over itself, the sound just loses coherance, it has slightly more detail but at the cost of sounding a bit offensive.

I have to listen more as my cold passes. but right now the KZ5 v1 is a more coherant and better sounding IEM in my opinion
 
Oct 20, 2017 at 11:34 PM Post #23,807 of 56,700

bsoplinger

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On the subject of KZ6, mine arrived yesterday. I've had a pair of KZ5 for about 6 weeks that I rather like. I'm using the stock KZ star silicone tips with them because I couldn't find a foamie that fit well with them. Couldn't get a decent seal so had no bass. I went through my compliment of foam tips, cee bee, noname from Gearbest (which someone linked to a few pages back), the official KZ brand and even Comply T100. Nothing gives me a decent fit and a seal that produces bass. They either seem too large so that even with pinching before insertion they just seem too large for every size other than the smallest which doesn't even seal enough to keep the IEM in my ear.

So I ended up with the provided KZ star silicone. Trouble is that if I seat them deep enough in my ear to get bass I leave the tip behind in at least one ear *every* time I wear them. I never had that issue with the KZ5. I even went so far as to try the tips from the KZ5 on the KZ6 (although I'm positive they're identical) just to make sure. Nope, left a tip behind in my left ear .

Granted that there haven't been tons of KZ6 reviews yet but I only saw one mention of the smooth nozzle and difficulty keeping tips on it. Am I just that odd?

Soundwise, they're very similar sounding to the rev 2 KZ5. Perhaps a touch more control on the bass and a bit brighter, perhaps. I really need some burn in time and more listening before I can offer a decent opinion.

A pair of ZSE (that's the odd one with 2 speakers, 1 aimed into the nozzle and the other in the elongated body?) arrived because I got them on a $5 deal at Gearbest when I was ordering the KZ6. Just listened for like 5 minutes to be sure they worked and I was excited to try the KZ6. But from the little I heard they seemed very musical, nice sounding. No way can I honestly say more about bass or treble or mids on a quick listen.
 
Oct 20, 2017 at 11:41 PM Post #23,808 of 56,700

vector84

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Tips slipping off isn't the most common problem, but it's come up a number of times in relation to the ZS5:

If you don't want to glue the tips on (use something not too aggressive and you can remove it later, like good ol' white glue)...

The other option that came up in a few discussions about such problems was using a tip adapter type solution - clip a small rubber ring off the stem of another tip and fit it first, and then if you can work the actual tip over top of that tip adapter, it should hold quite a bit tighter.
 
Oct 21, 2017 at 12:58 AM Post #23,809 of 56,700

NeonHD

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Glad to see someone kicking it old school with the ED3. It's a shame no one even talks about it anymore.

Well I'm a bit late to the KZ party so I guess everybody already had their experiences with it and then eventually moved on to higher-end Chi-fi IEMs. This is definitely going to be the same story for me, but for now they are definitely keepers. The ZSE too.

The HDS3 is gonna stay with me all the time though. Because they're so small I've stuffed them in one of my small jean pockets for backup scenarios.
 
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Oct 21, 2017 at 1:08 AM Post #23,810 of 56,700

maxxevv

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A pair of ZSE (that's the odd one with 2 speakers, 1 aimed into the nozzle and the other in the elongated body?) arrived because I got them on a $5 deal at Gearbest when I was ordering the KZ6. Just listened for like 5 minutes to be sure they worked and I was excited to try the KZ6. But from the little I heard they seemed very musical, nice sounding. No way can I honestly say more about bass or treble or mids on a quick listen.

They are very good value for the money indeed.

Very enjoyable on energetic tracks. They are slightly warm in signature but shine with a neutral to slightly bright playback source. They also need a slight burn-in to sound their best. My personal set was just a simple overnight burn-in on pink noise. About 6~7 hours only.

But there are complaints of it sounding artificial in certain aspects, but its individual I guess. They do however don't cope very well when there's a whole load of instrumentations played at the same time. But that's not often for most people's listening habits.

I'm waiting for my Zs6 to arrive too so as to do a comparison with the ZS5v2 I have.
 
Oct 21, 2017 at 1:11 AM Post #23,811 of 56,700

NeonHD

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Pretty horrible stock tips. Threw some sony hybrids on em, and all is Gold. :D

I got a bunch of Sony hybrids from the passing away of my two MH1Cs, but recently I just realized how much mids they take out from the songs I listen to. Made it sound really thin compared to the stock KZ tips which presents sound neutrally. However in the case of the ED2 (the pair that you bought), they actually sounded quite good with them.
 
Oct 21, 2017 at 1:54 AM Post #23,813 of 56,700

grahamnp

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The ZS5 will use t400-t500 inner diameter tips. And they tend to stay in place. Maybe your nozzle is dirty with oil from your skin, and the inner section of the tips is oily too, and that will not help the tips stay in place. I suggest you clean the nozzles with a damp cloth and wash the tips in water with some neutral soap. Let everything dry and attach again.

Thanks but there were like this out of the box. Anyway, I tried cleaning them like you said and it didn't help with the stock tips, Sony Hybrids or any of the other tips (of forgotten origin) that I have. I've never had eartips get stuck in my ears before.

I have a T400 which does seem to fit better but I've never liked Comply as the nozzle tends to fold in on itself when in my ears. I'll give it a shot and see how it goes.
 
Oct 21, 2017 at 2:25 AM Post #23,814 of 56,700

NeonHD

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Don't mean to rant, but I just want to say that after owning several pairs of KZ earphones, it's quite clear to me that KZ makes some of the best IEMs ever for dirt cheap, and it's such a pity that they are so unknown to general western consumers. I can compare any KZ model to the overpriced mainstream garbage that is Beats, and they probably all sound much better.

It's also quite sad that people generally assume that the best bang for your buck IEM are the Panasonic Ergofits. They cost like what, $7-9 USD? Yeah well at that price point you can get your hands on the KZ ED2, ED3, and ZSE and they all easily outperform the ergofits in almost every way, especially in the treble department.

These people just don't know what they're missing out on *sigh*. As active as this thread is, the KZ brand is pretty much super underrated and unknown out in the western world and I just hate that!

For example I just took a look at the headphones section on my local Kijiji classifieds (Canada), and all I see there are people selling super mainstream earphone brands like Beats, Bose, Monster for more than $40. I mean, if I do plan to sell my KZ earphones on Kijiji, people probably don't even know what the hell "KZ" even is, and they'll probably just skip my ad and instead buy some other dude's used Skull Candy earphones cause it's a more "trusted brand". This really infuriates me to be honest.

One day I aspire to see KZ reaching out to bricks and mortar retailers in the US and Canada, and hopefully see some KZ IEMs selling at BestBuy or Walmart. Okay maybe not BestBuy and Walmart, but some smaller tech supply chains like FactoryDirect. It doesn't even have to be a tech store. Winners is a clothing store and I've seen so many unknown earphone brands selling there, I even saw some Chi-fi IEMs there from brands such as Langsdom.
 
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Oct 21, 2017 at 5:34 AM Post #23,815 of 56,700

chi-fi mel

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Today is my lucky day guys! I somehow managed to receive both my KZ ED3 and ZSE on the same day, despite ordering them on significantly different time periods :astonished::astonished:

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Both sound amazing for the price, but you know what guys? I don't think I enjoyed the earphones as much as I enjoyed receiving the new KZ starline eartips bundled with the KZ ZSE. That's right, call me crazy but the starline tips were the main highlight of my purchase :joy:

These starline tips are MAGIC!!!!! They literally make every single one of my IEMs sound sooooo fricking good!!!! It turned my lifeless KZ HDS3 into something more energetic, and it greatly reduced sibilance in many of my IEMs.

Based off the differences that I am hearing between these starline tips vs regular KZ tips, I can roughly tell that they do a great job at reducing high-mid to lower-treble frequencies (where harshness happens most of the time), while surprisingly enhancing the upper high frequencies.at the same time.

When I used the starline tips on my ED9 (brass-filters), the results were absolutely outstanding. Matched with the foam filter mod I did, it completely remedied the ED9's lower treble problems while further adding more detail into the upper highs, making the overall sound of the ED9 to be less upfront, and more backstage. For once, it actually genuinely felt as if sound was coming from outside/the environment rather than from the earphones. Everything was so detailed and spacious. Overall it made my ED9 sound more natural and realistic. Anyone who has the ED9 and has the starline tips surely needs to try this out.

Don't ever use the starline tips on the ATE though, as the ATE shines through its mids and enhancing its treble and upper treble just makes it sound harsh.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Quick Summary of ZSE: Nice tight punchy bass, full detailed mids (especially regarding lower mids), and a very well peaked treble (sounds like it's peaked around 8khz, just my best guess). The open back makes for a spacious soundstage but as a result subdues the sub-bass.

Quick Summary of ED3: Nice boomy sub-bass and mid-bass, good mids but are slightly recessed, and a very bright yet inoffensive treble. The inoffensiveness is probably because there is no significant sharp peaks in the high-mids to low-treble whatsoever. I would actually prefer the ED3 over the ZSE if I'm listening to EDM. This sound signature is best suited for the focus on low-level detail and further emphasizing them for you to directly engage. Definitely the oppose of realistic sound production, with less emphasis on background and more emphasis on foreground.
Different ears different results, which makes sense. I have tried the Starline tips on most of my collection with consistently mediocre results. I use foam tips with the ZS5, ZSE and ZS3 with very good results. Silicone tips that make a difference are hard to find. I've tried RHA and Spinfits with marginal results. There was one silicone tip that gave me close to optimum results on most earphones, and that was the Iluv 322, but I don't know if it's possible to get them anymore. They were a fairly thick silicone and that set them apart from the competition. If you know how to get those please let me know!
 
Oct 21, 2017 at 7:54 AM Post #23,816 of 56,700

eaglesgift

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Well I'm a bit late to the KZ party so I guess everybody already had their experiences with it and then eventually moved on to higher-end Chi-fi IEMs. This is definitely going to be the same story for me, but for now they are definitely keepers. The ZSE too.

The HDS3 is gonna stay with me all the time though. Because they're so small I've stuffed them in one of my small jean pockets for backup scenarios.
I received my replacement ZSE phones from Gearbest yesterday (first set were faulty - hardly any sound from left hand side) and I really like them. Definitely better mids than the ZS5s (mids in a guitar amp sense not a hi-fi sense) and they seem to have good separation and soundstage too from my brief listen. I really like them. I didn't expect much for the price but I was pleasantly surprised. Gearbest replaced them promptly too, with no questions, which I was pleased about. I know they seem to have an ongoing issue with the Xiaomi Pro HDs but I will definitely buy from them in the future.

I have the HDS3s too but I thought they were really bassy when I listened to them. Maybe I should give them another listen though as I didn't spend that long with them when I got them a couple of months ago.
 
Oct 21, 2017 at 9:04 AM Post #23,817 of 56,700

kokakolia

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Don't mean to rant, but I just want to say that after owning several pairs of KZ earphones, it's quite clear to me that KZ makes some of the best IEMs ever for dirt cheap, and it's such a pity that they are so unknown to general western consumers. I can compare any KZ model to the overpriced mainstream garbage that is Beats, and they probably all sound much better.

It's also quite sad that people generally assume that the best bang for your buck IEM are the Panasonic Ergofits. They cost like what, $7-9 USD? Yeah well at that price point you can get your hands on the KZ ED2, ED3, and ZSE and they all easily outperform the ergofits in almost every way, especially in the treble department.

These people just don't know what they're missing out on *sigh*. As active as this thread is, the KZ brand is pretty much super underrated and unknown out in the western world and I just hate that!

For example I just took a look at the headphones section on my local Kijiji classifieds (Canada), and all I see there are people selling super mainstream earphone brands like Beats, Bose, Monster for more than $40. I mean, if I do plan to sell my KZ earphones on Kijiji, people probably don't even know what the hell "KZ" even is, and they'll probably just skip my ad and instead buy some other dude's used Skull Candy earphones cause it's a more "trusted brand". This really infuriates me to be honest.

One day I aspire to see KZ reaching out to bricks and mortar retailers in the US and Canada, and hopefully see some KZ IEMs selling at BestBuy or Walmart. Okay maybe not BestBuy and Walmart, but some smaller tech supply chains like FactoryDirect. It doesn't even have to be a tech store. Winners is a clothing store and I've seen so many unknown earphone brands selling there, I even saw some Chi-fi IEMs there from brands such as Langsdom.

Well, the ergofits were the defacto cheap earbuds until KZ existed. So a lot of sites haven't bothered to update their recommendations. So the ergofits are still recommended a lot.

Also, you criticize Beats etc...for selling " overpriced" iems at $40? Really? That's super affordable if you ask me. Consider the packaging, build quality and better than generic mic (the KZ mic is kinda quiet and sucks) and it all makes sense. And the KZ ZS6 is over $40!

I'll sound like a broken record here but the Marshall Mode is only $25 and you get way more bang for your buck than any KZ earphone. Except maybe a KZ ZSE for under $7. That's too cheap LOL.
 
Oct 21, 2017 at 9:41 AM Post #23,819 of 56,700

zozito

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Okay, but how do you feel about the Marshall Mode?
Well, the ergofits were the defacto cheap earbuds until KZ existed. So a lot of sites haven't bothered to update their recommendations. So the ergofits are still recommended a lot.

Also, you criticize Beats etc...for selling " overpriced" iems at $40? Really? That's super affordable if you ask me. Consider the packaging, build quality and better than generic mic (the KZ mic is kinda quiet and sucks) and it all makes sense. And the KZ ZS6 is over $40!

I'll sound like a broken record here but the Marshall Mode is only $25 and you get way more bang for your buck than any KZ earphone. Except maybe a KZ ZSE for under $7. That's too cheap LOL.

Where can be found the Marshall at 25$?
 
Oct 21, 2017 at 9:47 AM Post #23,820 of 56,700

eaglesgift

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Well, the ergofits were the defacto cheap earbuds until KZ existed. So a lot of sites haven't bothered to update their recommendations. So the ergofits are still recommended a lot.

Also, you criticize Beats etc...for selling " overpriced" iems at $40? Really? That's super affordable if you ask me. Consider the packaging, build quality and better than generic mic (the KZ mic is kinda quiet and sucks) and it all makes sense. And the KZ ZS6 is over $40!

I'll sound like a broken record here but the Marshall Mode is only $25 and you get way more bang for your buck than any KZ earphone. Except maybe a KZ ZSE for under $7. That's too cheap LOL.
Are Marshall sponsoring you? You've been recommending the Marshall Mode earbuds in the KZ thread for at least the last 9 months!
 

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