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Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread

  1. RomStar
    Now for the last few pages I've seen a bit of disappointment or say, lack of hope. So far, there hasn't been any real advancement to those topics

    1: I am not a slave to KZ, and nor do they owe me anything. I just want to make that clear before I start

    Now I've seen a few post implying the KZs are the usual run of the mill chifi iems with a common V-shaped signature. To that I say: "what ?"

    Merely being V-shaped doesn't mean something will sound similar to other products. It's has much more to do with drivers, housing and the shape of ears. To me the KZ sounds very distinct after the ZST line up. The Zs5 and ZST and even Zs6 are very different. They sound nothing like the older ones I have like zs3 or ATE. Also they themselves don't sound completely similar. (only talking about Zs5 v1 Vs ZST Vs Zs6, no clue about Zs5v2 since don't own them).

    On top of that, I own Zircons, Remax D610, had a pair of Dzats and cheap ATE. They all have a distinct sound and can not be said they sound anything like the Zs5 merely due to a V-shaped graph.

    Secondly, this really baffles me. The Zs5 is an iem that costs $14 at this point. I myself paid $40 Aud. Now here is a quick story :

    I didn't initially like KZ. I had a defective ATE which I threw away (hence ordering again). I mainly got the Zs5 due to its myriad of drivers. I came from Zircons and Dzat which are very very bass heavy and warm sounding. I hated the Zs5 initially as it sounded "Colder"

    Psychologically I also had that stigma of hate due to my prior ATE experience. And this is how my cognition changed, one day I forgot my pair of Zircons during a vacation. I was forced to use the Zs5 during the entire trip, and that was initially annoying to me. However, it turned out, I needed a bit of time to get used to the new signature of my new iem to judge it fairly.

    Soon after, everytime I got back to my Zircons, I felt like the bass was overemphasized. Jazz didn't sound right at all, and on some tracks the bass was muddy. 3 months in, I found out about foam tips and how they enhance bass. And that made the Zs5 almost perfect for me, with tighter bass and a bit of trimmed treble.

    Now I know this all comes down to preference, but my point is, any new item you use needs time, so you can adjust to them to judge them fairly.

    Another point I wanted to bring up was: "KZ does not providing enough bang for the buck" or they all sound the same. This seems like a bad argument. I honestly don't know what tops the Zs5/6 that's under the sub 20 category. In fact, I don't know any that rivals it, except the Tin T2 at the 50$ mark. Now I'm not trying to be biased, but I tried making a 11.11 list and an upgrade to my Zs5 for under $50. I failed to find any clear upgrade, and overall these provide amazing value even with stock cable. I am also very open to any iem suggestions or picks that are equally good or surpass these under $50, so anyone can let me know

    However, I do admit: To get the most out of them, I needed silver plated cable and foam tips. So there is that $8 of extra spend. However, that is still under $30 and gives a lot of iems at a much higher range a run for their money. In fact, I believe they totally outclass my Sennheiser momentums and these are the best iems I own.

    Now this is not an absolute example, and only my experience with what I own. The momentums also have bright treble, but lack the sub bass and overall satisfying overall bass. There is also less detail and more recessed mids in the senns. The Zs5 does sound colder in comparison and some find it treble heavy, but with foams they are perfect for me. Also they provide more detail and better instrumental separation with a larger sound stage.

    Now my view is: If you spend $13 on these and say, "Hey this isn't something that suits me taste" after a period to adjust, then that's totally fine. By all means there are other options. But I can't see how someone would then later buy even more items from KZ (which are still even cheaper) and complain. At the very worse, you're only $20 off compared to before. And I don't see you spending money on more kz after you hate their top+medium picks, so you shouldn't be losing any substantial money at all.

    By no means am i bashing anyone in particular, I don't even have anyone in my mind when I say this, but these are some of the ideas or concerns I read back a couple of pages.. Which aren't real issue in my opinion.

    It's a great time to be alive and like audio, so unless you're super stingy and absolutely can't afford to experiment or waste even 6$, just go to physical retail stores and try out you're headphone before you buy them....
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2017
  2. young59
    I know how you feel as a college student I now already own 5 iems ATE, 2 ZS3(1 with the Bluetooth module), ZS5v2 with the expensive branded cable,ZS6 and many purchases on the 11.11 sale barely managed this month and I am now already looking at the ZSR and a DAC+AMP solution for the coming month. So I simultaneously love and hate everyone here.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2017
  3. SomeTechNoob
    You think you have it bad? Im a uni student too, and just look at my signature...

    Literally a lifetime's worth of earbuds
    groucho69 and HungryPanda like this.
  4. young59
    So I guess you don't know solution to what I am thinking might be addiction.
  5. HungryPanda
    This is Head-Fi ladies and gentlemen our wallets will always be endangered :)
    djmakemynight, groucho69 and Brava210 like this.
  6. Slater
    Hmmm, ATE comes with terrible rock hard “gel foam” tips. Not quite silicone, not quite foam. It’s like a shiny slippery foam that doesn’t compress because it’s not squishy at all.

    You say yours came with silicone tips?
  7. khighly
    They all have different sound signatures, and now that I own about 15 pairs of IEM's from different companies, I'm starting to believe that over time your ears and brain adjust to make nearly all sound the same.

    ZS6 after a week sounds like ZS5v1 always did, but now the ZS5v1 sounds a little dark. ZST sounds hollow in the middle, but still sounds very similar to ZS5v1 and ZS6. They all use the same drivers. I'm guessing KZ has 2-3 sub/mid drivers and 2-3 BA's and they all get put in every IEM they make, just arranged & ported differently for slightly different sound signatures. KZ makes a lot of mistakes, and makes a lot of crap products, but for the price you'll have a hard time beating what KZ has to offer - they do make some good IEM's, and with a little research on this forum you can find what might be right for your tastes.
    Vytautas likes this.
  8. groucho69
    Lifetime? Looks more like a beginning to me.
  9. AudioJunki3
    Cheers mate! I'll definitely give that a go! :)
    Francisk likes this.
  10. vladstef
    This looks like a brain burn-in case, you probably adjusted to ZS6's sound and now you perceive ZS5v1 as darker than it is.
    I agree when it comes to drivers, KZ has some decent dynamic drivers but their BAs are lagging behind the rest, although they at least put like 4 BA drivers in a 20$ IEM, quantity over quality in this case.
    I hope that KZ will find a way to improve their drivers, but until then, I can't see them releasing a new flagship (unless they accept the reality and use Knowles BAs or something equivalent).
  11. HungryPanda
    When I wake up I pick one earphone/earbud/headphone and that is normally it for the day. If I change anything the sound is not quite right for sometime so it is better to sleep and wake up to listen critically to something.
    groucho69 and Strat Rider like this.
  12. Podster
    Guess I'm going to live forever with my collection:thinking: At least 4 or 5 lifetimes:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
    groucho69 and HungryPanda like this.
  13. Wiljen
    I find that I use a very few in-ears just purely for the pleasure of listening and none of those are KZ models. The problem is, I have a lot of people at the office that want to listen to my gear and then want something better than what came with their phone. This is where KZ fits for me. I can easily recommend the Zst, Zs5, Zs6 models and not break the bank for people interested in trying something on that first step on the hi-fi ladder. I think we can all agree that KZ represents great value and is easily better than any in-ear you are likely to pickup for the same money at any of the Walmart, Drug store, grocery, target, kind of stores.

    The KZs are also great for youth who tend to do absolutely nothing to take care of them and everything to try and destroy them. My daughter should be used to test any headphone that the maker claims is indestructible. If it can make it 24 hours with her, their claim is probably true. 72 hours guarantees it.
    djmakemynight, CoiL, Slater and 4 others like this.
  14. Cruelhand Luke
    Do you generally listen to one type or similar types of music? I would be inclined to do the same as you and just pick my poison for the day and not look back, but when my very eclectic musical tastes combine with my ADHD I find myself switching at least a couple of times throughout the day...
    And if I'm honest, most days I switch headphones MULTIPLE times.
    Strat Rider likes this.
  15. HungryPanda
    I listen to all genres of music, progressive rock, hard rock, folk, electronic, whatever I feel like listening to. I do have preferences of earphones for different moods I suppose
    groucho69 likes this.

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