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Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread

  1. Otto Motor

    Comparison KZ ZS5 v1 vs. KZ ZSR

    It is pretty obvious that, in order to remove the nasal/hollow, recessed mids in this very ZS5, one has to remove the prominent bump in the upper mids/lower treble.

    KZ ZS5 annotated 2.jpg
    KZ ZSR annotated.jpg

    A) The measurements performed by a guy who is active on another discussion list which is not allowed to be mentioned here. Lives one block away from me.

    B) Comparing different earphones with different tips can lead to differences, particularly in the bass and lower mids, but in all cases I used the tips that worked well in my ears with that particular pair.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
    C2thew, rendyG, PacoBdn and 2 others like this.
  2. Slater
    BTW that "weird trough" spike thing can be ignored. It happens sometimes when measuring gear. I forget the exact scientific cause of it, but in a nut shell it's basically an erroneous reading.
  3. CoiL
    I still don`t agree with this!:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Well, maybe I agree partly in "distant" out of headstage presentation mids what You call "hollow/nasal" but that`s all.
    Upper mids/lower treble "bump" is present in many "lively" sounding IEMs and imo it is about subjective taste and perception/preference of sound representation.
    But I do like ZSR DD FR part which looks very similar to ZS5v1, though, slightly more mid-bass.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
  4. Slater
    Hey, I was tip rolling with the grey ZS6 "extra bass" model last night, and I noticed that the nozzle now includes an eartip lip!

    This lip is not on any other colors (at least not yet); it is only on the grey model.

    Hopefully this addresses one of the major complaints people have with losing their eartips in their ears.

    This also demonstrates that, yet again, KZ listens to users and continuously (and quietly) improves their products (although this "silent upgrade" approach is quite annoying at times).
  5. Otto Motor
    Yes, and that has always been the point. People have different tastes and there is nothing wrong with that. My story is that I have had Heybrook HB2 loudspeakers since 1985, and they have recessed mids...until recently, I didn't even know that. But I always wanted to have more presence in the mid range.

    I once read that the more expensive earphones/headphones have more prominent mids - well, what defines an expensive earphone anyway: a flat frequency response (?), which is not liked by many here. Therefore I was left with the holy grail to find a cheap earphone that sounds like an expensive one - isn't everybody here doing that? Step 1: Rock Zircon...that didn't last long. Still looking...the basso iT01 is probably such one, albeit in a higher price category. It is described as technically superior over the Sennheiser ie800. The ZSR pleasantly surprised me and exceeded my expectations.

    Got a measurement for the pricy UE900S but it may have to be reviewed before it is being posted. Spoiler alert: its frequency response is completely different from the ZS5 and ZSR.

    As to good sounding earphones with bumps in the curve: is there a way to distinguish refined/expensive earphones from their frequency response curves? Well, cheapos typically have the "bathtub" curve, but that may not be universally applicable.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
    CoiL likes this.
  6. TheVortex
    That's nice of them to add the lip, as it annoys me on my ZS6 as they sometimes stay in my ears when I remove the earphones.

    Do your grey version sound the same as your other ZS6's?
  7. cottonbud
    Can you take a photo?
  8. Otto Motor
    Here in comparison the frequency response of the UE900S (list price $399; $179 at massdrop), my personal benchmark.
    Disclaimer same as for the other measurements. Huge difference in mids and treble compared to ZSR and ZS5.

    UE900s L annotated.jpg
    hakuzen and CoiL like this.
  9. Slater
  10. vladstef
    Something has to be wrong here, I doubt that it has 10db drop in mid range. Inner Fidelity's graph shows around 5db of similar-ish drop.
    On another note, your ZS5v1 graph shows exactly what's wrong with its treble. I do get the reasoning behind ZS6 and ZS5v2 now, they wanted a better treble response overall except that they forgot that they also needed to eliminate peak (maybe use 2 different drivers?).

    I do hope that ZS10 fixes this with proper tubing from BAs and dampeners, their BAs obviously need it (like any other BA...).

    One more thing crossed my mind - given the impressions of the 'extended bass' ZS6, KZ might've used some sort of new BA in combination with their old treble BA (and a pair of these 2 are probably ending up in ZS10) - completely speculative but kinda logical given the past year of KZ's releases.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
  11. Sebilion
    I am quite confused about all the different models that are coming soon. Anybody knows when this products will be available for consumers? Which ones will most probably have the best specs? I think I'll go for the kz zs10, hopefully they will have similar and even better output with my kz zs6.
  12. Otto Motor
    Yes, and this is acknowledged. The person who performed the measurements wrote me:
    "I did look at the Innerfidelity UE900 measurement, and it seems that compared to the uncompensated version I have a hump in the mids. Dunno if that's going to be reflected with all others. I do, though, get generally similar IEM measurements to some of the other amateur curves I've seen.

    Generally though, as I said, don't trust them as absolutes - but I think they do highlight relative differences fairly reliably, so the ZS5 vs ZSR curves do actually have meaning. Then the absolutes have to be interpreted in terms of what you hear. (ZS5 too high around 3k) and against other people's measurements (which show the same thing)."
    vladstef likes this.
  13. Slater
    Photo of the new nozzle lip on the grey ZS6 "extra bass" model (click for larger view):

  14. Slater
    Very little information is out right now. All we have are the photos that were posted and some basic specs about shell material and # of drivers.

    Everything else remains to be seen - sound, price, availability, etc etc.

    So for now we all have to wait with anticipation :)
  15. CoiL
    Yeah, that looks like completely different sound signature. This seems very mids-oriented IEM.
    Interesting downslope between 1K-2K and this also has little bump between 2K-3K, "like" ZS5v1 and many others - imo it is FR region which helps to result in "lively sound" that most of ppl like.
    Would be interesting to hear UE900S but I suspect it is not for my taste. Tomorrow I`ll probably receive my IT01. Will be interesting to hear differences in sound and compare FR graphs.
    C2thew and Otto Motor like this.

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