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Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread

  1. MyPants
    Totally derailing the thread a bit, but it's good to see @Slater back in the iem game after the surgery. Wishing you good health going forward.
  2. CoiL
    Guys, I have IT01 in my ears (which are great btw) but I`m quite surprised how well ZS5v1 stands up against them!
    Very first impressions, I hear IT01 being more V-shaped and more bass, littlebit "smaller" soundstage (less expansive) and better low-mids.
    ZS5v1 seems more neutral and "airy" with somewhat better ambient soundstage/space separation.
    This is by very short OOTB listening though and might change later...
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  3. Otto Motor
    Received the ZS6. No lips. Ordered from gearbest on 10th Jan.

    First impression, after 1/2 hour: not fatiguing so far, treble not annoying...sound nothing special.

  4. rayliam80
    Your impressions also compare well with how I find the ZS6 and the IT01. In addition, I find the IT01 to be thicker in sound, more lush especially in the midrange and bass, and vocals seem to be more present/forward compared to the ZS6. I really enjoy both of them though. I thought about getting the ZS5 but I'll skip them for now. Possibly with brain burn-in, the IT01s seem to balance out over a few days so I really don't think they're all that v-shape anymore. Maybe more U shaped. Pricewise, when I got the ZS6's on sale/promo code at Gearbest for around $20, the ZS6 were definitely the much better bargain. The Head-Fi herd/hype seem to largely agree that the IT01 is the current bargain if you're interested in IEMs in the $100 - $300 range. However, the most I've ever spent so far for a set of IEM/Earphones has been the IT01 so I can't really say.
    CoiL likes this.
  5. Podster
    OK, here's some input from the Peanut Gallery! Since I've only owned 20 pair of KZ's I'd say I've listened to a few now. Before I get started I love bass but solid and exact bass not hyped up as in the latest model I just received, these (remember guys this is just to my ears and I have a penchant for mid-range as well) have way to much bass for my taste, it literally destroys what I hear as great mids and highs:disappointed: For my ears the bass simply steals the show, sad part is I think they are absolutely beautiful iem's and the fit is perfect:thumbsup: I'm going to let them burn for a few hundred hours and change to a SP cable and give them another go before retiring them to my overflow box for my kids. My gray ZS6's from Gearbest have the lip and are still my fave KZ's (Looking forward to the ZS10's)

    You think KZ will ever figure out how to put the RIGHT and LEFT on certain iem's so people don't look at you and say your earpiece is up side down! :rolling_eyes:


    ZSR has tip lip:rolling_eyes:

    Gimme Lip.JPG

    Dude, your iem is upside down:smirk: Alternately referred to as wrong side up:open_mouth: Guess I could tell them they are supposed to look at them while doing a hand stand:wink:

    The Other Right.JPG
  6. Slater
    Cool, I don’t remember my green ZSR having a lip. I’ll have to double check when I get home.

    As far as the bass being too overwhelming, that’s extremely easy to tweak and tune. Just open up the vent hole as much as needed to get the bass where you want it.

    No need to waste a perfectly good IEM that you love otherwise (fit, mids, treble, etc).
  7. Podster
    Guess there is no reversing once I expand that port so I better do small increments!
  8. Slater
    In general, yes small increments.

    But even if you go too big, you can just cover the vent with tape and repoke smaller holes.

    The hole you want to manipulate is near the bottom of the nozzle, on the opposite side of the words “ZSR hybrid technology”.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  9. Podster
    Already enlarging it, anything inside I should worry about damaging:astonished:
  10. Slater
    Yeah, the vent is directly over the large dynamic driver (which is about 6mm down inside the shell). So only stick your pokey tool in the hole no deeper than about 2mm.

    You can see what you're dealing with in this shot:

    P2130450 (1).JPG

    Honestly, the hole in the shell is plenty big enough, and all you really need to do is poke through that white screen. The white screen is little round piece of micropore mounted on the inside of the shell (which is creating an artificially smaller surface area). So if you poke through the micopore you have in effect made the vent hole "larger". If you hold your sewing needle at different angles, you can make more than 1 hole in the micro pore as well (again, effectively making the hole progressively "larger").

    Make sense?
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
    hakuzen likes this.
  11. MDH12AX7
    Just received my 2nd set ofs gray ZS6's . Here are a few observations. The new pair has the lip on the nozzles. Yay! They don't sound noticeably different than the old ones, but the nozzle is bigger around on the exterior. The inside diameter is identical. I have some Dunu DN1000's and used a pair of the silver metal ring spacers on my old ZS6 to push the tips out towards the end of the nozzles for tighter bass and more comfort with the sharp angles on the ZS6 shell. The spacers will not fit on the new ZS6 nozzles. Too fat. The lip allowed be to bias the tips outward without the spacers so it's a win in my book. Happy!
  12. MDH12AX7
    20180312_185544.jpg Here is a picture of the spacer on the old ZS6.
  13. Slater
    FYI, if you still want to space out the eartip on the new one that has the lip, you can use an oring (like from a keyboard).

    You can also take an old silicone eartip (or a size you don't use), flip it inside out, trim a section of the core off, and use that as a spacer.

    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  14. MDH12AX7
    Good advice as always. Thanks Slater.
    Slater likes this.
  15. Slater
    OK, I'm back with some more intersting KZ nuggets.

    The EDR1 vs EDR2. How do they differ?
    • EDR1 has a longer shell, EDR2 is shorter
    • EDR1 is a bit heavier (made of zinc alloy), EDR2 is 100% aluminum (super light)
    • EDR1 is glossy gunmetal greyish black, EDR2 is matte finish (silver) aluminum
    • The vent holes are different between the models
    • While they are somewhat similar in sound (like siblings), the EDR1 is more v-shaped, and has noticeably more sub bass and slightly more recessed midrange. The EDR2 has less sub bass (and is more rolled off), and has more midrange (comes across as a little more neutralish vs the EDR1, similar to the HDS3). Treble sounds basically the same between them.
    I personally prefer the EDR1. FR measurements aside, it just sounds better to me. I will go as far as saying it sounds as good as many hybrids, and even better than some as well. All for $4, shipped to your door. If you like genres that sound good with a v-shaped tune (rap, EDM, modern pop, etc), you won't possibly believe that you just paid $4 for sound this good.

    It's also perfect if you are sensitive to the sharp 10k treble spikes (or the splashy sibilance) of the ZST, ZS5 v2, or ZS6. The EDR1 has nice sparkly treble, but not right at 10k. No sharp spikes, and no sibilance. Just bright, sparkly, airy smoothness - think of it like a nice crisp glass of champagne, but for your ear holes.

    Here's the FR measurements.

    Sorry, my FR app doesn't overlay the graphs. I'll have to do it manually in Photoshop later. If you download them to a computer and flip between the graphs, it will be very apparent. You can also click on the 1st photo, and use the arrow keys in the browser to flip back and forth to see the differences quite easily.

    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
    nkramer, hakuzen and Otto Motor like this.

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