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Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread

  1. Lifted Andreas
    Nice, well its either the CM5 for me or the ZSR.

    Shame you can't get the CM5 without a mic attached to it. Btw do you have a review up for it yet mate?
  2. Slater
    Sure friend, here's some helpful tips:

    1. Read the vocabulary definitions found here:


    You don't have to know all of the vocabulary, but start with some of the easier terms to detect (such as veiled, tinny, muddy, splashy, sibilance, etc). Also, note that the list isn't comprehensive, but most terms are there.

    2. What you can also do is find posts where people are using the same IEMs that you own, and read what they write. So for example, if you own the KZ ZST or ZS6, there's lots of posts where people talk about the treble being sibilant, having splashy cymbals, etc. Some of the posts even talk about which exact songs they hear the sounds in. Then you can listen to the same songs, and try to hear what they are hearing. When you do, you'll be like "Ahhh, I unerstand what they are talking about now!".

    3. As you get better and better at training your ears and identifying the simpler-to-hear terms, you can move on to some of the more technical (and sometimes harder to discern) concepts (such as wide vs deep soundstage, instrument separation, bleeding frequencies, roll-off, etc).

    4. Another thing that I found is helpful is to train your ears to certain frequencies. You can do this a number of ways, but one of the best I have found is to install an (iOS) app such as hearEQ. It gives you asy tests that help you to train your ears to hear changes at certain frequencies. What this does is allow you do learn what 500Hz sounds like compared to 1kHz for example. This is helpful for evaluating IEMs, and learning how to describe what the sound is like at different frequencies (such as lower midrange, upper treble, etc).

    To do this, you need 3 things:
    1). A "calibrated mic" (ranges in price from $20 to tens of thousands of dollars). The cheapest calibrated one that most programs support is the Dayton Audio iMM6 ($20-$25).
    2). A coupler to hold the IEM (ranges in price from free to tens of thousands of dollars). Common DIY couplers are just a short piece of silicone tubing, a short piece of vinyl tubing, and cut down 3cc or 5cc syringe.
    3). A program to take the measurements (ranges in price from free to tens of thousands of dollars). Some examples are ARTA (free for the PC), REW (free for the PC), AudioTools ($25 for iOS), and Analyzer ($20 for iOS). There are many other apps (including for Android, Mac, etc), but those are the ones I'm familiar with. The apps for iOS are a great way to reuse an old iPhone or iPad. The apps can run on older iOS and don't need cellular connectivity, so an iPhone 4, iPad 2, iPad Mini 1, etc are perfect for the task.

    You can even buy an all-in-1 device that combines #1 and #2 above (for example Veritas II https://diyearphone.com/products/veritas-ii).

    A great thread that is very helpful about the measurement topic is here: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/crinacles-iem-fr-measurement-database-339-iems-measured.830062/

    My setup is the Dayton Audio iMM6 microphone, a few DIY couplers I made for free (a silicone tube and also a 3cc syringe), and AudioTools on my iPhone.

    Here's a few of the couplers I made:

    And here is an example of the type of measurement you get (this is a KZ EDR1 measured with an experimental coupler I made last night):
    IMG-1368.PNG [/user]
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
  3. nxnje
    Your description is lovely, and i think i love you too ahahahah
    Btw, jokes apart, your description was really good and i think i'm gonna invest more time on this stuff.
    I'm even a beginner in music production and so i still didn't face many time mixing and mastering questions where all comes about imaging, soundstage, panning, cleaning the frequencies and equalizing the spectrum in the way i like.

    I know many terms like soundstage, bleeding and so on, i just wanna train on some things like ''muddy'', ''boomy'', ''veiled'' and so on
    I have a memt x5 and i found many different reviews on the web, so i don't know what should i trust from them, and that comes even with other headphones so it's always a big (?) to choose reviews to pick like ''standard''.

    I even saw you have KZ-ATE between your all iems, do u like them?
    I really love my memt x1, really, but since ATE are a steal for how much are they priced, i'm really thinking about buying a pair just for try them.
    I really like headphones which have punchy and well extended bass, and i like when i can hear a deep sub-bass, but i find (imho) my memt x5 very good in highs while being ''sibilant'' a few times and a bit recessed in the mids. I even hear my memt x5 has an OK soundstage, but not as good as many people say about other headphones. Imaging is anyway good imho.

    Is my description correct as i can compare mine with you? i saw you have memt x5 too.
    How would you compare memt x5 with ate? which are the differences?
  4. HungryPanda
  5. WalterTorino
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
  6. theintroprose
    I keep coming back to my KZ ZS6.. they've really grown on me. Paring them with Vali 2 + Genalex Gold Lion E88CC Tube and SpinFit tips really helps tame them. Particularly in busy synth or rock music where the high frequency range could get overwhelming and overcrowded on these IEMs. They are particularly fun to listen to at low and moderate levels, due to plenty of detail being available.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
    rayliam80 and DocHoliday like this.
  7. Otto Motor
    Narrowing the tips certainly takes the pierce out...what else it changes I don't know because I don't have an unmodded pair for direct comparison.

    EDIT: overall sound appears to be ok. I also have been running it on a radio since Friday to work the membranes.

    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
    Slater likes this.
  8. Otto Motor
    That "pre-sale" was likely bs and the coupon was bogus. I speculate that seller is not even close to getting a hand on the ZS10, he just wants to get everybody's business. Gearbest typically has the first new KZ models.

    After a short while, the ZS10 will be probably available for around $40.
    WalterTorino likes this.
  9. Slater
    Thanks, I hope you were able to understand my description. Your English is very good (much better than my Italian I assure you LOL). Italy is a beautiful country and all of the people there are very friendly :)

    Be aware that I have the original X5. There is a new version of the X5 that is supposed to sound improved, but I have not heard it. So all of my comments are talking about the original version of the X5. Anyways, the X5 is known for it's good bass - it's very tight and fast. For some reason I have never liked the midrange though - there is a very unnatural tone to it, which sounds flat and wooly. Perhaps I just got a bad pair? Because a lot of people rave about the X5, but it is one of my least favorite IEMs. The X5 has good clarity and good soundstage though. The cable is extremely microphonic, and the nozzle is very small, so tips always fall off in my ears when removing the IEM.

    I think the ATE is much better than the MEMT X5. Unfortunately, it has LESS sub bass than the X5. But the ATE beats the X5 in every other catagory - wider soundstage, better clarity, midrange, better instrument separation, and the tone is very natural. It is probably the most natural sounding IEM of all that I own. Whatever driver KZ used in the ATE, it is a very special one (perhaps it is the voice coil or diaphragm). I love the way vocals sound on the ATE, and all instruments sound so accurate (especially acoustic instruments). The stock gel foam tips that come with the ATE are garbage, and need to be thrown in the trash bin as soon as you open the ATE box. I like wide bore tips on the ATE, which take everything good about the ATE and make it even better. If I had any complaints about the ATE, it would be that I wish for a little bit more sub bass, and I wish it had brighter treble (but that is just my personal preference). The shells are very comfortable, but I know some people don't like the "weights" on the cable (they don't bother me though, and do a good job of keeping the cable weighed down).

    I think anyone who is a KZ fan should own the ATE for vocals and acoustic. It is an older KZ model, but the price is affordable.

    If you are looking an excellent IEMs with sub bass, I think you would really like the KZ EDR1. It is only $4, and it is better than the ATE and MUCH better than the MEMT X5. It is V-shaped, so it has recessed midrange like the MEMT X5. But compared to both the ATE and X5, the EDR1 has better treble (brighter, no sibilance), and more extension in both the sub bass and treble regions.

    Anyways, I hope that is helpful!
  10. Slater
    BTW, those style of bamboo toothpicks are awesome!
  11. Francisk
    Very nice and awesome sounding audio interface....the ZOOM UAC2
  12. zazaboy
    guys does anyone know how much burn in kz zs6 to sound good??? anyone have any idea .... would like to know thanks
  13. nxnje
    20180322_022344.jpg 20180322_022344.jpg

    Thanks for the english question!
    I've been writing and reading in english since i was a child but never did courses or followed lessons at school, boringas they never teach you how to use english language "every day".

    Anyway, i don't know the difference between the new memt x5 and the one that you own.
    I bought my x5 in december, and it sounds really good for what i expected.. i wasn't expecting so much by a cheap iem like x5.
    I've heard a lot tipping the edr1 without finding reviews online (just reviews about the edr2, that seems a bit too bright) but even if i'm a basshead i really like to hear clear midrange, natural voices and so on.
    I think i'm gonna grab an ATE as soon as possibile.

    Yea, the memt x5 have little nozzles, so my foam tips (T400 from aliexpress) pop off many times.
    The cable yeah... is microphonic af, and i tried the solution u tipped me with his own "velcro" ring (it's big compared to the one that a guy posted through an example pic) and i noticed a good reduction of noise in the earbud.

    Now my girl is gonna give me my gift for the birthday that comes in a few days : she ordered me my first lossless dap (agptek m20) so i can finally start my experience of lossless files even when i'm not at home, and i think i'm gonna stick with my memt x5, but i'm SO MUCH CURIOUS to try many other cheap in-ears in order to create myself an idea about how i want a headphones should sound like.

    Ps: pic of the little velcro ring
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018

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