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New KZ's, we're like
I think I was one of the few people that found the fit of the zs3 great but the sound bad enough that I never really got much use out of them. I would have preferred to see them go a beryllium, carbon nanotube, titanium or some other premium dynamic as adding a Balanced Armature is not going to clean up the Dynamic in it which is still going to leave the mid-bass bleed and muddy bass. The most I think we can hope for is better mids and treble with the same bass issues as before if they didnt do come cleanup.
@Wiljen driver transplant time?
In this case you can buy any iem and eq out a sound that you like
I'm not that talented a surgeon on these things and honestly there are enough other choices out there that is isnt worth it to me to try. I put them in drawer and moved on. We are all different that way. I have a set of Zs5V1 that sit in a drawer too as they just were not a favorite for me. Not that they were bad, just that they didn't displace my daily drivers so they don't get much time. The Zs6 got more listening time than most and still gets used outdoors where I don't want to risk a more expensive pair of iems.
In fact, that was my first impressions too regarding ZS3. So I needed to figure out those things:
- Acoustic tuning foam was out of place so I needed to open the mesh to check it and insert them into the tube again.
- 2pins sockets came wired inverted causing polarity issues. Then bass and overall sound were pretty odd. (I'd suggest checking that on https://www.audiocheck.net/audiotests_polaritycheck.php).
- Right tubing placed a bit crooked so I need to insert them shallow to get a full sound.
After fixing those things ZS3 sounds way better, just bad I can't get decent volume using them on KZ Bluetooth module. But tbh the ZS4 is the only KZ I'm looking forward! If they manage to fix nozzle and treble extension that's going to be a winner.
I wish I could say my pair was poorly made and that was the root cause but I have checked all those things and still find them to have very pronounced mid-bass bleed, muddy bass, and no top end extension to speak of. Maybe I got a bad pair and for $3.99 I am not going to spend too much time crying about it, but I won't be jumping on the Zs4 hype train either.
Hard to say.
If it has any of these 3 things, it's going to be a 100% pass for me:
1. same dynamic driver as ZS3
2. same lame-o "heat shrink tubing" sound tube as ZS3
3. 30095 BA driver
Although I would prefer one, I can live with no crossover. The ZST and ES3 didn't have one, and they're OK.
Ah, I screwed up. After fiddling about with the stock tips and deciding they didn't work for me, I grabbed (what I thought was) my go-to triple-flange tips (they typically work best for my ear anatomy; only a couple of my IEMs have foamies on 'em). Gah, I grabbed the large ones in my haste, and wondered why they were so bloody uncomfortable. All better now. D'oh!
KZ ZS10 have arrived in Calgary - first impressions
I knew they were coming today and warmed my ears up with the ZSR and the Fidue A65. The A65 are a good price-point reference ($59 list). They are excellent earphones that would have deserved some hype - but are obviously not flashy enough. The A65 are presently my favs even above the basso IT-01 (they are not better but easier to handle, cable wise and earpiece wise).
Here reviews of the A65 - which will live on in the audiophile community forever (or not):
As I had pointed out yesterday...
...one has to spend some time with any iem in order to be able to get an objective, unbiased view. But I also find the first impression important. In analogy, a first handshake can determine whether the other person will be your future wife/husband. For example, when first plugging the HDS3 and the ZSR into my ears, I went spontaneously "wow". But after the first impression with the ZS10, I will shut up for some time. And I'll leave the detailed reviews to others, more experienced head-fiers while still learning the trade.
ZS10 - first impressions and some quick answers to non-existing questions.
Fancy stock cable included: yes!
Fit: no problem here, but all KZ models have fit my ears well.
Haptic: similar to ZSR but not as swanky as the ZS6!
Wow or not wow upon the very first listening (yes or no only): No...but I didn't use the audioquest dragonfly.
Is there anything obviously really wrong: No! Makes for a fatigue-free listening.
What is the tonal balance: iPhone 5S (1 ohm output impedance) only...treble ok, mids recessed, the prominent bass is muddy, smudges into the mids and removes fluidity and coherence from the presentation, image could be more transparent. Well resolving, though. Adding the audioquest dragonfly (0.3 ohm output impedance) tightens the bass substantially, brings the voices out and makes the image sleaker and more transparent. Tony Vivaldi sounds much more accurate and natural with the dragonfly.
How do they compare to other recent KZ models (ZS6, ZSR), sound wise: warmish, darkish, sound like a better rendering ZSR with a wider soundstage (without dragonfly, brighter with). Not much similarity to the ZS6.
Are they a huge step up for KZ: No! Just one step farther. The ZS6 may be still technically better [just checked it: yes, they are way more natural and coherent sounding].
What is the value for money. Is the hype justified: Value for money (I paid $33) is great. Hype is not justified imo.
Do they sound like $999 earphones as claimed by someone else, or are they at least as well resolving as the UE900S ($399 list; $179 sale): Absolutely not! The single-dynamic driver Fidue A65 has a better resolution and a more fluid, cleaner, more transparent and a more natural presentation.
Early verdict (after 3 hrs of listening): Good, worth the money but still not the miracle earphone, not even when amped. You need to add some technology added to the iPhone for the ZS10 bring out their best. The ZS6 are the better earphone imo and the ZSR may be more fun.
Will listen more tomorrow!
Gear: iPhone 5S with and without audioquest dragonfly.
Break-in: 1 hr after some defrosting...we have had 3 inches of wet snow today going towards 7 inches later this afternoon.
Large stock tips used.
EDIT: amping with the FiiO E12 Montblanc (like the phonograph), the image smoothens even more than with the audioquest dragonfly.
When playing with Macbook Air, the ZS10 sound slimmer than with the iPhone.
Café Zimmerman - Tony Vivaldi (Concerto pour deux violons...)
The New Mastersounds - Renewable Energy (album)
The Housemartins - Build (remastered)
The Beautiful South - Song For Whoever (remastered)
Diana Krall - All For You (album)
Matt Bianco - Gravity (album)
Toto - Greatest Hits (2017 version)
Hildegard Knef: Herr Kalecke an der Ecke
Brix & The Extricated - LA
Coco Schumann - Stripper Blues
Eric Clapton - Unplugged (album)
Sade - Diamond Life (Japanese remastered album)
Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms (25th anniversary edition album)
They certainly look ginormous enough.
Could you take a photo of the ZS10 next to a micro driver, such as the HDS1, HDS2, HDS3, MEMT X5?
My T2 (and ZSR) from NiceHCK shipped out on 3/30. It is currently somewhere over the Pacific, probably in tow after @Slater 's "swimmer friend" since I didn't pay for upgraded shipping .
From this page https://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/iphone-5s-audio-quality.htm the output impedance is around 1 ohm which might be high since multi-driver IEMs have widely swinging impedance and will affect the sound. Try some other players with < 1 ohm output impedance.
The resonance of an headphone/IEM is usually in the bass region. The energy in the driver has to flow back into the amplifier and that can happen only if the source impedance is low. Then the bass will be tight and well controlled.
I have a zs10 on the way. And a ZSR in dispute process on gearbest. The zs10 can substitute the ZSR ? Minding that i need a fun iem in my collection. I wanna know If i will miss something If i ask for refund instead of re-sending the package of the zsr. Having a zs10.
Can't go wrong with ZSR man. I'd put it in the top 3 IEMs KZ has made to date.