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Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread

  1. F4yze
    It's miles ahead of the tennmak pro. The tennmak pro is waaay too bassy even for me. The zs10 bass is smoother with good detail in both the treble and mids.
    Freetrademan likes this.
  2. toddy0191
    Weird!! Mine are from the KZ Official Store too.

    Think they are going to need some foams on as I'm getting a vacuum like seal with the starlines that's creating a negative pressure in my ears. I also get this with the EDR1.

    As I mentoned above though the cable is a massive upgrade form the rubbery cables of old with 4 cables weaved below the y split and going to 2 above on each side.

    Looking forward to having a good listen after work tonight.
    B9Scrambler likes this.
  3. Otto Motor
    Quick And Very Subjective Comparisons Of The ZS 10 With...

    iBasso IT01: Holy Jesus are the iBasso a treat in comparison: Diana Krall's voice sounds so much nearer, fuller, and more natural. The whole image is very airy. The ZS10's stage sounds shallow in comparison and Diana distant. And yes, one iBasso is worth more than two ZS10 to me.

    Fidue A65: Again, more three dimensionality and fluidity in this single dynamic driver competitor. Diana sounds seductive and vivid, the stage is open and deep, the bass is more controlled.

    KZ ZS6: Also more natural sounding with a more controlled bass.

    KZ ZSR: The ZS10 is similar sounding and technically superior (resolution, soundstage, no sibilance) but can't match the ZSR in the voice department. The ZSR's warm and full voice reproduction makes it look good against more expensive iems...and fun. The ZSR remains my KZ multi-driver favourite.

    HDS1: Well...the HDS1 is technically inferior however very natural sounding and overall very pleasant at 1/10 of the ZS10's price.

    Summary: To me, the sound of the iBasso and Fidue make a huge difference to the listening pleasure. The ZS10 sound shallow and congested (at bassy pieces) to me. If you want an outstanding earphone at around $50, order the Fidue while keep looking at photos of the ZS10. If you have the ZS6 and like it, then the ZS10 is probably redundant. Considering that KZ uses 5 drivers in the ZS10, the mids are not present enough for my taste, but they are not as nasal as in the ZS5 v1 at least. Bass could also be more controlled. And the whole presentation could be more homogeneous (or "balanced" as they say). In the end it comes down to "not bad/quite good for 40 bucks" depending on your iem collection. In my collection, they will have their place probably mainly for looks as yet another larval stage of the forthcoming KZ super earphone - the holy grail of this thread.

    See you at the next hype...the ED15 are coming!

    Equipment Used: iPhone 5S with music by Diana Krall.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
    stmiller, CoiL, archy121 and 8 others like this.
  4. DocHoliday
    I've been curious about whether or not the ZS10 would be a more refined (resolution, layering and imaging) version of the HDS1 sound signature. At your earliest convenience would you mind comparing the two on the following tracks (with your Dragonfly please):

    Thanks Otto!

    With everyone having access to these same exact files there might be more consistency in impressions because the current handful of impressions seem to be all over the place.

    Again, when you can and thanks Otto!
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
    rayliam80 likes this.
  5. skedra
    With testing a bit more I found ZS10 needs more power and also lower impedance (iPhone 5s has 4.5ohm which is quite high for this I think). So tests with dragonfly would be nice. Also Is that with foam or silicone? I switched to silicone because foam was making the treble too laid back
    groucho69, maxxevv and loomisjohnson like this.
  6. phower
    The iBasso uses graphene drivers while the fidue uses titanium coated drivers. Graphene and titanium make the diaphragm rigid. The highly rated Koss KSC75 and Porta pro also use titanium drivers.
    So, it might be your prefer those timbres. From what I know, BAs have very fast attack and decay and might sound different.

    Anyways, thanks for you honest opinion rather than feed the hype train.
    rayliam80 likes this.
  7. Otto Motor
    Not necessarily! I also treasure my 4 BA driver UE900S. And my beloved ZSR also sports 2 BA drivers.

    And every burn-in fan will dismiss my report after only 1 hour of it anyway...relying on the ZS10 will excel 150 hours later :). All hope is not lost yet.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
    praetor47 likes this.
  8. C2thew
    So I received my EDR1's in the mail and to me they sound like the KZ ZS3 without the "amazing seal" that you get from the ZS3. Sure they have the ZS3 sound signature but that was about it. I didn't detect any extreme amounts of bass as was hyped about. The packaging is nice but packaging means nothing when all I want is comfort and sound over aesthetics. The cable on the EDR1 is nice but i've gotten so used to the memory wire on the stock ZS3 cables that it feels weird. So far I feel it was just a "Meh" purchase.

    The TRN bluetooth cable came in the mail yesterday and I was pleasantly surprised that it did not affect the sound quality from my LG V20. Yes the LG v20 has a Quad DAC built into the headphone jack however the bluetooth 4.2 carried over which was surprisingly pleasant. When paired with my KZ ZS6, I honestly wasn't impressed. The ZS6's rely on the memory wire which isn't present on the TRN cable. I NEED THE MEMORY WIRE!!!. I'm probably the only person that is a strong advocate of the memory wire on the KZ headphones. When I paired my ZS3's with the TRN bluetooth adapter.... it was like a match made in heaven. I mean the ZS3 naturally has a strong seal in the ear and delivered the same audio quality as if it were connected via cable.

    What is even more interesting is that if you increase the volume on the phone and then increase the volume on the bluetooth cable, the sound gets blistering loud. The bluetooth cable has 15 increments of volume. The source also controls volume as well so if the volume in your phone is at minimum, your bluetooth is increasing volume based on the sound of the audio source. If the phone volume is at max, you can adjust the volume on the bluetooth cable to maybe 3/15 stops and it will sound normal. This concept applies to all bluetooth speakers/headphones etc.

    I am probably ordering another set of ZS3's in the future or perhaps the ZS4 if that ever gets released.

    Still waiting for my ZS10's though i'm not sure i'm going to be satisfied as my zs3's to date.

    pictures to be continued
  9. Otto Motor
    I'd say the HDS1 and the KS10 differ vastly in the bass department: the HDS1's bass is much slimmer. I have only done this on the Diana Krall yet but will update this post later today after listening to the rest of it. And the ZSR excels even more with the dragonfly...


    Setup: iMac + audioquest jitterbug + audioquest dragonfly

    Most of the videos didn't work in Canada but I may have some of the songs in my iTunes library.

    Above & Beyond: Yeah, the HDS1 sound slimmer in the mid bass. ZS10 bass comes too close to the vocals for my taste, which congests the image. Quite frankly, I prefer the timbre and the openness of the HDS1.

    Diana Krall - Baby All the Time. Similar! The HDS1 have quite some depth (Diana's voice) with an unobtrusive bass. Actually amazing sound quality. With the ZS10 you get a mid bass again pushing again the vocals. Diana's voice is a bit cleaner but also more distant also with some depth. I then used the HDS3 which comes closer to the ZS10, but is overall a bit softer and relaxed. HDS3 bass is similar to the ZS10 bass but not as intrusive. The HDS3 with the dragonfly also sound awesome.

    Diana Krall - I miss you so. More Canadiana. This album sounds good with any device, though. HDS3 reproduces the double bass just right. Voice has width and depth. Image is fluffy. ZS10's overdoes the bass line again. Voice is still a bit recessed but ok and enjoyable (same with the previous track).

    James Taylor - Fire and Rain. ZS10 with good resolution. Voice slightly drilling. Drums, when setting in
    at 36 secs are a bit much. Midbass too much for me, e.g. cello. 3-dimensionality ok. HDS1: voice more natural, drums and cello just right for me.

    Sade - King of Sorrow: With the HDS1 good transparency in the beginning. Resolution of the instruments and voice soso. The ZS10 render Sade's voice better (fuller) but the strong mid bass is bordering on awful, it decreases and congests the soundstage and compromises the listening fun. But hey, some people may like this signature...which is an example of "unbalanced".

    T. Pinnock/English Concert - Avison Concerto Grosso No.9. I pulled out the ZSR...resolves not as good as the ZS10 but has a more relaxed image, which is pleasant on my ears. The ZS10 have a bigger stage but sound uptight in comparison.

    The other songs I don't have.

    My opinion (subjective): I am surprised how good the technically inferior HDS1/3 sound. To me the ZS10 is the grandchild of the HDS3 and the bastard child of the ZSR. It sounds ok with the dragonfly if you like a strong mid bass but why bother with a $40 earphone when having to spend $100 on a dac/amp.

    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
    DocHoliday likes this.
  10. snip3r77
    Thanks for the review. One step to IT01 is much better than sidegrading from KZ Z5, Z6 , ZXR , ZS10 etc bla bla
    Otto Motor likes this.
  11. DocHoliday
    Yeah, I've postulated from the beginning that Knowledge Zenith should have used the 8mm DD instead of the ZSR's 10mm DD but I haven't heard the ZS10 so.......conjecture......

    I think the 8mm DD would have given the ZS10 more nuanced characteristics as opposed to a variation (lifted mid to high frequencies) of the ZSR sound signature (if in fact the ZS10 is a variation of the ZSR); a hypothesis based on the commonality of drivers used in both IEMs.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  12. Slater
    Sounds like you are not getting a good seal, as the bass should be capable of skull crushing levels with a good seal.

    The stock tips suck, and are the really old style KZ tips. Try KZ Starline tips, and I'll bet you will have a very different experience. Either that, or try increasing 1 size larger in tips.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  13. Slater
    They must have mountains and mountains of the 10mm drivers, because it feels like KZ puts them in most of their IEMs...
  14. toddy0191
    I have an issue with the EDR1s where if I insert them too far into my ear they create a super seal forming a negative pressure in my ear canal which is both really uncomfortable and badly effects the sound. I have to have them in my outer ear so air can move out and they sound great.

    I can see a vent hole next to the strain relief so not sure why it's happening and thought the wise Slater may be able to proffer some advice!

    This is also happening with the ED15s where the vacuum effect was strong enough to pull off the tip in my ear,. This is no mean feat as they attach strongly to the nozzle.
  15. Slater
    The vent hole next to the strain relief is a bass vent, and will not serve a pressure relieving function.

    If you have a micro drill bit set, you could add a tiny pressure vent on the front side of the IEM. Something like 0.2 mm should be enough to vent pressure yet not affect bass. You would just have to be very careful not to damage the driver (although if you do, you're only out a few dollars).

    I know what you mean about the suction effect. I get that with the ZS3, and it results in a very inconsistent experience.

    The other thing you can try is foam tips. They won't allow the pressure buildup, since the air has a chance to escape before the foam fully expands. This is also a useful solution to IEMs with bad driver flex (also caused by pressure buildup).

    Regardless, that's really unfortunate. You're really missing out by not experiencing what the EDR1 is fully capable of.
    DocHoliday likes this.

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