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Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread

  1. Podster
    Great first video review Otto, you are a card in your older guys Tommy Bahama:beerchug:
  2. Otto Motor
    I think it was my fourth video after the Swing ie800 review and taking the mickey out of unboxing videos. And none of them was scripted, always first take and right out of my a...Tommy Bahama is a brand for guys above 55...I have not reached that yet but have always made fun of the owners of such shirts.

    Here my spoof on unboxing videos - it is like watching grass grow:

    B9Scrambler likes this.
  3. DocHoliday
    Based on further research I have edited my post. The additional information might shed some light on the elusive details regarding the DT5's dual driver configuration.
  4. C2thew
    Any updates to the KZ ZS4's release? That's the only IEM that I'm really waiting for now since it literally fits my current needs for comfort, fit, and sound (I use my ZS3's for running and with my bluetooth adapter)

    The fit for the EDR1, ZS6, and ZS10 is nowhere near as comfortable as the ZS3's (for me) YMMV
  5. Slater
    ZS1 v1 for sure. ZN1 Mini is good too. They're your typical KZ v-shape, but they have a nice warm, smooth sound. No BA sibilance/treble peaks. They also fit in the ear comfortably (both are based off the same shell), the memory wires actually WORK like they should, and they have good soundstage.
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  6. stryed
    Oh high, could you compare the Rose North Forest with the Yensen & others in your collection?
  7. Slater
    While I am happy to finally see KZ using graphene drivers in the ES4 (as well as a crossover), I'm quite disappointed to see it uses the same old 30095 BA driver.

    We'll have to wait and see the impressions as people receive them. But with virtually the same configuration, my fear is it will just be a ZST sound (only with cleaner bass due to the graphene driver). Ssssssibilance and sharp treble. We'll have to see though.

    I also have mixed feelings about the automatic inclusion of upgrade cables with many of these IEMs. While it's great for those that don't have any upgrade cables, it's just adding ~$7-$10 to the retail cost. And for those of us with numerous upgrade cables already, it's just needlessly jacking up the price. Sure, the end result is a more 'premium' product, but I wish KZ would offer a 100% cable-less option for those that want it, like many other manufacturers do.

    Also, the KZ prices seem to keep creeping up higher and higher. What used to be $4-$9 is now commonly $20-$40 or more. Instead of encouraging me to take a chance and buy/collect them (because for the cost of a cup of coffee, who cares), it's making me hold off and wait to hear numerous impressions 1st. I know there are those that like the ZS10, but I am definitely glad I held off on it.

    Thoughts? Comments?
  8. B9Scrambler
    The community has been asking for KZ to make higher end products. They've been asking for hybrids. Now that they are people are complaining they're too expensive. They can't win, lol.

    I for one think the increase in performance and features validates the price increase, even if they're over-saturating the brand with too many similar earphones like the ZS5/6/R/T, ES3, ED15, etc. The ZS10 is a breath of fresh, clean, competent air. It's tune is completely different from their recent releases and it improves on their past products in the areas I would expect it to; imaging, layering, and separation. No complaints here.
  9. rayliam80
    How is the ZSE different in sound compared to the EDR1/EDR2? I'm enjoying the EDR2 a lot thanks to you and @Slater :heavy_check_mark:
    Slater likes this.
  10. Aparker2005
    I think after I get the ES4, I'll only be getting the 12 driver that's rumored. Unless it's a good pre-order price I may wait for reviews. But then again I'm enjoying my zs10 more by the day.
    B9Scrambler likes this.
  11. Otto Motor
    Well, it depends. Joe Blow casual earphone buyer will be overwhelmed by the ever growing number of similar-priced models (e.g. ED15 and ZS4 or was it ES4 or both...I am equally confused). And there are 6 more models accounced for this year. KZ fans and people who don't like money, on the other hand, will be pleased.

    Prices are creeping up but there is always the odd sale with substantial discounts - which points to higher markups and profit margins. KZ are still staying out of the competitive $100 segment.

    What KZ cannot get achieved is a hybrid iem without obvious flaws that includes a decent midrange. IMO their closest attempt is the ZSR. The ZS10 is yet another mixed bag IMO (see also ZS5 and ZS6). Its progress as pointed out by B9 is great but is tainted IMO by a mediocre, recessed midrange and a lack of cohesion - considering the number of drivers. It's ok, it's good value, but it is still work in progress to me, and will go in the drawer of many. I still prefer the ZSR for "real" listening, which also makes my ZS3, ZST, and ES3 obsolete.

    As to "upgrade" cables: not sure whether the new KZ cable is an upgrade - try to untangle it. And I am also not sure whether its production cost is substantially higher compared to the rubber model. That may be pennies. Most of my $7 upgrade cables including shipping feel more substantial than the new included one. Total cable cost = (cost of upgrade cable) - (cost of rubber cable) = ?

    But just like you, I'll take a break to wait and see: ES4, ZS4, hmmmm...let's wait for competent reviews. I speculate they will be nothing special/more of the same, because KZ is interested that people spend more money on their better sounding/better reviewed flagship models.

    And, while the 12-driver model has been announced, we should get ready for the 14-driver model just in time for Christmas.
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  12. Slater
    Good points.

    I’m not saying KZ shouldn’t make more expensive/higher end products. I just don’t think ALL of them should be. I mean, look at Rose, VSonic, even Campfire. They have a wider range, from “extreme budget” to “extreme $$”.

    I guess I miss the “good old days” when gas was $0.59/gallon, White Castle burgers were $0.25, and a new KZ release was $6.

    Heck, just a few short years ago we were discussing if the KZ price difference between X for $4 and Y for $7 was justified. Now that we are creeping into the $40-$60 range, it’s an even bigger and more important question to ask.
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
    djmakemynight and HungryPanda like this.
  13. Otto Motor
    The ZSE is airier and more open sounding than the EDR Series. Is it better? I never thought about it but it is good enough to be bought unseen at $7-8.
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
    rayliam80 likes this.
  14. tomatosauce
    My pleasure! For completeness, here's what HungryPanda had to say and what SilverLodestar said. I'll preface my comments by saying that I'm a music lover, not a technician. I like trying out different pairs of earphones to see what they do with my favorite music. That being said, I do have a preferred sound signature best represented (so far) by the iBasso IT01. Among the Rose NF, Yersen FEN-2000, and KZ ZSR (to keep the topic relevant :nerd:), I like the way my music sounds with the FEN-2000 and ZSR better vs. the NF. The ZSR has more emphasized treble and bass to me than the FEN-2000 and has a more "exciting" sound. I've had to EQ down the treble a bit on the ZSR because of sensitivity to some upper frequencies. The FEN-2000 is a bit flatter/neutral, has less bass, and more detail/clarity. As I wrote in the Hidden Gems thread, I cannot fully endorse the Yersens at the moment due to QC issues as the right earpiece failed even with very careful use, which is now a pattern, not just an isolated event. In comparison, my impressions of the Rose NF are similar to SilverLodestar's: adequate performer at the price point but nothing special. My music sounds more veiled and muddy with them compared to the FEN-2000 and ZSR. Those who enjoy a darker signature and bass heavy music may get more use out of them but I don't think I'll be reaching for them anytime soon. Hope that helps!
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  15. bsoplinger
    I was contemplating the ZSE as a workout alternative to the EDR2s I picked up. I have 3 and so far haven't managed to destroy any although I have managed to get the cable caught a number of times. But it looks like they're disappearing from inventories so I want to stay on top of alternatives. The more I use these the more I'm liking @Slater 's suggestion to just get a couple of pairs of these and not worry about finding sweat-proof specialized expensive IEMs. The initial pair I started out with 3 months ago are going strong still.

    The EDR2 stay in my ear even with lots of moving about. For those with the ZSE how well would they stay in my ears?
    Slater likes this.

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