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Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread

  1. CYoung234
    Here are some initial impressions on the KZ ZS10, which I received about a week ago. I have only a couple hours time on them so far, comparing them to my Tin Audio T2's and my ZS6's.

    I am primarily a musician, so I am looking for lifelike sound, weight, throw, etc.

    Material used for this comparison:

    CSO/Bernstein Shostakovich Sym. 1 and 7
    SNO/Jarvis Prokofiev Sym. 3 and 4
    Tears for Fears, Raoul and the Kings of Spain
    Jezabels, The Brink

    So far, these are my impressions:
    Tin Audio T2: Good weight, but not great. Good mids, low end there, but not as present for things like low brass or tympani as I would like. Soundstage is good, not huge. Air and space around instruments is very good.

    KZ ZS6: Surprisingly, not too bright. I do have some age related hearing loss on the high end, so more bat-eared people may react differently! For me, these sound overall quite realistic. Great low end! Mids and highs are to me very realistic. Good weight and presence for brass. Vocals, both female and male sound pretty real. I think the T2 is better with female voices. The ZS6 for male voices. Very good soundstage and sense of air and space. Great detail.

    KZ ZS10: Somehow, these are less and more at the same time. Less detail than the ZS6 or T2. Less high end, less bright, but not closed sounding. More weight to strings and brass. Excellent low end. Very good soundstage, sense of air. Female vocals are better than the ZS6 and on par with the T2. Musically, these so far are my favorite of the 3, which is saying a lot, as I love my ZS6's.

    This is so far, so further impressions later.
     
  2. maxxevv
    Very similar to what my impressions are when I compare the 3 too.

    Though I find the ZS6 to be a little fatiguing to listen to for longer than an hour. The T2 similarly but to a lesser extend. The biggest problem I have with the ZS6 really is the sibilance. Especially for female vocals that have been electronically processed. Listening to certain tracks from The Corrs and Adele can be quite a pain. But surprisingly, my remastered Aretha Franklin tracks from the 70's is really very nice on them. No obvious sibilance at all.

    The T2 is pretty much spot on what are my impressions. But they seem to improve with a little burn-in. Was pretty 'meh' to me out of the box. Left them on pink noise and frequency sweep burn-in for 2 days together with the ZS10 (as my DAC needed it too anyway), It seemed to sound closer to what most people describe of them. They do have that little bit of sibilance but only on the tracks which are obviously heavily processed.

    As I previously wrote, I would describe the ZS10 sound as being pleasant and 'polite', and to add, plenty of musicality in terms of layering in the sound. The ZS10 details are there but maybe because of the roll-off in the treble, are not as evident. I find that you do get that detail in the sound if one increases the volume for them a slight notch.

    Very nice for intimate vocals. And almost completely free of sibilance. I tried and if I could hear sibilance on them, I could hear the same thing on my HD6XX. Which means a defective recording in my books.


     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
    groucho69, Bartig and DocHoliday like this.
  3. pbui44
  4. misterchao
    Man the ZS10 is having mixed reviews. Ill pick one up if they ever go on sale.

    So far the most expensive KZ I got was the ZS6 at $29.

    Hopefully ZSA and ES4 are good. From the few reviews of the ES4 it looks promising. I hope its a different sound signature than the usual V shape.
     
    VibrantHarmonics and Bartig like this.
  5. Bartig
    So, apart from the TRN V60 and KZ ES4 I have another IEM coming my way now... the original! :)

    DE58DE8F-4064-4866-AF17-B9F35EDDEAD7.jpeg
     
  6. Dickymint
    I have had my KZ ZS10 for about a week now, not properly run in yet but so far I like it a lot, I have reduced upper frequency hearing, so tailing off at the upper registers doesn't bother me. But comparing the ZS10 to the ZS6, I find the ZS6 harsh and aggressive compared to the more laid back approach of the ZS10, the soundstage is much greater with the ZS10 and detail is much more layered and identifiable. What I do find is almost a missing sound area just above the bass frequencies, I found this on a few other IEM's, it is as if they produce lower bass, then missing a set of frequencies then start working again. This as always is just my own personal opinion! I just find these such good value for money, I have spent a lot of money over the years on headphones and these to me, are the best bang for your buck, IMHO.
     
    Bartig likes this.
  7. Wiljen
    Glad to hear I am not the only one to see the massive recess in the lower mids. That confirms it wasn't just a pair with one of the Mid- BAs that didnt get connected for some reason. Too many people like that V shaped signature so much that they ignore the complete absence of some of those middle frequencies and if you listen to orchestral or 12 string guitar and the like you really need those. While the Zs10 may be more polite than the Zs6, it still has the V Tuning and possibly even more severely recessed lower mids than any of the other recent Kzs.

    For those not hearing this, put on a duet, something like Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks Stop dragging my heart around and listen to how far in front of Tom Stevie appears to be.
     
  8. Dickymint
    Don't get me wrong, it is not extremely bad and it sounds more like a section of the bass frequencies more than the mids. The mids with my ZS10 sound so clear and detailed but it's maybe more the upper mids that I am hearing. It appears almost like a "suck out" somewhere in the lower frequencies but otherwise a wonderful piece of kit!
     
    Bartig and PacoBdn like this.
  9. CYoung234
    In my listening tests, I had a lot of symphonic music that I am very familiar with, and I did not notice any real dropout. Can you describe what frequency range you are talking about? I can test later with the Bink audio frequency flacs.
     
    PacoBdn likes this.
  10. DocHoliday
    Original-KZ-ATR-Pole-Tone-3-5mm-In-ear-Earphone-Dual-Driver-Bass-Metal-High-End.jpg_640x640q90-2.jpg

    Looks like the uniformity of the sound signature you discovered in the ATR and ATE may be a result of KZ pulling the ATR's ABS dynamic driver and installing the ATE's Copper driver.

    If I remember correctly you discovered that both drivers were identical. Is that correct?

    Please note the information in the following review:

    https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/knowledge-zenith-atr-in-ear-monitor.23032/reviews#review-20130

    The drivers were definitely different when the ATR was originally released. It appears not to be the case now. I'll have to order a new set of ATR and ATE to compare to my original ATR and my ATE(ii).

    Share your thoughts when you can.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
  11. Dickymint
    The sub bass is there, the normal bass frequencies are there its just the bit between the bass and the start of the midrange that seems as if it is missing. I just don't seem to be able to explain it very well, sorry.
     
  12. TheVortex
    According to Hill Audio, the KZ ED16 will initially be available for Chinese residents only. Wonder how long it will take Gearbest and AliExpress to get stock and with it being a triple driver model, will it be better than the ZSR?
     
  13. basshead11
    Hmm this sounds like a bad-seal problem. Try with big tips. For me zs10 is not deep as zs5 but more punchy and bassy enough.
     
    nadezhda 6004 likes this.
  14. CYoung234
    As an update, I grabbed a copy of this track to have a listen. First, Stevie and Tom are singing exactly the same notes in their solo portions. In other words, the same fundamental frequencies. The only real difference between male and female voices is in their overtone structure, the harmonics at multiples of the fundamental frequency. To me, this track showed me two things when I compared my Tin Audio T2 to the ZS10. First, the ZS10 has a larger soundstage. The beginning of the track has rhythm guitar in the far right, and this has a better, larger soundstage on the ZS10 than on the T2. My listening earlier, particularly on the Shostakovich recording by the Chicago Symphony confirmed this. For those who are interested, this recording, particularly the 1st Symphony, sounds the most like the CSO live of any recording I have ever heard. I am very familiar with Symphony Center in Chicago, where this was recorded. I also did not hear any head stage differences in the voices either on the T2 or ZS10. Both were at the same basic position whether they were singing separately or together. Second, the ZS10 has better instrument spacing and air than the T2, at least on my setup, which was my Asus Zenbook with a FIIO Q1 DAC/amp. I am using the stock tips on the ZS10 and Tennmak Whirlwinds on the T2.

    So, to close, another poster suggested that what you were hearing may be due to a bad seal. I would tend to agree. I do not hear any suckout or overly pronounced V shape in the ZS10, certainly not in the frequency ranges you were describing. Yes, they are more V shaped than the T2, but it is not objectionable to me. In fact, I tend to prefer that, particularly for acoustic instrument music.
     
    PacoBdn likes this.
  15. Wiljen
    i'm going to borrow a friends Zs10 and compare. I am really wondering if mine have a QC issue.
     

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