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Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread

  1. tzincbg
    Which two you mean? The first two?
    What about the second two?
  2. themindfreak
    In all honesty, I cannot think of any KZ that has lesser highs than the ZS3
  3. Makahl
    Maybe he meant ES3 instead of ZS3? But ZS3 QC is the most problematic so who knows if he got a lemon.
    Bartig likes this.
  4. paulindss


    I don't dissagre with the average descriprition of the sound. As a little play with the equaliser shows that the sound is indeed v-shaped with a little treble roll of.

    But, I posted a very positive impression a few days ago in the sub-100$ thread and some people seemed relieved. Let'me share with you guys to.

    I was'nt expecting much from zs10, because of the mixed reviews. But at the first look i was pretty impressed. Really. I said "everything sounds big and tight" no artificial timbre like zst, or sibilance.
    The thing is, i never heard zs5 or zs6, nor zsr, that will arrive anytime soon. So that's why i was impressed, but. After ABing zs10 with my bgvp ds1, tin audio t2, and UiiSii Cm5. I still find zs10 impressive. I keep my words, i am not selling this one. They worth. If i sell, i buy it again, and get other iem. But i'll certainly keep zs10 in my collection. If you look for a detailed review. I recommend @B9Scrambler i agree with all of his positive words on these.

    People report them as "dark". For the 33$ i payed. Dark does'nt make justice for this iem. "Bassy, bigger, and detailed" sounds better. The treble roll of doesn't hide the cymbals or details. When i eq the treble. I hear them more, still no sibilance. But, in stock, all of the details are still there. The sound is tight, the only downside in precision is the bass, smooth, it could get more texture. They are bassy, with body covering throug the whole sound, but, they aren't too much warm tho. The sub-mid range are recessed as reported. Wich doesn't make the sound really warm.

    Quoting @B9Scrambler - ''Leading into the ZS10’s mid-range sees improvements in my opinion. The middle and lower mid-range are recessed with a nice raise in the upper mids that gives vocalists who tend to sing in the upper registers more presence. The overall presentation is reasonably thick and robust with a fair bit of warmth to it, achieving a tonality and timbre that is much more natural than you’ll find on most other KZs, including the ZSR"'

    Comparing with other iem's like bgvp ds1 and tin audio. Sure the mid range is recessed. But they are natural what is a HUGE step by kz. I eq them a little and they shine, beig louder. About the treble, seriously, no reason to worry at all. The only iem i have that manages to have a very bright treble without having a trade-off in fatigue is tin audion t2... how many iems can do that ? The kz was happy in toning down the treble. The crossover and four ba's makes for it. Making all details present and giving a nice sense os stage. The bgvp ds1 also has a treble roll of. And are less well balanced than zs10 for my personal taste, and they go for 50$.

    Now the nicest part. Imaging, layering and soundtage. These qualities are exactly what makes the zs10 well rounded. Tha bassy signature works giving body to the whole sound. Without compromising the timbre. The mid range goes tight, natural altought recessed, and details are there to be heard. This is the work of the crossover and five drivers. Awesome layering and depth.

    The zs10 is a consumer oriented iem, for me, they totally makes for the price they go, around 30-50$. Comparing them to direct competition. T2 and DS1. There is no comparision at all with the good but cheaper cm5.... No huge drawbacks. If you like bass, you are at home. Even if The bass could be better, again, @B9Scrambler says, and i agree: "their least impressive aspect: bass. The ZS10 is on the bassy side, though not to the point it will please bassheads. The mid-range and treble regions being dialed back helps push forward the low frequencies. The ZS10’s low end is swole, but reasonably quick with a realistic decay, and yet a bit too smooth in texture. It counters these foibles with a hefty, thundering sub-bass presence and a soft but prominent mid-bass that dips off quickly as the mid-range BAs take over" But, the bassy flavour together with all of other qualitues out of the box is exactly what hook-up for me...

    WIth my experience in chi-fi, zs10 is far from being a mediocre iem.

    Last edited: May 21, 2018
    volly, toddy0191, mrmoto050 and 10 others like this.
  5. B9Scrambler
    @paulindss Glad you're liking them. I really don't understand the general dislike against the ZS10, but, to each their own. Not even my preferred signature, but I still think it's quite good. Could use some refinement, namely less and more impactful mid-bass, and a more even mid-range, but realistically it's way better than it should have been given what you're getting for the price.

    I'm really looking forward to seeing what other brands can bring to the table. As far as I know, the ZS10 doesn't have any direct competition, that being another 5 driver hybrid with crossover for under 50 USD.
    volly, toddy0191, rfsux and 3 others like this.
  6. paulindss
    I am suspect to talk about mid-bass. I like it in my iem's. And about the mid range. Eq a little in the mids works perfect WHEN i feel like it would add to experience. No distiotion at all. People should try. So basically zs10 is a sweet spot for me.
    maxxevv and B9Scrambler like this.
  7. B9Scrambler
    Good point. I much prefer the bass to be skewed towards sub-bass, so when the mid-bass is boosted it can be annoying. My equivalent to those that dislike boosted treble. That said, I enjoy the ZS10 as-is, and have been using it pretty consistently since the review was posted. That's not something I do with most earphones, and considering what I have on hand to listen to whenever I want, should say a lot about what I think of it.
    rfsux and paulindss like this.
  8. vladstef
    This is a solid counterpart to what most people (including me) are saying about ZS10.
    Looking beyond sound quality for a second, the biggest issue I'm having with KZ as a company is that they have been able to produce extremely cheap but solid drivers yet they just keep shoving them in the first shells that come to their attention, or copy some, who cares.
    With just a little bit of tuning attention and some additional tips/case, ZS10 would've been a 200$ IEM, because the potential is there. But here is the thing, same thing can be said about ZS5v1.

    In this shape, ZS10 and ZS5v1 were a near miss for me and ultimately I couldn't tolerate their mistakes but I still believe that KZ is the future of budget audio, well, could be if they actually tried a bit harder. I can't say this about Tin Audio for example, they just haven't existed long enough nor can they produce cheap BA drivers (which is KZ's biggest success imho) nor are they as popular as KZ.
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
    C2thew, MyPants and paulindss like this.
  9. paulindss
    I think the good implementation of crossover together with the individual channels of ba's that can be seen in techmanz tear apart in YouTube. Is a solid step for kz. Some people suggested that the 8mm driver would give a better bass responser than this 10mm. I have good hopes for the future of kz to. As well as i agree with you point of view. Too much redundant models, etc...
    vladstef likes this.
  10. MDH12AX7
    Speaking of 8mm dynamic, I am anxiously waiting for my KZ ZSA's!
  11. Aparker2005
    Es4 still stuck in ready for dispatch. Does it take a week or more to move from that status? Haven't had one stay that long yet
  12. maxxevv
    I think most people who did not respond well to the ZS10 bought on the pre-formed notion that it would have an energetic, bright signature similar to the ZS5 and ZS6 that came before as KZ's TOTL models. And most who do have this notion also enjoy the previous models mainly due to the particular types of music they listen to, which happen to be synergistic with the sound signature of the ZS5 and ZS6. But these models are not without their flaws. Outside of certain genres, they do not really bring out the best in the music as a good set of speakers or headphones should. I never really realised that until I listened to some of these music using full sized headphones such as the HD6XX that I have.

    I think where the ZS10 is an improvement on the previous models is the sense of separation and layering in certain forms of music. Mostly I find in delicately performed pieces be it vocal or instrumental which has very subtle 'virbrato' in the vocal chords and strings. It brought the detail and depth to these which I didn't realise previously were in the recordings.
    For examples, try Tchaikovsky's violin Concerto played by David Ostrakh under the baton of Eugene Ormandy. If you're familiar with classical music, you'll recognise why Ostrakh.
    Similarly, Jacqueline du Pre's Dvorak Cello Concerto recording under EMI.
    I was pleasantly delighted to find these details which I had never previously picked up.

    Make no mistake, but I still stand by my previous statement that the ZS6 is wonderful for instrumental music, be it acoustic playing or full blown symphony orchestra. Just that the ZS10 brings out that extra subtlety in certain areas never previously heard in the ZS6.

    Vocals wise, I'm not so sure which be suitable for the most of the audience on these boards, but the one that stood out for me was chinese diva 蔡琴 's "被遗忘的时光" in DSD recording.

    If you have the chance, give these tracks in FLAC or DSD quality a run and do an A/B using the ZS5 and ZS6, perhaps you'll pick up the difference in the ZS10 and the direction which KZ was pointing it at. "Refinement" rather than "Energetic Fun".

  13. fluteloop
    Preach! Preach!
    Slater likes this.
  14. SciOC
    I think this is true, the zs10 is definitely good for the price, but I think some people are really hoping for a true giant killer out of kz and are disappointed when the set they get is just "good for the price" or not as good as a cheaper kz set...

    The zs10 Strikes me as a poor man's brainwavz b400. If they spent some more time tuning they could have had something really really great. Instead they seem to spam everyone with concepts hoping one will be lightning in a bottle.

    They need to focus a bit more on having a coherent product line and not mass produce every prototype they make. The zs10 definitely feels like a prototype and not a finished product.... It's proof of concept. Now if they'd just take the next step here to polish this concept before they jump to their next idea (ie. 16ba set)....
  15. misterchao
    Where did you order? Mine shipped the day after I ordered them

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