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Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread

  1. CYoung234
    I have been doing a lot of listening to the ED16 and ZS10, mostly just with my phone, a Nexus 6p. So, not a great source, but sounds pretty good. Neutralizer affects the ZS10 more than the ED16 on my setup, but post Neutralizer, both of these sound VERY similar. I agree a bit with what you say about the ZS10, as there is something in the sound that is a bit metallic, but I do not get the nasal effect you describe with trumpet, and I am a trumpet player. This is with symphonic music, in this case a couple of recordings of Sibelius symhonies, Berlin Phil, Simon Rattle. To me, the ED16 has a thicker and more real low end. The ZS10 has a better stage, width wise. Depth wise, they are similar. The ZS10 provides more space and 3d to acoustic instruments. I do not find vocals to be more recessed with the ZS10. I still overall slightly prefer the ZS10, as I find my level of enjoyment of the music to be higher. It just gets out of the way of the music for me. I suppose that could cause me to overlook its flaws somewhat more, I do not know. I am using Tennmak wide bores with the ZS10, and the stock KZ medium tips with the ED16.
    gemmoglock, dhruvmeena96 and maxxevv like this.
  2. Wiljen
    I think everyone wants to believe that giant killers exist. Fact is giants are rare enough, giant killers, even in fairy tales, are few and far between.
  3. Zlivan
    Yeah, no :)
    Not for ten dollars :)
  4. Slater
    Isn't the whole purpose of Neutralizer - to MAKE them sound the same? Ie you have something that you don't quite like, and make it sound like something you like. So for example, if you want neutral you can use Neutralizer to make IEM A or B sound neutral.

    Or am I misunderstanding what Neutralizer is for? I don't have an Android phone anymore, so I am not able to install it and play with it myself.
    CYoung234 likes this.
  5. Slater
    I'm not a marketing/consumer psychologist, but it is usually due to many different reasons.

    It's not that people try and intentionally mislead others. It's usually just small benign resaons:

    1. "New toy" bias
    2. Psychological expectations (like when pictures of the food on the menu looks awesome, so it influences your expectation)
    3. Inexperience with listening to a lot of different gear
    4. Brain burn in (or physical burn in)
    5. Your ears that day (humidity, the seal you get (or don't get), ear inflammation, if you have a cold or congestion that day, etc).
    6. Time. Often OOTB stuff can be judged prematurely vs after critical listening for weeks. It's an easy mistake to make - @crabdog literally just did this (https://www.head-fi.org/threads/chi...hones-and-iems.820747/page-1113#post-14370537)
    7. Buying into the hype, which then clouds your judgement.
    8. Perceived value (lower cost products are usually given more leeway to mediocre performance than much more expensive, such as a $0.99 burger vs a $500 Kobe steak)
    9. QC variations. Maybe someone got lucky, and got a REALLY good/golden ear pair, which sound unusually better than some of the others.
    10. Manufacturers quietly making a change. This is kind of related to the previous, and it does/has happened. The initial batch goes out and it's awesome. Then they quietly change it and it sucks. This just happened not to long ago with the BGVP DS1 v1 vs v2 (the "good" one = "TN forum" version).
    11. Flat out just making an honest mistake. We all do; no one is perfect.

    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
  6. CYoung234
    Haha. I suppose if that were literally true, who would need Campfire Andromedas or super expensive iems. Actually, the purpose of Neutralizer is to correct frequency response according to what your ears hear. So, you are in effect equalizing the iem to you. So, the net effect is that what you say is partially true, as you can eliminate glaring FR problems and flatten out the FR. But things like soundstage, etc. are not really changed by this. So, the iems are still different sounding.

    Neutralizer works by playing a set of test tones. You adjust the volume so that each tone matches. Neutralizer then generates a profile for each iem you set up in this way. A good way to use it is to adjust each tone so that it is just barely audible. That seems like a consistent way to use it. It is very different than other EQ programs I have used, but is simple and effective for generating a pretty decent flat EQ for each iem, adjusted for the tips, your ears, source, etc.
    Adide, gemmoglock and dhruvmeena96 like this.
  7. HerrXRDS

    You can't really make an IEM sound like another using EQ. Each IEM has it's own unique base sound and there's only so much you can achieve using EQ, You can increase the bass on a ZS6, but it will never sound as fast and tight as the F9 Pro due to different driver construction. You can increase the midrange and highs, but it will only sound louder and harsher not clearer or more detailed. Different driver configurations and materials can not sound the same or be capable or reproducing same amount of details.
    gemmoglock likes this.
  8. khighly
    I haven't been around for quite long, but have the ZS6 changed A LOT since they were first out? I really loved the ZS6, but lost one side and never bought a new pair. I'm looking to pick up both the ZS10 and ZS6 from aliexpress shortly. Getting real bored of the iBasso IT03's and have switched back to my ZS5's with a wider soundstage and similar (but slightly darker) performance.
  9. Slater
    Got it. Thanks for explaining how it works! Makes sense now.

    Yup, agreed. I just didn’t understand how neutralizer worked or what it was doing under the hood. It should really be called normalizer not neutralizer. It’s just normalizing the sound based on test tones.

    Anyways, it’s all good now. I never expected an EQ utility to turn a dollar store headphone into a TOTL flagship. That not the way life works haha
  10. Slater
    Luckily there have been no real changes to the ZS6. Well, technically 1 minor one (a nozzle lip), but it is random and not on every ZS6.

    This post breaks it all down.

    B9Scrambler likes this.
  11. khighly
  12. nxnje
    Bit confused about which one of these to pick.
    I want something that has deep sub-bass and punchy + well textured bass. The mids should be clear enough and airy without getting bleeded by the upper bass.
    Treble has to have good microdetailing without being too sharp, but sharpness can be something i can pass on if it needs to be like that to have a good earphone.
    What do u feel is better for something vocal on edm with high details and spaciousness?
    I watched the t2 because people said me they're very analitical.
    I seriously dunno what to decide, i'm so confused..
    I would really like to try the zsr but they have a huge shell..
  13. Slater
    No, there were examples people posted of other colors with the lip.

    The problem is that no matter which color you order - red, green, grey, or black - you may or may not get the lip. Therefore, I do not recommend buying it with the expectation of getting a lip. If you don't get one, there will be no disappointment. If you do get one with a lip, it will be like an extra cherry on top of a sundae.
  14. mbwilson111
    Haha... I always told them to not put the cherry on mine.

    As for tips and lips, I have never had a tip come off in my ear.
  15. Slater
    I don't like the cherry either. It's just an analogy LOL

    And yes, I am with you in the tip. Mine have never come off; not on the ZS5 or ZS6.

    For those that have that problem though, a small drop of rubber cement smeared on the outside of the lip holds them on awesome. It works even better than the hairspray that I have recommended in the past.

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