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Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread

  1. RvTrav
    Yesterday I received the ZS4 and this was almost 2 years since I received the ZS3. When I ordered the ZS4 there was no indication whether KZ would try to maintain the ZS3 sound signature for the ZS4 or change it completely. The shells of these two earphones are almost identical except that KZ added a lip on the nozzle of the ZS4. When I compared the sound of the ZS3 to that of the ZS4 what I heard was two very similarly tuned earphones. The big punchy bass was maintained, the detail in the mids and treble was also still evident and the treble seemed equally extended in the two. The ZS4 seemed to go deeper into the bass and the treble seemed to be slightly more forward. The ZS4 like the ZS3 was sibilance free. I'm sure others here with better ears than mine will find more difference between these earphones. To me KZ kept all that was good with the ZS3 and added some bass extension and elevated the treble a little bit. I like the ZS4 however I personally would have liked a little more emphasis in the treble as I think this would have added a little more difference between the ZS4 and ZS3.
    rayliam80, crabdog, C2thew and 3 others like this.
  2. HungryPanda
    I really like the ZS4, it is great for progressive rock and metal
    C2thew, neo_styles and Lunar Eclipse like this.
  3. Slater
    Is there any bloated bass? What about bleed into the midrange?
  4. Makahl
    AS10 x ZS4s FR

    At least KZ's channel matching is really good for this such price.

    Source: https://twitter.com/nyanchu202
  5. RvTrav
    No the bass on the ZS4 is fairly well controlled and doesn't bleed into the midrange. I find it less bloated that ZSR or ES4.
    Bartig and Lunar Eclipse like this.
  6. tripside
    Have they improved the cable and memory wire on these ? Ed16 came with really bad cables.

    Do you think the mid range is in any way recessed ?
  7. C2thew
    As long as they maintained the same physical profile of the ZS3's in terms of fit, then everything else is just a bonus. The more forward treble is what I was desiring to have from the ZS3. The ZS4 will be my next set of running iems or possibly work iems (but i need to hear things at work so the ZS4's might be too good for what I need it to do.) Until then ZS10's and ZS3's for now. I can't wait to receive my zs4's!
    Slater likes this.
  8. HungryPanda
    the mids are not recessed at all, these really sound great. The cable is much improved
    crabdog and tripside like this.
  9. tripside
    Good to know! Can’t wait to receive my pair.
    HungryPanda likes this.
  10. CoiL
    Ok, if panda is saying good about mids and match for prog rock... I guess I need to order ZS4 -.-

    iBasso IT01 (even without mods) is good quality option for 100$ imo.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
    Strat Rider likes this.
  11. mbwilson111
    ..always listen to the Panda. I do.. .sometimes.. lol.
  12. CoiL
    ...and I really like red ZS4 looks and fit of ZS3 shell.
    HungryPanda and mbwilson111 like this.
  13. HungryPanda
    I find the zs4 fits really well. I have to go down a size on the tips as the nozzles go deep
  14. Slater
    So my new TRN cases arrived. All I have to say is wow these are my favorite cases for large IEMs. They were $0.91 each from Gearbest. Worth every penny!!

    Here's a comparison of most of the cases we commonly use (I have many others, but these are the ones most of us have), and the OD dimensions. I did NOT measure the ID, so the measurement do NOT take into account foam liners and the thickness of the plastic/foam etc. The measurements are just a guideline only.

    The top row, from left to right:

    1. The large rectangular KZ black plastic snap enclosure case (120mm L x 70mm W x 35mm thick). AVERAGE price ~$1.50-$2 each.
    2. The new TRN oval fabric style zippered case (110mm L x 70mm W x 40mm thick). AVERAGE price ~$1-$2 each.
    3. The larger KZ square fabric style zippered case (80mm L x 65mm W x 25-35mm thick ie it bows larger in the center and tapers out thinner at the ends). AVERAGE price ~$1-$1.50 each.

    The bottom row, from left to right:

    4. Generic round EPS foam zippered case (70mm Diameter x 25mm thick). AVERAGE price ~$1 each.
    5. KZ translucent ABS "Pelican-style" plastic snap enclosure case (80mm L x 50mm W x 35mm thick). AVERAGE price ~$5 each.
    6. Smaller KZ "carbon fiber style" square zippered case (65mm L x 65mm W x 25mm thick). AVERAGE price ~$1 each.

    All cases.JPG

    Here's a comparison of the side views.

    From left to right - KZ black plastic case, TRN oval case, KZ large square case.
    Side 1.JPG

    From left to right - generic round case, KZ ABS case, KZ small carbon fiber style case.
    Side 2.JPG

    As a test, I used a "ZS6 style" metal IEM, with KZ braided cable and memory wires formed to my ears and intact. I use this as a test because this is a large bodied setup, and when I put them in a case I don't want to disturb the memory wires. So the case MUST be roomy, and must allow both adequate thickness for the IEM bodies not to touch and scratch one another, but for the cable to have plenty of room. The KZ braided cable is the bulkiest cable I own, so any case that fits this overall setup will fit anything you throw at it!

    The cases ranked by overall roomiest to least roomiest:
    1. KZ black plastic snap case. Plenty roomy enough for large IEMs and bulky cables.
    2. TRN oval zippered case (pretty much a tie with the KZ black case). Plenty roomy enough for large IEMs and bulky cables.
    3. KZ large square fabric zippered case (roomy enough for large IEMs and bulky cables, as long as you are careful about winding up your cable)

    The following cases did NOT fit my test setup, but I will still rank them for use with smaller IEMs because they will work perfectly fine with them (such as Tin Audio T2, KZ EDR1, etc). Again, ranked from overall roomiest to least roomiest:

    4. Generic round zippered case. Not a bad case. I wouldn't recommend it with any memory wire IEM, but it provides just enough room for medium and small bodied IEMs with no memory wire.
    5. KZ small square carbon fiber style zippered case. Very small and thin, with minimal room inside. Only the smallest IEMs will fit, and even then will require careful winding of the cable.
    6. KZ ABS case. While this is the most "tough" and crush proof, it is comically small inside. Only the smallest IEMs will fit, and even then will require careful winding of the cable.

    In my opinion the overall winner is the TRN oval case. It is 90% as roomy as the KZ black plastic case, is cheaper, and is more useful overall. The TRN case has the mesh net on 1 side, which is plenty of room for a 2nd set of IEMs, or a spare cable, loads of tips, etc. The mesh netting also helps to hold and stabilize the IEM inside when the case is closed.

    The KZ black plastic case is bulky, the latches are flimsy and can be finicky, and while it's a roomy case and foam lined, the contents just bounce around (and scratch one another). The KZ black plastic case IS nice, however, because it has the foam lining. This lining can easily have very small pieces trimmed off and used for mods (BA and nozzle mods), while still allowing use of the case. I think everyone should own at least 1 if not for this purpose alone. It will also store the largest of the large IEMs. It can even be used for other purposes, such as storing items like smaller phones, phone battery packs, cables, etc.

    If you want to see what my test IEM setup looked like inside each case, here you go:

    KZ black plastic case
    KZ Black Plastic.JPG

    TRN oval zippered case

    KZ large square zippered case
    KZ Square.JPG

    Generic round zippered case (doesn't really fit)
    Generic Round.JPG

    KZ small square carbon fiber zippered case (nowhere near fitting)
    CF Square.JPG

    KZ ABS clear case (nowhere near fitting)
    DAP1MP13, hakuzen, DocHoliday and 5 others like this.
  15. pbui44
    So I just finished listening to my ZSA with Cypher Lightning V1 cable and have to thank @antdroid for reminding me about the EQ apps. Luckily, the V1 app was redone to have presets, like the V2 app, so I had the first preset with 500hz and 1khz at 0db and the other bands going down by 1db step to make a dome shape and invert the slight v-shape of the ZSA stock sound. That sounded even better, but I also remembered the EQ measurement list thread @crinacle created.

    There was no ZSA listing, so I saved the ZS6 EQ measurement and kept the same first preset settings up to 1khz, then set 2khz at -1db, 4khz at 0db, 8khz at -3db, and 16khz at -4db for the 2nd present. This preset resulted in a sound that was close to the SE846 stock sound with neutral tuning nozzles, making me feel shocked that what I paid for $75 total could sound close to $1k in sound.

    Also, Shure and Westone have their own Lightning cable’s that can be purchased seperately.
    DocHoliday, antdroid and B9Scrambler like this.

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