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Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread

  1. jibberish
    After spending all day on planes and trains with the ZSR today, I do think there is comfort issue for me. The sharp point at the opposite side of the housing from the nozzle presses hard into my ear. I can twist the housing in a way that the point doesn't make contact with my ear, but, it's easy for it to shift into an uncomfortable position if you're moving around.

    Looks like the ZS4 has that exact same shape on that side of the housing as well :triportsad:
  2. Slater
    We all have different experiences in life. I’m glad you’ve had such good luck with mic’d cabled IEMs. I can only speak for myself, and I’ve had the opposite luck from yours. It is because of that, that I never buy mic cable versions unless that’s the only way they come.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
  3. Mellowship
    Why the hell does the ZS3 sounds awfully with the KZ Bluetooth cable (4.2) but the ZST sounds terrific? Not the best solution here because the plugs only go as deep as the metal pins, but this combo is a winner.
  4. audionab
    1 trip to pocket
    Although the cable still works
  5. Mellowship
    That sucks :frowning2:
    You should have left 5mm of the sleeve when you took the memory wire off, to act as a strain relief...
    None of my KZ cables suffered from that misfortune.

    How about the sound? I'm expecting the ZS4 to arrive soon...
    audionab likes this.
  6. Slater
    Impedance mismatch.
    Mellowship likes this.
  7. audionab
    i never had this problem with es4 which i had for a month but ya should have done that strain relief thing :frowning2:
    the SQ is great
    the bass is awesome,mids are slightly recessed, the treble is slightly boosted and has very slight hint of sibilance although with burn-in it will be gone
    Mellowship likes this.
  8. Mellowship
    Hey @Slater, I suspected that. I believe you published something in that regard here, but I couldn't find it.
    What I did find was your excellent tutorial on how to fix the BT antenna! [ https://www.head-fi.org/threads/kno...essions-thread.698148/page-1282#post-13621972 ]
    So I got my tools out and opened the BT module... but it was very different from yours. No visible antenna. Got so frustrated that I forgot to take a picture before closing it back...
  9. Mellowship
    Thanks. I like those "slightly" tweaks! When mine arrives I'll post my impression. But for what I was able to make from all of you that already listened to the ZS4, it should be a great cost/performance option!
  10. hydroid
    Just got em from the post office. Initial impression is they're good but not that great. Definitely better than zs3 but the midbass and details of the zst (with foam mod by slater) is still best for me. But the fit is perfect. Just my opinion though.. Will give more hours of playing and tip rolling(probably wide bore) then see if sound will change..
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
    CoiL likes this.
  11. Slater
    Wow, that’s interesting.

    That tells me KZ must have switched from the circuit board trace style antenna to a SMD ceramic antenna chip. We know they are using a ceramic antenna on the new ‘neck’ style Bluetooth module.

    Assuming that is the case, that means my antenna mod won’t work (as you found). But the flip side of that is in theory an antenna mod shouldn’t even be needed. One of the advantages of ceramic antenna chips is it takes the guesswork out of calculating the proper antenna length - the chip manufacturer has already done that step for you.

    However, that still requires KZ to:
    1. Select the correct ceramic antenna for the intended application, as different ceramic antennas would be used for different wavelengths.
    2. Ensure the circuit is designed with adequate shielding, grounding, etc.

    So there’s plenty of chances for KZ engineers to make bonehead circuit design mistakes. And given the reports of the performance of the newest KZ cables, it sounds like that’s still happening.
    Mellowship likes this.
  12. Mellowship
    Damn! It is exactly what I think is happening. I read some online reviews for the new "neck style" BT module, which were more or less consistent with frequent connection skips. As I didn't need the APT-X codec, I decided to go for the old KZ BT cable, the one with the single dongly-dong! "At least" - I thought - "if I experience any shortage of breath from the module, I will grab my iron and apply the good ol' @Slater antenna fix"...

    Well, the BT works fine indoors, despite having no more than 3 meters of range. Outdoors, almost every time I slide my phone in the jeans' pocket, it skips. Fade down... moment of silence for the death of BT signal... fade up, here it comes again!

    So, ceramic it should be. Now I'm curious. Over the next few days I'll manage to take some time and patience to open it up and post some pictures of its groins.
  13. Slater
    Cool, please do!

    Yeah, it’s really unfortunate that KZ just can’t get their act together on any of their Bluetooth stuff.

    I have a number of the KZ modules, and I hate using them (except the one I modded). I was planning on using them for converting a few full size headphones to Bluetooth (since the module is so small) just because I can, but I don’t even want to use them for that.

    The TRN cables blow the KZ cables out of the water.

    It’s going to be quite interesting to see how the new KZ BTE does. It may have the best sound in the world, but if it has crappy Bluetooth it’s going to fail. And that’s going to be unfortunate, because the cable is fixed.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
  14. loomisjohnson
    i owned the shure 535 and (superior build quality aside) they don't sound as good as the kz zsr or trn v80; likewise from memory i thought the tin t2 sounded better than the wetstone w40. which is not to state categorically that all the $$$ mainstream players are bad value or subpar, but you get an awful lot of bang for your buck in chifi.
    ShakyJake, HungryPanda and Slater like this.
  15. audionab
    after some tip rolling for zs4 the best sounding and comfortable fit are the tennmak turbo whirlwinds(wide bore)
    They don't isolate as good as starlines but they don't hurt my ears like these new starlines do because they go way deep in the ear canal
    With wide bores zs4 sounds more open and less bassy
    Slater likes this.

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