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Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread

  1. audionab
    can anyone recommend a good value cable for kz zs4?
  2. Lothar101
  3. CoiL
    Waiting for Your feedback on highs after blocking highs BA.

    Still, another contraverse opinion on AS10. You probably have very good hearing too.
    sino8r likes this.
  4. CoiL
    Just got my ZS4 in red.

    They look really gorgeous in red (looks almost same color as my IT01 red side).
    Fit is perfect, even better than ZS3 due to more seamless shell split-line. Also nozzle lip and nozzle itself is better.

    OOTB, with smallest starline tips, they sound just ok. No wow effect (coming from IT01 modded).
    Definitely level lower SQ than IT01 and pretty much typical V-shaped KZ. Mids are not so muddy and cavernous as ZS3 but lack of coherent transition from mids to highs is easily noticeable.
    Highs from BA are easily noticeable dissected from mids/upper-mids and have littlebit sibilance with words containing S`s and hi-hat/cymbals have littlebit unnatural "tingly,zizzly" sound (note that I`m sensitive to FR around 6.2-7.5kHz).
    Also, not sure yet but lower mid-bass seems littlebit boomy (but quite clean) and little raised over lower bass. Though, percussion and tightness is quite ok also.

    Will let them play for some time behind proper amping juice and see if they will settle @ highs and become more balanced/coherent.

    Anyway, shells are very good material for modding and I`ll probably disassemble my ZS4.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
    Rhino73, audionab, Slater and 3 others like this.
  5. hydroid
    Finally you already got your ZS4. Tried mine with the whirlwind wire bore tips of the tennmak piano and somewhat lessen the thundering bass. It sounds ok as well with my Zishan Z1 dap with burson v5id opamp. I think the ZS4 compliments well with bright sounding sources.I had the same experience when using ZS4 then gets back to my IT01. It feels like, the light finally conquers the darkness...lol
  6. CoiL
    Well, my modded DX5X is quite powerful (80mA per channel) and neutral sided signature with slight warmth - I wouldn`t say ZS4 fits well with bright-sided source as I think it will "boost" even more "dissected sibilant" highs. Though, it will probably clear littlebit FR area from low-bass to lower-mids, that You`re right about.
    Wide bore tips don`t seem to affect much ZS4 sound and I think there isn`t much to be done about highs BA "dissected" sound from high-mids/mids. Transition isn`t just smooth and clogging up BA hole with filter won`t help to "remove" that issue, rather just tame sibilance.
  7. Slater
    True, the transition isn't perfect. I doubt they are using any crossover, and are just relying on the drovers themselves to mix. The midrange is the ZS4s biggest weakness, which is really unfortunate.

    I think an optimal configuration would have been a DD driver + BA, or the SD driver + 2BA. Something that would provide stronger midrange a smoother transition between the drivers.

    Sure, there's way better stuff out there (there always is). But the ZS4 is a solid value for $12. The cable (which would run $6 on its own), the awesome fit (for those it works for), and the fact that it is an upgrade to the ZS3 is its strengths.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
    Rhino73, CoiL, C2thew and 1 other person like this.
  8. C2thew
    Correct. the ZS4 does lack in the mids section but it is a significant improvement for the highs over the ZS3's. The ZS4's aren't perfect, but are amazing as earplugs/working out but the mids are very far recessed compared to the bass. The shells/isolation are what makes the ZS4 and the ZS3's shine. They are great for working out with/isolation but not meant for high fidelity playback.

    The stock starline tips for the ZS4's feel very flimsy and don't expand as much as the stock ZS3 eartips.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
    loomisjohnson likes this.
  9. tripside
    ZS4 with foam tips work well for me. Mid bass bleed can be cut down with EQ which cleans up the Mids considerably.
  10. Strat Rider
    I had the same issue wirh the ZSR.
    In my case the housing hit my ear before I got a seal.
    When I was tip rolling I started to insert a keyboard O-Ring prior to fitting the tip.
    For me the best combo was Auvio wide bore and a single ring. The nozzles on the ZSR are long enough to stack more than 1 ring if needed.
    Once that comfort issue was addressed the ZSR is now one of my favorite KZ's.
    jibberish and Slater like this.
  11. antdroid
    Too many posts to reply to but I just want to put this out there on why some earphones may sound sibilant vs other's people's impressions. It does depend on what music you listen to, the quality of the recording, etc. Some music is more prone to sibilant than others. With the ZS6, I found it fine for some genres, but death for others.

    The AS10, I don't find harsh at all, especially compared to the ZS5/6. I wish the treble was more extended to balance out the sound more.

    And while some of these cheaper Chinese brands are doing good job competing with sub $100 IEMs, they are not on the same level as something more expensive than that. Maybe some overpriced brands like Beats, or medicore Sony's, Boses, etc, but I find it hard to believe, from my own listening and owning of cheap and expensive gear, that KZ is comparable to things I've listened to from more expensive products. They are 85-90% there. It's the last 10% that's always the hardest though.

    That said, the BGVP DMG I am listening to now, is really good. It's $139, but it sounds like something worth $199 - $250.
  12. Slater

    They are the next best thing to earplugs as far as isolation is concerned. No need for ANC or any of that business.

    Perfect for mowing the lawn, housework, out in the garage workshop, working out, loud commutes on public transportation, etc. Sweat and dirt are not really a big deal, and if it ever does become a big deal you’re out $12.

    Ultra high fidelity audiophile sound isn’t really needed in those situations. I mean in all reality, if you’re riding on a loud subway or mowing the lawn, you’re not even going to be able to really enjoy the fidelity of Campfire Andromedas right? The ZS4 is plenty good enough in that case.
    audionab, sino8r, CoiL and 1 other person like this.
  13. wind016
    I had friends listen to the AS10 and ZS10 together. Some people perceived the AS10 to be muddier yet still have more distortion in treble than the ZS10. Some friends also say the ZS10 "doesn't have bass". The people that thought the ZS10 lacked bass also did not note treble distortion in the AS10
    sino8r and kukkurovaca like this.
  14. Adide
    ZS10 has too much mid bass and very much lacks sub-bass.
    After my ears treble also needs eq (cut lower, raise upper).
    Basically it's U-shaped tuned oob with heavy rolloffs at both ends.

    But it's a very technical IEM with amateurish tuning which luckily obeys eq well and the U-shaped tuning can be successfully flatened.

    If one doesn't mind eqing then fixing the tonality rewards a nice surprise eventually.
    BadReligionPunk likes this.
  15. sino8r
    I don't know about good hearing but very little loss yet. Probably too many rock concerts and loud car audio systems in my youth didn't help much either. I did find that blocking the high/mid chamber just halfway in high section of does help a bit. You can block the entire higher register section since the tips do contain a plastic channel but it's a it like blocking a tweeter with foam. It's gonna tame the highs but you definitely lose clarity. I'm stick experimenting with it some but so far it helped somewhat without muffling the sound. The answer was be a smaller amount over the entire highs/mids section. We shall see... It does make me curious to how the BA10s sound and while I do love the metal construction, they don't fit me that well included the ZS6. They always end up unseating. The ZSAs are the one the few metal ones that fit nicely. I guess we'll have to wait for more reviews on the BA10s.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
    Slater likes this.

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