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Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread

  1. Dani157
    Just to add to @Slater 's points, I'm using BT3 with my ZSN and they fit like hand to glove. Just have to push it slightly but do the job. I've used them for gymming as well and never felt insecure about the fit
    HungryPanda and Slater like this.
  2. citral23
    Moondrop spaceship for example. Even the Fiio F3 are superb in their own merits. But really it depends what you like, someone who prefers EDM, or say technical death metal could prefer the ZSN with its heavy thump, someone who prefers Jazz and opera would prefer the moondrop I'd think.

    I actually still reach for my ZS7 often, when I go for a quick walk with the dog and fire Gojira, to get a "kick". And I get it. But I wouldn't want to listen to them in a 6 hours flight, mids are tiring, there's too much bass overall, it bleeds in the mids etc. But it's fun.

    My original comment, was just that when I see people who already own several KZs look forward to adding more of the same to their collection (ZSN pro when they already have ZSN for instance), I strongly recommand experimenting other brands with different sound signatures, because there's really more to it out there, despite the slight variations it's still all v-shaped and similar tone. And there's a lot of marketing to it, like how many BAs do you think is needed to achieve goodness? Owning a terrific, greatly tuned single dynamic driver IEM can help to take a step back about all this race for drivers honestly.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
  3. Slater
    I couldn’t agree more :L3000:
  4. PhonoPhi
    The very least you have some biased opinion.
    I am a bit surprised to see it here in KZ thread.

    KZ (& CCA) are great to my ears.
    CCA C16 is a way better for me than Fiio F9 pr, for instance.

    To answer about KZ ZS10 pro vs. ZSN, 10 pro is more detailed, better faster bass, and definitely it is the same energetic signature.

    For twice+ the money, I suggest that it is worth to consider, but the conclusion about " better for the money" is very individual.
    archdawg likes this.
  5. Mouseman
    I won't argue that there are more expensive IEMs that sound far better than the KZs, because they do. But the price of the ZS10 Pro versus its performance makes it a great value. And I do think they sound great, particularly when I run them balanced. Even the ZSN Pros sound good, but I'd spend the extra for the ZS10s. I've EQ'd the mids to bring them up a bit, and I'm very happy. Everyone has different tastes, but the KZs are a pretty low spend to try a few different units. But there are other relatively cheap units that also sound good -- heck, the Zircons sound really fun and they're only $10. Are any of these "giant killers"? Nope....I don't think any of those exist.

    I bought the Crescents, and I don't care for them at all -- but that's personal preference. I'm going to burn them in even more and keep trying different tips and see if I hear the magic that everyone else seems to, but I expect that they will be sent to the storage box along with some of the other units I've bought that I don't enjoy (I'm looking right at you, Simgots). Some day I'm going to have to clean out the cabinet since I have already overloaded my friends and family with IEMs that weren't my cup of tea.

    I will agree with you on the dynamic drivers. I've tried a bunch of other units, and I don't care as much for the all balanced IEMs -- I like a dynamic driver in the mix. Then again, I haven't heard any of the TOTL ones -- my upper limit is far below the four-figure range.
  6. citral23
    Not sure how I'm biased, I'm very much brand an price neutral. I'm biased towards U-shape or even better Harman target rather than v-shape tho, but that's not bias, it's personal preference.

    I don't see how the ZS10 pro is an interresting purchase if one owns the ZSN pro already.

    Yes the highs are a bit more refined but honestly, it's more of the same, sorry but that's objective, not biased.


    As KZ seem to improve greatly on each generation of IEMs (especially on the harshness, altho the ZSN pros they ****ed up compared to original ZSN, which is already impossible to listen to at high levels), I'd advise him to wait for the next generation of KZ tbh so there's more difference to make it worth the purchase hopefully.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
  7. PhonoPhi
    The primary dividing preference is DD vs. BAs.
    I personally strongly prefer the speed and agility of BAs - the smoothness and hum of DD is not to my taste.

    Then a favourite trait of DD lovers seem to be "the curves" - looking, tasting, listening...

    Curves are instructive to consider for what IEMs can do upon a frequency sweep. Then it does not tell the times of responce and decay and crosstalk, which is definitely the case for a single membrane responding to all the range of frequencies at once.

    Then understandably more agile ZSN pro vs. ZSN is not to your "dynamic" taste, but generalizing this opinion, especially in a "f-word" form may be a bit ... off...

    I personally really love the changes in CCA CA4 compared to ZSN, they are not drastic to my ears, but exactly in the direction of a more agile response.

    ZSN 10 pro offers very nice resolution. I really liked to listen to electric guitars yesterday, but since that is not what I am often listening to, I prefer AS10 and A10 in a similar price range.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
  8. citral23
    BAs have their advantage. Cramming as many low end bas as possible, in an as cheap as possible package, might not be the most "agile" way to represent music even if it sales well. Yes there is much more to the final product than curves, and cheap, harsh sounding, off-tone bas are here to remind us that fact indeed hahaha!

    The ZS7 and ZS10 pro are still ok to good iems imo. They're not completely off. There's much worse, for sure. But there's always a "but" with them. Cable, harshness, fatiguing mids, too much bass, everyone has something to say about how they could be improved, and I'm sure you too.

    You simply don't feel that you have a premium, mindfully tuned iem in your hands with kz. You might, or might not care. But trying to push them as giant killers is questionable tbh.

    The beginning of unbiasing oneself, is to acknowledge that it's all trial and error in this space.

    PS the multi bas ZS7 is unable to represent contrabass and trumpet in monk's jackie-ing as "agile" as the kanas pro's single DD. One plays frequencies in a muddy way, the other one instruments, with their touch/material/harmonics.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
  9. PhonoPhi
    I am not "selling" anything, neither KZ, nor BAs, just counteracting what I feel is not generally true.

    I got all my IEMs at full price, as a hobby, exactly for the path of "trial and errors".

    After quite a bit of those "trials and errors", I realized my personal preference for BAs, and even more for the graininess (roughness) of less dampened BAs - to my ears they are the best to reproduce string instruments - how violins or cellos sound in close vicinity (and it is not for everyone).

    I absolutely do not want to feel "premium", and especially to unnecessarily pay for it :)

    All that I need is reliable and cost-effective. KZ/CCA did it for me, with their prices, I could afford and really enjoyed experiencing their evolution over the last few years. At this point, I do not have resources and motivation to try other IEMs.
    HungryPanda and B9Scrambler like this.
  10. citral23
    Curious to what you're listening to? Because to me distorted wall of sound guitars like gojira on their way of the flesh album, sound amazing on ZS7 bas. But when I go back to jazz, there's so much more definition, texture, details and harmonics on the kanas pro, it's not even fair. It's like a headshot. BOOM.

    It's nice to be content with what you have, enjoy it. Once you get a taste of 150$ goodness you start to wonder how the 300$ stuff tastes and down the rabbithole you go.
  11. PhonoPhi
    I listen to classical music predominantly. Love strings (and am fortunate to listen to few violin players at home for live comparison).

    I also came to a notion that all the reproduction that is strongly favoured based on some distortions, starting with the lamp amplifiers. So in my limited perception DDs create more overtones/harmonics than it is really there by the virtue of a single membrane not able to reproduce a single frequency/tone without overtones.
    To my ears - it is more of a hum, overcrowding, rather than richness, but to each their own.

    I did not buy a single IEM over $150 and do not plan to.
    I am minimally happy even with KZN, and I am well aware that perfection is not attainable, and the curve of reaching for "more" (gain vs. pain/money/time) is logarithmic :)
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
  12. citral23
    You'd be surprised is all I can say.
  13. PhonoPhi
    That what they usually say in budget Hollywood movies, and I am a bit past it now :)
  14. igorneumann
    I love KZ IEMs but they never really got bluetooth adapters right...

    The 1st ones were terrible, the aptx ones I have with cable too short, cable too long, controls on the left, inverted stereo... Then the aptx-hd that sounded really wrong. (The seller even knew of the problem).

    Crossing my fingers, anyways.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
  15. Slater
    I agree. I learned my lesson with KZ Bluetooth stuff a long time ago.

    Like you said, I'll cross my fingers that KZ gets their act together with the BT20-style adapters. But I would only order it after a load of other people have bought it first and can assure me it's not just another half-baked pre-alpha KZ Bluetooth turd.

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