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the ed9 with the gold filter should do you--i like it much more than the ed7
Not tried the ED7 but the ED9 with gold filter is a good buy. Not noticed any significant weaknesses in the sound and it's so, so cheap.
I would look for one of the Fiio BL35s on Amazon - I've had good luck with them and the new version is more durable (black with a red cap for some reason). I think the warnings you have seen are for ones that try to go the other way - unbalanced to balanced. Those are bad news.
Question: is the ZSN Pro comparable to the ZS7 in terms of sound quality?
They share the same KZ's sound, but the ZS7 will be more refined and sound separation will be better.
Man, considering that you seems to have a lot of KZ, what's their best one today?
I’m afraid I can’t help with that. I have zero experience with those adapters.
Whatever you decide to buy, I would verify the pinout that the adapter designer used matches whatever your gear expects. There’s a couple of different balanced wiring configurations, and you don’t want to mess anything up.
Below is the most common balanced wiring configuration, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will match yours. I take no responsibility.
After going through the same ordeal, I found out you can use a trn 4 core or 6 core cable (the ones with angled connectors) just fine. I've found these to provide the best fit with the ZS3,ZS3E,ZS4 shells. Doesn't fit "100%" but certainly a lot better than the KZ cables. It fits tightly. I use this for my morning jogs and it never comes off. Currently using the 4 core cable.
The 6 core cable is a little more robust, with a chin slider but basically same connectors (from pictures, I don't have it)
Here are the links if interested
4 core cable
6 core cable
ZSX of course
thnx a lot, looks good i've got already a 4core trn cable with mmcx and i'm satisfied becuase they don't have memory wires
KZ also made AS12 and AS16.
Are they assumed to be inferior or excluded from the comparison?
They lack the bass.
The ZSX is my favorite too.
I had ZSN pro (my first KZ) and moved on to ZS7. These two are very different and are fantastic value to me. ZS7 is superior bit I do miss the ZSN pro's upfront treble and how it accentuated the little details in sound.
ZSN pro: strongly elevated treble creates a sensation of superb detail. Everything sounds alive and has this holographic quality to it. And yet in this upfront sound there is some decent bass (can EQ it to basshead levels) and soundstage (as midrange and voices are somewhat behind the rest, but still clear). Loved them for richly produced electronic music (like Solar Fields or Shpongle), it was so easy to get lost in all this detail.
Not good for rock music though, the frequency response in ZSN pro accentuates what's most boring in it.
While tonally these did sound off, I wouldn't go as far as to call them metallic sounding.
Otoh, listening to streamed music was nice as the extra treble helped to compensate for slightly duller source sound.
Oh, and having some extra tips can change a lot, e.g. foam tips with a wide bore would reduce treble. Sounded more correct for sure, but I preferred the elevated treble on the kz starline tips.
ZS7: Warm signature with clearer sound. It's not that much clearer than ZSN pro, but still is, which is remarkable with that boosted treble being tamed down. And the bass is to die for. Goes crazy deep and remains clear. But I didn't like the upper treble at first, it was cut down too much for me. But because of that, the soundstage seemed wider as the top end of the audio spectrum is pushed back behind the midrange while bass is nicely filling up the space. Sounded much like Beyerdynamic DT150 but with a bit less sparkle and more sub-bass.
After some mental adjustment, this sound started to make more sense. They are also sensitive to eartips and I like them with super short and wide blue spiral tips from kz for more upfront midrange, but I still use starlines every now and then due to more laid back sound and increased soundstage it brings.
Sweet! Thank you. I'll give them a go.
I'm not aware of any variations in the TRRS signal arrangement in 2.5mm outputs. It is just as standardized as 4.4mm Pentacon or 4-pin XLR. 3.5mm balanced outputs on the other hand don't have a consolidated standard that I am aware of. (Headphones that use single 2.5mm or 3.5mm jacks on the cups for their cable are not standardized on their pin input, and it is not uncommon for them to choose whatever suits the maker, including backward compatibility with non-TRRS, i.e. standard unbalanced TRS cables, such that a headphone with a 2.5mm TRRS jack on a cup would not necessarily work with a straight through 2.5mm TRRS to 2.5mm TRRS cable without re-arrangement of the signals from end to end.)
You can buy the Dunu DC-11 adapter or the Fiio BL35 to plug a headphone terminated in a 2.5mm balanced male connector into a 3.5mm unbalanced socket.