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Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread

  1. DynamicEars
    what is your preferences? do you like bass impact? or bass light? that will be a question for AS16 and AS12 and A10, if you want bass impact, and less bright, skip those. They are more on bright side, less bass impact, and can be tiring on highs.
    ZS10 pro were the fave of the month, few months back until they have a better ZS10 Pro which is ZSX, more smooth trebles without infamous metallic sounding of ZS10 Pro.

    C12 is ZSX sibling, they are almost same and the newest from company to date, while ZSX more balance, C12 a bit aggressive on upper mids and lower highs region.

    your best bet from KZ/CCA are ZSX or C12, they are better than previous KZ in many aspects (KZ and CCA getting better in every product they release, but just gradually, slow improvement until they reach decent ZSX and C12)

    yes but ZS10 pro have metallic sound, and they fixed it with ZSX, ZSX is a revision of ZS10 Pro, with no harsh lower treble.

    Can you describe more about impact? ZSX isn't thin sounding, they have decent weight on notes, but if youre talking about fun impact, they are more balance and not too impactful on bass . on other side V90 is very impactful on Bass slam and punch, but slightly recessed mids area, more v shaped than ZSX overall. Both are nice IEM for $50 category.
    beavis87 and illumidata like this.
  2. khighly
    Got the ZSX, I can tell they're probably pretty good and spacious, but this is now the second time I've received a faulty pair of IEM's from KZ themselves, the T1's being the other pair. My ZSX is extremely unbalanced in the bass & sub-bass in that the right side seems like it's not even sealed, even though it's firmly sealed in multiple tips. Tried on multiple cables, ran through a polarity test, everything checks out. The vent holes I could see were open with nothing obstructing. The bass vent has its white foam in each side. Running through a frequency test I can experience huge dips. I go back to ZS10 Pro and it's not unbalanced like the ZSX's. Hope this doesn't become a more widespread issue as these are unlistenable.

    darmanastartes and zachmal like this.
  3. Zerohour88
    ah, I worded that a bit misleading, I guess. Not impact in terms of attack/decay, but more on the weight/definition of notes. You could say resolution vs size? I'm comparing to the CA Andromeda, ofc, so not really a fair match, but that says how much I hold it in regards (despite various issues with the ZSX, its cheap)
  4. SomeGuyDude
    Not having heard the Andromeda, I will 100% agree that complaining about literally anything the ZSX does against a $1500 product is like being upset that your Charger doesn't feel as nice as a Phantom.
    Conest likes this.
  5. Zerohour88
    Andro is 1k (and got it for way cheaper than that), but point still stands.

    regardless, sound is sound, not like I'm mad that its not as good. Just an observation from a higher echelon of audio.
  6. SomeGuyDude
    What I mean is that... yeah. I mean I definitely call the ZSX as standing up to IEMs in the $300 area (and I mean that for real, it's definitely better than my Mee P1, 1More Quad, and iBasso IT03 and on par with my old Periodic Be), but that's also probably just personal bias on my part and I wouldn't expect them to be in the same area code as something like an Andro.

    If your point is that it "lacks in impact compared to a flagship," then don't just say it "lacks in impact." It's being unfair and a bit disingenuous. It's like buying a camcorder and criticizing it heavily without mentioning that you're comparing it to your RED rig, or talking about the flaws in a video someone uploaded to YouTube because the production isn't as good as The Avengers.
    Conest likes this.
  7. Podster
    Just dropped in to say this may very well be the best $99 Chi-Fi (TOTAL) I've owned to date, cable inspiration is totally MB's doings:rolling_eyes:

    Chi-Fi Ninety Nine.JPG

    @khighly , hate to hear about your ZSX. Mine have sounded great across the spectrum since day one and external amping really opens them up.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
  8. Zerohour88
    not really, I really do mean it lacks impact (or definition, whatever people call it, coining terms in audio description is hard when you're not sure of what people are talking about). And its my own personal opinion. Just like how some people are treble-heads or bassheads. You might think its impactful enough and that's good for you. I'm glad it does. For me it doesn't. It is what it is for me.

    I do re-iterate that we might not even be talking about the same kind of impact/definition. I'm not just talking about the bass (attack-decay stuff), its how the note carries itself (like how a DD portrays a note vs a BA).
    citral23 likes this.
  9. ShakeThoseCans
    I see people saying that their KZ ZS-10P/ZSX are 80% as good as their Westones.

    That's interesting to me. I know Westones are a big name in IEMs, but I've never tried one. What are Westones known for? Electronic/HipHop/Metal? Using lots of BAs?

    I imagine people use them as all-rounders, including for acoustic and classical, so I would think only the very latest KZ/CCAs could approach Westones in timbre and tuning.
  10. planetpowers
    Here's where I come from. Shure E3c, UE Superfi EB, Westone 3, Westone UMX3, UE Triplefi 10, Westone W2, Tin T2, KZ ZS10pro. This doesn't count many other budgets IEMs in between. I have been an audiofile my entire adult life. I can honestly say that the KZs sound nearly as good as anything I've ever owned. Perfect with a little EQ. I will never buy anything Westone ever again. Maybe just 3 or 4 spare sets of KZs to last me the next decade.
  11. Zerohour88
    depends on which Westones, I tried a few (the W40 and 60, I think? quite a while back, I remembered them being warm and mushy, rolled off), not really bad but even before the invasion of chi-fi they were too pricey for what they offered.
    ShakeThoseCans likes this.
  12. baskingshark
    Westone has been around for a long time, very established western brand. Other than IEMs, they also deal with military aids and hearing aids. For IEMs they have a line for casual music listening (V shaped or near basshead tuning) and a line for stage/studio monitoring (neutralish), and deal mostly with BAs.

    Yep that was my claim about KZ ZS10 Pro hitting 80% sound quality of my Westone W30 and Westone 3. Indeed like the others, I've also stopped buying Shures and Westones since the past 2 years after I got my hands on my first CHIFI. I remembered 2 years back, shame on me, I had just purchased a $400 USD Westone W30 for stage monitoring use (cause up to 3 years back, there was no such thing as a sub $50 or even sub $150 multi BA/hybrid) and that was the cheapest multi BA set I could find at my local audio shop. I had to save for months just for it =(. The next day, my colleague at work brought his KZ ZS6 to the office. For a few weeks, he offered me to try out his KZ, but I was a CHIFI snob then, I thought "What's this piece of poorly manufactured Chinese gear that cost a fraction of my Westone? It looks like a pirated Campfire Andromeda LOL" (ok maybe they did copy the shell haha).

    One day, after repeated persuations to try the KZ, just to stop the nagging, I decided to try it. I was quite impressed, not too bad technicalities, just a super shrieky treble. Next day I bought my own KZ ZS6 and the rest is history. In fact, a few of my Westones died at the cable insertion area (a few of their older models charged midfi pricing with non detachable cables LOL), whereas all my CHIFI are still alive today (my KZ ZS6 was just recently sold away in working condition a few months back).

    As for the question of timbre, the Westones being multi BA sets, their timbre is not gonna be as good as some well tuned DD IEMs. They are still better in timbre than our infamous "steely" timbre of the older KZs and DT6s. Technicals wise, I have no doubt recent CHIFI offerings like the KZ ZSX, TRN V90, TRN BA5, CCA C12 can hit thereabouts the sound quality of a midfi multi driver Westone.
    But in the modern day context when the CHIFI gods have blessed us with good multi driver IEMs/hybrids costing as low as $30 USD, and the Westones asking for 10 times the price for marginal improvements, I wouldn't buy another Westone ever again.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019
    nicksson, ShakyJake, Conest and 11 others like this.
  13. mbwilson111
    Actually you have brought up a point that is often on my mind. When people write a big long posts with no paragraph spacing, I am unable to read it... or maybe I am just unwilling. It can be difficult to keep ones place on the page reading a computer screen as compared to reading a book. It makes my eyes tired,... especially at night. Surely I am not the only one?

    I try to break my longer posts into extra paragraphs for that reason. I appreciate when others do the same. It also makes it easier to find and quote the portion I wish to reply to. There have been posts that I wanted to read but it just too exhausting.
    darmanastartes and HungryPanda like this.
  14. Mellowship
    Wasn't this a KZ thread? Why are we discussing whose father is the greatest audiophile and whatever nationality has to do with it?

    Just enjoy your appreciation for KZ...

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