Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread
Jun 26, 2020 at 6:01 PM Post #50,326 of 57,623

Unolord

Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 19, 2018
Posts
87
Likes
72
Location
Toronto, Ontario Canada
Sounds like KZ still has Bluetooth connectivity issues even after all these years.

Very disappointing. Reminds of the various Anker/Aukey/Mpow BT buds that I tried out 3-5 years ago before settling on the Jaybird X2. Some of those cheap BT buds would drop connection if you lifted you arm too high... Last night I lifted a beer glass to take a sip and the connection on the S2 started to break up! My phone was sitting on the couch right next me...

Now Anker Soundcores are well liked and apparently have solid BT connection.

I got the S2's off Indiegogo for working out and for sleeping from time to time. I can't do wired IEMs in bed.
 
Jun 26, 2020 at 10:06 PM Post #50,327 of 57,623

Unolord

Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 19, 2018
Posts
87
Likes
72
Location
Toronto, Ontario Canada
Sounds like KZ still has Bluetooth connectivity issues even after all these years.
Yeah, and a decent amount of hiss too.
 
Jun 26, 2020 at 10:30 PM Post #50,328 of 57,623

hmscott

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 14, 2019
Posts
963
Likes
1,115
Location
California
I had stopped using the KZ S2's at some point last night and moved on to my new CVJ CSAs. When I went back to the S2's I had constant drop outs that resolved after I reset them.

Earlier today I went for an hour walk and used the S2s with my phone and they were fine for about 45mins when the drops outs started again. Prior to that I had used them with my Sony NW-A45 and had some weird latency issues that did not exist when I tried that DAP with my Sony MDRX950B's right after.

I like the SQ and the fit but the connectivity...
Yeah, the KZ S2's like "stability" in their BT connection. Once you change the host BT device or change the binding with your existing device without resetting the KZ S2 it can be problematic. The good news is that I went beyond their range with them on and came back into range and they reconnected without a fuss. But, I'm still getting to know them - they aren't like the $150+ TWS's, but then I guess we can't expect them to be for $35 each :)

They do sound good though, transparent and non-fatiguing sound and comfortable fit for watching youtube / movies for hours, and nice to listen to music.

If you can work through the burbles in connectivity moving between devices. I have 2 pair, so maybe I'll dedicate one to my PC and one to my phone...
HiFi is driven a lot by "reviewers".
I can imagine if a hypothetical IEM for $50 is really good, it leaves almost no room to design "the right curve" few kilodollar IEMs and leaves very little for vanity and bragging. Some "reviewers" even have their special "wink" for KZ...
(just my 0-cent unpaid unsolicited thoughts).
Yeah, KZ gets crap from the guys spending $100's-$1000's on IEM's - and I think they are missing out.

My ZSX, ZSN Pro, and AS16's sound great on good equipment, the better the source the better they perform - the best KZ has to offer have a long tail of usefulness as you grow your equipment over the years.

The BT TWS's are still in KZ's "development" phase though... it's clear by the BT burbles, but they aren't too bad - I enjoy the musical parts in between more. :wink:
 
Last edited:
Jun 26, 2020 at 10:43 PM Post #50,329 of 57,623

hmscott

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 14, 2019
Posts
963
Likes
1,115
Location
California
Yeah, and a decent amount of hiss too.
I noticed the hiss when I first put the KZ S2's on, but now after hours of listening I don't notice it unless I am listening to albums recorded off of hissy tape or records - but then I hear that hiss with all of my IEM's and headphones.

Update: After listening to the first pair of KZ S2's for a few days I decided to break out the 2nd pair, and interestingly they started hissing like the first pair did initially, but after a while it goes away. I've got 2 hours into the 2nd pair and the hissing is gone. I just went back to conversational tracks that were hissing at first turn on of this pair of KZ S2's, and now the hissing isn't there.

The KZ S2's have their own special sound and are quite enjoyable to listen to music. Here's a couple of items I've been listening too on the 2nd pair of KZ S2's over the last 2 hours...they have their own special detail and slam signature - straight out of the box.

Here's the hissy items first:

High voltage equipment damage

Why are power amplifiers different?

What's inside the boxes of expensive cables?

Some music + voice:

Solid State Vs Tube Sound (Z Review Demo Recording)

A great new album... Ultra HD
The Lemonade Stand by Tenille Townes on Amazon Music

I'm playing these through a Windows 10 PC with Edge Beta + Audio tweaks, Amazon Music HD (Ultra) app and the KZ S2's connected to the PC via BT - I hope at least Aptx, but I can't get Windows to divulge it's connection details...

The KZ ZSX's also shine when listening to Tenille Townes, although the KZ S2's really add their own special take on the playback - I prefer the S2's sound in many respects even with the ZSX's filling out the sound stage.
 
Last edited:
Jun 26, 2020 at 11:23 PM Post #50,330 of 57,623

seanwee

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Posts
4,373
Likes
2,397
What I don’t get is on HERE if you look at threads that talk about relevant IEMs these are routinely left out of discussion or put at the bottom of lists (see the ”rank your IEM” thread). I almost feel like I’m going crazy liking these so much when i see some of the comparisons. (i bought an es100 mk2 and feel like these pair nicely for my use).

Sure I hear flaws that will undoubtedly lead me to a few more purchases, but am I alone in the feeling the brand doesn’t get the respect of other IEMs because they are “cheap”? I don’t think I am.
HiFi is driven a lot by "reviewers".
I can imagine if a hypothetical IEM for $50 is really good, it leaves almost no room to design "the right curve" few kilodollar IEMs and leaves very little for vanity and bragging. Some "reviewers" even have their special "wink" for KZ...
(just my 0-cent unpaid unsolicited thoughts).
You wouldnt believe how high the KZ ZSX ranks among all the iems ive tried. V-shaped iems get a lot of hate because its what a lot of budget iems are tuned to, but suddenly when high end iem makers start making V-shaped iems they get so much love. It just doesnt make sense.

Take Campfire Audio for example, ive heard all their iems except for the solaris and their special edition iems like the andromeda gold. In my opinion the closest one to the ZSX is the atlas. Sure it has slightly better bass but the mids and highs definitely lose compared to the ZSX. They arent as crisp, detailed or extended. The rest of the lineup are considerably worse sounding.

Ok maybe i dont like CA's tuning, fine, lets take a look a high end iem i actually like. The Sennheiser IE800. Sure the IE800 beats the ZSX in bass extension and control but treble wise the ZSX is more refined and the while the mids of the ZSX are richer and thicker its still as clear as the IE800 while conveying the song with more emotion. So its a win some lose some situation which considering the price gap shouldn't be happening.

And dont get me started on the "midrange" iems like Fiio's iem lineup (ive heard up to the FA7) which the ZSX just blows clear out of the water. Same goes for many less well tuned iems from other brands like Shure or Westone.

People need to wake up. KZ is delivering flagship level sound for bargain bin pricing. No matter how you argue the ZSX's tuning is right up there with the kilobuck iems. If KZ were to create a new brand, up the build quality and looks while keeping the same internals. I kid you not they could easily price an iem with ZSX sound for $1000 easy and people will scream at how good this iem is.

That could be an interesting experiment. Just to show how snobbish the upper echelon of Head-fi is. Release an iem thats supposedly high end and then reveal its actually a 50 buck iem. People need to learn to listen to the iems and not the price.
 
Jun 26, 2020 at 11:33 PM Post #50,331 of 57,623

chinmie

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Posts
3,937
Likes
5,135
Location
Jakarta
You wouldnt believe how high the KZ ZSX ranks among all the iems ive tried. V-shaped iems get a lot of hate because its what a lot of budget iems are tuned to, but suddenly when high end iem makers start making V-shaped iems they get so much love. It just doesnt make sense.

Take Campfire Audio for example, ive heard all their iems except for the solaris and their special edition iems like the andromeda gold. In my opinion the closest one to the ZSX is the atlas. Sure it has slightly better bass but the mids and highs definitely lose compared to the ZSX. They arent as crisp, detailed or extended. The rest of the lineup are considerably worse sounding.

Ok maybe i dont like CA's tuning, fine, lets take a look a high end iem i actually like. The Sennheiser IE800. Sure the IE800 beats the ZSX in bass extension and control but treble wise the ZSX is more refined and the while the mids of the ZSX are richer and thicker its still as clear as the IE800 while conveying the song with more emotion. So its a win some lose some situation which considering the price gap shouldn't be happening.

And dont get me started on the "midrange" iems like Fiio's iem lineup (ive heard up to the FA7) which the ZSX just blows clear out of the water. Same goes for many less well tuned iems from other brands like Shure or Westone.

People need to wake up. KZ is delivering flagship level sound for bargain bin pricing. No matter how you argue the ZSX's tuning is right up there with the kilobuck iems. If KZ were to create a new brand, up the build quality and looks while keeping the same internals. I kid you not they could easily price an iem with ZSX sound for $1000 easy and people will scream at how good this iem is.

That could be an interesting experiment. Just to show how snobbish the upper echelon of Head-fi is. Release an iem thats supposedly high end and then reveal its actually a 50 buck iem. People need to learn to listen to the iems and not the price.

haven't heard the ZSX, but i believe you. i put the ZS10 Pro also quite high in tuning and enjoyment ..and i have quite my share of earphones that I've listened
 
Jun 27, 2020 at 12:01 AM Post #50,332 of 57,623

courierdriver

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 8, 2005
Posts
1,758
Likes
3,468
Location
Canada
haven't heard the ZSX, but i believe you. i put the ZS10 Pro also quite high in tuning and enjoyment ..and i have quite my share of earphones that I've listened
Ditto. I've got a few iems in my collection now, and I honestly have to force myself to listen to them. KZ ZS10 PRO is my favourite. I've got a $1000+ set (Fearless Lancelot); and they are at the bottom of my list. ZS10 PRO is my fav.
 
Jun 27, 2020 at 1:34 PM Post #50,334 of 57,623

Doc-holliday

Never did like custom titles.
Joined
Jul 21, 2012
Posts
2,235
Likes
111
Ok Ill share one more thing here.

I found some nice and inexpensive tips I’m loving on my ZS10 pro’s. I don’t see anyone talking about them anywhere thus the post. They are the “LUDOS” brand tips for their own ludos brand headphones.

They fit the ZS10 perfectly and they are foam tips. I find them to be perfect. Much better for me than Comply’s offerings for my ears. It has been 3 days so I can’t vouch for the durability but I got disappointed by Comply as a company so I quit using foam tips a very long time ago and was looking for something else. Price wasn‘t an absolute requirement for me but it is a major plus obviously.

The texture on the Ludos is more what I remember the Shure Olives to feel like. Its been a while though.

They are 4.9mm and fit the nozzles perfectly on the ZS10. Not too tight like the stock tips and not too loose where they will easily pop off.

Big Pluses:

1. They are only 8 bucks for TWELVE (six pairs.)
2. They come in multi color package. I remember doing a poll on here many years ago and had a dialoge going directly with Comply where I was trying to get them to release multicolored packages of tips for the ease of recognizing Left and Right on UIEMs that are not clearly marked (cmon, don’t lie you know every person on here has started to put the wrong one in the wrong ear on occasion before realizing you mixed them up). Well these guys obviously read my thread and started a whole company on my idea..... lol just kidding.. but great minds think alike.
3. They have tons of 5 star reviews on Amazon.

Big Minus:

They only come in one size. Since i quit using comply a long time ago im going to give you my best guess. The size is a bit smaller than the “medium” size of comply but not as small as their small. I used to used medium comply tips and these are good for me with a fit that I don’t have to pre-squish but firm enough to say in.

Like i said the bore size is 4.9mm so obviously they will fit many IEM’s out there. I believe thats close to the 500 line size in Comply if I recall correctly.

Sound:

They obviously have a subtle effect on the sound vs the silicone tips (little less sparkle, change in bass texture etc) which I find with all foam tips. Don’t know if you will agree, its just what I hear.

Anyone looking for affordable foam tips for their KZ’s, you might want to take a look at them. I found mine on amazon.
B758C326-8887-4509-A1A0-F058511D92F8.jpeg

LUDOS foam tips on KZ-ZS10 Pro in Blue rocking the awesome beloved stock cable 🤪
 
Last edited:
Jun 27, 2020 at 9:39 PM Post #50,335 of 57,623

seanwee

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Posts
4,373
Likes
2,397
I have made a v0.1 eq for the ZSX, its more subtle than my other eqs since the ZSX is already so close to perfect. This one mainly rebalances on the bass but also moves the vocals back a bit as i thought it was a touch too forward compared to the rest of the midrange. I've also tried to reduce the dryness of the vocals but its quite subtle and might not be noticeable depending on the song and how sensitive your hearing is.

You guys can give it a try. Any feedback is appreciated

32hz : +2db
64hz : +1db
125hz: - 2db
250hz: -2db
500hz: +1db
1khz : +1db
2khz : -2db
4khz : 0db
8khz : +1db
16khz: 0db

Edit: Comparing it to my EQed IT01 its still a bit lacking on the soundstage front so ill need to experiment with it a bit. Bass wise while the quantity is close it still doesnt feel as controlled, theres more decay on the ZSX.
 
Last edited:
Jun 28, 2020 at 4:26 AM Post #50,336 of 57,623

Podster

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Apr 30, 2007
Posts
9,275
Likes
10,223
Location
Middle Earth
Ok Ill share one more thing here.

I found some nice and inexpensive tips I’m loving on my ZS10 pro’s. I don’t see anyone talking about them anywhere thus the post. They are the “LUDOS” brand tips for their own ludos brand headphones.

They fit the ZS10 perfectly and they are foam tips. I find them to be perfect. Much better for me than Comply’s offerings for my ears. It has been 3 days so I can’t vouch for the durability but I got disappointed by Comply as a company so I quit using foam tips a very long time ago and was looking for something else. Price wasn‘t an absolute requirement for me but it is a major plus obviously.

The texture on the Ludos is more what I remember the Shure Olives to feel like. Its been a while though.

They are 4.9mm and fit the nozzles perfectly on the ZS10. Not too tight like the stock tips and not too loose where they will easily pop off.

Big Pluses:

1. They are only 8 bucks for TWELVE (six pairs.)
2. They come in multi color package. I remember doing a poll on here many years ago and had a dialoge going directly with Comply where I was trying to get them to release multicolored packages of tips for the ease of recognizing Left and Right on UIEMs that are not clearly marked (cmon, don’t lie you know every person on here has started to put the wrong one in the wrong ear on occasion before realizing you mixed them up). Well these guys obviously read my thread and started a whole company on my idea..... lol just kidding.. but great minds think alike.
3. They have tons of 5 star reviews on Amazon.

Big Minus:

They only come in one size. Since i quit using comply a long time ago im going to give you my best guess. The size is a bit smaller than the “medium” size of comply but not as small as their small. I used to used medium comply tips and these are good for me with a fit that I don’t have to pre-squish but firm enough to say in.

Like i said the bore size is 4.9mm so obviously they will fit many IEM’s out there. I believe thats close to the 500 line size in Comply if I recall correctly.

Sound:

They obviously have a subtle effect on the sound vs the silicone tips (little less sparkle, change in bass texture etc) which I find with all foam tips. Don’t know if you will agree, its just what I hear.

Anyone looking for affordable foam tips for their KZ’s, you might want to take a look at them. I found mine on amazon.B758C326-8887-4509-A1A0-F058511D92F8.jpeg
LUDOS foam tips on KZ-ZS10 Pro in Blue rocking the awesome beloved stock cable 🤪

Hey Doc, great post. So a little off your current topic but something that just dawned on me about a couple of my KZ's (I will say they can really shine on a great source but are so forgiving they can sound really good with mediocre DAP's) Just realized you can get these KZ's:

KZ Stepping Up.JPG


for $76 or you can get
this whole rig for the same $76 :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Slumdog Audiophile.JPG


IMHO KZ gets negative press because people don't want to admit just how good they have gotten and how close they are to the big dollar boys. The ZS7's (I've never been shocked), ZSX's and BA-10 can hang with like iem's from other makers at many times their price:wink:
 
Jun 28, 2020 at 6:34 AM Post #50,337 of 57,623

seanwee

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Posts
4,373
Likes
2,397
Hey Doc, great post. So a little off your current topic but something that just dawned on me about a couple of my KZ's (I will say they can really shine on a great source but are so forgiving they can sound really good with mediocre DAP's) Just realized you can get these KZ's:



for $76 or you can get
this whole rig for the same $76 :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:



IMHO KZ gets negative press because people don't want to admit just how good they have gotten and how close they are to the big dollar boys. The ZS7's (I've never been shocked), ZSX's and BA-10 can hang with like iem's from other makers at many times their price:wink:
I tried the Ba10 when I went to Shenzhen and thought it sounded just OK for its price. Nothing special. I remember thinking it was muddy sounding.
 
Last edited:
Jun 28, 2020 at 7:39 AM Post #50,338 of 57,623

Nimweth

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Posts
2,149
Likes
5,284
Location
Sussex, England
Hey Doc, great post. So a little off your current topic but something that just dawned on me about a couple of my KZ's (I will say they can really shine on a great source but are so forgiving they can sound really good with mediocre DAP's) Just realized you can get these KZ's:

KZ Stepping Up.JPG

for $76 or you can get
this whole rig for the same $76 :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Slumdog Audiophile.JPG

IMHO KZ gets negative press because people don't want to admit just how good they have gotten and how close they are to the big dollar boys. The ZS7's (I've never been shocked), ZSX's and BA-10 can hang with like iem's from other makers at many times their price:wink:
I concur exactly! ZS7, ZSX and BA10 are my top 3 KZs. ZS10 Pro isn't far behind, mind you!
 
Jun 28, 2020 at 11:08 AM Post #50,339 of 57,623

Podster

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Apr 30, 2007
Posts
9,275
Likes
10,223
Location
Middle Earth
I tried the Ba10 when I went to Shenzhen and thought it sounded just OK for its price. Nothing special. I remember thinking it was muddy sounding.

We do all hear things differently but to me the KZ BA-10 may be their clearest and most detailed iem to date :beerchug: Not sure what unit you drove them with was but on my Opus #1 with Auvio tips and the Tripowin cable they sound better than my BGVP DM6's without a doubt (for my ears which may be closer to Shrek's but still hear pretty good):wink: I've listened to rigs costing hundreds more than this one here:

Chi-Fi Doodle Doo.JPG


Which in some respects can't even keep up and even I was :astonished:

Oh, another thing I forgot to mention was fit & seal, because of the shape many did not or could not get that great seal but my Mod for that if you will was to cut tip sleeve's off to extend the tips on them which allows them to sit in the ear comfortably and enough extension for an awesome seal at least 4 me:v:
 
Last edited:
Jun 28, 2020 at 11:24 AM Post #50,340 of 57,623

seanwee

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Posts
4,373
Likes
2,397
We do all hear things differently but to me the KZ BA-10 may be their clearest and most detailed iem to date :beerchug: Not sure what unit you drove them with was but on my Opus #1 with Auvio tips and the Tripowin cable they sound better than my BGVP DM6's without a doubt (for my ears which may be closer to Shrek's but still hear pretty good):wink: I've listened to rigs costing hundreds more than this one here:

Chi-Fi Doodle Doo.JPG

Which in some respects can't even keep up and even I was :astonished:

Oh, another thing I forgot to mention was fit & seal, because of the shape many did not or could not get that great seal but my Mod for that if you will was to cut tip sleeve's off to extend the tips on them which allows them to sit in the ear comfortably and enough extension for an awesome seal at least 4 me:v:
Even compared to the ZSX?

I was using my Cayin N5ii.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top