Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread
Nov 12, 2020 at 5:35 PM Post #52,486 of 58,364

IEMusic

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So KZ/CCA paragraph C pin housing cracks just because of the poor plastic used.
Yep, that’s what I figured. Poor material, and possibly poor manufacturing technique (heating/cooling).
 
Nov 12, 2020 at 8:42 PM Post #52,487 of 58,364

Mouseman

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I'm looking for some cables to go with my KZ's (and my KBEAR Lark which is on it's way) and I was looking around on Ali due to 11/11 as it has some very tempting discounts on some KBEAR cables.

They look good but
A: I've never shopped on Ali
B: I'm not that familiar with the brand
So my question is should get some or pass?
I have several KBear cables, and many from other manufacturers. I am a big fan of KBear over the others in similar price ranges, and would highly recommend them. Solid build, quality, and SQ.
 
Nov 12, 2020 at 10:28 PM Post #52,490 of 58,364

redguardsoldier

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So, from the impressions on the ASX and ASF so far i gather their performance is somewhere between excellent and atrocious. :thinking:

you mean their performance is average, which is the middle between excellent and atrocious :) ?
 
Nov 12, 2020 at 11:58 PM Post #52,491 of 58,364

MacAttack7

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There are some other tracks but the majority is covered in that playlist. I'll pick an example here: Colbie Caillat's Magic. For comparison I've picked the Cat Ears Mia. It's not a multi-BA IEM but it's a V-shaped single-dynamic setup so the vocals are also recessed like the ASF.

The vocals are muffled as the upper-registers of the vocals aren't extended at all. Also this track in particular showcases the bloated bass. On the Cat Ears, despite its V-shaped signature, the bass stays under control and doesn't overshadow the lower-mids. The bass bloom was very evident during the 35 second mark on the ASF. The soundstage/imaging is also very weird on the ASF. Left/right separation is good but everything in between just sounds too central.

In terms of male vocals, Dashboard Confessional's Vindicated, or if you're into more singer/songwriter genre: Colin Hay's I Just Don't Think I'll Get Over You - displays the nasal/honky sound as I mentioned.

Another issue is with rock songs. My playlist has a lot of rock/metal songs and the ASF just gets too congested too quickly in such genres. Guitar riffs esp are too blunted to be enjoyable. Breaking Benjamin's Diary of Jane is an example.
Thanks for providing some song samples.

I tried Colbie Caillat and then Colin Hay. I used my Sennheiser HD569 to compare.
The voices are definitely more crisp and clear on the Sennheisers......a cleaner sound.
The ASF has a fuller, bass, sound....probably has what you call bloated bass in your description, although I wouldn't know bloated bass from heavy bass.

With Breaking Benjamin I'm not sure what I was hearing. I liked it on the ASF, but I'm not used to that kind of music.
There was a fuller, warmer, bass sound on the ASF, and a lighter sound on the Sennheisers.

I'm not cut out for the earphone reviewing business.
I still enjoy the ASF's and wouldn't notice anything wrong if you didn't tell me.
But it would make complete sense to me if all the bass had an effect on the other areas of the sound, because they do have a lot of bass.
 
Nov 13, 2020 at 12:05 AM Post #52,492 of 58,364

courierdriver

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There were theories that using the 0.78mm plugs in the 0.75mm sockets, especially if repeatedly inserting and removing the cable, was responsible for all of the fractures that appear over time on the qdc sockets. I have my doubts about it.
I fractured my original KZ ZS10 PRO C connector QDC raised housing on the left earpiece, which caused it to quit working. I subbed out cables many times with that set; from the original, single ended brown cable that shipped with it, to a JCally balanced 8 core, to a regular Nicehck 2 pin balanced, to a Tripowin Zonie balanced. All except the original cable included in the box, was a 0.78 2 pin. All the cables I used fit well and were snug. They never came loose or fell off. I don't associate the failure of the earphone with using a 0.78 2 pin; I think the blame lies with the raised Paragraph C connection method they have been incorporating into their newer models. While there is something to be said about the ability of this connector to help prevent the pins from breaking inside the connector ports (if accidentally violently pulled on), I don't think this was ever designed in a way to facilitate multiple cable swaps or removals. We have to remember that, in order to give the consumer a great sound at a lower cost, some build sacrifices have to be made.
 
Nov 13, 2020 at 4:33 AM Post #52,493 of 58,364

cleg

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So, here is my video about KZ ASF. It's really fun to see such polar opinions for this model, but in my opinion, everything is simple. KZ created another "anti-audiophiliac" model. Some people projected their expectation for a "5/10 balanced armatures model" to those IEMs and were disappointed that they aren't super neutral mega natural, etc, and got disappointment. Those, who've expected KZ signature sound will get it: fun, bassy, energetic, and will love it

 
Nov 13, 2020 at 5:43 AM Post #52,494 of 58,364

Turbulance

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Just got my KZ ASX delivered. Decided to use the stock cable and large tips to test. Listening to my Tidal, Headphone Testing playlist via USB Audio Player Pro and my Fiio BTR5 connected via USB-C.

Very happy. Extremely detailed sound and I'm hearing a few things I've not noticed in my other IEMs.

So far mostly good.

As far as this pair of ASX, I am very happy with their sound. To be honest I really like the tuning of these IEMs, I do not find the bass to be muddy and neither do I find them dark. Not sure why some of the reviews have been so negative.

The only downer for me so far has been the fit of the IEM creating hot spots. Though my ears are starting to adjust to the new fit.

The issue for me is with the wings, which have a very firm fit against my ears, no chance of the IEMs falling out, but the wings push a bit too hard against my ears and they have been getting uncomfortable if I wear them too long, with some pain if pressed.

Thankfully the more I wear them the less this problem is becoming. I am finding I can wear them longer and longer and I expect that I will soon get completely used to them. But this could be a real deal breaker for someone with small ears.

I also ditched the supplied ear tips. They are very flimsy, often turning inside out (I’ve never had tips do this previously). And because they sit flush with the tip of metal nozzles, they do not enter the earth very far making it hard to get a good seal. Currently I’m using a pair of Spin Fits (CP 145). These tips extend further into the ear and fit well.
 
Nov 13, 2020 at 10:07 AM Post #52,495 of 58,364

IEMusic

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So, from the impressions on the ASX and ASF so far i gather their performance is somewhere between excellent and atrocious. :thinking:
They exist “where love and hate collide”.
 
Nov 13, 2020 at 10:09 AM Post #52,496 of 58,364

IEMusic

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It’s weird, I have the ASF and the LZ A7 on the way, but purely out of curiosity, and my desire to have an all-BA KZ IEM, I’m actually more excited to hear the ASF. My expectations are for a fun, unabashedly V-shaped KZ IEM.
 
Nov 13, 2020 at 10:11 AM Post #52,497 of 58,364

Sebulr

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Yep, that’s what I figured. Poor material, and possibly poor manufacturing technique (heating/cooling).
As a bloke who works in plastic mouldings for 20 odd years I'd guess it's acrylic which is a brittle material. And yes my zs10pro earpieces are slightly cracked, but still usable. Should have used abs, polycarbonate or acetal. Those are more costly however I think. I don't order the material, and am not going to bother looking it up, but I'm pretty sure that's correct. I'd use pc personally. Would likely increase the cost by about £1 per 50 iems, if that. I don't hold it against them though.
 
Nov 13, 2020 at 10:42 AM Post #52,498 of 58,364

paulwasabii

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So, here is my video about KZ ASF. It's really fun to see such polar opinions for this model, but in my opinion, everything is simple. KZ created another "anti-audiophiliac" model. Some people projected their expectation for a "5/10 balanced armatures model" to those IEMs and were disappointed that they aren't super neutral mega natural, etc, and got disappointment. Those, who've expected KZ signature sound will get it: fun, bassy, energetic, and will love it



My KZ SA08 was delivered yesterday and what you said is exactly what I felt last night. This is like the Z1, KZ putting new hardware in a TWS and showing it off with that bassy, fun KZ house sound.
 
Nov 13, 2020 at 10:52 AM Post #52,499 of 58,364

MacAttack7

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I also ditched the supplied ear tips. They are very flimsy, often turning inside out (I’ve never had tips do this previously). And because they sit flush with the tip of metal nozzles, they do not enter the earth very far making it hard to get a good seal. Currently I’m using a pair of Spin Fits (CP 145). These tips extend further into the ear and fit well.
Are the CP145's (5-6 mm) a little too large for the ASF nozzles?
I read some going to the CP800's (3-3.5 mm).
 
Nov 13, 2020 at 1:13 PM Post #52,500 of 58,364

MacAttack7

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So, here is my video about KZ ASF. It's really fun to see such polar opinions for this model, but in my opinion, everything is simple. KZ created another "anti-audiophiliac" model. Some people projected their expectation for a "5/10 balanced armatures model" to those IEMs and were disappointed that they aren't super neutral mega natural, etc, and got disappointment. Those, who've expected KZ signature sound will get it: fun, bassy, energetic, and will love it


Your description reminds me of watching an action movie that's fun, entertaining, & enjoyable, but at the same time the dialogue is cheesy, there are plot holes, and some of the action scenes are just overdone & ludicrous.
You know in the back of your mind it was a horribly made movie if you are a serious movie critic, but it may be a very well made movie if the goal was mostly fun & entertainment.
I always think the critics should add a category to their reviews for fun & entertainment value, "Yeah, this movie was absolutely terrible in a critical sense, but I can't wait to watch it again!"
 

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