Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread
Nov 30, 2021 at 4:14 AM Post #57,421 of 58,328

SomeEntityThing

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So back on 11.11 I ended up buying an IEM Lucky Bag from a certain AliExpress store that went for roughly $13 CDN... just to treat myself a little bit along with some foam tips to replace my dried up collection.

I ended up getting something called the QKZ ZAX 2, QKZ's latest model from November. The reason why I'm even talking about this in this thread is because I still don't fully understand the relationship between QKZ and KZ but I'm guessing QKZ is some kinda sister company like CCA or the like. Kinda weird naming scheme though since the KZ ZAX boasts a 1DD + 7BA setup vs the QKZ ZAX 2's 1DD, and the ZAX 2 has a faceplate more akin to the KZ ZEX. Turns out these QKZs were going for around $7 CDN during Black Friday on AliExpress. Darn. But hey, that's just the way luck is, eh? The ZAX 2 are the cheapest properly functioning IEMs I've got. Considering my next step up is the DT9, I'm not sure how fair comparisons I may make would be. I musn't expect so much... here's my small impressions after roughly 4-ish days of listening.

My primary testing source was the HiBy FD1 unbalanced into my laptop, but I have also plugged it into my Shanling M0 and Samsung A71 when on the go.

- Treble is actually... lacking??? As I understand it KZ's recent models have generally tried to follow the typical V-shaped tuning which incldues sparkly (and potentially sibilant) treble but this is QKZ we're talking about so maybe that little aside is irrelevant. I find myself longing for more sparkle from pianos, cymbals and female vocals. BUT at least they are, therefore, not sibilant! Mids are similarly kinda dull but not horrendously recessed in relation to the highs and lows.
- Soundstage is fairly narrow horizontally with average-ish height. Vocals are kind of in your face-ish. I've never really tried talking about timbre when describing my audio gear so I'll try giving it a shot here: aside from sparkle missing and stuff as mentioned above which seriously doesn't appeal to me, I think the timbre is otherwise... okay. I suppose nothing else particularly sounds "off" in any instruments such as guitars and such that makes me go "oof."
- Bass has decent punch, with sub bass in particular being most pronounced. Everything about the sound signature just sounds muffled in general and so I'm not sure if I can chalk it up partly due to bass bleed unfortunately but that might be the case, hahaha.

At the end of the day I've got a beater pair to happily take with me while commuting on buses and trains that pushes out ultimately satisfactory sound amidst the rumbling and roaring of engines and tracks! Predictably, it's really when I sit down at my laptop with stuff like my fun-sounding DT9 or smooth-sounding yet still tastefully bassy Kinera Sif that the ZAX 2's flaws really stand out to me, and so I'm more bummed out by how much I could've saved by buying these IEMs straight from the source at QKZ's store than how they ended up sounding. Again though, that's the way these sorts of lucky bags work.
 

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Nov 30, 2021 at 4:33 AM Post #57,422 of 58,328

Insider K

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Still very early on since I just got them, but will try to share some more impressions so far since the promo price is still active as of this post it seems.

Bass quantity to me seems maybe slightly lower than the NRA/ZEX in the mid bass region. especially in the BL03 which has a lot of it. But it's relatively tight sounding and well controlled to me. Nice enough thump when the track calls for it, and nice enough texture too. Soundstage is average to me, but to me, most IEMs are more or less in that category for me, and will always lose to earbuds. :joy: Instrument separation and detail retrieval I think is above average for the price, and if you got it at the 22USD price, it's even more value for money in that regard I guess. The ZEX and NRA i felt already punch above their price for detail retrieval, and this is maybe a small step better I think. But still not going to beat more expensive sets though. (like i think my smabat proto 1.0 and ER4XR still has better technicalities) Haven't heard the DQ6 though, and gave away my ZSX long ago, so can't compare.

Tuning wise probably more of a mild V-shaped. Mids are still slightly behind the treble and bass to me. They are still a bit on the thinner side though. Male vocals seem a bit thinner than even the NRA probably since less mid bass, but upper mids have more presence and body to me, and overall, mids sounds better on the ZEX Pro for me. Compared to BL03, more or less same thing. More body overall, more forward. so prefer the ZEX Pro over those. Slight sibilance for certain vocals and tracks (like if I go look for it in tracks i know are more prone to sibilance it's there, but it's not too bad or unlistenable to me). Shouldn't be a problem for most. Pretty safe tuning overall that isn't shouty, too harsh, or fatiguing to listen to for me. To me, just the shift in the upper mids to a bit further back to 3kHz makes it better for me already. Don't hear that much of a metallic timbre though, but it's also not quite the most natural I've heard either? Slightly tizzy in the cymbals.

Overall... not so much of a WOW factor for me, but more like pleasantly surprised that the bass quality has been slightly improved and that the mids are nicer too, and fits my preference more. The treble region kinda still reminds me a bit of the NRA/ZEX, so feel like most of the changes could have just come from the DD driver used and by tweaking the frequency response a little. Maybe the BA driver is contributing a bit to that better mids, but my completely unscientific guess is that it's probably not doing all that much. But I'm not quite willing to tear it down and disconnect the BA driver or whatnot, and i got no way to measure the FR anyhow, lol, so I'll believe that it's the former for now.

at the promo price now on AliExpress, it's a pretty easy recommendation for me since there is so little I don't like about it. Inoffensive sound and tuning, technicalities that punches above its price bracket too. Like it more than the recent TKZW Wave, TRN TA2, CCA CA16 pro too. But if you're a bass head, or you already have something better, the ZEX Pro doesn't really do anything special in terms of sound. To me it's just a good value for money for the amount of performance it offers at this price point.

Thank you for a more detailed write up. I had a feeling that it is going to lean more on neutral V shape or relaxed tune, while I am a fan of more energetic tune and one could say more bass head territory, I ordered the set anyways... will see.
Upcoming Blon BL-07 might be something more interesting, still waiting on the actual BL-03 step up, even though I am loving BL-01.

PS. what is that BTR5 lookalike thing from Ugreen?
 
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Nov 30, 2021 at 4:51 AM Post #57,423 of 58,328

4ceratops

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Still very early on since I just got them, but will try to share some more impressions so far since the promo price is still active as of this post it seems.

Bass quantity to me seems maybe slightly lower than the NRA/ZEX in the mid bass region. especially in the BL03 which has a lot of it. But it's relatively tight sounding and well controlled to me. Nice enough thump when the track calls for it, and nice enough texture too. Soundstage is average to me, but to me, most IEMs are more or less in that category for me, and will always lose to earbuds. :joy: Instrument separation and detail retrieval I think is above average for the price, and if you got it at the 22USD price, it's even more value for money in that regard I guess. The ZEX and NRA i felt already punch above their price for detail retrieval, and this is maybe a small step better I think. But still not going to beat more expensive sets though. (like i think my smabat proto 1.0 and ER4XR still has better technicalities) Haven't heard the DQ6 though, and gave away my ZSX long ago, so can't compare.

Tuning wise probably more of a mild V-shaped. Mids are still slightly behind the treble and bass to me. They are still a bit on the thinner side though. Male vocals seem a bit thinner than even the NRA probably since less mid bass, but upper mids have more presence and body to me, and overall, mids sounds better on the ZEX Pro for me. Compared to BL03, more or less same thing. More body overall, more forward. so prefer the ZEX Pro over those. Slight sibilance for certain vocals and tracks (like if I go look for it in tracks i know are more prone to sibilance it's there, but it's not too bad or unlistenable to me). Shouldn't be a problem for most. Pretty safe tuning overall that isn't shouty, too harsh, or fatiguing to listen to for me. To me, just the shift in the upper mids to a bit further back to 3kHz makes it better for me already. Don't hear that much of a metallic timbre though, but it's also not quite the most natural I've heard either? Slightly tizzy in the cymbals.

Overall... not so much of a WOW factor for me, but more like pleasantly surprised that the bass quality has been slightly improved and that the mids are nicer too, and fits my preference more. The treble region kinda still reminds me a bit of the NRA/ZEX, so feel like most of the changes could have just come from the DD driver used and by tweaking the frequency response a little. Maybe the BA driver is contributing a bit to that better mids, but my completely unscientific guess is that it's probably not doing all that much. But I'm not quite willing to tear it down and disconnect the BA driver or whatnot, and i got no way to measure the FR anyhow, lol, so I'll believe that it's the former for now.

at the promo price now on AliExpress, it's a pretty easy recommendation for me since there is so little I don't like about it. Inoffensive sound and tuning, technicalities that punches above its price bracket too. Like it more than the recent TKZW Wave, TRN TA2, CCA CA16 pro too. But if you're a bass head, or you already have something better, the ZEX Pro doesn't really do anything special in terms of sound. To me it's just a good value for money for the amount of performance it offers at this price point.

Screenshot 2021-11-30 at 14.04.49.png
Thank you for sharing your first impressions. I hope that I will not perceive the bass part as quantitatively insufficient, because at the NRA I perceive it that way. The quantity of bass at ZEX is fine in my opinion, only higher bass affects lower mids more than desired.
 
Nov 30, 2021 at 5:21 AM Post #57,424 of 58,328

r31ya

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Still very early on since I just got them, but will try to share some more impressions so far since the promo price is still active as of this post it seems.

Bass quantity to me seems maybe slightly lower than the NRA/ZEX in the mid bass region. especially in the BL03 which has a lot of it. But it's relatively tight sounding and well controlled to me. Nice enough thump when the track calls for it, and nice enough texture too. Soundstage is average to me, but to me, most IEMs are more or less in that category for me, and will always lose to earbuds. :joy: Instrument separation and detail retrieval I think is above average for the price, and if you got it at the 22USD price, it's even more value for money in that regard I guess. The ZEX and NRA i felt already punch above their price for detail retrieval, and this is maybe a small step better I think. But still not going to beat more expensive sets though. (like i think my smabat proto 1.0 and ER4XR still has better technicalities) Haven't heard the DQ6 though, and gave away my ZSX long ago, so can't compare.

Tuning wise probably more of a mild V-shaped. Mids are still slightly behind the treble and bass to me. They are still a bit on the thinner side though. Male vocals seem a bit thinner than even the NRA probably since less mid bass, but upper mids have more presence and body to me, and overall, mids sounds better on the ZEX Pro for me. Compared to BL03, more or less same thing. More body overall, more forward. so prefer the ZEX Pro over those. Slight sibilance for certain vocals and tracks (like if I go look for it in tracks i know are more prone to sibilance it's there, but it's not too bad or unlistenable to me). Shouldn't be a problem for most. Pretty safe tuning overall that isn't shouty, too harsh, or fatiguing to listen to for me. To me, just the shift in the upper mids to a bit further back to 3kHz makes it better for me already. Don't hear that much of a metallic timbre though, but it's also not quite the most natural I've heard either? Slightly tizzy in the cymbals.

Overall... not so much of a WOW factor for me, but more like pleasantly surprised that the bass quality has been slightly improved and that the mids are nicer too, and fits my preference more. The treble region kinda still reminds me a bit of the NRA/ZEX, so feel like most of the changes could have just come from the DD driver used and by tweaking the frequency response a little. Maybe the BA driver is contributing a bit to that better mids, but my completely unscientific guess is that it's probably not doing all that much. But I'm not quite willing to tear it down and disconnect the BA driver or whatnot, and i got no way to measure the FR anyhow, lol, so I'll believe that it's the former for now.

at the promo price now on AliExpress, it's a pretty easy recommendation for me since there is so little I don't like about it. Inoffensive sound and tuning, technicalities that punches above its price bracket too. Like it more than the recent TKZW Wave, TRN TA2, CCA CA16 pro too. But if you're a bass head, or you already have something better, the ZEX Pro doesn't really do anything special in terms of sound. To me it's just a good value for money for the amount of performance it offers at this price point.

Its shaping up to be pretty good.
its good for the price, better quality bass tough less in quantity, better mids (YAAY), still a bit thin vocal (aaah), similar treble to nra.

I was wondering how this one will goes, since with EDC and CRA, it seems KZ is trying out different tuning.
If its considered better than Wave, or the TA2. Seems, ZEX Pro is a $22 (+17% tax) well spent. still hoping mine will arrive before christmas
 
Nov 30, 2021 at 5:54 AM Post #57,425 of 58,328

axhng

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Thank you for a more detailed write up. I had a feeling that it is going to lean more on neutral V shape or relaxed tune, while I am a fan of more energetic tune and one could say more bass head territory, I ordered the set anyways... will see. Upcoming Blon BL-07 might be something more interesting.

PS. what is that BTR5 lookalike thing from Ugreen?
I definitely wouldn't call it too relaxed or neutral V though. It doesn't have bass quantity like the BL03 or CA16 Pro, but there is a good amount of sub-bass to me which give it a nice punch, just that the bass seems tighter, which might be why there is less mid/upper bass? also still got more than enough upper mids and treble energy. So to me it's still a fun listen, but then I tend to prioritise bass quality over bass quantity, so am fine with less bass. But anyway, at 22USD on aliexpress with the promo now (according to CCA twitter seems to be the last day too) it's still very good value for money imo. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The UGREEN thing is basically a bluetooth DAC AMP much like the BTR5, but it's more like the uBTR I guess in terms of price. Works as a regular DAC when plugged directly into my devices too. Bought it since it was cheap (around 30USD) on local e-commerce site. Has a relatively decent battery size, built-in clip, supports up to aptx HD, and supposedly using CS43131 DAC. Not as powerful as my JCALLY JM10 (with BHD firmware) with the same chip i think, so probably slightly different implementation? not too familiar with it. But works well enough on the go.

Thank you for sharing your first impressions. I hope that I will not perceive the bass part as quantitatively insufficient, because at the NRA I perceive it that way. The quantity of bass at ZEX is fine in my opinion, only higher bass affects lower mids more than desired.
In this case I think the ZEX Pro is more sub-bassy while the NRA is more mid-bassy and a tiny bit slower I think. So to me I hear the bass on the NRA a bit more. There is always the option to go for tips that can warm up the sound a bit more. I think sony MH755 sort of does that for me. :joy:

Its shaping up to be pretty good.
its good for the price, better quality bass tough less in quantity, better mids (YAAY), still a bit thin vocal (aaah), similar treble to nra.

I was wondering how this one will goes, since with EDC and CRA, it seems KZ is trying out different tuning.
If its considered better than Wave, or the TA2. Seems, ZEX Pro is a $22 (+17% tax) well spent. still hoping mine will arrive before christmas
Indeed, but it's just slightly thin for my preference, but I don't think they're too thin still. Treble is a bit tamer compared to NRA I think, since I find the NRA to be a bit more prone to sibilance (a bit less 5kHz too i think). Just that the characteristic (lack of a better word) of that treble just kinda seem similar. But YMMV of course. I've heard folks who enjoy the TA2 and Wave too. Just that for me not fond of both of them at all. :joy: It's definitely good value to me at least. It's not perfect, and there are things I wished could be better for sure, but it does a lot of things right for my preference. But the CRA will be interesting to see for sure.
 
Nov 30, 2021 at 6:15 AM Post #57,427 of 58,328

axhng

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Wave? How is it possible to enjoy that one 🤣🤣
:joy: I've seen a few reviews that were relatively positive on the Wave, or at least not negative, which makes me wonder if I'm just unable to get a fit that's good enough since the nozzle is quite thick, which could be a reason why I can't enjoy those at all? There some aspects that I kinda find was okay on that set, though the relatively neutral bass really doesn't do the metallic timbre any favour. :joy:
 
Nov 30, 2021 at 6:56 AM Post #57,428 of 58,328

r31ya

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Indeed, but it's just slightly thin for my preference, but I don't think they're too thin still. Treble is a bit tamer compared to NRA I think, since I find the NRA to be a bit more prone to sibilance (a bit less 5kHz too i think). Just that the characteristic (lack of a better word) of that treble just kinda seem similar. But YMMV of course. I've heard folks who enjoy the TA2 and Wave too. Just that for me not fond of both of them at all. :joy: It's definitely good value to me at least. It's not perfect, and there are things I wished could be better for sure, but it does a lot of things right for my preference. But the CRA will be interesting to see for sure.
TRN nails the TA1. i didn't buy it because at the time i was saving for my current HE400i (2020).
I didn't remember the details, but When TA2 released, i was in the market to find sub $100 IEMs and TRN TA2 is definitely on my radar.
I was like, "Improved TA1 with extra knowles BA". It should be awesome~!

and they didn't quite stick the landing.
and i ended buying four month old secondhand Aria instead and loved it.
and i promises myself to not buy another iem for at least till next year.
and i saw KZ ZEX Pro at $22...
 
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Nov 30, 2021 at 8:09 AM Post #57,429 of 58,328

Insider K

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I definitely wouldn't call it too relaxed or neutral V though. It doesn't have bass quantity like the BL03 or CA16 Pro, but there is a good amount of sub-bass to me which give it a nice punch, just that the bass seems tighter, which might be why there is less mid/upper bass? also still got more than enough upper mids and treble energy. So to me it's still a fun listen, but then I tend to prioritise bass quality over bass quantity, so am fine with less bass. But anyway, at 22USD on aliexpress with the promo now (according to CCA twitter seems to be the last day too) it's still very good value for money imo. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Punchy sub-bass, and quality tighter bass in general sounds quite sublime. I got mine for ~25 Euros, will take a while to get here I guess, hopefully before Christmas holidays.
I liked BL-03 quite a bit at first, because of the bass and energy, I still do, but after trying BL-01 I prefer them over BL-03. Still kind of waiting for the actual BL-03 successor or a step up, maybe BL-07 will be something interesting.

Forgot to ask, did you try EQ with ZEX Pro, does it respond well to EQ?
The UGREEN thing is basically a bluetooth DAC AMP much like the BTR5, but it's more like the uBTR I guess in terms of price. Works as a regular DAC when plugged directly into my devices too. Bought it since it was cheap (around 30USD) on local e-commerce site. Has a relatively decent battery size, built-in clip, supports up to aptx HD, and supposedly using CS43131 DAC. Not as powerful as my JCALLY JM10 (with BHD firmware) with the same chip i think, so probably slightly different implementation? not too familiar with it. But works well enough on the go.
Ah awesome, a more budget option, specially after BTR5 price jumped quite a bit after 2021 version. Never heard of JCALLY JM10, wonder how does it compare to something like Ibasso DC05 or TempoTec Sonata E35/E44.
 
Nov 30, 2021 at 8:55 AM Post #57,430 of 58,328

ChristianM

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Screenshot 2021-11-29 at 19.38.11.png

Just got the ZEX Pro, and after a quick listen, definitely better than the ZEX for me. Sounds more balanced to me with less bass quantity, and bass sounds tighter and less warm (even compared to NRA I think). Prefer the mid range tuning a lot more too, I'm not the biggest fan of the earlier bump at around 2kHz like on the ZEX, NRA, CA16 Pro, since to me they sound less natural because they bring the 1-1.5kHz up a bit too. So some vocals end up sounding a bit nasally to me. The ZEX Pro has that gain at around 3kHz which sounds more pleasing for my ears. So definitely liking the mids on these more. Nothing seems really off or what for now, but will need to spend more time with them for sure, but so far so good. Recently tried the TKZK Wave which is around the same price, and I like these so much more. Not sure if it was my set or what, but the metallic timbre wasn't fun to listen to, especially since it's pretty neutral in bass too, so I think it makes that stand out more to me.

Edit: forgot to mention the other stuff. Fit is pretty much perfect for my ears. Better than ZEX/NRA, and CA16 Pro. They are using translucent white starline tips. Cable is same as ZEX/NRA/CA16Pro.
Hi, since you don't have ZSX anymore, do you have ZAX to compare ZEX Pro sound difference? I have ZSX and don't know if I should buy ZEX Pro or not. I read that ZAX sound better than ZSX but ZAX is out of my budget right now. Thanks
 
Nov 30, 2021 at 11:20 AM Post #57,431 of 58,328

Kumonomukou

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Still very early on since I just got them, but will try to share some more impressions so far since the promo price is still active as of this post it seems.

Bass quantity to me seems maybe slightly lower than the NRA/ZEX in the mid bass region. especially in the BL03 which has a lot of it. But it's relatively tight sounding and well controlled to me. Nice enough thump when the track calls for it, and nice enough texture too. Soundstage is average to me, but to me, most IEMs are more or less in that category for me, and will always lose to earbuds. :joy: Instrument separation and detail retrieval I think is above average for the price, and if you got it at the 22USD price, it's even more value for money in that regard I guess. The ZEX and NRA i felt already punch above their price for detail retrieval, and this is maybe a small step better I think. But still not going to beat more expensive sets though. (like i think my smabat proto 1.0 and ER4XR still has better technicalities) Haven't heard the DQ6 though, and gave away my ZSX long ago, so can't compare.

Tuning wise probably more of a mild V-shaped. Mids are still slightly behind the treble and bass to me. They are still a bit on the thinner side though. Male vocals seem a bit thinner than even the NRA probably since less mid bass, but upper mids have more presence and body to me, and overall, mids sounds better on the ZEX Pro for me. Compared to BL03, more or less same thing. More body overall, more forward. so prefer the ZEX Pro over those. Slight sibilance for certain vocals and tracks (like if I go look for it in tracks i know are more prone to sibilance it's there, but it's not too bad or unlistenable to me). Shouldn't be a problem for most. Pretty safe tuning overall that isn't shouty, too harsh, or fatiguing to listen to for me. To me, just the shift in the upper mids to a bit further back to 3kHz makes it better for me already. Don't hear that much of a metallic timbre though, but it's also not quite the most natural I've heard either? Slightly tizzy in the cymbals.

Overall... not so much of a WOW factor for me, but more like pleasantly surprised that the bass quality has been slightly improved and that the mids are nicer too, and fits my preference more. The treble region kinda still reminds me a bit of the NRA/ZEX, so feel like most of the changes could have just come from the DD driver used and by tweaking the frequency response a little. Maybe the BA driver is contributing a bit to that better mids, but my completely unscientific guess is that it's probably not doing all that much. But I'm not quite willing to tear it down and disconnect the BA driver or whatnot, and i got no way to measure the FR anyhow, lol, so I'll believe that it's the former for now.

at the promo price now on AliExpress, it's a pretty easy recommendation for me since there is so little I don't like about it. Inoffensive sound and tuning, technicalities that punches above its price bracket too. Like it more than the recent TKZW Wave, TRN TA2, CCA CA16 pro too. But if you're a bass head, or you already have something better, the ZEX Pro doesn't really do anything special in terms of sound. To me it's just a good value for money for the amount of performance it offers at this price point.


Thank you for informative impression! The comparison on Proto and ER4XR are particular helpful. As the collection gets bigger, we're mostly looking for TD than just a fresh set of downs.

So back on 11.11 I ended up buying an IEM Lucky Bag from a certain AliExpress store that went for roughly $13 CDN... just to treat myself a little bit along with some foam tips to replace my dried up collection.

I ended up getting something called the QKZ ZAX 2, QKZ's latest model from November. The reason why I'm even talking about this in this thread is because I still don't fully understand the relationship between QKZ and KZ but I'm guessing QKZ is some kinda sister company like CCA or the like. Kinda weird naming scheme though since the KZ ZAX boasts a 1DD + 7BA setup vs the QKZ ZAX 2's 1DD, and the ZAX 2 has a faceplate more akin to the KZ ZEX. Turns out these QKZs were going for around $7 CDN during Black Friday on AliExpress. Darn. But hey, that's just the way luck is, eh? The ZAX 2 are the cheapest properly functioning IEMs I've got. Considering my next step up is the DT9, I'm not sure how fair comparisons I may make would be. I musn't expect so much... here's my small impressions after roughly 4-ish days of listening.

My primary testing source was the HiBy FD1 unbalanced into my laptop, but I have also plugged it into my Shanling M0 and Samsung A71 when on the go.

- Treble is actually... lacking??? As I understand it KZ's recent models have generally tried to follow the typical V-shaped tuning which incldues sparkly (and potentially sibilant) treble but this is QKZ we're talking about so maybe that little aside is irrelevant. I find myself longing for more sparkle from pianos, cymbals and female vocals. BUT at least they are, therefore, not sibilant! Mids are similarly kinda dull but not horrendously recessed in relation to the highs and lows.
- Soundstage is fairly narrow horizontally with average-ish height. Vocals are kind of in your face-ish. I've never really tried talking about timbre when describing my audio gear so I'll try giving it a shot here: aside from sparkle missing and stuff as mentioned above which seriously doesn't appeal to me, I think the timbre is otherwise... okay. I suppose nothing else particularly sounds "off" in any instruments such as guitars and such that makes me go "oof."
- Bass has decent punch, with sub bass in particular being most pronounced. Everything about the sound signature just sounds muffled in general and so I'm not sure if I can chalk it up partly due to bass bleed unfortunately but that might be the case, hahaha.

At the end of the day I've got a beater pair to happily take with me while commuting on buses and trains that pushes out ultimately satisfactory sound amidst the rumbling and roaring of engines and tracks! Predictably, it's really when I sit down at my laptop with stuff like my fun-sounding DT9 or smooth-sounding yet still tastefully bassy Kinera Sif that the ZAX 2's flaws really stand out to me, and so I'm more bummed out by how much I could've saved by buying these IEMs straight from the source at QKZ's store than how they ended up sounding. Again though, that's the way these sorts of lucky bags work.
QKZ & KZ were connected at some point, then they sort of worked as two divisions, which stated on QKZ official sites. As crazy as it sounds, QKZ pretty much work as a budget version of KZ... Same shell, and potentially simpler/cheaper drivers.

I was looking at some of their newly released IEMs, didn't buy them but ultimately walked away with 4 sets of QKZ-X adapters (Slightly better looking version of TRN BT20), Too good deal to pass up for a total of 20-ish bucks.
 
Nov 30, 2021 at 2:26 PM Post #57,432 of 58,328

evasb

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It is strange that, if they are related, KZ doesn't want to be associated with QKZ. KZ and QKZ uses different accessories, in taobao QKZ doesn't sell KZ or vice-versa (like CCA and G. K). What I know is that KZ has a capital tie-up with TRN. Some years ago, I remember that someone asked ThePhonograph (an old chifi review/sales site) editor if KZ was related to QKZ, and he/she said that they are unrelated.

But who knows, maybe QKZ is a KZ spin-off or whatever.
 
Nov 30, 2021 at 2:27 PM Post #57,433 of 58,328

RikudouGoku

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It is strange that, if they are related, KZ doesn't want to be associated with QKZ. KZ and QKZ uses different accessories, in taobao QKZ doesn't sell KZ or vice-versa (like CCA and G. K). What I know is that KZ has a capital tie-up with TRN. Some years ago, I remember that someone asked ThePhonograph (an old chifi review/sales site) editor if KZ is related to QKZ, and he/she said that they are unrelated.

But who knows, maybe QKZ is a KZ spin-off or whatever.
Yes, I am not so sure if QKZ is related to KZ.

They did contact me (regarding the ZEX Pro) and told me that CCA and GK are their sister brands, no mentions on QKZ.
 
Nov 30, 2021 at 3:11 PM Post #57,434 of 58,328

SomeEntityThing

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QKZ & KZ were connected at some point, then they sort of worked as two divisions, which stated on QKZ official sites. As crazy as it sounds, QKZ pretty much work as a budget version of KZ... Same shell, and potentially simpler/cheaper drivers.

I was looking at some of their newly released IEMs, didn't buy them but ultimately walked away with 4 sets of QKZ-X adapters (Slightly better looking version of TRN BT20), Too good deal to pass up for a total of 20-ish bucks.

It is strange that, if they are related, KZ doesn't want to be associated with QKZ. KZ and QKZ uses different accessories, in taobao QKZ doesn't sell KZ or vice-versa (like CCA and G. K). What I know is that KZ has a capital tie-up with TRN. Some years ago, I remember that someone asked ThePhonograph (an old chifi review/sales site) editor if KZ was related to QKZ, and he/she said that they are unrelated.

But who knows, maybe QKZ is a KZ spin-off or whatever.

Yes, I am not so sure if QKZ is related to KZ.

They did contact me (regarding the ZEX Pro) and told me that CCA and GK are their sister brands, no mentions on QKZ.
I recall that QKZ stands for "Quality Knowledge Zenith" so I was thinking there is likely some kind of relationship between the two companies, but maybe not? Kind of strange imo to straight up use KZ's entire name in their own though...
 
Nov 30, 2021 at 3:18 PM Post #57,435 of 58,328

axhng

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TRN nails the TA1. i didn't buy it because at the time i was saving for my current HE400i (2020).
I didn't remember the details, but When TA2 released, i was in the market to find sub $100 IEMs and TRN TA2 is definitely on my radar.
I was like, "Improved TA1 with extra knowles BA". It should be awesome~!

and they didn't quite stick the landing.
and i ended buying four month old secondhand Aria instead and loved it.
and i promises myself to not buy another iem for at least till next year.
and i saw KZ ZEX Pro at $22...
Yeah, I quite like the TA1 despite some of its flaws. It didn't really play nice with some genres, but for certain genres like Jpop, it was still quite enjoyable. TA2 I feel like just didn't hit the mark at all for me. :joy: A familiar story for a lot of us here. It's nice to see a lot of nice sets at the budget price range, but then while there are improvements for sure, a lot of them end up just being "good for the price", and you'll still get a better step up by just going up the price bracket. Though there are stuff in higher price range that misses the mark too. :joy:

Punchy sub-bass, and quality tighter bass in general sounds quite sublime. I got mine for ~25 Euros, will take a while to get here I guess, hopefully before Christmas holidays.
I liked BL-03 quite a bit at first, because of the bass and energy, I still do, but after trying BL-01 I prefer them over BL-03. Still kind of waiting for the actual BL-03 successor or a step up, maybe BL-07 will be something interesting.

Forgot to ask, did you try EQ with ZEX Pro, does it respond well to EQ?

Ah awesome, a more budget option, specially after BTR5 price jumped quite a bit after 2021 version. Never heard of JCALLY JM10, wonder how does it compare to something like Ibasso DC05 or TempoTec Sonata E35/E44.
Same here. For me I got the BL03 pretty early on and like it for a while, but then as I tried more stuff and figure out my preference, I rarely use it much anymore. I feel like the BL-Max is probably a small step up from the 03 in terms of tuning (technical performance is still somewhat meh) to me, but something like the BL-Mini was just weird (fit is the best I've tried from them though). At this point, not holding my breath for their products.

it did try a bit of EQ to see if i can warm up the sound a little (more mid bass, less 8k upper treble) and it did respond well without messing up everything else I liked about the sound. but that's just a few dB of tweaks since the default tuning is kinda decent for my preference already.

Not too sure about those since I haven't really tried them, and haven't really tried enough DAC AMPs too. Though the TempoTec stuff are pretty well reviewed. But for JCALLY JM10 at least I wouldn't recommend them to folks either unless they are willing to flash the firmware to the Sonata BHD one to get more power. It'll be somewhat okay for easy to drive stuff with lower impedance, but for stuff that are lower impedance but will benefit from having more power like Tanya, and to a smaller extend BL03, having the BHD firmware helps a ton since the output will be fixed at a higher amount instead of adjusting based on impedance. :joy:

Hi, since you don't have ZSX anymore, do you have ZAX to compare ZEX Pro sound difference? I have ZSX and don't know if I should buy ZEX Pro or not. I read that ZAX sound better than ZSX but ZAX is out of my budget right now. Thanks
Unfortunately have not tried the ZAX. :sweat_smile:
 
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