Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread
Apr 13, 2024 at 4:37 AM Post #63,751 of 64,105
Sup guys! I've gotten a lot of great info from this thread and from this forum. It's been a very long time since I've posted or bought an iem and feel very much out of the loop.

My last iem purchase as crazy as this sounds was the CCA C10 in 2019. I liked them so much I just stopped collecting more iems. In 2019 I had about 10 pairs. Today due to varying circumstances I'm down to 3 iems. KZ ZS1, KZ ATR and finally the aforementioned CCA C10. The ZS1s are very special to me, love the bass. The 5 dollar ATRs I use when exercising or doing chores or working outside. The C10 has been my daily driver though for long music sessions mostly since 2019 and that speaks to their quality. Recently, the plastic housing covers keep popping off and I realized I need some type of glue to fix it and I finally should get around to buying a new iem.

Through some quick research (very quick just reading the past 3-5 pages of the thread) I should maybe give the CCA CRA PRO a try or possibly the KZ ZS10 Pro 2 a try.

Any suggestions for someone who loves the C10? Obviously I could buy another pair of C10s but I'd like to get a good super glue or something similar so the housing covers dont keep popping off and get some more use out of them :) But looking to treat myself as well. 75 USD budget.

Thanks!!!
Wow the ZS1… my first dual driver earbud and second KZ purchase. (After the RX). To this day they are probably the most comfortable KZ for me and I can’t believe they left that style in the dust. I too love the bass but the highs aren’t clear enough for me anymore. I can’t remember where the set is, maybe I have them away but they definitely kindled my interest in exploring more IEMs
 
Apr 13, 2024 at 5:52 AM Post #63,752 of 64,105
Sup guys! I've gotten a lot of great info from this thread and from this forum. It's been a very long time since I've posted or bought an iem and feel very much out of the loop.

My last iem purchase as crazy as this sounds was the CCA C10 in 2019. I liked them so much I just stopped collecting more iems. In 2019 I had about 10 pairs. Today due to varying circumstances I'm down to 3 iems. KZ ZS1, KZ ATR and finally the aforementioned CCA C10. The ZS1s are very special to me, love the bass. The 5 dollar ATRs I use when exercising or doing chores or working outside. The C10 has been my daily driver though for long music sessions mostly since 2019 and that speaks to their quality. Recently, the plastic housing covers keep popping off and I realized I need some type of glue to fix it and I finally should get around to buying a new iem.

Through some quick research (very quick just reading the past 3-5 pages of the thread) I should maybe give the CCA CRA PRO a try or possibly the KZ ZS10 Pro 2 a try.

Any suggestions for someone who loves the C10? Obviously I could buy another pair of C10s but I'd like to get a good super glue or something similar so the housing covers dont keep popping off and get some more use out of them :) But looking to treat myself as well. 75 USD budget.

Thanks!!!
Great to hear from a person who cherish and enjoy good old KZs! :)

I can relate only to C10 (I started my KZ journey in 2018 with ZS10 original and only got few previous ones).

C10 was definitely first milder gentler sounding KZ hybrid, so even Crin rated it "C" instead of hls usual 'D-F"s.

Now, C10 pro is actually a ZS10 pro improvement effort that did not work out largely - "better tighter bass" was not balanced by the larger relative amount of treble.
Definitely not recommended for you.

ZS10 pro 2, which is just new and not reviewed yet, may be the right one. Then also consider CCA Rhapsody that is definitely along C10 lines. For a bit new dimension - Trio is highly acclaimed.

On another note, I spent few hours with AS16 pro X, a semi-legitimate KZ sibling that is not sold in an official KZ store (TWS):
20240413_051517.jpg

I first removed the nozzle mesh right away
20240412_205216.jpg

- and there was a bit too much sibilance (really great (!) since I can always tame it).
With the mesh back - just a bit too tamed for me, but will likely work well for most. So I will work out some intermediate solution.

AS16 pro X uses (recycles) old silver (not black) BAs and sounds well along the line of good "oldies", such as BA10 and AS12. What is nice - mids are noticeably more into play (still not any close to mid-centric, still a V but reasonably more balanced).
Those preferring Harman-like tuning may be better with AS16 pro. All AS16 line is definitely not any close for bassheads.

Those who tuned AS16 pro X did a nice job, in my opinion, making a very good new products out of old components - nicely to my tastes.

Overall, AS16 pro is worthy of consideration for audiophiles enjoying all-BA sound, especially with classical music :)
 
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Apr 13, 2024 at 2:21 PM Post #63,753 of 64,105
Sup guys! I've gotten a lot of great info from this thread and from this forum. It's been a very long time since I've posted or bought an iem and feel very much out of the loop.

My last iem purchase as crazy as this sounds was the CCA C10 in 2019. I liked them so much I just stopped collecting more iems. In 2019 I had about 10 pairs. Today due to varying circumstances I'm down to 3 iems. KZ ZS1, KZ ATR and finally the aforementioned CCA C10. The ZS1s are very special to me, love the bass. The 5 dollar ATRs I use when exercising or doing chores or working outside. The C10 has been my daily driver though for long music sessions mostly since 2019 and that speaks to their quality. Recently, the plastic housing covers keep popping off and I realized I need some type of glue to fix it and I finally should get around to buying a new iem.

Through some quick research (very quick just reading the past 3-5 pages of the thread) I should maybe give the CCA CRA PRO a try or possibly the KZ ZS10 Pro 2 a try.

Any suggestions for someone who loves the C10? Obviously I could buy another pair of C10s but I'd like to get a good super glue or something similar so the housing covers dont keep popping off and get some more use out of them :) But looking to treat myself as well. 75 USD budget.

Thanks!!!


Can't go wrong with the KZ x HBB DQ6s
Fantastic, safe set for the price or even if they were sold at 3x the price,honestly.
There's already a post of me here hyping them up lol

You wont *love* them if youre a treble head though.
 
Apr 13, 2024 at 3:30 PM Post #63,755 of 64,105
I wonder how is the 2K-4K shoutyness\harshness on those AND on the Rhapsody

I wish HBB tuned one of those
The upper mids and lower treble are very well behaved on the Trio (with switches 1010). I hear no harshness at all, the region is elevated but is clear and smooth. There is always the option to use other switch settings and of course sources vary.
 
Apr 14, 2024 at 6:27 AM Post #63,756 of 64,105
The upper mids and lower treble are very well behaved on the Trio (with switches 1010). I hear no harshness at all, the region is elevated but is clear and smooth. There is always the option to use other switch settings and of course sources vary.

Thank you for the reply

Are you usually sensitive to these areas? did you suffer from 2K-4K shoutyness in past IEMs?
 
Apr 14, 2024 at 7:30 AM Post #63,757 of 64,105
Hi guys. I already own the Krila and I regularly use parametric EQ. Do you think is worth buying the Trio or I can stick with Krila+PEQ? Is it just a matter of frequency response in this specific case or there's something more?
 
Apr 14, 2024 at 8:17 AM Post #63,758 of 64,105
Great to hear from a person who cherish and enjoy good old KZs! :)

I can relate only to C10 (I started my KZ journey in 2018 with ZS10 original and only got few previous ones).

C10 was definitely first milder gentler sounding KZ hybrid, so even Crin rated it "C" instead of hls usual 'D-F"s.

Now, C10 pro is actually a ZS10 pro improvement effort that did not work out largely - "better tighter bass" was not balanced by the larger relative amount of treble.
Definitely not recommended for you.

ZS10 pro 2, which is just new and not reviewed yet, may be the right one. Then also consider CCA Rhapsody that is definitely along C10 lines. For a bit new dimension - Trio is highly acclaimed.

On another note, I spent few hours with AS16 pro X, a semi-legitimate KZ sibling that is not sold in an official KZ store (TWS):

I first removed the nozzle mesh right away

- and there was a bit too much sibilance (really great (!) since I can always tame it).
With the mesh back - just a bit too tamed for me, but will likely work well for most. So I will work out some intermediate solution.

AS16 pro X uses (recycles) old silver (not black) BAs and sounds well along the line of good "oldies", such as BA10 and AS12. What is nice - mids are noticeably more into play (still not any close to mid-centric, still a V but reasonably more balanced).
Those preferring Harman-like tuning may be better with AS16 pro. All AS16 line is definitely not any close for bassheads.

Those who tuned AS16 pro X did a nice job, in my opinion, making a very good new products out of old components - nicely to my tastes.

Overall, AS16 pro is worthy of consideration for audiophiles enjoying all-BA sound, especially with classical music :)
Can't go wrong with the KZ x HBB DQ6s
Fantastic, safe set for the price or even if they were sold at 3x the price,honestly.
There's already a post of me here hyping them up lol

You wont *love* them if youre a treble head though.
:)

I appreciate the suggestions. Trying to avoid buying more than like 3 IEMs because they'll end up sitting in a drawer lol. I sure miss the website GearBest as they had such great prices. Typically just use AliExpress these days. Probably go with just the KZ x HBB DQ6s and see how it goes. I listen to a lot of rap and techno/trance/house music so need something that has good bass. The HBB DQ6s come with some comply like foam tips and for like 5 dollars more a KZ gold silver upgrade cable. Believe tomorrow Aliexpress is having a spring sale so itll be like a dollar off too. Tremendous value for 20 bucks for everything you get! Phone I use still has 3.5mm so figure get the silvery cable with mic and the gold/silver w/ no mic for ipod. I like the "pink" color is kind of like copper colored :)
 

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Apr 14, 2024 at 9:18 AM Post #63,759 of 64,105
Thank you for the reply

Are you usually sensitive to these areas? did you suffer from 2K-4K shoutyness in past IEMs?
Many of the earlier KZ models suffered from this to an extent but their tuning has improved recently. I do prefer a mild pinna gain but not too elevated.
 
Apr 14, 2024 at 9:42 AM Post #63,760 of 64,105
Hey guys, I'm going to get the DQ6s as I mentioned earlier but there are two others I'm considering...

The KZ as16 pro and the KZ esx. The esx apparently has very strong bass which I'm looking for to enjoy my library of rap music. The as16 pro just looks very nice, 8 drivers for each side has me nearly sold on them.

Problem is so many conflicting reviews so I dont know what to believe lol. Think KZ has different revisions of their lineup of IEMs so that would explain conflicting reviews. An example that I personally experienced was in the KZ zs1. I have the 2015 brass ring version which is awesome but the later revision with the mesh screen was awful apparently.

Probably get 2-3 iems since its been years since I've treated myself. The DQ6s for sure + 2 more. Leaning esx and as16 pro as long as there aren't any revisions that made them worse. Does anyone know of different versions of these two or perhaps some reviewers got there's from KZ directly while others recieved 3rd party?

Thanks!
 
Apr 14, 2024 at 10:03 AM Post #63,761 of 64,105
Hey guys, I'm going to get the DQ6s as I mentioned earlier but there are two others I'm considering...

The KZ as16 pro and the KZ esx. The esx apparently has very strong bass which I'm looking for to enjoy my library of rap music. The as16 pro just looks very nice, 8 drivers for each side has me nearly sold on them.

Problem is so many conflicting reviews so I dont know what to believe lol. Think KZ has different revisions of their lineup of IEMs so that would explain conflicting reviews. An example that I personally experienced was in the KZ zs1. I have the 2015 brass ring version which is awesome but the later revision with the mesh screen was awful apparently.

Probably get 2-3 iems since its been years since I've treated myself. The DQ6s for sure + 2 more. Leaning esx and as16 pro as long as there aren't any revisions that made them worse. Does anyone know of different versions of these two or perhaps some reviewers got there's from KZ directly while others recieved 3rd party?

Thanks!
There's a new AS16 Pro X with a different driver configuration, still 8BA per side but not available from official KZ site yet. @PhonoPhi has it, there is a recent post. I have AS16 Pro, I find it benefits from an impedance adaptor (30 Ohm) so that may be a consideration.
 
Apr 14, 2024 at 10:10 AM Post #63,762 of 64,105
Hey guys, I'm going to get the DQ6s as I mentioned earlier but there are two others I'm considering...

The KZ as16 pro and the KZ esx. The esx apparently has very strong bass which I'm looking for to enjoy my library of rap music. The as16 pro just looks very nice, 8 drivers for each side has me nearly sold on them.
I'd go for ESX out of those options
 
Apr 14, 2024 at 10:46 AM Post #63,763 of 64,105
To anyone considering buying the PR2 but worried about the treble and whatnot after the stealth revision by KZ...

I bought a set late last month from Linsoul when they were having their spring sale for $38 and when I received them I noticed in the bottom of the inside of the box a sticker that said they were manufactured in late December 2023.

After using them the last few weeks without any EQ and straight off the 3.5 mm jack on my older Android phone (Moto G7) at about 80% volume I have to say they are pretty damn amazing.

I listen to mostly all subgenres of metal/rock, hio hop/trap and EDM/dubstep and using the included foam tips It seems the harsh treble of the v2 has been pretty much tamed while all the other positives of the v1 are pretty much still there. Perusing the internet I saw somewhere someone saying that KZ may have revised them again by doing something to the PCB and that fixed the terrible high frequencies of the v2.

So if you're on the fence about grabbing them don't feel like you have to hesitate especially if you can get them at a great price (ie. under $50).

I'm now looking to get a DAC/AMP to see if I can get them to perform at their full potential. I'd like to get something like a Moondrop Dawn Pro with a balanced cable at some point but right now it's not in my budget so what is a good one for cheap (under $20) that will fit the bill? From what I can gather they really need at least 2 vRMS to be driven properly so that would be what I would want to grab if possible.

Now I've read that the Jcally JM6 Pro would work even though it is slightly less than 2 vRMS (1.6 or so I believe) so any confirmation of that from someone who has used one with these would be great.

Also any other DAC/AMP ideas would be also be appreciated.
 
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Apr 14, 2024 at 12:03 PM Post #63,764 of 64,105
I'm now looking to get a DAC/AMP to see if I can get them to perform at their full potential. I'd like to get something like a Moondrop Dawn Pro with a balanced cable at some point but right now it's not in my budget so what is a good one for cheap (under $20) that will fit the bill? From what I can gather they really need at least 2 vRMS to be driven properly so that would be what I would want to grab if possible.

Now I've read that the Jcally JM6 Pro would work even though it is slightly less than 2 vRMS (1.6 or so I believe) so any confirmation of that from someone who has used one with these would be great.

Also any other DAC/AMP ideas would be also be appreciated.
It costs $30 so technically over budget but the Fiio Ka11 is supposedly very good for the money. The Jcally JM6 Pro works but would still be a little lacking probably difficult to say by what % tho. I also don't own a PR2 myself.
 

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