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And is it a step up in SQ or not? I´m rather underwhelmed by the ZS3 so far.
No final impression yet, and honestly it is due to me having some difficulty finding the right tips with the ZS3. So from looking at my ZS3, it doesn't seem to have a vent hole; therefore when I push them into my ears it feels like I'm pressurizing my ear. I am still unsure if it's the shape of my ear canals or the shape and design of the ZS3 and the length and width of the stem, but it's really weird. And since I don't want to cause any damage, I don't keep them on long enough to even listen through a song and immediately remove them.
Fortunately, just today I've found a small work around after some experimenting. I'm now using a rubber o-ring before I put the tips in so it pushes the tips out slightly further away from the body of the earphone and further from the tip of the stem. This reduced the pressurized feeling I'm getting but not completely. I'll have a good listen tomorrow when I'm at work.
On another note, the ATR is simply amazing and fun to listen to. No other words are really needed, but if I had to choose between the ATR and the 4in1 when I have to walk outside and wear earphones all day long, I'd easily choose the ATR. The 4in1 sure has a better sound quality but the ATR doesn't fall that far behind. And considering the ATR's only have 1 driver each side, not fatiguing, lighter (you hardly feel the weight), and cost $5 or less, it's just wow...
If you compared the more expensive ZST to the ATR, even though from the price stand point the ZST should be the winner; but it's actually the ATR's win. The ATR is clearer, has better details, it isn't muddy, the bass isn't overly emphasized but it is there (a great sub bass does come out with the right tips), the sound stage is decent and it isn't narrow like the ZST, and it has good imaging. If I had to compare what ATR's sound quality reminds me of, or what it's really close to then it would be the Vivo XE800. The difference being that the XE800 is brighter and more on the cooler side, while the ATR is leaning more to the warmer side. It isn't a perfect comparison but it is close, for $5 it really is a bargain. I've already ordered more to give away as gifts and stocking stuffers for Christmas.
Edit: The 2nd pair of ZS3 has vent holes on them, so 1 of the pair (one I was burning-in didn't, it had the indentations for where it should be but it wasn't open). So I will be opening the vent hole on them later and hopefully it gets better.
Strange. I tried my friend's rhapsodio 2pin cable but it didnt seem to fit for some reason. You sure it fits? Because I'm looking to buy a better cable with memory wire because the silver zst cable doesn't have memory wire and I don't like earhooks
So... A quick summary for the zs3s in the meantime, having thrown it at several genres... I'm impressed, like really impressed. For what they do, they do it perfectly. They're not my cup of tea regarding the tuning but I hear they're awesome. Why do I use them then? For the isolation, fit and slight bass elevated sound. They don't sound crisp but rather a tad warm. I don't think though it rolls off early. Voices sound life-like. I wonder if it's possible to get any higher value for money. Yes the Monoprices have a better tuning, though are technically worse since they exhibit a 4khz peak and while the bass is lovely neutral, it doesn't have much texture and the build quality is less. Now very excited to receive the ATR. If they have a tad better treble and less bass...... I'll keep you updated. Expect a hds1 vs ed9 vs Atr vs zs3 vs Monoprice in the future.
I ordered my ZS3 on GB since 3rd Sept and its still not here is there anything i should do or do i continue waiting?
Thanks for the input @maxwelled, especially regarding the ATR. Can't wait to get mine now Gearbest says it has been shipped but the tracking number (they used Kerry Express something or other out of HK, kinda obscure courier no?) hasn't been updated much and gives very sparse information.
About the ZS3 and that rubber O-ring workaround that you're using, sounds tedious! Have you tried using other 3rd party tips, i.e. Spiral Dots, Spinfits, Complys etc?
The XE800 is another IEM I'm thinking of ordering aside from the 4in1. Would you say the XE800 is marginally better than the ATR?
The o-ring thing isn't really something new, I've used it before and I think some members here have as well. I have mechanical keyboards and so I purchase keycap o-rings to lower actuation distance and dampen the sound as it can be distracting especially in a work environment. So I have a lot of those o-rings in hand and they work perfectly to act as spacers for the tips. I have tried my assortment of aftermarket tips, as I have plenty of types and kinds. [Spiral dot, spin free, comply (authentic isolation and comfort versions), replica comply tips (bullet and circular versions), all the kz tips, Sony hybrid tips (silicone only and as well as silicone with foam), double flange, and triple flange] I've found that only after adding the o-ring spacer that it became usable. It's what gave me the best comfort and isolation so I could actually use the earphone.
As for XE800, hmm it's difficult to say because each has its strengths and weaknesses. The ATR is more of an all rounder but the XE800 is specific. XE800 can get too sibilant, and if you have the 4in1 and the ATR then I can honestly say you don't need to bother with the XE800. However, if you are planning to collect then sure it'd be a great addition to your collection. In my opinion, in the price range of sub $35; the 4in1, ATR and XE800 are all punching above their price ranges, and maybe even up to earphones costing up to $100; with the only exceptions being the LZ A2s and the TFZ Series 5 - but that's another topic all together. :]
Gearbest ships fairly quickly but the carriers are a different matter, so I usually choose to pay that extra few to ship using registered Epost when I order from them.
The thing that attracted me to the XE800 is that supposedly they use the same drivers as the famed GR07. Also, from their photos, they look to be quite ergonomic and comfortable. But yeah, maybe once I already have the 4in1 and the ATR & ZS3, perhaps there's no reason to get the XE800 as well, like you said. Not much of an earphone 'collector' as a 'user'..after all, I only have 2 ears
Yeah, in hindsight, I probably should have chosen the faster shipping option when checking out from Gearbest the other day...oh well.
I've wrote a brief initial impression of the Series 5 here in another thread if you're interested: http://www.head-fi.org/t/794787/mee-audio-pinnacle-p1-199-dynamic-driver-flagship-reviews-2nd-post/1980#post_12906118
Have yet to try the LZ A2..so yeah..
I bought the XE800 on cues that it's GR07 'resemblance' but that ends just with swindling drivers. The sound is not sibilant at all which is what associated with GR07. To be honest I prefer my modded piston 2.1 over it, ZS3 still hasn't reached me.
I see. So I take it that you weren't that impressed with the XE800 at all? I'm guessing if the X800 is not sibilant then that's good, isn't it?
As for the Piston 2.1, I have one in stock form and frankly I hate it. Too bassy & bloated for my taste. Yet another proof in point that we all have different tastes & ideal sound signatures I guess...
Atr and xe800 are on their way to me....
I said 'modded' Piston 2.1. I hated the stock myself hence modded it. XE800 is not GR07 has pitted by others, that was my point. It has good bass. I took it out again to give you a live impression. Listening to some electronic I get good mid bass as well sub-bass extension but then I have modded my pistons in a very satisfying bass quality. But Pistons which were V-shaped earlier are now very dark sounding now delight for EDM. In contrast, XE800 are somewhat balanced. My initial grudge(and still lingering) might be these where instantly nomenclated as re-branded GR07. Comfort is great on these. But I feel treble and details lacking that's not what impression posted by others. Depth is not great either.
P.S> Listening via Centrance Slim
Edit: To add the instrument placement seems bit odd to me. I have burned these 10 hours and atleast the bass has settles down a little. Maybe it requires more burnin time.
Burn in the xe800 for 300hrs minimum, they are also tuned differently from gr07 . they are more mid oriented with flat bass and treble.
Do you have XE800?
There is a sleight difference Kz uses .75 the previous standard being .78 . It seems that even with the .03 difference many still work. I know wooeasy known as EE earphones offers upgrade cables for Kz in both angled and straight end. I have a set coming for the Zst