Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread
Oct 10, 2016 at 11:14 AM Post #12,766 of 57,551

B9Scrambler

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No offense intended, but salesmen are the last people I would trust especially given the ATE is more expensive.

If it makes you feel better, neither the ATE nor ATR fit into my personally ideal sound signature. Objective listening with the same sources, tips, songs, etc. (volume matching as best as possible) shows the ATR is the more technically proficient of the two and a noticeable, though minor, improvement over the ATE.
 
Oct 10, 2016 at 11:16 AM Post #12,767 of 57,551

kaiteck

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No offense intended, but salesmen are the last people I would trust especially given the ATE is more expensive.

If it makes you feel better, neither the ATE nor ATR fit into my personally ideal sound signature. Objective listening with the same sources, tips, songs, etc. (volume matching as best as possible) shows the ATR is the more technically proficient of the two and a noticeable, though minor, improvement over the ATE.

Maybe salesman is the wrong word to use. I don't really know how to translate this chinese word LOL. well just understand that kz operates tmall site on their own. so its more like apple's employee. Edit: aliwangwang refers their messagenger. Tmall official refers product description. Your theory also doesnt apply here since atr is sold at higher price than ate. The retail price that is.  
 
Oct 10, 2016 at 12:24 PM Post #12,768 of 57,551

1clearhead

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  Guys could you stay ontopic a bit? :) There is already another Chinese thread for discussing all other in-ears etc. :wink:


Oh? Didn't realize I was on the KZ thread, oops!  
ksc75smile.gif

 
Oct 10, 2016 at 12:42 PM Post #12,769 of 57,551

carltonh

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ATR is an enhanced ATE. Same sound signature but with improved extension and better build quality. No way can it be considered inferior. Just hold and listen to the two back to back.

Note that my ATR and translucent ATE sound identical, I bought my ATE from Gearbest after the ATR was already released, and it came in the same package as the ATR. So current ATE might not be the same as yous.
 
Oct 10, 2016 at 1:38 PM Post #12,770 of 57,551

fonkepala

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The ATR...ooohh the ATR...
 
I was ready to write them off as a loss, albeit not a big one, when I listened to them straight OOTB. They sounded muddy to me, lacking energy and clarity. I didn't like how they sounded, simply put. It just sounded inferior in all sorts of ways when I compared them to the ZS3 that I received on the same day, which to me sounded more energetic and engaging. There was plenty of bass on the ATR, but it was loose...weird sounding. I can't really explain in detail.
 
But now, after 26hrs of burn in with pink noise...the ATR has transformed itself. They sound awesome now. Literally, night and day. The way it sounded OOTB and after burn in is so vastly different that I can scarcely believe it. Yeah yeah, it might be placebo, it might be my brain and ears getting used to the sound...but I don't know..today I had a short listening stint with my MeeAudio M6 Pro (a $50 IEM) and after about an hour I took them off and found my hand reaching for the ATR instead. Even my MeeAudio Pinnacle P1 is spending a lot more time in the drawer these past few days.
 
I won't say they sound perfect, they don't. But they're far more likeable to me now. Bass sounds tighter and more well controlled. Mids have come forward and not recessed as before. Vocals, especially female, sounds sweet. Treble is ok, not harsh, not sibilant, just fine. But maybe decay is not as good as higher end IEM's, and certain lower frequencies sounds off...the bass hit in Lorde's "Royals" sounds a bit strange. Soundstage and separation is good, not the biggest nor the best (for those I reach for my Grado SR125e), but clear, discernable and slightly airy. Overall, they're more energetic, engaging and fun to listen to now.
 
Build quality isn't that great either, a step down than the ZS3. Especially the cable, it's so thin and tangly. Microphonics is kinda bad, when walking and moving it gets to you. And I wish they used a detachable cable and a memory wire component that hooks over your ears like the one on the ZS3.
 
Comfort is great, no pressure pain nor pain anywhere. Although after a while the plastic weight dangling down from my ear lobes do get noticeable. And too much movement can dislodge the cable that goes over my ears..so these are a no-no for sports.
 
The stock silicone tips also made my ear canal itch something fierce. They're also rather stiff. I'm now using single & double flange stock silicone tips that came with my M6 Pro.
 
But really, for a $5 IEM I can't expect too much can I? Even the above felt like too much nitpicking. I freaking love the ATR now. It's a good candidate for an IEM you can just bring with you anywhere, that you won't be too worried about and that sounds amazing with great comfort.
 
Seriously, I've never been a great believer in burn in, and before this I've never burned in any earphones/headphones as fervently as I did with the ATR. I don't know why I did it, but maybe I sensed some potential with the ATR, so that's why I proceeded with their burn in. But now, I think I might burn in all my future purchases, and also those that I already have..especially these cheap chi-fi IEMs.
 
Now, onwards...I plan to buy the ATE and ATE-S next, to see how they sound in comparison. Oh, the joys of cheap hi-fi stuff. Thank you KZ!
 
Oct 10, 2016 at 2:00 PM Post #12,771 of 57,551

Ruben123

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  The ATR...ooohh the ATR...
 
I was ready to write them off as a loss, albeit not a big one, when I listened to them straight OOTB. They sounded muddy to me, lacking energy and clarity. I didn't like how they sounded, simply put. It just sounded inferior in all sorts of ways when I compared them to the ZS3 that I received on the same day, which to me sounded more energetic and engaging. There was plenty of bass on the ATR, but it was loose...weird sounding. I can't really explain in detail.
 
But now, after 26hrs of burn in with pink noise...the ATR has transformed itself. They sound awesome now. Literally, night and day. The way it sounded OOTB and after burn in is so vastly different that I can scarcely believe it. Yeah yeah, it might be placebo, it might be my brain and ears getting used to the sound...but I don't know..today I had a short listening stint with my MeeAudio M6 Pro (a $50 IEM) and after about an hour I took them off and found my hand reaching for the ATR instead. Even my MeeAudio Pinnacle P1 is spending a lot more time in the drawer these past few days.
 
I won't say they sound perfect, they don't. But they're far more likeable to me now. Bass sounds tighter and more well controlled. Mids have come forward and not recessed as before. Vocals, especially female, sounds sweet. Treble is ok, not harsh, not sibilant, just fine. But maybe decay is not as good as higher end IEM's, and certain lower frequencies sounds off...the bass hit in Lorde's "Royals" sounds a bit strange. Soundstage and separation is good, not the biggest nor the best (for those I reach for my Grado SR125e), but clear, discernable and slightly airy. Overall, they're more energetic, engaging and fun to listen to now.
 
Build quality isn't that great either, a step down than the ZS3. Especially the cable, it's so thin and tangly. Microphonics is kinda bad, when walking and moving it gets to you. And I wish they used a detachable cable and a memory wire component that hooks over your ears like the one on the ZS3.
 
Comfort is great, no pressure pain nor pain anywhere. Although after a while the plastic weight dangling down from my ear lobes do get noticeable. And too much movement can dislodge the cable that goes over my ears..so these are a no-no for sports.
 
The stock silicone tips also made my ear canal itch something fierce. They're also rather stiff. I'm now using single & double flange stock silicone tips that came with my M6 Pro.
 
But really, for a $5 IEM I can't expect too much can I? Even the above felt like too much nitpicking. I freaking love the ATR now. It's a good candidate for an IEM you can just bring with you anywhere, that you won't be too worried about and that sounds amazing with great comfort.
 
Seriously, I've never been a great believer in burn in, and before this I've never burned in any earphones/headphones as fervently as I did with the ATR. I don't know why I did it, but maybe I sensed some potential with the ATR, so that's why I proceeded with their burn in. But now, I think I might burn in all my future purchases, and also those that I already have..especially these cheap chi-fi IEMs.
 
Now, onwards...I plan to buy the ATE and ATE-S next, to see how they sound in comparison. Oh, the joys of cheap hi-fi stuff. Thank you KZ!


I used wide bore tips since the beginning and it helps a bit in transforming the slight v shaped sound to a more balanced one. Doesnt mean the ATR is v shaped at all though, it has some peaks here and there that I feel get less when using the wider bore tips. Less bass particularly.
 
Oct 11, 2016 at 7:47 AM Post #12,772 of 57,551

chaiyuta

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Does anyone know how many earphones does KZ approximately released in one year?
For the last 3 consecutive earphones have 2 pin interface, I am curious that what the next one will be.
 
Oct 11, 2016 at 9:54 AM Post #12,774 of 57,551

MAntunes

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Hi guys!
I have the original ATE and I am willing to do the upgrade. Basically for keeping one at home and one for travelling with me every day.
I am very satisfied with the ATE so I wanted a IEM with the same sound signature. Are the ZS3 worth it? I found them very cheap at Gearbest, compared to the official store at Aliexpress (but I don't know if they are original).
Another thing, do the ZS3 come with foam tips? If not do the ATE ones fit them?
 
Best regards and sorry for my english.
Miguel
 
Oct 11, 2016 at 11:29 AM Post #12,775 of 57,551

CoiL

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I have the original ATE and I am willing to do the upgrade. 

I think only upgrade within KZ family to original ATE (keeping the same sound signature) is to mod them 
tongue.gif

 


KZ ATE with open back + Fiio E12 with bass boost + Penon tips= Pure awesome
 
Do nozzle + port mod also as I did with my ATE FF-Mod. You will be amazed how much micro-detail and clarity ATE can actually provide while maintaining it`s smooth & airy midrange, adding tightness and clarity to bass and clearing up highs while still staying "sweet & buttery"
tongue.gif

 
Remembrance from the past:
 

 
 
 



* Top plastic covers removed and replaced with wood backplates.
* Golden mesh-grills taken from inside and installed inside wood backplate, right above driver unit without gap to driver shell.
* Plastic nozzles have been cut off, sanded level/even, over-drilled holes and replaced with ED9 brass nozzles.
* ED9 brass nozzle tip has been grinded shorter on top part to the next "edge" it has and inside hole edge has been grinded concave, like "trompet".
* Body behind backplates has been sanded down to lower enclosure shape reaching out of ear.
* Cable changed for "IE800" style cable with memory wire.
* Using with KZ whirlwind, JVC spiral dot or no-name ultra-soft white silicones tips(latter are best imo)
* and to me (subjective) best combination was closed brass nozzle breathing hole with half-open ATE plastic enclosure hole. Though, leaving latter full-open + closed brass nozzle hole was also very good.

They are "on par" with my **** 4in1 while having slightly better imaging and larger soundstage with better(natural) decays and reverbs. 4in1 excels in microdetails and clarity but FF-mod just sounds very open, natural and with better mids in counter-weight.  

 
Oct 11, 2016 at 2:53 PM Post #12,779 of 57,551

MAntunes

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Ok, I think I'll buy the ZS3 then, the Gearbest price is too good!
Then I'll which one I like most.
Other thing, I love the foam tips of the ATEs. The ZS3s don't come with foam tips, right? If not, do you recommend any (preferably good and cheap)?
Thank you!
 
Oct 11, 2016 at 3:03 PM Post #12,780 of 57,551

Majin

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  Ok, I think I'll buy the ZS3 then, the Gearbest price is too good!
Then I'll which one I like most.
Other thing, I love the foam tips of the ATEs. The ZS3s don't come with foam tips, right? If not, do you recommend any (preferably good and cheap)?
Thank you!

 
I love generic medium hard foam tips. But Ruben says the best sound is achieved by some wide bore tips. 
 

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