Category: ChiFi

KZ ZS7: First Impressions

KZ ZS7 w/TRN BT10

I’m going to start making posts about IEM’s here on my blog instead of various forums. I am in total control here. I can say anything I want. There are no mods, no advertising or marketing to limit free thought. I’m probably never going to actually fully review these, or anything in this ‘First Impressions’ “series”, but these are going to be a review after an initial 24 hour listening impression. This isn’t 24 hours of continuous listening, this is just 24 hours of trying to avoid co-wokers, sound isolation & entertainment on my bus/train commute, and normal at home listening. I’m also not going to nitpick on things like ‘timbre’ & ‘speed’. I ‘burned them in’ for 30 whole minutes, and my sources are my Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite (Snapdragon 625),  XPS 13, and TRN BT10’s using the aptX codec, probably a similar setup to any other person buying $38 IEM’s would use. You’re buying $38 Chinese IEM’s that people are comparing to Campfire Audio Andromeda’s, don’t you think multi hundred billion dollar corporations like Qualcomm with world class engineers have audio circuits pretty figured out? Media will be 320k Spotify, probably 128/96Kbps soundcloud, maybe a couple of FLAC tracks. Cables will be whatever I have laying around, since cables don’t matter. All of this is subjective, please don’t just buy this because I said so. Research reviews, figure out if they align, then buy based on what you think your preferences might be.

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KZ ZS5 Quad Driver 2BA + 2DD IEM Review

Knowledge Zenith [KZ] is known for quality low cost Chinese audio gear; mostly in-ear-monitors, and rarely lets down at their price points. For between $4-$35 KZ has made it possible to get a great sounding IEM without breaking the bank. KZ had the ZST, ATR, and ZS3 in 2016 as their former ‘flagship’ IEM’s, but in May 2017 they brought the 2BA + 2DD four driver ZS5’s to the market. There has been some recent controversy that shows KZ may be cheating with the ZS5’s, claiming a 4 driver setup, but only providing port holes for sound to exit into the ear with only two of the drivers. Unfortunately it has not been verified by a third party yet, but as the second batch of pre-orders finally start arriving we should then see some tear downs from some more trusted members of the community.

The international version of the ZS5 comes in the standard KZ packaging that most everyone who has owned KZ IEM’s in the past knows. The Chinese version of the packaging is much more elegant and premium. Inside the box you receive:

  • 2x KZ ZS5 IEM’S
  • 1x Cable
  • 6x Ear Tips (3 sizes, 2 each) (more…)