The KZ is the widely known brand in the chifi earphone market since most people’s Audiophile Journey began with any one of the KZ earphones. Even my audiophile journey began with the KZ ZSN Pro! The KZ were known for their high quality audio for a very cheaper price and in simple words they dominated the budget segment market in the chi fi market. The ZSX is their one of the flagship earphones consisting of 5 drivers per side with Hybrid driver system. In this review lets see whether this ZSX is the real terminator of the Kz lineup of earphones.
Drivers: 10mm double magnetic dynamic x 1, DWEK Mid & High frequency balanced armature x 2
30095 High frequency balanced armature x 1
Line Length: 1.25±0.04m
Plug Type: 3.5mm gold plated
Pin Type: 0.75mm gold plated
DESIGN AND FIT:
The design of the ZSX is very nice in appearance, having that robotic look. The faceplate is aluminum and the rest of the body is transparent resin made providing a nice sturdier design yet maintaining that lightweight factor. The shell is however semi custom shell shaped hence it fits most of the ear shapes and the included tips are pretty average and better use aftermarket tips to get the best seal out of it.
The body is available in different colors but the green one looked more beautiful and trendy. The faceplate has that terminator look providing that rootic stance overall. The isolation is pretty average but with good tips they isolation can be even improved.
The connector is the usual KZ style QDC 0.75mm connector hence no the MMCX issues are not faced here. The provided cable is pretty crappy and better upgrade the cable to give some premium feel to the earphone and also to improve the sound of it a bit.
The sound signature of the KZ is typical chi fi V shaped but the ZSX is the finest of it. Even though they are V shaped they are tuned very well without compromising on the vocals and the technicalities. The ZSX is the by far most liked earphone in the KZ lineup. In this review let’s discuss in detail about the sound of the ZSX.
The low end of the ZSX is pronounced very well. It’s not muddy or bloated, rather it’s very well separated and has a nice mid bass boost. The bass has nice texture and separation overall even in busy tracks. The sub bass has some roll off hence the deep sub bass rumbles can’t be experienced here unless the tracks call for it. The mid bass provides a nice thump and body to the overall track.
The sub bass roll off is a big let down for me but those who like the mid bass more than the sub bass then this is really a good sounding one in the low end. The bass also lacks some resolution hence might appear cheap in some tracks. The separation is however one of the best in the KZ lineup.
The bass attack and the decay is pretty fast hence has that clean and precise hitting bass with nice texture. I would have liked a but more slower bass for that rumble but overall as a balanced tuning this bass is really nice and controlled.
- Only One King – Jung Youth
- Jet Lag Corporation – Aes Dana
The mid range is recessed here since this is a V shaped tuning but this is the best midrange i have seen so far testing out all the KZ lineup earphones. The midrange is very nice here even though they are recessed. The vocals shine here with a nice tone. The tonality is on the brighter side though but overall the presentation is very nice.
The lower mids however sound very thin hence the female vocals sound very thin lacking the body and fullness. The instrument separation is very nice with average presence of air in between the instruments. The upper mids are not very aggressive and sibilant rather its very pleasant and smooth. Frankly this is one of the best KZ earphones which is very smooth to listen to for longer periods of time. The piano notes and the drums sounds very nice and natural but has that slight hint of BA timbre and tonality but overall its a pleasant listening considering its a hybrid earphone.
Overall the mid range is very pleasing and even though they are not the strongest aspect of the ZSX they are better than the other KZ lineup earphones with nice separation and vocals.
- You Aint the Problem – Michael Kiwanuka
- Solar Power – Lorde
The treble in the ZSX is the star show here. They are extended very well and have nice detail retrieval in the top end without causing any sibilance and harshness. The treble is very good for the price in the ZSX. They have nice separation and the presence of air which creates that big top end providing an immense amount of details. The treble is non fatiguing yet maintaining that limit of harshness. The texture in the top is fine too but occasional graininess can be seen in specific tracks.
The cymbal strikes very nice and natural, providing a nice girth and engaging factor to the ZSX. The electric guitar sounds very nice and natural without causing fatigue during long listening.
The lower treble is very smooth here which is very unusual from KZ since they always have that exaggerated lower treble but this one is the exception here hence its one of my favourite KZ. The graph shows however some peaks in the treble but those peaks allow to produce those sparks and airiness in the high end hence during my listening the sibilance is a less factor to worry about in the ZSX.
- Dreams – Fleetwood Mac
- Trans Europe Express – Kraftwerk
SOUNDSTAGE: The soundstage is pretty average and normal here. The width is better overall for the price. The height and the depth are pretty average and nothing to brag about it. The soundstage is not very intimate or very wide whereas it’s very much average for the price.
The soundstage could have been better if the bass decay was slower a bit and the sub bass extension was a bit better.
IMAGING: The imaging is nice here having nice representation of the instruments in the precise placement. The instruments can be easily pointed out but the problem here is the transition. The sweeping of the instruments from one channel to the other is slightly off and has that stuttering feel. The transition is not pretty smooth.
The ZSX, it’s been released way before by the KZ but it’s still one of the best earphones in the KZ lineup and this statement stands even today. The sound profile is V shaped but without compromising much and especially the mid range. The bass is elevated to a good amount and has nice separation and texture. The mid range has good vocal clarity and tonality. The piano notes and the drum hits are very pleasing to hear. The treble is well expended with nice airiness and sparkle yet without any harsh or fatigue listening. The technicalities are pretty good for the price.
Overall after all the KZ earphones with that upper mid and lower treble peaks, sibilant, splashing, upfronted, aggressive sound signature, the ZSX done it differently and done it in a more pleasing way claiming that its one of the best KZ earphones and its still stands to that title.
PROS AND CONS:
- Best V shaped tuning in the KZ Lineup
- Nice Midrange and Treble
- Fuller Bass
- Above average Separation
- Low End Resolution
- Thinner Lower Midrange
This Review is Written By KATHIRAVAN.C
I’m Kathiravan from Tamilnadu. A budding audiophile here with high love towards music and audio equipment. My first experience of enjoying the hifi audio came when I started to use budget chi-fi gears and now it came all along the way of reviewing the gears with high end stuffs. I love reviewing audio products.