BUDGET
IN-EAR

AS10

KNOWLEDGE ZENITH

Rating

Price

7.9

40 €

Review published:

10/2018

Driver

5

per Side

0

Dynamic

5

Balanced

Impedance

14 Ohm

Piezo

0

Sound

8

Bass

8

Mids

7.5

Trebles

Sensitivity

105 dB

7.8

Handling

8.5

Haptic

A

Value

0

Daily Life

Frequency

20 - 40000 Hz

Intro

When Knowledge Zenith announced their first pure BA driver in-ear release, this made many Chi-Fi hearts beat faster. After all, a pure BA driver configuration can only be found in much more expensive models and KZ quickly made it clear that the AS10 as well as the BA10 will be available for less than 80 €. In comparison to the numerous hybrid models of KZ these are however also clearly more expensive.

Whether KZ really lived up to the high expectations will be shown in the test. It is especially exciting how the AS10 perform in the low bass range!

Handling

The AS10 uses the design of the ES4 and ZS10, which also use a transparent housing with a visible PCB.

Because the sound openings are very large, it is not advisable to use the largest foam/silicone tips, as this could cause pain when wearing them.
I also don't know what makes KZ so vehemently rely on their wire reinforcement in their cables, which impairs the wearing comfort somewhat.
Apparently we get new cables from the ZSN, which have preformed earhooks with rubber tube reinforcement.

The insulation is very good in both directions, and since there are no dynamic drivers, there is no need for the possible plop effect when inserting, which can be caused by negative pressure in the ear if there are no ventilation holes or are covered.

After almost 3 years KZ has also decided to change its packaging. This package doesn't have any more content (cable, 3 pairs of silicone tips, headphones), but it looks better.

Sound

Now it's time to get down to business. Basically the AS10s are very balanced IEMs with accentuated good resolution mid-range, airy, detailed treble and appealing bass.

This doesn't come from a dynamic driver, like the previous hybrid models, but a BA driver (woofer) takes care of the low frequencies and that surprisingly well with some compromises.
What is quickly noticeable is the lack of pressure and the rapid drop in the sub range. The bass is partly very dry and sterile, but fast and precise, because the inertia of the dynamic drivers doesn't matter. That's a bit of a matter of taste. However, the midrange bass is really good and to the point. It also provides the AS10 with a warm sound without being overly accentuated, even if it slips into the midrange.
As accurate as the bass plays here in quality and quantity, I lack a bit of sub-bass, which is especially noticeable with electro.

The mids are really great, also because they come out better than many other KZ models. The lower mids are warm, due to the more dominant midbass and with a good body. The higher mids, however, are very clear and detailed, but also emphasized, which in rare cases can lead to unpleasant peaks if it favors the music. But you have to turn it up a lot until it hurts.
In general the AS10 are very loud and can be driven easily. In comparison to many other in-ears I need less volume of the end device to achieve the same result.
The stage of the AS10 isn't one of the biggest, but it isn't too intimate either. I would describe it as pleasant and very spacious. The separation works perfectly and is also due to the good tuning of the individual BAs.

The highs crown the very good overall impression, even if they are not particularly remarkable in comparison to earlier models, which does not make them worse. They are airy, bright and radiate some brilliance. They don't tend to unpleasant peaks and also treat the sibilants very relaxed. This is where it must have been applied in music production in order to get it out in an exhausting way. I would wish that they would play a little further and roll-off a little later. In and of itself, however, KZ has the best heights to offer.

Outro

KZ can meet your expectations, even if, as so often, there is still room for improvement. For example, in the sub bass range, or an even finer tuning of the drivers, stage size and height extension. But at some point, this can no longer be achieved in terms of price, even if the AS10 with its price tag also has higher class competition, so that it certainly doesn't stand alone with its quality. While KZ was often able to outperform the competition in the price class around 20 €, it is no longer so easy in the higher price segment.

Nevertheless KZ doesn't miss out even in the higher class and delivered a remarkable in-ear, which belongs to the most interesting models of the company in terms of sound, but also technically.
I'm curious about the BA10, which is also equipped with 5 BAs and possibly makes the small flaws of the AS10 forgotten.

Legend

Haptic:

Here the processing plays a role and the usability of the scope of supply. Additionally the appearance, wearing comfort and robustness.


Value:
Here I evaluate for me subjectively the price/performance ratio - does not flow into the evaluation!

Z: No Brainer

A: money well spent

B: all right, you can do

C: gives better for less money

D: overpriced

E: collector's price

Daily life:
Here, I focus on the long-term audibility and whether I can hear it well out of the box. This is of course very subjective and therefore only a minimal deduction or bonus. 

(-0.1, 0, +0.1)

BL-03.jpg

Rating in Letters

S: 9.5 - 10

A: 9.0 - 9.4​

B: 8.0 - 8.9​

C: 7.0 - 7.9

D: 6.0 - 6.9​
E: 5.0 - 5.9​

F: 0.0 - 4.9​

AS06

AS06

ED12

ED12

ES4

ES4

ZS10 Pro

ZS10 Pro

ZS7

ZS7

ZSN PRO X

ZSN PRO X

ZSX

ZSX

AS10

AS10

ED15

ED15

S2

S2

ZS4

ZS4

ZSA

ZSA

ZSR

ZSR

ATE

ATE

ED16

ED16

Z1

Z1

ZS5

ZS5

ZSN

ZSN

ZST

ZST

BA10

BA10

ES3

ES3

ZS10

ZS10

ZS6

ZS6

ZSN PRO

ZSN PRO

ZST X

ZST X

Second Opinion

Head-Fier Otto Motor

Das Beste von allen Knowledge Zenith Modellen vereint in einem einzigen Ohrhörer. Sie bestechen durch ihre wunderbare Auflösung und ihre tolle Dynamik. Hervorragend z.B. im Flugzeug, wo es aussen herum laut ist;  dort stachen sie die viel teuereren Brainwavz B400 aus.

Contact:

chi-fier@gmx.de

CHI-FIEAR © 2020 by David Hahn

  • Facebook
  • Instagram