BUDGET
IN-EAR

ASX

KNOWLEDGE ZENITH

Rating

Price

7.1

85 €

Review published:

10/2020

Driver

10

per Side

0

Dynamic

10

Balanced

Impedance

20 Ohm

Piezo

0

Sound

7.5

Bass

6.5

Mids

7

Trebles

Sensitivity

106 dB

7

Handling

8

Haptic

D

Value

0

Daily Life

Frequency

10 - 40000 Hz

Intro

What is going on at Knowledge Zenith. I can basically copy the review from the ASF here, since both IEMs are only marginally different. The company's excursions into a more expensive price segment are always adventurous. Cobbler stick to your last. KZs budget models often represent a really good price-performance ratio, but as soon as it exceeds the 50 € mark, one asks not only about the added value, but also about the tuning philosophy.

Handling

I have actually already said everything at the ASF. The ASX is also a very voluminous IEM (same design as the ASF), but it fits surprisingly well and is very comfortable to wear. To me, the ASX looks more like a toy than a professional IEM, but that's a matter of taste.

The accessories are very manageable for $100. Silicone tips, 4-core cable (2-pin) and a small metal plate that you can't do anything with. KZ, exchange at least this plate (costs surely a few cents in production) into a small transport bag. For me, an IEM doesn't have to be delivered with tons of knick-knacks, I'm completely satisfied with the essentials if the IEM sounds convincing, but the ASX should probably focus more on its presentation because of its average sound performance and at this price, if it can't score on the most important thing for me. Since the content is the same as the ASF, I pay $40 more for 5 drivers (10 in total), which I can't even hear.

Isolation and wearing comfort is good to very good, as with almost all models of the company, depending on the space in the ear, which should not be too small, especially not with the ASX.

Sound

Why did it need the additional 5 drivers compared to the ASF? I'm not an owl, but I still dare to hear obvious differences, if there are any.

The bass is most convincing in this mixed-up signature. However, the upper bass tends to roar and it is certainly not the most stable BA bass I've heard. But it knows how to please on average, especially when less punch but a warm foundation is required. If it didn't have this great attention in the signature, it could certainly subordinate itself better and appear more qualitative.

I have to admit that the graph looks a bit worse than it sounds in the end, because the strongly raised area of the upper mids up to the highs can swallow the bass quantity a bit. Nevertheless, a big hole is created, which causes dullness and tristesse in the mids, as information is lost or better said, submerged. If you like to listen to vocal-oriented music, you won't get much use out of the voice presentation of the ASX. The mids do clear up towards the top, but they lose their naturalness due to this one-sided reproduction.

Basically, the two IEMs differ in the trebles, where the ASX loses a little more level and trumps the already unblessed ASF. For me the wrong step. While it would be advisable to lower the plateau between the upper mids and mid-range highs and push the mids and top-end instead, only a reduction of around 4 kHz is more likely to make the ASX go one step further in the "wrong" direction. The sibilants are a bit more accentuated, which is no enrichment either. But these changes are hard to hear and if you mix both IEMs, there is no difference. You might take a slight "channel imbalance" as a result, that's it.

Like the ASF, the stage is compressed, but not claustrophobic. Nevertheless, the arrangement of the individual musical information seems somewhat out of place and unrealistic. I imagine that the ASX might have a slightly wider stage, maybe through the openings on the faceplate, but be careful with this statement.

Outro

Which target group should be addressed by the ASX and why do the company's tuners hate the mids so much. V-signature or not, but the ASX is a little dubious tonal, at least if you want to compete with the competition in the price range. 10 drivers are more than given away here and in the end you have more fun with a 10 € model like the ZST X.
Not suitable for musicians, because the tuning is unrealistic and far away from neutral. The audiophile lacks mids, balance, resolution and top end. As a pure fun headphone the ASX may work, but then please don't do it at that price, because I can get that for a fifth. Maybe I'm a bit too hard on the ASF and ASX, because you can listen to music with both if the demands are within limits, but for me they are (if at all) average and overpriced.

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)

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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

ATE

ATE

ED16

ED16

S2

S2

ZS10 Pro

ZS10 Pro

ZS7

ZS7

ZSN PRO X

ZSN PRO X

ZSX

ZSX

AS10

AS10

BA10

BA10

EDX

EDX

Z1

Z1

ZS4

ZS4

ZSA

ZSA

ZSR

ZSR

ASF

ASF

ED12

ED12

ES3

ES3

ZAX

ZAX

ZS5

ZS5

ZSN

ZSN

ZST

ZST

ASX

ASX

ED15

ED15

ES4

ES4

ZS10

ZS10

ZS6

ZS6

ZSN PRO

ZSN PRO

ZST X

ZST X

Second Opinion

Jürgen Kraus

The KZ ASX earphones are characterized by a muffled, muted sound caused by an overwhelming, thumpy bass smearing into the midrange and a treble missing in action (at above 6 kHz). Clarity and detail resolution also do not live up to the 10 drivers…which are entirely a meriting ploy only. Save your money. The whole review is here: 
https://www.audioreviews.org/kz-asx-review-jk/

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CHI-FIEAR © 2020 by David Hahn

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