BUDGET
IN-EAR

BA10

KNOWLEDGE ZENITH

Rating

Price

8

50 €

Review published:

03/2020

Driver

5

per Side

0

Dynamic

5

Balanced

Impedance

14 Ohm

Piezo

0

Sound

8

Bass

8

Mids

8

Trebles

Sensitivity

105 dB

8

Handling

7.5

Haptic

A

Value

+

Daily Life

Frequency

20 - 40000 Hz

Intro

Around Knowledge Zenith things have become a bit quieter in the IEM area. They seem to be concentrating more on their Bluetooth models right now, which gives me the opportunity to devote myself to a somewhat older model of the company, which is nevertheless among the best the company has to offer in terms of sound. The BA10 is like a twin of the AS10, but they grew up separately. Over time they have independently developed differently, but they share the same DNA and have many similarities, which they have developed despite the different environmental influences.

Handling

The biggest difference between the BA10 and the AS10 is probably the design and the material used. Aluminium case vs plastic, Lego brick vs acceptable in-ear format. While the AS10 is still very comfortable to wear, despite its larger size (shares the same shape as the AS06, CCA C16), the BA10 is a journey into the unknown. Personally, I don't have any major problems due to my ear size, but I don't need a glass ball to know that this will definitely not be the case with everyone. Whoever achieves a good wearing comfort here probably belongs to the minority.
However, this is all speculation on my part and the evaluation is therefore solely based on my wearing comfort with the BA10, which is quite ok. It is important to insert it carefully. If this is not done carefully enough and the in-ear slips a little bit, it leads to a pressure pain for a long time, due to the hard edges.
The packaging, as well as its contents is similar to the AS10 and is therefore, despite its ostentatious cover, quite spartan. The isolation is also average in the best case, since a lot of music gets out through the BA10's semi-open construction. But the other way around, the isolation is very good.

Due to the lottery game of wearing comfort and the insulation on the outside, KZ has unfortunately made a few big mistakes in handling compared to the AS10. On the other hand, the workmanship is, apart from the unusual design, really excellent.

Sound

The BA10 unfortunately spoils its consistently positive sound characteristics somewhat due to its weaknesses in handling. These are undisputed, but not everyone will be able to enjoy them to the full extent, be it through earaches or by reducing the volume in order not to pollute the environment.

The bass is an improvement on the AS10, as it subjectively has a larger extension. The sub range is more present and the midtone bass is no longer too much in the spotlight. This makes the bass appear more linear and balanced. Also the midrange overlay is not as noticeable anymore. But there is no difference in quality to the AS10, which is mainly due to the same driver selection and control. This means we get a dry, fast bass that finds a good balance between quantity and quality. The bass of the BA10 seems a bit more transparent than the AS10, but it's less thick in the midrange.

Although the signatures of the BA10 and AS10 are very similar, the subjectively biggest difference is probably in the midrange. This is partly due to the fact that the BA10's bass influence is somewhat flatter and the lower mids are more prominent, but also due to the brighter trebles. As a result, we have a more discreet V-signature than on the AS10, but have to make concessions in the body. I can get something out of both mids equally, although they both slightly discolour the mids in one direction (light/dark), but this harmonises well within the respective signature. The mids of the BA10 bring out details wonderfully and the separation is also very well done. The BA10 has the slightly larger stage compared to the AS10, which is probably also due to the open construction (faceplate).

The trebles are a bit more prominent than on the AS10 and have the felt larger extension. However, this is not necessarily expressed in a greater variety of details. The quality is also very good here, in all areas, but is not above that of the AS10. The high frequencies score with clarity and openness and give the 3D sound image a bit more space. However, some songs get a bit hot, but for me this is within a very bearable range. There I am used to much worse from KZ.

Outro

I wouldn't say that the BA10 eliminates the small flaws of the AS10, as it doesn't bring the same ones, but new ones. The bass is a positive step forward for me and the BA10 makes a more balanced impression, but I find the AS10 more musical and above all more comfortable. Tonally, the BA10 is brighter and therefore also gives the subjective impression of a higher resolution, but the AS10 is in no way inferior when listening for a longer time. Basically, the comparison between the AS10 and the BA10 is purely a matter of taste, since they are technically on par.

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

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

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CHI-FIEAR © 2020 by David Hahn

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