BUDGET
IN-EAR

ZAX

KNOWLEDGE ZENITH

Rating

Price

7.9

50 €

Review published:

10/2020

Driver

8

per Side

1

Dynamic

7

Balanced

Impedance

24 Ohm

Piezo

0

Sound

8.5

Bass

7.5

Mids

7.5

Trebles

Sensitivity

113 dB

7.8

Handling

8

Haptic

B

Value

0

Daily Life

Frequency

10 - 40000 Hz

Intro

Slowly I am getting tired of reviewing KZ, or CCA-IEMs. Basically I can take any review of the last time (C12, ZSX, ZS10 Pro, C10 Pro ...) and adjust two or three little things. Done. Okay, this is perhaps a bit exaggerated, because if you take a closer look at the individual IEMs, you can see some small differences in sound, but these are more likely to be due to the different driver characteristics, because KZ has a house sound and they don't want to deviate from that. So they juggle with the number of drivers, as well as the combination of these and bring out again and again an (admittedly rarely bad) IEM, which is only a sidegrade, if at all, but still pulls the money out of the buyers' pockets every time.

Handling

A typical KZ. Silver plated 4-core cable, which only serves its purpose, with a selection of silicone tips. Only the faceplate changes on the chassis, otherwise it would be impossible to tell which of the abundant models it would be.

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

Sound

8 drivers. I would never think of it if I didn't know. With the KZ house sound it is actually almost irrelevant whether I have 3, 5, or 8 drivers. If you like this sound, you will like ZAX and if not, ZAX won't change that.

The dynamic driver does its job quite well. I found the bass of the CCA C10 PRO to be a step in the right direction and the bass of the ZAX is in no way inferior. Compared to the ZSX, or ZS10 PRO, it is firmer and more responsive. The punch is fun and the depth is also a plus. For me the bass is the best thing about the ZAX.

The "V" is also part of the ZAX program and so the mids are reduced, especially in the lower range. In the upper range, however, they are quite pronounced, which brings voices to the fore and causes fatigue in my case. The mids are solid and especially with assorted music they have some nice details. But when it gets hectic, they break in a bit.

I think it is again a local (Europe, Asia etc.) discussion why the highs always have to have this subliminal aggressiveness with KZ. Personally, I'm slowly getting tired of it and long for more relaxation and real quality, instead of always simulating it with an artificial build-up. The trebles have this basic metallic character, which almost always resonates with KZ. You get used to it, but BA drivers can also do differently. The trebles provide a very good transparency and details, but the naturalness is a bit lost. In addition the sibilants are annoying and I can't attest the ZAX a fatigue-free audibility.

The stage is pleasantly large and the imaging is also quite good, as long as you look at the stereo image. However, it is also strongly concentrated on left | center | right. The spaces in between are occupied a bit more sparsely.

Outro

I would take a more customer-oriented approach to KZ, if they did not want to prove this every month in the form of a new IEM. It's good to fine-tune products, as well as to rework them and take into account the customer's wishes, but we are not test rabbits and I certainly won't pay 50€ again, just for a new faceplate and a slightly adapted sound. I will certainly not be able to change KZ's attitude towards this, but maybe I can sensitize the buyer not to have to buy every new model of the company, especially if you already own the models mentioned at the beginning. The KZ ZAX is a good IEM, without question and if you are new to the Knowledge Zenith world, you will find a cheap and competitive IEM here. All others should keep their feet still for 2 years, then you might get a real added value to the previous models.

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

ES3

ES3

ZAX

ZAX

ZS5

ZS5

ZSN

ZSN

ZST

ZST

AS10

AS10

ED15

ED15

ES4

ES4

ZS10

ZS10

ZS6

ZS6

ZSN PRO

ZSN PRO

ZST X

ZST X

ATE

ATE

ED16

ED16

S2

S2

ZS10 Pro

ZS10 Pro

ZS7

ZS7

ZSN PRO X

ZSN PRO X

ZSX

ZSX

BA10

BA10

EDX

EDX

Z1

Z1

ZS4

ZS4

ZSA

ZSA

ZSR

ZSR

Second Opinion

Contact:

chi-fier@gmx.de

CHI-FIEAR © 2020 by David Hahn

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