BUDGET
IN-EAR

ZSN

KNOWLEDGE ZENITH

Rating

Price

7.4

16 €

Review published:

12/2018

Driver

2

per Side

1

Dynamic

1

Balanced

Impedance

25 Ohm

Piezo

0

Sound

8

Bass

7

Mids

7

Trebles

Sensitivity

104 dB

7.3

Handling

8.5

Haptic

B

Value

-

Daily Life

Frequency

20 - 40000 Hz

Intro

KZ ZST was Knowledge Zenith's first hybrid model and one of the company's best when it comes to neutral sound packed into a V-signature.
KZ also seems to have recognized this and told themselves why not fall back on tried and tested solutions and try to optimize them. The result was the ZSN but was the optimization successful?

Handling

The housing is like that of the ZST in terms of shape. However, a metal plate would be integrated, and the nozzles are made of gold-plated metal, which makes the ZSN somewhat heavier, but also much more robust.
Everything seems to be of one piece and of very high quality.

KZ has finally answered our prayers and delivers a cable which is comfortable to use. The annoying metal reinforcement has given way to history and a PVC reinforcement, which is already pre-bent. We already know this proven method from many other manufacturers like TRN or BQEYZ. KZ introduces a new connector which has 2 pins but is no longer compatible with other KZ models. This also represents an upgrade, as it offers a more secure hold of the cable to the headphones.

As with almost all KZ models, the insulation is in a good range and can be further improved with foam tips. As with the ZST, the wearing comfort is excellent!

Sound

KZ remains true to its sound with its newer models, which means that if you have a problem with harsh highs, you should generally not resort to a KZ -In-Ear (an exception is the ZS10, for example).

The bass is really convincing and finds a good balance between sub-bass and mid-bass. It reacts quickly and precisely without slipping into the midrange. It's really fun, as it not only punches well, but is also very accurate tonally, which benefits demanding bass lines.

The mids are extremely clear, detailed and well balanced, which means that they neither move too far into the front (vocals) nor are they too far back. Admittedly, they are one of the ZSN's greatest strengths, together with the strong bass performance, even if the sibilants are already emphasized quite strongly, which is also song dependent (voice of the interpreter).

The highs, on the other hand, are a compromise. On the one hand very detailed, with a wonderful three-dimensionality, separation and extension, on the other hand sometimes very sharp and fatiguing! Of course, this is not the case with all genres, but with rock it is very significant. Here you should not exaggerate the volume too much if you like your ears. It's a bit like Jekyll and Hyde in terms of highs.

Outro

Compared to the ZST there is an improvement in the bass and midrange, as well as in the workmanship. With the treble it is in the eye of the beholder and also what hearing habit one has. In order not to misinterpret it, I would like to relativize the highs a bit, because the peaks are not as strong as with the ZS6, or ED15. They are more like the ED16/ZS7. For almost 16 € this is definitely an established hybrid that can compete with the many other 1*BA & 1*DD hybrids on the market and stands out due to its great design, richness of detail and wearing comfort. Thanks KZ for the new cable and the sound quality, which is offered here for the small thaler.

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

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CHI-FIEAR © 2020 by David Hahn

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