BUDGET
IN-EAR

ZST X

KNOWLEDGE ZENITH

Rating

Price

7.4

13 €

Review published:

09/2020

Driver

2

per Side

1

Dynamic

1

Balanced

Impedance

12 Ohm

Piezo

0

Sound

8

Bass

7

Mids

7

Trebles

Sensitivity

107 db

7.3

Handling

8

Haptic

B

Value

0

Daily Life

Frequency

20 - 40000 Hz

Intro

It's always the same old song. KZ brings out a "new" IEM, at a price where you can't really say no and we expect a new budget king. Hardly arrived the disillusionment follows. New tuning? No way! New design? Nothing!
KZ knows how to arouse high expectations with their marketing, but these expectations are rarely met. Instead, they rely on tried and tested methods and only minimal adjustments (if any) are made. Best examples are the models ZS10 PRO, ZSX and the C12 of the subsidiary CCA. These are pumped full of drivers, but differ only very vaguely in sound. KZ can be treated as long as it works, but I would appreciate a little more risk to try something new.

So the ZST X is an upgrade version of the successful ZST and in contrast to the ZSN PRO/ZSN PRO X, the ZST X can even be distinguished from the ZST in terms of sound. The ZST X is a more tamed version of the ZSN PRO (X).

Handling

There is not much to write here. The housing is the same as the ZST with a new color scheme and selection. The ZST was very comfortable, the ZST X is it therefore also with proper isolation. It is also a flyweight, but in its plastic appearance more like a toy than a professional tool (sorry, sometimes the eye just eats along). Since KZ likes to "reinvent" itself again and again, why not use the case of the ZSA (small, compact, high quality, full metal).

The ZST X only comes with the most necessary stuff, like three sizes of siilikontips and the new silver coated 4-core cable, which is not really a big added value for me.

Sound

The ZST X does it quite nicely, but never plays above its price tag and is in the end just a further imitation of the currently typical KZ signature.

The bass is clearly raised and together with the highs it can easily spit on the head of the mids without having to stand on tiptoe. However, it is also the strongest in terms of sound and technique. It convinces with a strong, dry punch and can also keep up with tempo. Sometimes he tends to exaggerate and takes the mids a little bit of air to breathe.
Nevertheless a really good performance with natural response and tonality. For those who prefer a more balanced and tighter sound, this is not quite what you're looking for.

The mids are taken in hand by the bass, but they are more dragged behind than really keeping up. They are a bit thickened, especially in male voices and are not the clearest or most agile. In the upper range they get the push they need to avoid falling behind completely and they move sharply on the border of shrillness.
Actually I like it a bit more direct in the mids, but if I compromise and have a bit demanding mids, I want to be rewarded with separation, detail and clarity, even if it drifts tonally into the bright. The mids of the ZST X are good and bring musicality. However, they are a bit too submissive and technically not quite up to scratch.

Actually, the highs are checked off quite quickly. They are okay so far and we get what we are used to from KZ. A bit sibilant, a bit metallic, a bit puffed up. However, the details are quite good and certainly not from the dark side. Nothing special, but not bad either.

The ZST X is on a quite average level in all aspects, also in stage presentation. A quite good mixture of width and depth, whereby the former is more pronounced.

Outro

Compared to the ZST, the ZST X really is an upgrade, especially in the bass range. But the praise stops there, because the ZST X can't bring anything new. It's a more relaxed version of the ZSN PRO (X), but technically it's not up to scratch. If you now take the price into account, the ZST X is not a bad buy and can convince as a solid all-rounder, with good musicality and a good punch. I also think it's a good thing that I can hold out a bit longer with it when it comes to symptoms of fatigue.

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

Contact:

chi-fier@gmx.de

CHI-FIEAR © 2020 by David Hahn

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KZ ZST X.jpg