This is the KZ ZSX. I normally don’t review wired IEMs, but I received a review unit over, and I happen to have the ZS10 Pro. So I thought it would make a nice comparison for anyone who is deciding between the two. In terms of packaging, the ZSX has a slightly nicer box and presentation compared to the ZS10 Pro, which has the same cheap packaging as the ZSN Pro.
KZ ZSX Review
Inside the box, I was hoping for a slightly nicer cable, or just an extra pair of foam tips since this is a little more expensive, but nope. Still the same decent, but easily tangled brown cable, and the same silicone eartips. In terms of the design, other than a different metal plate on top, which is a zinc alloy by the way, the ZSX has a similar resin shell like the ZS10 Pro. Just bigger and with a slightly different shape. It’s definitely a different look and feel compared to the ZS10 Pro, which shares more resemblance with the ZSN Pro. I prefer the design of the ZSX a little bit more just because it’s a little less shiny.
Because of the slight protrusion near the top, I definitely feel the ZSX in my ears a bit more. It’s not uncomfortable for me, but depending on the shape of your ears, these might not fit as well. In terms of hardware, the ZSX uses a configuration that is similar to the ZS10 Pro just with 1 extra BA driver. So a total of 5 BA drivers plus 1 dynamic driver on each side. It still kinda blows my mind that you can get these types of configuration at this price point. I remember paying like close to a hundred Singapore dollars for the UE600 years ago, and that had just a single BA driver. Anyway, in terms of how the ZSX sounds, it’s really nice.
It has an energetic sound with slightly boosted bass, extended highs, and the mids are pretty nice and detailed as well. The bass sounds pleasant , and doesn’t overpower the rest of the sound. Compared to the ZS10 Pros, the ZSX sounds more natural to me, especially for vocals. There is a bit more airy-ness to the sound which makes it less artificial and metallic sounding to me. Not sure if this is the right way to describe it, but on the ZS10 Pro the sound rolls off a bit too quickly, making it sound a little unnatural to me. The treble is a little too bright for my liking as well, and at times could sound a little harsh.
So I definitely prefer the sound on the ZSX more. Because of the differences I’ve mentioned above, I actually feel like the ZSX is slightly less fatiguing to listen to, which is nice. And while we’re talking about fatigue, I noticed a difference when it comes to the cable with mic versus the one without. To me ears, I’m hearing less details with the cable with mic, especially in the higher and lower frequencies. It also has a lower volume output as well, and was also more fatiguing for my ears for some reason. Talking about cables, I have the updated Bluetooth cable as well, and I noticed a slight degradation in sound quality, which is to be expected. However, it’s still going to sound better than most true wireless earbuds, just that you have to deal with the cable, and the shorter battery life. It’s probably not that great for jogging as well. In the end, I do think the ZSX is a small, but nice upgrade over the ZS10 Pro.
However, if you like a brighter sound, the ZS10 Pro could be better for you. But either way, I think they’re both good value for money, and both provides a fun and engaging listening experience at reasonable prices. Since the Tin T2 is also around the same price range, and I also have one with me, let’s talk about that as well. The T2 is not as colourful or detailed sounding compared to the ZSX, and the bass response is much flatter, so bass heads probably won’t enjoy this. But it still has enough going for it to make it engaging to listen to. It sounds smoother and more natural to me, which makes it less fatiguing to listen to. The soundstage also seems a bit wider, and the vocals are a bit more forward as well. Personally, while I do enjoy immersing myself in all the details that the ZSX is able to provide, I’m probably still picking up the Tin T2 if I know I’ll be listening to music for extended periods of time.
It’s just a lot more comfortable for me. Ultimately, I think they’re both good in their own ways, and it really depends on what you’re looking for. Anyway, I know I’m not exactly an audiophile and this is not a very technical review, but I hope that as a regular consumer just trying to get better audio quality at more reasonable prices, I was able to provide some useful information at least.