I am guilty of never having listened to any IEMs from KZ. For a while, I’ve only heard good things about this brand and their budget earphones. Now is finally my chance to hear a pair for myself. The KZ ZS10 Pro X model had found its way to me, and I have been so curious about what they’re capable of for its super generous $21 price tag. There have been quite a few twenty-dollar IEMs that have made waves this year such as the Moondrop Chu. Does the Pro X compare?
What You Get
- 1 x KZ ZSN Pro Earphones
- 1 x User manual
- 2 x Pairs of silicone ear tips
Look and Feel
The main housing of the Pro X has an interesting design. Its body is large, with an ergonomically shaped cavity and a zinc alloy faceplate. This particular build is quite nice for its price point, as the Pro X seems like it should cost way more in terms of its looks. For comfort, the Pro X might feel a little too big for some listeners, but for my big ears, these IEMs gave me no issue. They sit naturally in your concha and didn’t cause many issues for me. I could wear the Pro X for many hours without a hitch.
A 10mm dynamic driver with dual magnets lies within the Pro X. Its detachable cable is made from high purity silver, and its quality is another aspect of the Pro X that makes it appear well above its price.
- Impedance: 25 ohm
- Sensitivity: 112 dB/mW
- Frequency Response Range: 7-40000Hz
This soundstage doesn’t span wide, but its layering is what you should be looking out for. I’ve recently heard some similar twenty-dollar IEMs that have a parallel display of sound, but they don’t quite reach this level. The ZS10 Pro X has a lot more grandness going for it. You can feel how big some elements come across, and the Pro X presents each layer with separation and clarity. Some of the soundstage presentations feel boxed in, but it is hard to deny the amount of spatial dimension it can produce. It is impressive that the Pro X can deal with a limited stereo field and make the best of it with the slightest non-linear imaging.
It becomes apparent right away where the focus of the Pro X is. The bass here slams down with solid aggression. Its impact dominates a good chunk of the frequency response, which somewhat overlaps with the low-mids. This emphasis is gripping but clouds some of the other ranges of frequency that come off as ineloquent. However, if you’re just in it for the theatrics, then the Pro X will certainly not disappoint.
There is definitely some recession here, and if it wasn’t for the impressive layering of the Pro X, I am not sure how much midrange detail would be able to come through. While you get some clear instrumentals in places, it never comes out of the shadow of the looming bass resonance. It is featured heavily, which distracts the musical elements from appearing lush. I think the Pro X can get there depending on the track, but most of the time the mids couldn’t match its energy. Vocals have some definition though. Female vocal performances in particular appear quite pleasant and are pushed forward a bit.
The sound signature can be described as v-shaped, and the highs help play a part in that. You will not find as much aggression in the highs as the bass, but the treble is still emphasized. Some of the contents can appear sibilant, especially with vocals that I initially praised the presentation of. I happen to like those heightened properties when handled correctly, but if you’re not fond of sibilance of any kind then the Pro X might not be your thing.
It was nice getting to see what KZ IEMs were like for the first time. Hearing the ZS10 Pro X gave me a great impression of what the brand can put out, and I was not left disappointed. Although it has some flaws in its sound signature, the Pro X contains a fun experience for those who are just looking for something good and affordable. For $21, the Pro X is going to give you more than you might have asked for.
The KZ ZS10 Pro X is available from Linsoul.