the ZS10 Pro is a new flagship IEM from a Chinese company Knowledge Zenith. Due to it’s name it’s marketed as an improvement over the ZS10. It features 5 drivers per side, 1 dynamic and 4 balanced armatures with a plastic body and a metal faceplate.
This unit was sent to me by Tripowin to review alongside their 8 core upgrade cable.
In the box
Build quality and accessories
The build quality of the IEMs is fairly good, the shell is smooth and the faceplate feels good quality. The connectors are nice and firm. The cable is very average, it keeps it shape and even though the new ear hooks the pre shaped earhooks are better than the old memory wire style cables they are still sub par. The KZ tips are know of being bad both sonically and fit wise, this hasn’t changed with the ones added to the ZS10 Pro.
The 8 core cable sent by Tripowin is a very nice upgrade from the stock cable, it’s soft, the braid isn’t too loose nor too tight which makes the cable to flow nicely. The connectors fit snugly and the hooks are well shaped. My two gripes with it are the indicators on the left and right side could be more pronounced and the chin slider could be smaller and look less like a bead.
Fit and comfort
The fit and comfort is quite good, with aftermarket tips (JVC spiral dots or symbio peel) and replacement cable they are very comfortable for a long period of time. I had no problems with the fit. The only issue some people may face is the stem width which is quite thick.
ZS10 Pro aims for a fairly tasteful W shaped signature, unlike a lot of it’s siblings it sounds quite natural and isn’t overblown anywhere.
Bass is tastefully elevated, quite punchy, with good texture and extension. It has more emphasis on the midbass rather than subbass like the ZS7. On “Trentemøller – Evil Dub” the midbass has a bit too slow decay and some microdetail is hidden. Midbass can bleed into the mids if the stock tips are used but this is completely fixed by using aftermarket ones.
The midrange is slightly forward and a bit dry but I wouldn’t say it’s very unnatural like older KZ IEMs. Most instruments sound quite good but pianos in “Billy Joel – Piano man” lack a bit of body but it’s still acceptable. Detail retrieval is good especially for the price. My main problem here is the timbre, especially when hearing multiple string instruments at the time you can tell something doesn’t sound fully right. This is mostly apparent in acoustic recordings and can renderer them a bit unnatural especially if they don’t have much bass.
This is where the ZS10 Pro has the most problems, the sibilance region can be a touch forward, which doesn’t hide sibilace in recordings. In general the extension is quite good and detail is there but the treble doesn’t sound as refined as higher end IEMs, it just lacks the sparkle and the definition you can find there. “Pink Floyd – Time” is a good example of this, it doesn’t quite have the treble magic it can have.
Imaging and Soundstage
This is the main pitfall of the ZS10 Pro, the stage is narrow to average. The images present in a diamond shape, most of the height is in the middle of the stage, whereas the edge of the stage is pretty flat. The depth behaves in a similar way but it’s average at best and is lacking at the edges of the stage.
The ZS10 Pro is a step in the right direction from KZ, it finally achieves a fairly natural sound without overblowing the bass and the treble. It achieves this in similar price range to other offerings like the Tin T2 while being a more exciting, more comfortable and fun listen. I can easily recommend them at their current price of about $45. I also recommend upgrading the cable, the one from Tripowin is a very good offering for the money.
Buy the KZ ZS10 Pro
Buy the TRIPOWIN cable