KZ ZSN PRO: Budget Freshness

Hello everyone!
After so much time reading about the ZSN hype, i’ve received a highly discounted sample of the ZSN Pro by AK Audio Store (which i keep recommending because of their amazing customer service and products prices) in exchange of a honest review.
Disclaimer: i do not have the ZSN in order to compare it with the ZSN Pro, so everything is just based on my personal listening experience with the ZSN Pro.

You can buy the ZSN Pro from AK Audio Store at the link you’ll find at the end of the review!

If you put “yourstingyfriend” code before paying on Aliexpress, you can have a discount on these and you will pay:
– 14,5$ for the non-mic version
– 15$ for the mic version
Prices are actually 20$ and 22$ so there’s more than a 5$ discount. Go grab one pair!

Just wanna precise that my impressions are subjective and that listening experience can change depending on source, tips and so on. 

Test were made on:
– Galaxy S7 Edge Smartphone
– Presonus AudioBOX iONE connected to my PC with no Enhancements actived
– AGPTEK M30B/Benjie S8 DAP
I even connect my Fiio A3 when i need it if i hear some earphones need a little more power.

Technical specs:
Drivers: 1 DD + 1 BA
Sensitivity: 112dB
Impedance: 24ohm
Frequency Response: 7 Hz – 40000 Hz
Cable lenght: 1.2m Detachable (0.75mm PINs): cable connectors are different from normal ones. Connector here is female one, while other KZ cables are male ones, you’ll see in the cable section.
Plug Type: L-type 

PACKAGING

Classic KZ carton package. You’ll find IEMs, cable and eartips (4 pairs: 1 soft pair + 3 Starline classic tips pairs).
No carry case included (as usual). KZ please, listen to us: include a carry case!!!

CABLE

Cable is really similar to the one that KZ has been selling as upgrade cable, and i think it’s the same one that’s featured with the CCA C10, except for the connectors, which are approached in a different way. As you can see the connector here has 2 female pinholes while the standard KZ cable has male PINs.
This seems to be the new standard KZ wanna follow.
Cable is prone to tangling but pre-made hooks are so comfy compared to the memory wire hooks. The cable is not bad in any case, i love it if we compare it to the old ZS6/ZS5/ZS3’s one.

CONSTRUCTION AND INTERNALS

Fantastic build. The faceplate is made of metal while the rest of the shell is made of high quality plastic. Everything is well assembled and feels very solid. I think this is one of the best KZ products in terms of build quality.
There is a vent just behind the dynamic driver which should help giving it some air for a better performance.
There’s the usual nozzle grill with an appreciated nozzle lip. Everything seems very well assembled even in this part of the IEMs.
1DD + 1BA makes them another hybrid setup in the KZ line.

COMFORT AND ISOLATION

Awesome comfort: the rounded and smooth shape of the ZSN Pro makes them very comfortable even for long listening sessions. The shell is the same used with the C10 by CCA.
I’ve tried a very long listening session (around 7 hours) and i personally forgot i had them in my ears, i was just enjoying the music and i seriously didn’t even think they were still in my ears.
Isolation is very good, i tried to use them in a very busy zone of my city and i didn’t have to turn up the volume in a strong way, medium level of listening was pretty ok.

SOUND

Let’s get into it.
Now the critical factor that decides if something has to be tried or not: how do they sound?
I mainly listen to EDM subgenres, Dupstep, Future Bass, Euphoric Hardstyle, Bass House, Midtempo and downtempo, darkwave, drum’n bass, but i even listen to many vocal tracks, moreover female ones.
I always search for IEMs that have a little bit of emphasis in the lower region, and can sacrifice mids with some recession if they still sound clear and natural. I love vivid and sparkling highs if they‘re not at a headache level. 
V-shape signature is my favourite one. 

Lows: I love the way these are tuned in the low region. Sub-bass is there, controlled and balanced in my opinion.
Bass is emphasized with great texturing, but lacks some authority that i usually pretend by a dynamic driver.

Mids: I would say slightly recessed. Male voices do not have the warm timbre of the CCA C10 but still sound full and well reproduced. Female voices sound delicate, fresh and intimate without sibilance.
Synths are a bit laidback but that’s intended in the V-shape signature of the ZSN Pro.
I really like how does the midrange sound with great resolution and natural tonality.

Highs: Definitely bright, but not in a bad way. Highs are not sharp like ZS6 or V80s ones, but brilliant in a very good way. Treble sensitive people will not have many problems, but i understand it could become fatiguing for long listening sessions for some people. Upper treble has good extension making the ZSN Pro sound with plenty of air, while lower treble is emphasized with a lot of energy.
Detail retrieval is pretty good considering the price range.

Soundstage is good, wider than deep and with good height. Instrument separation is great, moreover if we consider how much we’re paying for the ZSN Pros. Imaging is not bad at all being another plus for the ZSN Pro.
At first listen, great dynamic was the first thing i got and i still think these are extremely fun even because of it.

A little comparison with the CCA C10
C10 are less sparkling and airy but have a better tridimensional resolution, with a smoother approach.
C10 are warmer but a little bit less funny compared to the ZSN PRO (at least at first listen), which have a “younger” presentation which aims for a more fun-suited sound compared to the C10.
Low end is more emphasized on the ZSN, making the C10 a better choice for people who search for a more balanced, softer and warmer presentation.
Midrange is less recessed on the C10. Male voices have better timbre on the C10 while female voices have a great touch on both setups, being a little bit “fresher” and sparkling on the ZSN, but more prone to sibilance in certain tracks with aggressive or less accurate mastering.
Upper end is less aggressive on the C10, which seems the way to go for treble sensitive people.
Soundstage is wider and deeper on the C10, with better imaging and instrument separation.
The ZSN PRO isolate well just like the C10, and isolation is at the same good level.
Summing up, the C10 have a more analytic and mature sound compared to the funnier and sparkling ZSN PRO, that are still a good product in terms of sound resolution, even if less technically capable compared to the C10.

SUMMARY

KZ did it again. The ZSN Pro are going to be the budget king now, moreover if we think about the hype train that ZSN started.
I think there are a few products that can compete with the ZSN at this price. Maybe the TRN V80 (if found at the same price) can be a good contender, but they’re actually in another league considering the V80s are more balanced than the ZSN Pro along the spectrum.
The ZSN Pro are simply great, comfortable, well built, fun and fresh.
You could not ask for more at this price.

KZ ZSN Pro

8.5

Sound

9.0/10

Build Quality

9.0/10

Comfort (subjective)

9.5/10

Packaging/Accessories

6.0/10

Price

9.0/10

Pros

  • Great SQ
  • Immersive due to the great dynamic
  • Super comfortable and great isolation
  • Well built and great design
  • Price

Cons

  • Cable prone to tangle
  • Bass could be more authoritative and visceral
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