KZ ZS10 PRO: Technical Punch

Hello everyone and welcome back!
After my initial hype with the T3 i finally got my hands on the new KZ ZS10 PRO, which have been mentioned so many times in many threads online.
Here you have my impression on these new KZ’s daughters, which even includes a comparison with the ZSN PROs: the two share near the same FR Graph except for the upper end.

You can buy the KZ ZS10 PRO by Sherry on Amazon from the links at the end of the review!

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 + 4 BA 
Sensitivity: 111dB/mW
Impedance: 30ohm
Frequency Response: 7 Hz – 40000 Hz
Cable lenght: 1.2m±3cm (0.75mm 2-PIN connector)
Plug Type: 3.5mm L-type Gold-plated jack

PACKAGING

Simple packaging from KZ. They never change regarding this point.
Same KZ starline tips + 1 pair of soft tips that are already mounted on the IEMs.
A good thing is that IEMs feel well built at first look even through the plastic transparent piece that covers them.

CABLE

We have the usual KZ cable which is improved with no doubts if we compare it with the old ZS6 and ZS3 sticky cable.
The version of the ZS10 PROs i am reviewing is the one with microphone, so i have it featured on the cable, but you could even buy the one without it.
Connectors are the same as the ZSN PRO, being a little different from other KZs products like ZS7 and others. Nothing special in any case.

CONSTRUCTION AND INTERNALS

When we speak about construction and build quality, i have to speak well about KZ in the last releases. They’re really improving the build quality and quality control itself, and even plastic shells feel very durable. May that be due to the metal faceplate? I don’t know, but their IEMs feel really durable in the time when you get your hands on them.
There are 5 little pressure vents: 3 on the metal faceplate, 2 in the inner part of the shell. The ones on the back should help the single DD giving a better bass and sub-bass response. We can find the usual nozzle grill alongside with an appreciated nozzle lip (that i really miss in other IEMs like the CCA C10).
Driver configuration features 4 balanced armatures and 1 dynamic driver. I know you’re thinking about a very brilliant IEM, but let’s wait for the sound impressions.

COMFORT AND ISOLATION

Comfort-wise the ZS10 PRO are great: the bulky case featured in the old ZS10 is not there anymore. Here we have quite the same shell we have in other products like the ZSN, ZSN PRO and CCA C10.
Their great isolation makes them perfect for city walks, and the stock tips that’s already mounted on them are quite good (even if kz offers us a bit more choice with the starline ones in terms of size).
Overall,a very good daily companion!

 

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 usually my favourite one but in the last period i’m appreciating a more balanced presentation with less recessed mids, more of a U shape.

Lows: very punchy low-end. Sub-bass digs deep even if not at ZS7’s level. The lower part of the spectrum is clearly focused on bass and midbass, which show a strong bump that makes every kickdrum a real surprise. I cannot hide this could be a bit overwhelming for someone out there, but i personally like this feature when i listen to some Dubstep or other bass-heavy genres.

Mids: mids are not strongly recessed, which is good in terms of balance. They’re thicker compared to other KZ’s products and feel really a tad recessed. I would say a very balanced experience in this range.
Instruments are well reproduced and detailed.
Male voices are fairly good while female girls can sound a little bit distant. I prefer female vocals on the CCA C10, if i have to provide an example: with the C10 they are warmer and more intimate.

Highs: definitely on the bright side. Not bright at the point of being fatiguing but sure not something warm and relaxed. Detail retrieval is good and there are no strange peaks. Some sibilance can be heard here and there, but nothing to worry about: these aren’t sibilant every time, but they can become a little bit if you let them eat some very sibilance-prone tracks.

Soundstage is wider than deep with average height.
Instrument separation and imaging are good.

Now some comparisons:
vs KZ ZS7
Being in the same price range, these 2 could be the leading actors of your choice.
ZS7s have more extended sub-bass with great bass, while ZS10 PRO is less extended in the sub-bass region, being more punchy in bass and mid-bass.
Midrange is a tad more recessed on the ZS7 with the ZS10 PRO showing more detail in that zone. Male voices are good in both setups with little advantage for the ZS10 PRO while female voices are better on the ZS7. Treble is definitely more brilliant in the ZS10 PRO while the ZS7 shows a more relaxed approach. Soundstage is wider, deeper and higher in the ZS7, while ZS10 PRO’s soundstage is narrower. Instrument separation is better on the ZS10 PRO, while imaging is a bit better on the ZS7, maybe due to a bigger soundstage where to place instruments. ZS7 are warmer and less fatiguing for the long run if you’re treble sensitive.

vs ZSN PRO
Just like I said in the intro, ZSN PRO and ZS10 PRO seem very similar if we take a look at some FR Graphs on the web. I’m sorry i cannot show you the FR Graphs but i hope one day i’ll get a chance buying a measurements setup.
These two are very similar in terms of sound, moreover if we speak about midrange, even if the ZS10 PRO are more detailed. Low-end is more extended and punchy on the ZS10 PRO, moreover if we speak about bass; sub-bass is more extended on the ZS10 PRO. Highs are more brilliant and boosted on the ZSN PRO, making them too brilliant for treble sensitive people. ZS10 PROs win in microdetails. The ZSN PRO shows more air thanks to this artificial upper-range boost, but it even increase the chance of getting sibilance: i like ZS10 PRO’s treble more in this case. Instrument separation and imaging are better on the ZS10 PROs and so is the soundstage. Summing-up, ZS10 PROs have a warmer approach maybe due to the midbass bump which brings some more warmth to the sound.
ZSN PRO, on the other hand, shares many things with the ZS10 PROs. If you’re asking if you could just pick the ZSN PROs at half the price of these, i have the answer: yes, ZS10 PRO is a better earphone. They share the same sound signature but the ZS10 PROs does not have the same highly brilliant highs of the ZSN PROs, plus they have more extended sub-bass, more punch in the bass and more details either in the midrange and upper range.
I would say ZS10 PROs is the more technically refined and bassier version of the ZSN PROs in my opinion.

SUMMARY

KZ is improving their products bringing back some classics from their lineup, re-newing and boosting them to a new level. They are even working well in quality control, which is something they really needed to work on if we look back.
If you want to step up from some of your KZ older products, the ZS10 PROs can be the right choice: it’s technical, it sounds good and price is coherent considering what you get. Bass could be over the top for many of you but that’s just about preferences.
Plus, you get excellent comfort and isolation with a good build quality.
Great job KZ: keep up the good work!

KZ ZS10 PRO

8.2

Sound

8.5/10

Build Quality

8.5/10

Comfort (subjective)

9.5/10

Packaging/Accessories

6.0/10

Price

8.5/10

Pros

  • Great punch in the low end
  • Great detail retrieval without being boosted over the top in the upper range
  • Very comfortable, just like ZSN PRO and CCA C10

Cons

  • Midbass can be too much for some people out there
  • Does not add something really new in KZ lineup
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