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KZ ZS5 quad driver testing update. Probably the least expensive quad driver on the market. $20

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Scottkarch, Aug 29, 2017.


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  1. Scottkarch

    Scottkarch

    Sep 11, 2012
    Chicago
    I received my KZ ZS5 quad driver updates a week ago and I've used them at home and had two practices with them.

    I was impressed ( and still am ) with the KZ ZS dual driver model.. For $20 you can't beat them........ that is unless you buy the ZS5s. The ZS is a bit boomy in the bass. No distortion and I was very happy using them 2 shows. The ZS5 is noticably better. Tighter bass, better clarity between bass and mids. High end is clean and not shrill at all. We play and rehearse all IEM with no amps.. so I have everything running through the IEMs. They also fit better in my ears than the larger ZS. I bought comply foam tips and they did not slip out of my ears at all during two long practice sessions.

    I'm glad I didn't pick up backup ZS... I'll be getting another pair of ZS5s as a backup/second primary set. I've never tried other brands of dual or quad drivers... they may be even better, but for 20-40 I think you owe it to your ears and wallet to give them a try.

    KZ ZS5 Detachable HiFi Earphones WITHOUT MICROPHONE-$18.69 Online Shopping| GearBest.com $19

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0719CBPBJ $37
     
    mikewalker and BluesOnBass like this.
  2. WardEarth

    WardEarth Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Anchormanville, CA
    Why are the cords detachable from the earbuds? Seems strange
     
  3. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Cables are exposed, subject to pulling, etc. Better not to have to junk the buds when the cable wears out.

    Also, the cables that come w/ the KZ buds are (if you can believe what you read) prone to noise, so the option to replace allows not just insurance but also one upgrade. BTW, I have used the KZ dual drivers before, and I just tried out a pair of the quad drivers at a rehearsal this week. The ZS (duals) sound really good for the price, but the ZS5 sound much more detailed and clear.Bought replacement cables but just used the stock one on Monday, and it sounded fine. OTOH, switching to Comply tips was a noticeable improvement.

    I prefer the shells on the ZS buds. But if the ZS5 buds prove durable they're a great choice—either as back-up IEMs, or as a proof-of-concept first set for musicians who don't want to drop $400+ on custom molds just to explore whether IEMs will work in their playing situation(s).
     
  4. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Pardon my ignorance fellas, but can I use these ear buds for any device?

    The ones I use for my iPod are becoming noisy and I'm pretty sure they aren't multi driver. And I'm damn sure I paid more than $20 for them.

    So is there magic in the signal that powers IEMs, or will any audio source drive the ZS5's properly?
     
  5. Scottkarch

    Scottkarch

    Sep 11, 2012
    Chicago
    They can work with any 1/8" plug. Phones/MP3 players etc.
     
    charlie monroe likes this.
  6. Scottkarch

    Scottkarch

    Sep 11, 2012
    Chicago
    If the cable gets damaged you can just replace the cable. It's very common in the IEM world. If you damage a single earbud you can replace just one.
     
  7. WardEarth

    WardEarth Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Anchormanville, CA
    Oh that's cool
     
  8. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    using pro IEMs with iphones is totally a thing, they sound vastly better than regular earbuds; i know guys who play lots of fly dates doing that all the time, at the very least to serve as nice ear plugs to block out jet noise.

    (that said, $20 buds are not remotely pro, don't anybody kid themselves here; another friend tried a set of shure copies that were like $40 and they fell apart after a few weeks of gigging. y'all can risk your hearing with this junk but i won't.)
     
    Grumry, musicman7722 and s0c9 like this.
  9. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    You've got me turned around a bit here.

    Are you saying I'm putting my hearing at risk if I listen to my iPod through these?
     
  10. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    no no, i'm just talking about using them as IEMs on stage!
     
  11. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Agreed, to a point. Even with better buds, I keep checking out cheapies to recommend for bandmates who are reluctant to switch to IEMs and who balk at the cost. They'll do in a pinch, they'll get you through gigs and rehearsals, and they sound better than wedges. But even the best sounding of these come up short in terms of reliability, so I sure wouldn't consider something like the MEE audio m6 pro or KZ KS or KS5 "pro." They also have zero customer service, and the market (especially for the M6s) seems to raise the odds that you'll get a knock-off rather than the decent sounding pair you expect.

    That said, I've worn these in rehearsals at volume. Short of boneheaded operator error that's unrelated to the IEMs, "risking your hearing" isn't on the menu.
     
  12. GSPLBASSDC

    GSPLBASSDC

    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    I don't play for a living, but I am a paid chuch musician and here's my take. I agree that the less expensive ears are no match sonically than their higher priced bretheren, HOWEVER, I have a pair of MEE Audio M6 Pros (single driver - $49) and a pair of KZ ZST (dual driver $<$20) and the KZ's blow away the M6's in bass response because each driver is responsible for select frequencies instead of the whole spectrum and therefore is more efficient. Gonna check out quad drivers next.

    Lesson: opt for the best MULTI DRIVER ears you can afford!
    .
     
  13. Scottkarch

    Scottkarch

    Sep 11, 2012
    Chicago
    The 2 driver ZST is so much better quality than the Mee units. I feel that the 4 driver KZ units are much better than the ZSTs. Try them out and report back. I love them.
     
  14. GSPLBASSDC

    GSPLBASSDC

    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    Will be ordering some shortly and will a/b them. Thanks!

    UPDATE: KZ ZS5's are on the way
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  15. superheavyfunk

    superheavyfunk

    Mar 11, 2013
    Toronto
    My ZS5 set just arrived in the mail. I threw them on to compare against my ZST set... I gotta say that the ZST has much better bass response, the caveat being that the KS5 hasn't yet been burned in (if that's even a thing).

    At first blush, the KS5 seems to have a better soundstage though. Throughout the frequencies (when listening to music), things seem more balanced than they do in the ZSTs... but if I'm being honest, I don't think that's what I want. I want ears that *are* a little bass heavy, since that's what I'm most concerned about hearing well - especially since I have to use octavers on some songs. They do sit better in my ears than the ZSTs, the highs are crisp but not piercing or shrill, and most of the mids are clear enough (the low mids seem a little lost and blurry to me). The ZST also seem a little louder than the KS5 but not by a very significant amount.

    One thing to note for folks who have both sets: the end of the cable that inserts into the buds is straight and not curved like the ones that come with both the ZST set and the replacement cables that are currently available. The ZST ones fit, but they don't seat well in the little recessed part of the KS5. YMMV, of course.

    Anyway, I'm going to keep listening to music thru the ZS5 for a while and see if the bottom end opens up. If it doesn't, they'll still make an excellent set of ears for general music enjoyment on the subway and such, and will also be a decent set of backups if my ZSTs crap out.

    Thanks again for the GearBest link, @Scottkarch! :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
    Scottkarch likes this.
  16. GSPLBASSDC

    GSPLBASSDC

    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    Thanks for the post! I'm like you and looking for a more bass heavy response...especially sub bass,so I'm looking forward to my own a/b when my ZS5's arrive next week...and my thanks also to @Scottkarch for the GearBest link..least expensive site out there!
     
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  17. Scottkarch

    Scottkarch

    Sep 11, 2012
    Chicago
    You're both welcome. I agree with @superheavyfunk 's review. I think the ZSTs have more bass than the ZS5. the Zs5s sound a bit more open and personally I like them better for me. I'm keeping my ZSTs as my backup and I'll probably try them both alternating during a rehearsal or switch between sets to get a better feel for which I want to use as my main. I wish someone with some more expensive units would buy a pair and compare them. I'm really curious what the difference is.. how these stack up. They sound so good to me I don't see the need for anything better at the moment.
     
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  18. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    I found the ZSTs had more low end, but it wasn't as defined as the ZS5s.
     
  19. Scottkarch

    Scottkarch

    Sep 11, 2012
    Chicago
    Not a large sample size but right now it sounds like we all perceive the same thing... regardless of our preference. I just ordered a pair for our guitar player that keeps using something like the apple earbuds and complains that he doesn't like the sound of in-ears. I'm still trying to win him over and get him to really like them as much as I do. Might not happen. He really wants to use wedges and hear/feel the sound and doesn't think it can be done with IEMs... but he does realize the lack of feedback and sound issues when we use wedges. So he's open minded and I want to help him find something that works.. and if its inexpensive, all the better.
    Soon we'll be adding a stage mic and feeding it to anyones ears that wants to hear the audience and room sound. Maybe that will help with the disconnect.
    If I can save up the money, I may buy a microphone a/b splitter and toggle between MAINS/PRIVATE channels so I can talk to the band and not have it go out front.
     
  20. I got a pair of the ZS5's from gearbest after reading the recommendations here. Really great for the price! I haven't tried the ZSTs but I think the ZS5s have pretty incredible low end. Comfort and build quality are pretty minimal, but that is to be expected for the price point.
     

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