KZ ZS10

ø10mm Dynamic Driver + 4 × B.A.

$40~$45
4.5/5.0

The new ZS10 model by KZ was received well by KZ fans, but issues were pointed out as well. While maintaining an excellent standard for sound quality, at least once you got used to the intrusive upper-mids, they messed up the design quite a bit. The housings are huge, and the short nozzle alongside a bulge right after it, makes those earphones a difficult fit, despite the fact that a perfect fit is mandatory in order to experience the intended bass response.

With all that in mind, these earphones are excellent, but if given a choice between these vs. ZS6, I vouch for ZS6.

Buy on

Pros

  • Bright, crisp and detailed treble.
  • Powerful and non-overwhelming bass response.
  • Detachable cable, which extends the lifespan of these earphones, and is a great upgrade from previous cables.
  • Despite the plastic housings, these earphones maintain a really premium look and feel.

Cons

  • A sound signature that takes quite a while to get used to. Seems thin and sharp at first, but gets better with some extensive getting-used-to.
  • Subdued mids that make vocals and certain instruments sound more distant.
  • Unwise design choices made those earphones not the most comfortable pair in the bunch. Definitely not as comfortable as ZS5 or ZS6.
  • Some people reported that their pair suffers from reversed polarity that causes weird positioning of sound. I haven't faced this issue, but take it into account.

Package & Accessories

Package:

Hard paperboard + soft paperboard

Ear Tips - Single-Flange:

S+M+L, unique, black, ø4.5mm bores

Build & Materials

Housings:

Plastic (glossy), ø5mm nozzles, cable connectors

Connectors:

2-pin (custom 0.75mm)

Remote:

Plastic (matte), single-button

Y-Split:

TPE, soft strain relief

Cable:

Silicone (braided), 132cm, extra-soft, straight, built-in memory wires

Plug:

TPE, 90° angled, wide, soft strain relief

Comfort & Fit

Comfort is a mixed bag. Thanks to the new cable they are very easy to put inside, but you won't likely to get a proper fit. It's not due to wide nozzles. In fact, the issue seems to be linked to the fact that the nozzles are very short, and where the nozzle ends there's a bulge that puts pressure against my ear canals and actually makes me feel uncomfortable after a while. That bulge is just too wide to fit in my ears. Giving up on the bulge and making the nozzle longer would have easily prevented this. One more thing to note is that the housings are very large and bulky. No matter what you do, they will always stick out. Have small ears? That might be a problem.

Lows / Bass

The bass quantity really depends on how well to manage to fit these earphones in your ears. The thing is, that these earphones have a bass vent (just like ZS5 and ZS6), and in order to get the best bass experience, the fit has to be perfect, and your ear is supposed to cover up the vent, else the bass will seem thin. Overall, the bass isn't all that different than ZS5, I can barely tell the difference. It's well-balanced, mildly warm and not muddy at all, yet quite impactful and gets very deep. While not necessarily basshead-material, it's the kind of bass that most people can appreciate.

Mids / Vocals

The mids maintain a great sound quality, like KZ's previous flagship models, but with the ZS10 they seem to be more distant and subdued, even more than ZS5, and having a significant peaks in the upper-mids range. This results in certain vocals, especially male vocals, to sound slightly colder than they should sound. Perceptionally, the sound signature seems to be more V-shaped than previous flagship models.

Highs / Treble

Extremely detailed treble, without having any intrusive peaks anywhere in the sibilance or pierce regions. Even so, the treble is bright and crisp and instruments are really well-separated. However, they will definitely be too fatiguing for some listeners, mainly due to bright and intrusive lower-treble/upper-mids combined with relatively subdued mids.

Frequency Response

ATE C56R DT5 ED2 ED3 Youth Version ED4 ED9 ED10 ED11 ED16 EDR2 ES3 GR HDS1 HDS2 HDS3 IE80 RX S3 ZS1 ZS5 (V1) ZS6
ZS10
ZSA ZSE ZSR ZST