Review : KZ AS16 – The Heist


KZ AS16 + FiiO M6 : it’s surprisingly powerful, I’d not expect so much sound from a sub 300$ bundle. From 30 to 40 you get that cool boost you need to pass the day.
KS AS16 + A&K SR15 : this is a bit overkill but if you can afford it, you won’t regret your choice. The definition is astounding and it really sounds as if the AS16 were tune to fit the A&K SR15.
KZ AS16 + Cowon Plenue D2 : I’ve already said it in my Cowon Plenue D2 review : the Jet-Effect is the only DSP I would praise, hands down. Mach3bass + AS16 will make you realize how low those shiny drivers can go.


Last time, some of you complained about not having a comparison section. Here it is now :

KZ ZS5 : Yes the AS16 are better than the ZS5. Yes they are REALLY better, fuller sound, wider soundstage and extended dynamic. Yet, if you’re into really, really low budget, the ZS5 will still impress you, period.
BGVP DM7 : this is my actual top choice in the sub-300$ category. It offers more dynamic and depth but in terms of the soundstage, the AS16 can give the DM7 a run for its money.
Fearless S6 Rui : where the KZ AS16 favors the highs, almost too much, the S6 Rui focuses on sub mids and low. This is a full-bodied IEM, for those who want fun without compromising too much on details
Final Audio E5000 : I don’t talk much of the Final Audio, but I wanted to compare them to the AS16 for two reasons. First, this is a mono-driver. Second, it’s almost 80% smaller. If the sound battle is easily won by the AS16, comfort wise the E5000 takes the upper hand.



The KZ AS16 are exactly what you expect them to be: the finest offer from KZ and a great performer sold at a very low price. For 125$, this IEM is definitely one of the best options you could get. No, this is one of the best sub-300$ options, just under the BGVP DM7.

The build quality is very good, but comfort could be better. The sheer size of the shell remains too big in my opinion, which makes the comfort sub-optimal. But apart from that, there isn’t much I could complain about. If you want to try a TOTL IEM, but can’t afford the 1k+ model we usually review, maybe you should check out the KZ AS16.

Yes, it’s that good.


A nerdy guy with a passion for audio and gadgets, he likes to combine his DAC and his swiss knife. Even after more than 10 years of experience, Nanotechnos still collects all gear he gets, even his first MPMAN MP3 player. He likes spreadsheets, technical specs and all this amazing(ly boring) numbers. But most of all, he loves music: electro, classical, dubstep, Debussy : the daily playlist.


    • Reply May 27, 2019


      How does it compare with the KZ AS10?

      • Reply June 17, 2020

        Noah Lim

        KZ AS16 is definitely brighter than AS10 and 20-30% louder than AS10 when drive. AS16 sounded like an extension of AS10 with more focus on sound details and maybe 20-30% less lows compared to AS10.

        I just upgraded to KZ AS16 from AS10.

    • Reply May 28, 2019

      Anthony Wild

      I love my AS16, unimaginable depth, extremely clean audio. Sit comfortably in ear with a bit of wriggling around, comfortable to wear all day. Look fantastic, sound like something much much more expensive, excellent price.

    • Reply June 3, 2019

      Hin Yui Wong

      Bought 1 after reading this review with cable upgrade. Chi-fi came a long way, i remember my first Chi-fi was Vsonic GR07 (still a classic)

      Current selection:
      Campfire Audio Andromeda (Effect audio thor silver 2+)
      Campfire Audio Comet
      Ibasso It04 (Effect audio thor silver 2)
      Vsonic GR09

      Andromeda and IT04 absolutely kills AS16, but at this price with cable upgrades, inevitable.
      Compared to Comet & GR09 (close in price), these come out on top. Sub-bass a little shy, but has similar mids and better highs than comet. GR09 is just more dark and recessed, but has much better bass (it’s a dynamic…). Soundstage is also great, layering and imaging above average.

      Overall very solid choice for the price.

    • Reply June 5, 2019

      Eray Altıntaş

      I have two options, simgot en700 pro or kz as16, and own a Sony a45
      Generally I listening soul jazz, blues and dark background male or female voice musics. What’s ur suggestions, which is the best iem with a45 and these kinds ? Thank you

    • Reply June 13, 2019


      Got a set last night. Out of the box they were very clear but too much treble and quite harsh on many tracks.
      Swapped out the provided silicone tips for some spare chinese foam tips I had and it really calmed them down to something more agreeable to my ears.
      Too early to say how good they are but thought I’d post this in case others have the same initial reaction.

    • Reply August 14, 2019

      Tengku Elzafir

      How does it compare to a headphone like the Sennheiser HD650? Not a fair comparison, but still a comparison, because I have the HD650 and want to know what to expect.

      Also, how does it compare to Shure 846?

      • Reply September 29, 2019


        I have these and HD 650s and I’d say the 650s are quite a bit darker. The bass and highs are quite a bit more detailed here, but BA do clarity well. The mids are more forward and isolated on the HD650 and the mid detail is a tad bit better. Imaging and soundstage is better on the HD 650, though the soundstage is still slim on the HD650s for a headphone. The bass on the AS16 actually extends further than the HD650s despite being BA. However HD 650s are known to not extend well.

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