Review: KZ ZS10 Pro – Bettered

Comparisons

 

The selected comparisons for the ZS10 Pro are below:

vs. KZ ZS10: I compared them many times in the review but let me compare once again shortly. The ZS10 pro has a slightly improved midbass performance and it once again has a focused subbass with good depth and rumble. However the bass has better control and resolution.

It has a better transparency in mids but with the same energy, clarity and crispness. Treble is the area that it gives a different presentation, as it sounds much more energetic and emphasized in that area. So overall the Pro is a noticeable improvement in terms of technicalities, but with a different approach in terms of treble. To me, there’s no more a point to get the original model, except the larger sound stage that it provides.

vs KZ AS10: I liked the AS10 so much that I’ve put it in our Best Universal IEM Recommendations listIt has a better midbass body, a warmer sound together with better timbre. So the ZS10 Pro did not change my opinion about the AS10 being the better IEM in terms of instrumental presentation. The ZS10 Pro definitely gives you more fun, but the AS10 sounds truer in my opinion.

The sound stage is slightly wider with the AS10 and that’s a another reason to choose it over the ZS10 Pro. The AS10 also fits and isolates better. The ZS10 Pro has a better build with its new faceplate, but I don’t think that’s a huge deal.

KZ AS10

KZ AS10

vs. Shozy Hibiki Mk2: The ZS10 Pro has more subbass rumble, and the Hibiki has a better midbass response. So I think it’s a tie overall, but I still think the Hibiki MK2 has a more ideal quantity. In terms of mids, the Hibiki gives a more realistic tone to me, but the ZS10 Pro has more intimacy in there. So it’s totally a matter of choice.

Treble-wise I think the ZS10 Pro is better in terms of articulation and transparency, as well as detail pickup. However it’s more aggressive in treble and that can make you exhausted depending on the source. The Hibiki however has a better refinement in there.

Conclusion

The KZ ZS10 Pro is a nice improvement over the original ZS10. The sound is more resolving, the midbass body is better, the treble has more articulation and emphasis, and it sounds more transparent. However the clear thing is they sound very different. If you like a more relaxed approach you can still go with the ZS10. But from a technical standpoint, the Pro model is better in almost every way.

Yet, I still think the AS10 is the best KZ unit among the ones that I’ve tested. So it remains in our Best Universal IEMs list. The ZS10 Pro is a nice performer for the price. Especially when you think that they did not change the base price too much, it certainly deserves a praise. Not to mention the improvement in build quality. The appearance in particular is drastically improved as well.

So yes, it’s simply a better ZS10 in every way. But I would still go with either Hibiki MK2 or the AS10.

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A lover of personal audio from Turkey, Berkhan always seeks the perfection. He chooses a simplistic expression of sound at all times, and tries to keep his photography enthusiasm at the same level with audio. Sometimes photography wins, and sometimes his love for music takes him over and he puts that camera aside.

7 Comments

  • Reply June 4, 2019

    Hebi

    Really? You prefer the AS10?…. I have both, and I don’t understand your reasoning, any other review prefers the ZS PRO…. let’s forget about the sound, it’s absurd to say that the AS10 fits and isolates better, that’s illogical and it’s not a matter of taste…. same about the soundstage… some drafting error… maybe?

    • Reply June 4, 2019

      Berkhan

      Yes, I prefer the AS10, and I don’t have to agree with other reviews.

      I don’t know your experience about the fit, but isolation topic is not debatable. The AS10 doesn’t have a dynamic driver port, so it’s fully closed. It provides more isolation.

  • Reply June 14, 2019

    igorj

    Berkhan is actually demonstrably right about fitment and isolation – ZSN has similar casing to ZS10 Pro, so you can get a comparable isolation measurement vs. AS10 from rtings.com. But I think it’s down to the shape not vents, because AS10 also has a vent, if I remember right.

    What doesn’t make sense is the mid tone critique.
    “But once again, the overall weakness lies in the timbre and tonality in the mids. It’s still very enjoyable and somewhat improved courtesy of better transparency. But the tone is not very correct again, which also happens with the likes of Hibiki and the ZS10. But it’s not easy to criticize this kind of product in that manner, since it performs great for the price. What I try to highlight here is that, you shouldn’t have huge expectations when it comes to these budget products, regarding tonal performance.”
    Tone is just the sound’s frequency. Unless there are big drops and extremely uneven frequency response graphs, anyone can fix the tone (tonal balance, signature) completely to their own liking with an equaliser. So I generally don’t understand the usefulness of rating IEMs this way. And if you criticize the timbre, which might be a more sensible option, you should be more specific with adjectives, because timbre encompasses so many things. Otherwise it appears to be just word-salad made to justify gear priced 100x more than Chi-Fi stuff.

  • Reply July 15, 2019

    Stan Powers

    Hope to see the new ($38 today at Amazon) ZS6 reviewed soon. They may be the Goldilocks set from KZ. Great review, Berkhan!

  • Reply September 23, 2019

    Chatbox

    What’s with the overuse of “once again”? 6 times in one review?

    • Reply September 23, 2019

      Berkhan

      It’s for you to count them all 🙂

  • Reply November 6, 2019

    NotARobot

    How good is the positional audio with ZS10 Pro for competitive FPS gaming? Do they live up to the mark of Tin HiFi T3?

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