The KZ Wireless module sound quality.

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KZ Bluetooth Module

I didn’t want to buy the official “wireless upgrade module” which KZ sells for their ZS5/6 and other compatible IEMs (There I said it! ).
Anyway a LOT of people were asking about the module sound quality and without hearing one I couldn’t actually help them out. I’m totally against giving advice on gear I never heard.
Also keep in mind that I wont review the microphone because I won’t use it.

So the module is basically a 4.2 Bluetooth receiver and audio amplifier that connects directly to the terminals of compatible IEM shells. So you are limited to use this module only with compatible KZ earphones or gear that uses the dual pin layout KZ uses.
You got the typical switches that I won’t really talk about, all in a cheap ABS enclosure, but for the price I shouldn’t really complain. Cable also feels cheaper than the stock cable KZ ships on their cheapest IEMs models.
This thing runs on a inbuilt rechargeable battery that should last about 3 or 4 hours on a 1 hour charge, their values not mine. (With the ZS5 V1 blasting at high volume the battery lasted less than 2 hours so keep that in mind.)
It supports aptX audio codec (On the manual they write about lossless if so it’s probably aptX- HD but there is no easy way to test this), Hands-Free Profile (HFP) 1.6, Headset Profile (HSP) 1.2, Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) 1.4 and the Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) 1.2 up to 10 meters, again their specs not mine.

Now to the sound quality, well this thing can go loud and I mean LOUD!
Ok, above a certain point the distortion kicks in, but believe me this little thing can drive my ZS5 to unhealthy levels of sound pressure.
You’ll will lose a lot of detail and bass for wireless convenience, specially bass.
The ZS5 bass on this module sounds muddy/lose and doesn’t go as deep as it should, also the detail on the highs goes downhill. I’m comparing this Bluetooth module amplifier with the amplifier of my Sony Walkman NWZ-E584 so it’s a fair review. For most non audiophile users this thing will rock their music world.
I didn’t notice any hiccups on the Bluetooth connection from my Sony L1 (2017) smartphone.

Anyway if you need a convenient way to enjoy music when running, doing some chores at home or garden this module might be a nice way to achieve that, it pairs well to the phone and goes loud if necessary.
This Bluetooth module needs a better audio amplifier, not a louder one but something that can really control the IEM drivers properly, until then keep using cables and save mother earth some disposable tech, because believe me when this module battery kicks the bucket you wont replace it for sure, mostly because it’s not worth it.

There, I respect this little Bluetooth module for daily background music, for anything better than that forget it, even a cheap ass cable does a better job controlling the IEMs.

The KZ ZS6, a miracle from China.

KZ ZS6
KZ ZS6 with the more comfortable upgrade cable.

I really took my time hearing the ZS6, mostly because this model was and still is surrounded by audiophile hype just like its predecessor the ZS5. Don’t get me wrong, the first generation ZS5 was amazing for the price, even if a reviewer did made a drama around it.

I was not really impressed when I tried these for the first time because they sounded just like the ZS5 v1.
After playing a lot of my favorite albums, even I must admit the ZS6 sounds better than the ZS5, not by a lot but enough for me to recommend the ZS6 over their predecessor.

The built quality of the shells is pretty amazing for a sub 50€ IEM, sure it only brings the basics in terms of accessories and the stock cable is rather uncomfortable. The shells are made of metal, not sure if its aluminum but by the wear on the paint after some weeks it sure looks like it.

In terms of comfort this model feels the same as the ZS5, if you are lucky enough for it to fit nicely on the ear then great for you, if not be prepared for some adjustments.

The sound of these IEMs doesn’t feel V-shaped, even if the treble can be a tiny bit too much on some songs, they are not bass canons, having a very controlled bass and great mid range.
Probably due to the metal shell design they have a greater soundstage than the ZS5s on some songs. I could ramble on about the sound quality but I’ll just say they sound like little Beyerdynamics DT880s minus some detail and instrument separation. Yea, that good and they are not 200€.
Glad KZ doesn’t yet go the route of a certain audiophile brand and make headphones expensive “Because it sounds good!“, If not these would sell for 300€ or something.
Sure the outside design is borrowed but the sound feels very KZ and I should know because I got most of their “flagships”.

Without much hype these are the best KZ earphones you can buy until the end of 2017, not sure how KZ will improve on this design but my advise would be improve the nozzle end with a little notch so the tips can’t move around so easily and maybe improve the cable which feels cheap and very hard around the ear.
Also change the design for something truly KZ, I think the brand doesn’t really need to be borrowing designs from other niche brands but thats me.

Beyerdynamic A20 Review

A fair review on the Beyerdynamic A20 headphone amplifier!
I don’t often reblog articles on my blog but this one is so well written that I’ll share it.
Hey! I’m a Beyerdynamic fanboy, so I’m biased! 🙂

Hyp0xia29

I remember a customer from very early on in my 3.5-year career working in the build your own PC department at Micro Center who insisted that he had to have an AMD video card because his computer has an AMD CPU. When I explained to him that this was inaccurate, he told me another sales associate had said otherwise. “He was wrong,” I said flatly. It went on like this for some time until I told him that it really didn’t matter to me whether he bought an AMD video card or an Nvidia video card and it was true: I couldn’t possibly have cared less. I remember it clearly because it was one of countless interactions to come in which the customer would question my expertise, which always came as a slap in the face because I prided myself as a guru. When I went home for the day…

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