As usual, these earphones were paid with my money and I’m NOT endorsed by Knowledge Zenith in any way. This review will be added to my guide to KZ earphones.
The auditions were made with the stock tips that came with the ES3, if you use foam tips your mileage will vary but the piercing treble will be tamed.
With that out of the way, I don’t like these IEM’s, KZ has better options on the table right now. Buy this model only if you need a cheap comfortable IEM that you won’t mind losing on a commute or trip overseas, the fact it needs foam tips to tame the treble just shows these IEM are not well tuned from the beginning, so I can’t recommend them.
When I first heard the ES3 my first impression was that it sounded too bright compared with my V1 ZS5’s.
This kind of sound might sell well with most public but lacks all around quality in the bass and treble control.
The bass and sub-bass are all over the place, the ES3 has a really “in your face” presentation and even if you love bright IEMs the ES3 really accentuates sibilant recordings.
I think these IEM’s were tuned to sound bright from the start, probably V-Shaped but I have no way to objectively measure this so take my word with a grain of salt.
The KZ ES3 is a very comfortable IEM, with a decent construction (for the price) which KZ is known for, an all plastic shell, around the ear memory wire and a stock KZ cable.
To end of this mini-review, if you really must have a IEM with balanced armatures, buy the ZST Pro or the first version of the ZS5. I just can’t recommend the ES3.