In this new instalment of the Headphones in Pictures series we take a look at three in-ear headphones that differ by more than just looks and price: the KZ ZS4, the new entry-level product by the Chinese company; the KZ BA10, which now is the pinnacle of the manufacturer’s product line; the Shozy x Neo CP, a new collaboration effort between Shozy and Neo that is notable for its design.
As always, since this is a blog entry after all, here’s an update regarding my activities and plans: I’ve spent almost three weeks in London, trying to improve my English skills and visiting the city. Though I am not really sure my English got any better, at the very least I got to speak English way more than I usually do and realised there’s still so much work to do. So in a sense it was worth it! I am also going to be back there in December, though for less time. While there I did not work as much as I do from home, so I fell behind my review schedule – but rest assured I’m going to publish a lot of content in the coming weeks!
Now, on to the actual headphones!
THe KZ ZS4 is the latest budget offering from the Chinese company and it is in fact almost a rehash of the ZS3 which was launched a few years ago. Physical differences are minimal, and even in terms of technology the ZS4 uses the same hybrid approach of the ZS3, with one dynamic driver and one balanced armature. The striking red colour is certainly new, though!
As far as I’ve been able to hear, the ZS4 is the usual KZ headphone with a heavily V-shaped signature that emphasises bass a lot and leaves midrange in the background. At the price point they sell it (~$20), though, it’s an interesting product.
Pictured is a cable by Yinyoo, whose review I will post soon!
Update: here is the KZ ZS4 review!
KZ went full balanced armature with the KZ AS10, and then decided to double down with the KZ BA10. While the former uses a shell that is similar to the KZ ZS10, made of plastic, the latter eschews the traditional design guides of KZ headphones to adopt an extremely angular and squared design while keeping a similar 5-armatures-per channel configuration. I haven’t spent much time with them up to this point, so I can’t yet make any comment regarding comfort – just by the looks of it, it doesn’t seem that good, but I sincerely hope I’ll be proven wrong. It’s certainly good to see KZ experimenting with new approaches, though, and since the AS10 actually turned out to be one of the best headphones made by the company, I really hope the BA10 will prove as good or even better.
Shozy x Neo CP
Shozy seems to be churning out products with a good pace as of late: after the Hibiki Mk2 last summer, they’re now offering a new collaboration project. The CP, made in collaboration with Neo, is a new in-ear headphone that is meant for deep insertion and promises great comfort. Its rounded shape should certainly help with this, and the materials it is made of should also give their contribution.
Just like the BA10, the Shozy x Neo CP relies on a multiple balanced armature setup, though it only uses three instead of five. As far as I’ve heard, it is really refined and worth listening to, but – again – I haven’t spent much time with them and I need to listen to them for a longer period to say anything more precise. They certainly look (and sound) promising, though!
More products are actually lying on my desk waiting for review. I guess a new post will come next week, while this week I will post a few reviews, so stay tuned for more! Follow Soundphile Review on Facebook and Twitter for more updates!