Just a few weeks after their newest products hit the market, both Topping and KZ introduce a new generation of devices. The Topping NX2s is the successor to the NX2 and it brings Hi-Res Audio certification to the portable amp+DAC offering of the brand; KZ introduced the KZ ZS6, the successor to the ZS5.
The KZ ZS5 launched a few weeks ago to much clamour; many people claimed it to sound great for the asking price (~$35), though the earphones have been controversial since their introduction. This is because they are in face a knock-off of the Campfire Audio Andromeda in terms of design (minus the bolts). The new earphones seem to share much of the original specs and in fact even the design is very similar. I suspect (though I may be wrong, of course) that KZ is phasing out the ZS5 and replacing it with the ZS6.
The KZ ZS6 offer 18 Ω impedance, 20 – 20,000 Hz frequency response and 106 dB sensitivity. It is equipped with two dynamic drivers and two balanced drivers, while the cable is detachable. Of course I can’t comment on its sound quality, but I trust they sound decent much like most of KZ’s products on the market. They’re currently sold at ~$50 online (i.e. on AK Audio store), which is quite expensive for KZ products and it highlights the confidence the company has in its new product. They come in red, black and green.
Note: AK Audio is discounting the KZ ZS6 for Soundphile Review readers. If you press “buy now”, write “RRO” in the message field, then switch to another payment method and place the order, they’ll discount the headphones to $34 for the no-mic version and $35 for the mic version.
The Topping NX2s, on the other side, is a portable amplifier and DAC, similarly to the Topping NX1s (which only integrates an amp, though). It’s slightly larger than the NX1s at 9 x 5.8 x 0.9 cm (vs 8.4 x 5.5 x 1 cm), but the additional size affords it an internal DAC capable of 16 – 32 bit / 44.1 – 192 kHz music decoding. Frequency response is 20 – 100,000 Hz, which is beyond Hi-Res Audio certification requirements. Output power is rated at 140 mW at 32 Ω, which should be enough to drive most portable headphones (i.e. Venture Electronics Monk Plus, HiFiMAN RE-00, etc).
It can be used as DAC and amp or as an amp only, as it has both micro-USB and 3.5 mm jack inputs. Topping is touting 40 hours of battery life on a single charge, which is quite remarkable given the 1000 mAh capacity of the battery. You can find additional information on the Topping NX2s on the manufacturer’s site.
I hope I will be able to review both products, so stay tuned for the latest news and reviews!