Timbre is dark. Treble and vocals are a little bit subdued. Stage is wide and somewhat high + deep. The sound isn’t that organic IMO
50/100 volume of V30+ is %70 volume I hear. Pretty efficient. Failed my first layering and transparency test with Toto – Africa. Vocals in chorus part sound like as if they are coming from a tube and I had heard some incoherences regarding treble microdetails.
Then I began Speed / Trash Metal test. The experience is non fatiguing with vocal clearly seperated from the guitars around him but the only issue I had lived to far is the resolution of basses – Be it bass guitar or double kicks – But I have to give it the credit many KZs even the latest Edx Pro failed to take. Treble at high BPM doesn’t sound 1 dimensional. Even though it’s not at the HM level, the best treble for a KZ I heard yet under the stress test of Slayer – Angel of Death.
Second was a bass bleed test. Failed big time. Fingerstyle or bass guitar on Jethro Tull sounded unlike what they were.
Third test was Hans Zimmer Live in Prague. Even though the fancy new electrostatic driver, extensions – texturing of instruments and separation+pinpointing+decays (both instruments and vocals and chorus) at the very congested stage (96 instruments) are only meh to nice.
KZ ZEX First Impressions Conclusions
Considering it’s price and KZ family weaknesses, I think its naive to expect a new Tanya or Sg01 or Quarks or Final e1k. But KZ Zex is the most successful budget KZ I encountered so far. And it’s a big thing.
(PS. And with KZ ZEX PRO things have changed..)
Controlled bass with the punch
Between forward and laid back
Perfect for electronic music
Nearly no hiss (hiss was a KZ chronic issue)
Weak 2d tonality
Size might not be comfortable for some ears
Some iems with better technicalities can be found at 20$ and lower.
Box and the KZ ZEX
The usual KZ box and contents.
KZ ZEX itself is totally plastic as well as the other budget are.
Cable isn’t the poor old KZ cable. But no ultra strong either.
Timbre is dark off V30. The major minus is tonality. Piano keys aren’t sounding 3d. Basses aren’t bleeing like in the in older models. Bass rumble beneath is present. But I naturally couldn’t find ZEX PRO basses here. Resolution is (especially for the background) meh. Treble lack body and resolution. Mid segment is not displaying a true V curve thus vocals are not subdued as in the older models but this doesn’t change the fact.. They are only enough for the casual listening session nice. Thats all. PS. I shouldn’t be hearing Midlake – Roscoe like this. This: Thick thumpy bassy, dark atmosphere and naive vocals not so separated from each other and bass guitar so muddy.
The dark timbre is sligthly gone now as if the veil is pulled gently. Background gained body and tonality improved. Turned into something good for Amorphis style metal music with some keyboard. The Midlake now is truly better than the V30 (and high impedance mode) but the keyboard beneath is almost swollen to non existence.
KZ ZEX First Impressions and REVIEW Conclusions
Being a KZ means something good for the general population. Getting it amped brought it sligthly closer to audiophile level but it still has miles to go. With the ZEX PRO, distance is somewhat shortened but I guess this is many times reviewed KZ in the end and will never be a gold medalist in audiophile ears.