| Balanced Armature | Dynamic Driver |
🎧 We are reviewing the KZ ED15, the latest budget-friendly hybrid earphone from KZ – with 2 drivers per side.
The KZ ED15 is the newest addition of KZ Acoustics to their ED line, preceded by the KZ ED12 which was a dynamic driver earphone with detachable cables but that did not became as massively famous as other models from the brand like the KZ ZST, KZ ATE or KZ ZS3.
The KZ ED15 is the final released model that was previously pre-announced as KZ YZ49. So far, the KZ ED15 is the only fixed-cable model from 2018 that is built in metal, last year the KZ ZS6 was the only model released in 2017 that used metal instead of plastics for their housing’s construction.
The KZ ED15 durability feels very solid and robust with their hefty metal construction and superb double-helix braided cables. It was quite some time since we saw models from KZ with this housing’s quality and compactness, that reminds us to the “old school” classics like the KZ ED9.
The aesthetics of the housings have an attractive retro look and have a back section with holes that suggests a open/semi-open back design. This perforated back housings has been seen in other models from KZ in the past like the KZ ZSE, KZ ED7, KZ EDR2 but some resulted to be just an aesthetic detail; this time the back design of the KZ ED15 is indeed semi-open.
The cables of the KZ ED15 are non-detachable and has the same design, finish and color as the one included with the KZ ZS10; the cable bifurcation section and plug are also identical.
The KZ ED15 is compatible with Android and Apple devices and can be bought with or without an inline mic/remote.
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KZ ED15 Review
Tests & Scores
KZ ED15 weight in Ounces and KZ ED15 weight in grams.
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Accessories & Packaging
The KZ ED15 unboxing results in 3 pair of eartips with no additional accessories. The packaging is the same used in every latest KZ earphone like the KZ ZS10.
Bass & Sub Bass
Before proceeding to the results of the KZ ED15 soundtests, we want to highlight that our unit came with the eartips not placed as deep as they should/could, so be sure to check it out when you receive yours and fit them correctly if needed.
The KZ ED15 bass provides good punch but not too much depth. Mid-bass introduces a nice balanced energy without turning intrusive or boomy and sounding clean but adding warmth and fun. On the other hand, their semi-open design makes their sub-bass a bit conservative and could sound as if it was lacking depth at times (typical sub-bass characteristic of open/semi-open back headphones)
People wanting some mid-bass & sub-bass but not a bass-centered earphone could like their lower end style.
Applying an EQ, sub-bass reaches deeper levels and some extra punch is added but there are no drastic changes.
During our extreme bass tests the KZ ED15 handled up to 40% of the power of a Fiio E12 Mont Blanc (basshead EQ, high gain, bass boost) achieving a crazy deep sub-bass and very punchy response but never reaching a basshead impact nor rumble. Do not expect anything remotely near the Xiaomi Mi In-Ear Headphones Pro, KZ ZSR, Sony MDR-EX650, Sony MDR-EX800ST or Pioneer SE-CX8.
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Mids & Vocals
The KZ ED15 mids have clean lower mids and a mild mid-bass bleed level. Lower vocals sound clear enough but have a, somewhat, laid back tuning. Higher mids are crisp but not frequently harsh.
With an EQ lower vocals can be pushed for a more alive response but will preserve some of their laid back sound unless a complex EQ combination is used. If an advanced custom EQ is applied their mids get clear and not laid back nor congested.
Highs & Treble
The KZ ED15 highs have good brightness and resolve mild to low levels of detail. Their style is less aggressive with smoother highs that usually do not get excessively piercing nor strongly sibilant. Nonetheless, do not expect dark highs.
An EQ added a noticeable amount of extra brightness and much more detail was resolved but piercing highs can be empowered if applying an EQ on the wrong frequencies.
The sound that leaks out of the KZ ED15 is slightly lower than many average earphones but still they will be hearable by nearby people if you crank up the volume.
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Noise isolation is fairly efficient, partial but clearly subdued perception of your surroundings will happen even at a low or moderate listening volume.
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The traditional bullet-styled form factor is well-known to be easy to fit and comfortable to wear, the KZ ED15 makes use of this design shape and, therefore, has no discomfort or fit issues. You can wear them safely without fearing of them popping out nor of any in-ear pain.
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Response to Equalization
The KZ ED15 showed a good / very good response to custom equalization. The most efficient response and sound quality improvement was provided when a more advanced custom EQ was applied combining mids, lows and highs.
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KZ ED15 Scores
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KZ ED15 Frequency Response Curve
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KZ ED15 Technical Specifications
|Driver Unit||Balanced Armature + Dynamic Driver|
|Cord||Y-type, braided cord|
|Plug||Stereo mini plug|
|Supplied Accessories||3x Earphone tips|
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