KZ ZST PRO / KZ ZST COLORFUL – Review

KZ ZST PRO


KZ ZST PRO / KZ ZST Colorful

| Balanced Armature | 8 mm Driver|



🎧 The KZ ZST PRO / KZ ZST Colorful is the 2nd version of the KZ ZST; KZ launched the KZ ZST PRO after a mediumly brief period of introducing the KZ ZST in the market. The naming of the newer version was controversial from the very beginning with some sellers calling it KZ ZST Colorful while some others name it KZ ZST PRO, this naming ambiguity has generated a lot of confusion and has never been clear if they are the exact same model with a new color option or a newer 2nd generation of the KZ ZST.

Being that all this myth and confusion has been created around the KZ ZST PRO / Colorful and the KZ ZST, we have decided to get ourselves a KZ ZST PRO unit and put it through our tests. As we already own a KZ ZST and have reviewed it in the past we can effectively compare the KZ ZST vs KZ ZST PRO in real time and not by memory, consequently being able to verify or debunk the myths and confusion. Let’s start by introducing some information about the KZ ZST PRO / KZ ZST Colorful. The KZ ZST PRO / KZ ZST Colorful is an hybrid earphone, which means that inside of them you will find a balanced armature and a dynamic driver; the balanced armature is a component that specifically will take care of higher audio frequencies while the dynamic driver will be the responsible for reproducing lower audio frequencies.

The KZ ZST PRO / KZ ZST Colorful is an hybrid earphone, which means that inside of them you will find a balanced armature and a dynamic driver…

The KZ ZST PRO / KZ ZST Colorful is part of the newest generation of KZ earphones among which you can find the KZ ZS3, the KZ ED12 and the recently launched KZ ZS5. All these newer KZ earphones are designed in a custom IEM style, have detachable cables and are intended to be used with the cables going above and around the ears, like many sport earphones do.

Looking at the KZ ZST PRO vs KZ ED12 vs KZ ZST it is seen that housings are shaped identically while all 3 models have a different color design. The main difference with the KZ ZST PRO vs KZ ED12 is that the ED12 is a single dynamic driver earphone while the KZ ZST PRO is an hybrid earphone.

The KZ ZST PRO / KZ ZST Colorful are beautifully designed and offer premium features like detachable cables, solid construction and an hybrid configuration for an extremely affordable price, in fact, if you would search for a similarly featured earphone but from a mainstream classic brand you would pay 50 to 100 times the price of the KZ ZST PRO / KZ ZST Colorful, which makes them an extraordinary deal.

KZ ZST PRO - KZ ZST COLORFUL
KZ ZST PRO – KZ ZST COLORFUL

Construction materials chosen for the housings of the KZ ZST PRO are plastics but by any means a cheap fragile one, the material feels sturdy, durable and thick, also the plastics are translucent which allows you to easily see the inner components of the earphone. The cables have a nice looking copperish color and a very rubberized finish that is pretty effective against tangling issues; the cable has the same material of the KZ ZST, KZ ED12 and many classic KZ earphones like the KZ ATE and KZ ATR. As we mentioned before, the cables are detachable which offers the handy possibility to replace them in case of breakage or if you prefer a different type of cable; the connector used on the KZ ZST PRO / KZ ZST Colorful is a bi-pin connection which is the exact same one found in the KZ ED12, KZ ZS3, KZ ZS5 and KZ ZST.

You can buy the KZ ZST PRO / KZ ZST Colorful with an inline microphone and 1-button control detachable cable or without it

You can buy the KZ ZST PRO / KZ ZST Colorful with an inline microphone and 1-button control detachable cable or without it, in general the option without the microphone costs a tiny bit less; regarding color you can buy it in the blue/purplish color option that you can see on the photos.

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KZ ZST vs KZ ZST PRO vs KZ ED12 vs KZ ZS3
KZ ZST vs KZ ZST PRO vs KZ ED12 vs KZ ZS3

 

KZ ZST COLORFUL VS KZ ZST
KZ ZST COLORFUL VS KZ ZST

KZ ZST PRO / KZ ZST COLORFUL - Review

Tests & Scores

W

Weight

 

MORE: In-Ear Headphones Weight Comparison

SEE ALSO: Earphones Size Comparison


A

Accessories & Packaging

The package of the KZ ZST PRO is the exact same of the KZ ED12, KZ ZST and KZ ATR; a small black box with a plastic front, inside there are 3 eartips and the detachable bi-pin cable.

7.5/10


B

Bass & Sub Bass

The KZ ZST PRO / KZ ZST Colorful have good mid-bass punch and enough sub-bass depth but there is noticeably more punch than depth, do not expect a basshead or super bass heavy sounding earphones from the KZ ZST PRO but neither an anemic bass, the right amount to cover any music genres.

Using an EQ, the KZ ZST PRO obtained a very strong enhancement of mid-bass and also of their sub-bass depth.

KZ ZST vs KZ ZST PRO; the KZ ZST PRO shows a lighter bass sounding style than the KZ ZST

Comparing the KZ ZST vs KZ ZST PRO; the KZ ZST PRO shows a lighter bass sounding style than the KZ ZST which is a much more bass centered earphone with a clearly way way stronger punch and profound sub-bass. The perceptual difference in bass between them is not subtle, instead they are miles away one from the other one regarding their mid-bass and sub-bass sensation (the much darker highs of the “non-pro” could give the impression of bassier sound).

MORE: KZ ZST Review

MORE: KZ ZS5 Review

While putting the KZ ZST PRO under our extreme bass tests using a custom basshead EQ and amplifying with a Fiio E12 set to high gain and with it’s bass boost turned on; the KZ ZST PRO were able to handle up to a 42% of the Fiio’s maximum power after which they started to heavily distort in the mid-bass section. The results were an outstanding empowering of their mid-bass and sub-bass with a very worthy basshead impact and rumble which was way strong than the KZ ATE and inline with the KZ ZS2. Therefore, earning a place in the Best Basshead Earphones Chart where you can also found the marvelous Sony MDR-7550 / Sony MDR-EX800ST and the out of this world Pioneer SE-CX8. In this matter the KZ ZST PRO vs KZ ZST still differed, the KZ ZST PRO could not reach the 50% maximum power handling capacity of the KZ ZST and neither reached their level of impact and rumble. We always point out this; do not try to follow the amplifying examples that we apply during our testings, the risk of damaging and/or permanently breaking your earphone is highly probable to happen and it is irreparable.

8/10

Disclaimer
We find important to note that sometimes manufacturers do modifications to their earphones models but still sell them under the same model name.

These modifications sometimes are minor and do not affect the performance of the earphones but sometimes the changes compromise their sound and could lead to noticeable audio differences between the different versions.

Our KZ ZST (non-pro) sample is an unit from the very early release back in 2016.

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KZ ZST PRO - KZ ZST COLORFUL
KZ ZST PRO – KZ ZST COLORFUL

M

Mids & Vocals

Mids of the KZ ZST PRO / KZ ZST Colorful are warm with a slight recession of their lower vocals but certainly not excessive as to make them sound distant or muffled. In fact, their lower mids and vocals sound quite good with good presence and energy and are not stepped over by mid-bass bleeding. Higher mids are clear and present too and can reach mildly harshy peaks at some occasions but to be sincere they are not terrible nor extremely frequent and only show up with very high pitch mid notes. With an EQ, lower mids and lower vocals sound much clearer and open with a clear removal of every trace of recession. Higher mids become harsh so it is better to not feed up higher mids frequencies with an EQ.

KZ ZST PRO vs KZ ZST; the KZ ZST PRO again shows a different sound signature with clear mids and less forward higher mids than the KZ ZST…

Comparing the mids of the KZ ZST PRO vs KZ ZST; the KZ ZST PRO again shows a different sound signature with clear mids and less forward higher mids than the KZ ZST which have a strong level of bass bleed and much more harsh sounding higher mids.

8/10


H

Highs & Treble

Highs of the KZ ZST PRO have some detail but most of all are noticeably bright. Some sibilance is present but in a tolerable degree, with strong peaks there can be piercing highs too. With an EQ, a substantial level of brightness is added and they become capable of resolving a welcomed extra quantity of detail. On the other hand, piercing highs and sibilance become much stronger and frequent.

KZ ZST PRO vs KZ ZST sound as absolute antonyms, the KZ ZST PRO have bright highs with some hearable detail and exhibit some sibilance…

The highs of the KZ ZST PRO vs KZ ZST sound as absolute antonyms, the KZ ZST PRO have bright highs with some hearable detail and exhibit some sibilance while the KZ ZST have clearly dark highs with no detail nor brightness and do not suffer from sibilance.

8/10

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Official image from Knowledge Zenith of the different KZ ZST and KZ ZST Pro models and their correct model naming

Official image from Knowledge Zenith of KZ ZST and KZ ZST Pro

KZ ZST PRO vs KZ ZST
KZ ZST PRO vs KZ ZST
KZ ZST PRO vs KZ ZST
KZ ZST PRO vs KZ ZST
KZ ZST PRO vs KZ ZST
KZ ZST PRO vs KZ ZST

SL

Sound Leak

Sound leaking out of the KZ ZST PRO / KZ ZST Colorful is similar to many average earphones, sound will be heard by nearby people in quiet situations but will blend with environmental sound in normally noisy place. If you are searching for the best one for libraries, check the KZ ATE.

7/10


SI

Sound Isolation

The KZ ZST PRO has the exact same sound isolation performance of the KZ ZST; a very effective and noticeable level of reduction of perceived outside noises.

10/10


C

Comfort

Sharing the exact same shape and form of the KZ ZST and the KZ ED12, the KZ ZST PRO are able to provide outstanding fit and comfort. The KZ ZST PRO can be used for very long listening sessions without having to worry about fatiguing the ears or generating any type of pain. Moreover, they offer a secure fit that can hold their place with no risk of falling out.

9/10


EQ

Response to Equalization

The KZ ZST PRO respond noticeably to equalization, they were able to add a high level of high frequency extra brightness and a good amount of detail; mids removed any signs of recession on the lower end while higher mids became harsh; bass and sub-bass frequencies gained a substantial amount of punch and depth.

7.75/10

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Scores Scores

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Frequency Response (raw)

KZ ZST PRO / KZ ZST Colorful Frequency Response

KZ ZST Pro Colorful - Frequency Response
KZ ZST Pro Colorful – Frequency Response

KZ ZST PRO / KZ ZST Colorful

Specifications

Type Hybrid / Balanced Armature + Dynamic Driver
Driver Unit 8mm
Sensitivity 106dB/mW
Power Capacity Unknown
Impedance 16 ohms
Frequency Response 20-20,000Hz
Diaphragm Unknown
Magnet Unknown
Cord Detachable with Bi-Pin connector
Cord Length 1.2m
Plug L shaped stereo mini plug
Weight (Without Cord) Approx. 40g
Supplied Accessories 3x Earphone tips

MORE: Hybrid Earphones Reviews


Photos
DISCLAIMER
We highly discourage anyone from trying to apply our testings to your own earphones, the risk of damaging or permanently breaking your iems is absolutely probable to happen. With our standardized equalization and amplification tests we push the limits of the earphones to the extreme. If anyway you decide to do so, we cannot be held responsible of the damage done to your equipment. Do it at your own risk.

KZ ZST PRO / COLORFUL

8.5

SCORE

8.5/10

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We hope you enjoyed this article. All the earphones reviews, earbuds reviews, headsets reviews, in-ear monitors reviews (iem), in-ear headphones reviews are made as objective and thorough as possible to provide our readers a way to choose the best earphones, earbuds, iem, in-ear monitors, headsets and in-ear headphones. By providing exhaustive information we allow our readers to even fine-tune their choices to select among the best budget earphones, best earphones for sports, best basshead earphones, best fun sounding earphones, most balanced earphones, least fatiguing earphones, most comfortable earphones, best looking earphones or even for the best cheap earphones to buy.  Our resources offer: In-Depth Earphones Reviews, Earphones Scores Compared, an Earphones Size Comparison Tool, a sound frequency cheat-sheet, an Earphones Amplification Comparison Table, a brief audio glossary with the most frequent audio terms and audio definitions, and our Earphones Top Charts (covering the Top 10 Basshead Earphones, Best Bang for Buck Earphones, Top Sports Earphones, Top Balanced Earphones, Top Fun Sound Earphones, top smooth sounding earphones)

7 thoughts on “KZ ZST PRO / KZ ZST COLORFUL – Review

  1. It has Bluetooth module cable in aliexpress can u check that and give ur view it also supports kz zs5

  2. Hi, thx for the review! 🙂

    Will this fit into smaller ears though? I guess I could switch out the earbuds but not too sure if that’d help.

    1. Hi Dee, thanks!
      Despite their larger earpieces they have long enough nozzles to fit smaller ears, surely placing the small eartips included will help out too if your earcanals are narrower.
      You can see the photos of the long nozzles Here or Here or in our photos on this same review.
      Have a great day!

      1. Thanks! I’ll get this then. I think I’ll miss out on the upgrade cable as I really need a microphone.

        1. Great decision! You will for sure enjoy the KZ ZST PRO, they are outstanding earphones.
          Getting the version with the microphone and control is a smart move, the difference in price is very small and provides a substantial benefit in comfort for daily.

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