KZ HDS3 – Review



 | 6 mm MicroDriver | Neodymium Magnet |

? Saw the KZ HDS3 photo and you thought that it was already reviewed by us, right? Well, that would be fair as they look very much alike the KZ EDR2 but you may need to own them both or have them in your hands to realize that the KZ HDS3 is a microdriver earphone that is minuscule in comparison to the bigger brother KZ EDR2. Both share an aesthetically similar metal housing with the blue/red ring to identify the left and right earpiece but have some different details (besides the obvious size difference), the back part of the housing for example: the KZ HDS3 has those 3 holes that you can see in our photos, instead the KZ EDR2 has a metal grid.

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KZ ED9 vs KZ HDS3 vs KZ EDR2
KZ ED9 vs KZ HDS3 vs KZ EDR2

Contrarily, the HDS3 do not share the same cable type that usually is present on many KZ earphones (like the KZ ATE, KZ EDR2, KZ HD9) this time KZ made the HDS3 with a black rounded rubberized cable. The inline microphone and 1 button control is pretty large in comparison to the housing of the earpieces. The KZ HDS3 can be bought with either the inline microphone and 1 button control or without it.

KZ HDS3 - Review

Tests & Scores



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Accessories & Packaging

The HDS3 come in the same box as the KZ ZS2 and the KZ EDR2, which is a small dark cardboard box with a small bag inside that contains the earphones and the extra eartips provided.



Bass & Sub Bass

Usually the small diameter of microdrivers limits the capacity of producing hard hitting bass, the KZ HDS3 is no exception. The HDS3 are able to produce some mid-bass punch but lack sub-bass depth, this can be a positive aspect for people that consider most of nowadays boosted bass way too intrusive. Of course, this kind of bass performance is not the ideal if you are planning to use them to listen to electronic, trance and similar music. Meanwhile, they do provide enough bass response to fulfill the requirements of many music genres just fine.

they do provide enough bass response to fulfill the requirements of many music genres just fine.

Although they do not suffer from bass leak, if an eq is applied to emphasize bass most of the other audio frequencies will get recessed. While using a custom EQ for basshead response and amplifying with a Fiio E12 set to high gain and bass boost on, the KZ HDS3 could handle 43% of Fiio’s maximum power (almost exactly the same as other microdriver iem’s like the Remax RM-565i and the UiiSii Hi-705) and result in an exponential enhancement of mid-bass punch and sub-bass depth. Still they do not achieve any basshead rumble or impact, expect something below the UiiSii Hi-705 and way below the Remax RM-565i.


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Mids & Vocals

Mids are mediumly recessed and never harsh. Using an EQ may help to clear up the some of the recession but not a game changer and at the same time vocals will start to sound boxy.



Highs & Treble

The highs of the KZ HDS3 might not be the greatest that your money can buy but they still are able to reproduce some detail and definition, piercing highs and sibilance are not a problem for the HDS3. An equalization adds just a bit of extra detail and no sibilant or piercing highs will be enhanced.




Sound Leak

The sound that leaks out of these earphones is fairly high, with a performance noticeably worse than average. Meaning the sound will be heard by people near you even on mediumly noisy environments.



Sound Isolation

Sound isolation performance is also below average, mediumly high to high volumes are needed to more effectively block surrounding noises.




The metal housing and tiny size of the KZ HDS3 makes them beautiful to see and extremely comfortable to wear, they are very light and have a great fit, they never become uncomfortable. The size is very similar to other microdriver iem’s as the UiiSii Hi-705 and Remax RM-565i.



Response to Equalization

The response to custom equalization of the KZ HDS3 is not the greatest, most of all they gained some points here because of their ability to bring up mid-bass punch and sub-bass depth out of nowhere. Equalizing mids slightly improves recession but introduces boxy vocals and if highs are equalized a bit of detail and definition can be recovered but not greatly.


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Scores Scores

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Driver Unit6mm Microdriver
Power CapacityUnknown
Impedance16 ohms
Frequency Response18-22,000Hz
MagnetNeodymium N48
CordY-type, round cord
Cord Length1.2m
PlugL shaped stereo mini plug
WeightApprox. 14g
Supplied Accessories3x Earphone tips

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.

All photographs © 2016 Lucas Martin Rossi | Professional Photographer. All Rights Reserved.

Every photograph published in this review cannot be copied, used, modified or republished unless written permission by Lucas Martin Rossi | Professional Photographer.