| 6.8 mm Driver |
? The KZ ED9 have a very special characteristic, their nozzles are replaceable and offer the possibility to change their sound signature. It is amazing how Knowledge Zenith is able to include such a very premium feature that can be rarely found in earphones and still offer a super competitive price.
Ok, let’s talk about those replaceable nozzles. Two pairs of replaceable nozzles are provided with the KZ ED9, the shiny finish nozzles are intended to offer a stronger bassy sound signature while the darker nozzles are supposed to provide a brighter and balanced sound signature. We will see after the tests how the KZ ED9 performed and if the nozzles really offer a significant sound signature transformation.
… the shiny finish nozzles are intended to offer a stronger bassy sound signature while the darker nozzles are supposed to provide a brighter and balanced sound signature.
The size of the ED9 is way smaller than it seems on photos, they are sized in between the microdriver KZ HDS3 and the KZ EDR2. You can check our photos in the gallery at the end of this page to get a better idea of its dimensions or you can use our very handy Size Comparison page.
The KZ ED9’s housings are made entirely of metal and, although the L shape connector is plastic, the inline microphone and 1 button control is also metallic which is one of the few times we saw a KZ earphone model that had a metal inline mic/control. The construction quality is very solid and tough with a substantial, yet not too heavy, weight.
The cables are similar to most KZ earphones (like the KZ ZST, KZ ATE, KZ ED12, KZ EDR2) with a good quantity of rubbery material to improve anti-tangling, sufficient thickness and durability but with a slight different design pattern.
KZ offers the ED9 in a silver version or a black version (like the one we own), both have easy to read “Right” and “Left” writings on top of each housing to recognize each earpiece fast and without much effort.
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KZ ED9 - Review
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Accessories & Packaging
The KZ ED9 came inside a neat rigid plastic box that can be used as a carrying or storing case. The case is exactly the same that was used to be shipped with the first versions of KZ ATE‘s line. Accessories provided include the 2 replaceable nozzles and some extra eartips.
Bass & Sub Bass
Shiny Finish Nozzles
While using the nozzles that come already fitted inside the earphones; the KZ ED9 showed fun, punchy mid-bass and sub-bass with enough depth. Bass is fairly enough to add energy to any song but at the same time is not too excessive. Bass is very respectable, even more considering they hold inside a very small 6.8mm dynamic driver. After an EQ, the KZ ED9 became much punchier and a lot of additional sub-bass depth was added.
Bass is fairly strong to add energy to any song but at the same time is not too excessive.
With our extreme bass test the KZ ED9 greatly enhanced their punch and sub-bass got really deep. The tests conditions included a customized basshead equalization and a Fiio E12 amplifier with its bass boost function turned on and set to high gain with the KZ ED9 handling 43% of Fiio’s maximum power. Despite the very noticeable increment in bass strength they are not basshead at all and offer impact and depth similar to the UiiSii Hi-705 and less than the Remax RM-565i, which are both earphones with smaller 6mm microdrivers. The power handling capacity was more or less similar to other KZ earphones, being slightly above the KZ HDS3, slightly below the KZ ZS3, KZ ATE, KZ EDR2 and noticeably below the KZ ZST, KZ ED12 and the KZ ZS2.
Dark Finish Nozzles
After replacing the nozzles and putting in the darker ones, the KZ ED9 changed a lot their bass identity. Mid-bass lost all the punch that previously had and no sub-bass was present. They are unable to provide any type of impact but at the same time their bass is not invasive at all.
They are unable to provide any type of impact but at the same time their bass is not invasive at all.
With an EQ a lot more of depth was added but every mid, vocal and high frequency gets way recessed. The KZ ED9 with the dark finish nozzle are able to produce as much bass as the microdriver UiiSii Hi-705 or the odd Joyroom JR-E102.
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Mids & Vocals
Shiny Finish Nozzles
With these nozzles the KZ ED9‘s vocals are warm and overall recessed because of mid-bass bleeding into mid and vocal frequencies. Vocals could be perceived as distant but to their benefit the recession on higher and middle higher mids reduce the chances of being harsh.
… vocals are warm and overall recessed because of mid-bass bleeding…
An EQ gives the KZ ED9 the chance to clear up mids and bring vocals a bit more forward while not being harsh or boxy.
Dark Finish Nozzles
We already saw during the bass tests that the KZ ED9 equipped with the dark nozzles had their mid-bass strongly dialed down, consequently their bleeding issues got highly reduced resulting in far less recession of lower mids and lower vocals. Now mids became much clearer but still sounded somewhat distant. Middle mids continued to feel laid back and higher mids are somewhat recessed and never harsh. Generally speaking their mids were very smooth and non fatiguing.
Generally speaking their mids were very smooth and non fatiguing.
After an EQ was applied, the KZ ED9 improved the issues of middle mids laid back tendency, lower mids and lower vocals cleared up more and noticeably reduced higher mids recession without starting to sound boxy or harsh.
Highs & Treble
Shiny Finish Nozzles
Highs of the KZ ED9 are mediumly recessed but still present, some detail and definition can be perceived and are not piercing or sibilant. Using an EQ the ED9 responded well, brightened up and a tiny bit of extra detail was gained. No sibilant or piercing highs were introduced.
Dark Finish Nozzles
With these nozzles placed the KZ ED9 sounds clearly brighter and far less recessed, they also gained much more detail, presence and definition. Still no strong hints of sibilant or piercing highs were perceived.
After equalizing, the KZ ED9 combined with the dark finish nozzles were perfectly improved producing greatly performing highs while remaining free of sibilance and piercing highs.
The sound that leaks out of the KZ ED9 earphones is noticeable, even on situations with medium-low noise levels. So, it is not a perfect companion if you intend to use it at libraries or want to keep private what you are listening to.
The KZ ED9 do a pretty fair job blocking outside noises. Sound surrounding you will get noticeably reduced without needing extremely high volume levels.
Although they may seem heavy because of their rugged build and substantial weight for the size, they are very comfortable with a fair tight fit that holds its place.
Response to Equalization
The KZ ED9 provide a great response to custom equalization, if you want to brighten up the sound you just need to EQ up the higher frequencies and they will clear up and reveal detail (outstanding effects are achieved if using the darker nozzles). If you want extra bass impact, just emphasize frequencies below 80Hz and the KZ ED9 will respond with greater punch and depth. Mids can be brought forward without starting to get boxy or harsh mids and vocals; if using the darker nozzle mids equalization results are very worthy.
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KZ ED9 Frequency Response
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|Cord||Y-type, round cord|
|Plug||L shaped stereo mini plug (Gold plated)|
|Weight (Without Cord)||Approx. 24g|
|Supplied Accessories||2 pair of tuning nozzles, 3x Earphone tips S, M, L; hard carrying case|