| Dynamic Driver |
🎧 We are reviewing the KZ HD9 a model that was released after the KZ ATR but that had a brief appearance on the market and nowadays are quite difficult to get. The KZ HD9 have a similar housing’s form factor to the KZ ATE, KZ ATES and KZ ATR; the main difference between all the KZ ATEs, KZ ATR and the KZ HD9 is the fact that you can buy the KZ HD9 either in non-transparent black or in white. There are subtle design differences as the “HiFiX” writting on the outter housing of the KZ HD9 and the part where the cable connects to the housings that has a 3-holed white rubberized section. Also, the nozzles of the KZ HD9 are longer than the ones of the KZ ATE and are more related with the length of the KZ ATR nozzles. The cable of the KZ HD9 is the classic KZ cable which is rounded, thick and very rubberized to help combating tangling problems. On the left and the right cable you will find a plastic piece with an oval shape, this is a part intended to add weight to the cables and to hold their place while being used because the wearing style of the KZ HD9 is with the cables going up and around the ears. This plastic piece is the exact same that we saw on the KZ ATR. You can buy the KZ HD9 with or without an inline microphone and 1-button control and both options can be found either on the white or the black version.
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KZ HD9 - Review
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Accessories & Packaging
Bass & Sub Bass
Bass of the KZ HD9 is very strong with lot of sub-bass depth and mid-bass punch. To be honest, despite the very energetic and fun bass coming from it’s dynamic driver we could say that they can sound too boosted for many, bassheads will probably like them but even people enjoying strong bass could feel their bass a bit overdone. Bass of the KZ ATR is better achieved with a less boomy-sounding style.
… Bass of the KZ ATR is better achieved with a less boomy-sounding style.
Applying an EQ, the KZ HD9 highly enhanced punch and depth; not something that they needed to. Through our extreme bass tests, the KZ HD9 handled up to 45% of a Fiio E12’s maximum power (set to high gain, with bass boost on and with a custom basshead EQ applied), resulting in a exponential increase of mid-bass and sub-bass allowing them to achieve a respectable basshead level of rumble and impact, identical to the KZ ATE. Do not expect impact or rumble as strong as the KZ ED12, KZ ZST, KZ ZS2, KZ ZS5, KZ ES3 and even below the excellent JBMMJ MJ8600 which ranks as one of the Top Bang for the Buck Earphones.
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Mids & Vocals
Mids of the KZ HD9 suffer from strong mid-bass bleed making lower mids and lower vocals sound congested. On the other hand, vocals sound warm if you are searching for that but higher mids are frequently harsh. Mids of the KZ ATR, instead, are almost 100% free of harshness. Overall mids are better achieved on the KZ ATR than the KZ HD9 and KZ ATE. An EQ can help to clear up lower vocals but with the introduction of boxy sounding vocals and strong harshness on the higher mids.
Highs & Treble
Highs are dark, slightly darker than the KZ ATE and noticeably darker than the KZ ATR. The higher end of the highs are very rolled off and almost no definition is resolved. Sibilance is never present but some piercing highs may arise at times. The highs of the KZ ATR are much better. With an EQ, brightness is added but not much detail is added.
The sound that leaks out of the KZ HD9 is low and will be rarely perceived unless you crank up the volume quite a bit. Overall their sound leaking performance is less effective than it’s brothers the KZ ATE and the KZ ATR by a tiny amount.
The KZ HD9 offer a very good isolation from noises around you, even while listening music at low volume. Here they perform as well as the KZ ATR which is substantially above most average earphones.
Sharing the near identical housing’s shape of the KZ ATR and KZ ATE they also achieve the same level of outstanding fit and comfort. Pain and discomfort will not be part of the vocabulary of the KZ HD9.
Response to Equalization
The response to EQ showed some improvements but with several flaws increased. Mids and vocals got clearer on the lower vocals range but with boxy sound and still mid-bass strongly bled into lower mids, higher mids incremented their harshness. Bass got very strong with much added punch and depth but at the same time the boomy sounding style got enhanced. Highs gained brightness but no traces of detail were resolved.
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KZ HD9 Frequency Response
|Driver Unit||Unknown (probably 8.2mm as the KZ ATE)|
|Cord||Y-type, round cord|
|Plug||L shaped stereo mini plug|
|Supplied Accessories||2x Earphone tips|
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