| 1x Balanced Armature | 1x Dynamic Driver | True Wireless | Bluetooth | Touch Controls |
? KZ S1, the newest true wireless earphone from KZ.
The KZ S1 features 2 drivers per earpiece in an hybrid configuration that includes a PEK composite dynamic driver and a single BA – specifically the 30095 balanced armature driver model.
The KZ S1 line is released as their third introduction in the true wireless headphones market, right before the:
The KZ S1, though, is the first ever KZ earphone being launched as line with 2 models available right away. The S1 series are offered as the higher-tier KZ S1 (model being reviewed by our team) and the KZ S1D.
The KZ S1 vs KZ S1D differences include a drivers configuration variation, where the KZ S1 has dual hybrid drivers and the KZ S1D is a single dynamic driver TWS.
The other main differences between the KZ S1 vs KZ S1D are the colors options available and the retail price. Being the more complex KZ S1 a bit more expensive than the KZ S1D little brother (See prices: KZ ZS1 price, KZ S1D price)
The KZ S1 is available in:
The KZ S1D colors are:
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KZ S1 Review
Tests & Scores
The KZ S1 comes inside a well-protected square box with a mainly white design – the outside and kind of packaging looks very similar to many high-class modern smartwatches.
The KZ S1 unboxing results in 3 pair of eartips, a USB Type-C charging cable and a battery/charging case.
KZ S1 weight in Ounces and KZ S1 weight in grams.
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The KZ S1 is fully made of plastic, including the earpieces (minus the metal nozzles) and the case itself.
Owners of the discontinued KZ T1 should expect the same build quality for the earpieces while the case build quality remains somewhat inline with other true wireless headphones such as the:
- Xiaomi Redmi Airdots
- 1MORE Stylish True Wireless In-Ear Headphones E1026BT-I
- QCY T2C / QCY T2S
- TRN T200
- Xiaomi Mi Airdots Basic
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The KZ T1 is equipped with touch sensitive back plates on each earpiece that work as multi-function buttons.
- 3 second press and hold: Manual power On
- 6 second press and hold: Manual power Off
- Single press: Play, Pause music
- Turned ON and while in standby with no music or call: 2 second press and hold activates Siri or voice commands
- Triple press: Game Mode
- 2 press on right earpiece: Skip to next song
- 2 press on left earpiece: Previous song
- A single press: Answer calls
- A 1 second press and hold: During incoming call, reject call
LED Status Light: Both earpieces of the KZ S1 have a small light on the edge of the back plate that informs the status of the earphone while the case has another light in the inside, placed right in the middle, above a single physical button. This button can be pressed at any time to know the status the charge of the internal battery of the case.
Charging: The earpieces KZ S1 are charged by placing them inside the battery case/charging case allowing them to be charged on-the-go or when the case is plugged to an USB charger.
The case is equipped with an USB Type-C connector to be charged. The brand informs that the battery capacity inside each earpiece is 40mAh, granting 3 hours of continuous use while the case sports a 300mAh battery and over 100 hours of standby time.
The KZ S1 provides a delicious bass tuning that is punchy and fun but not over-boosted.
As a result, their bass can fulfill any genre’s bass requirements by providing as much mid-bass and sub-bass as demanded.
Nonetheless, the KZ S1 bass is well-controlled for an earphone with this bass style, being able to allow sufficient space for their mids and highs without gaining full-ownership of the sound signature.
Frequent and all-time KZ fans will be glad to know that the KZ S1 shares many of the bass qualities of some of the newer best KZ earphones that showed excellent bass – like this other model and this one.
With an EQ users will be able to, clearly, push the bass of the KZ S1 into a much deeper and sub-bass intense response while also offering a noticeably punchier profile.
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The KZ S1 has a full sounding midrange, with warm personality and somewhat relaxed tuning, yet achieving to offer a sonic feel that does not turn into overly congested male vocals or lower mids.
The very end of their higher mids tend to be more emphasized than the rest of the mid frequencies range; achieving a crispy upper highs style.
Peaks in harshness areas can show up from time to time but will be rare on mids frequencies unless these peaks are balanced more towards the highs/treble end – said so, users can expect to perceive some harshy spikes on some tracks or shouty female vocals.
Using an EQ, the KZ S1 showed excellent response to EQ over their midrange, with a way cleaner lower mids and more alive male vocals. It is recommended to avoid boosting higher mids unless you are an expert with custom equalization, or their harshness could become too strong.
Highs of the KZ S1 offer substantial detail for an earphone on this price range (also compared to wired earphones on the sub $30 price range)
The overall tuning of the KZ S1 highs present bright sound that somehow mixes some qualities of darkish-tuned earphones. This means that the KZ S1 inherits positive and less-positive aspects of the aforementioned earphones.
The positive aspects include less-frequent sibilance that makes them tolerably fatiguing and a good balance between brightness and smoothness.
On the “less-positive” side of the road, the S1 can show a profile that might not be perceived as open by listeners that chase highs-emphasized/centered earphones.
Applying an EQ, removes every trace of the just-mentioned “darkish-tuned inheritance” allowing them to bring to the table a miles more open, brighter and more detailed highs response, while keeping their fatiguing spikes within tolerable.
There is a “special” Game Mode offered on the KZ S1 (not on the S1D). We verified during our KZ S1 soundtests, that this mode does not affect the sound quality nor identity of the KZ S1; it only enables a lower latency connection.
In fact, even the measured frequency response curve was identical in Game Mode and while in “Normal mode”.
The sound leakage of the KZ S1 remains within acceptable levels for most daily activities or commuting but might not be the most capable model when used in libraries and listening to music at moderate-high volume settings.
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The sound isolation provided by the KZ S1 is significantly stronger than most normal earphones, allowing users to obtain an immediate partial isolation of the environment – even without any music playing.
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The KZ S1 has nearly the same form factor and shape of some of KZ earphones that have proven excellent fit and comfort, like the KZ ZST PRO, KZ ZS10 PRO, KZ ZSN PRO and even similar to all their other TWS models (KZ E10, KZ T1) – in fact, the KZ T1 and the KZ S1 might have the exact same shells.
To any reader that does not own any of the aforementioned model, expect a comfortable and stable fit that might protrude slightly out of the ears depending on your ear’s size.
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The KZ S1 showed excellent response to EQ and a strong retuning potential that brings a way cleaner midrange and massive refinement of their highs and treble.
Nonetheless, a well-polished and advanced custom EQ can achieve all these benefits without introducing boxy nor tinny mids nor turning their higher mids and highs too hot.
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|DD + BA
|3x Earphone tips; cable; case
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