| Dynamic Driver |
? The KZ ZS3 are the successor to the basshead ZS2 model but things have changed a lot almost to consider them a totally new line instead of a new generation of the ZS line. The ZS line always had a double dynamic driver, the ZS3 decided to abandon that formula and opted for a more “typical” single dynamic driver. They still preserve the fitting style with the above and around cable way of wearing with the memory cable but the housing design has changed absolutely, now the ZS3 have a custom iem like shape.
The KZ ZS3 may look odd but they certainly look classier and higher level than the previous generations.
the ZS3 decided to abandon that formula and opted for a more “typical” single dynamic driver
The KZ ZS3 sells in shiny black or matte black, as you may see on the photos we have the shiny version. The cable is detachable and rubbery, less rubbery than the typical KZ cable and it is black/really dark blueish (the KZ ZST, KZ ED12, KZ ATE, KZ ZS2, KZ EDR2, KZ ED9, KZ ATR, KZ HDS3 instead share the classic type of KZ cables)
You can get them either with a inline microphone and 1-button control or without them, both of them are memory cables (meaning that you can shape them and they will retain that shape) The memory cable section has improved vastly in comparison to the KZ ZS2.
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KZ ZS3 - Review
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Accessories & Packaging
A tiny black cardboard box with a transparent front in a general minimalistic style is the whole packaging of the KZ ZS3, which is the standard for these generation of KZ earphones (for example the KZ ZST, KZ ED12, KZ ATR and the new KZ ATE version share the exact same packaging). Out of the box you get 3 pairs of silicon eartips and the detachable cable.
Bass & Sub Bass
The KZ ZS3 has a boomy mid-bass that gives body and fun to the sound signature but lacks sub-bass rumble. People are more used to mid-bass than sub-bass so most listeners will not care or notice the lack of sub-bass.
boomy mid-bass that gives body and fun to the sound signature but lacks sub-bass rumble
Sub-bass lacks presence and depth, equalizing boosts mid-bass and makes the rolled off sub-bass gain a bit of presence but they just don’t have sub-bass to be recovered. If you add amplifying to the equation the KZ ZS3 still lacks sub-bass impact.
We tried pushing them to their limits with a Fiio E12 on high gain and bass boost on, equalized for basshead use. They were able to take 45% of Fiio’s maximum power (similar tolerance to the KZ ATE, KZ ED12, KZ ZST, KZ ZS2), mid-bass gets greatly boosted and starts to give some shake to the ears, sub-bass gains some presence but it falls short to even enter into a basic basshead level.
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Mids & Vocals
Mids are recessed mostly on the middle mids and upper mids frequencies but not excessively as to make them sound muffled. They are certainly not forward but vocals and mids have presence anyway. They might not the best for very vocal and mids detailed centered genres.
Highs & Treble
There is no presence of sibilance on the KZ ZS3 also there are non piercing peaks, still highs are present and some details can be appreciated. Definition is not outstanding but highs do not get lost like on the the previous generation KZ ZS2 or the KZ ZST. A lot has been improved here since the KZ ZS2.
The sound that leaks from the KZ ZS3 is fair/average, not excessive and not the silentest one. You can use it in normally loud environments and don’t disturb anybody but if you want to take it to particularly quiet places as libraries or next to your sleeping partner your music will be heard at medium to high volume level.
The very tight fit is able to produce an exceptional sound isolation from the surrounding environmental sound. The KZ ZS3 is an outstanding option if you particularly search to isolate from external sound when using earphones.
Normal users will have some hard time getting used to the KZ ZS3 fit and shape. The custom-like shape and the around and above the ear cable fitting is different from “standard” earphones and require some effort to position them correctly. Twisting the housing while introducing the earphone in your ear helps to get a perfect fit and shaping the memory cable. So, if it is your first time with these type of earphones don’t give up easily and give it a chance, they will reward you with one of the most secure and tight fits and an outstanding sound isolation.
one of the most secure and tight fits and an outstanding sound isolation
They are comfortable to wear and they fit so securely that you could use them to do any sport you can think of (not swimming, smarty!) and they will never fall or even move a bit. The KZ ZS3 may get a vacuum-feel effect inside the ears, which some people cannot tolerate. This can be easily fixed by inserting them a little bit less inside the ears or replacing the eartips with something like the KZ ZST eartips that have a slight “tilting/spinning” design, but consider that you will loose some of the sound isolation and bass response.
Response to Equalization
The KZ ZS3 respond well to equalization of the high frequencies when bringing up definition and they do respond well to mids equalization too. When looking at the response to bass eq they respond fine to boost the mid-bass but they just fail to bring sub-bass to life.
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KZ ZS3 Frequency Response
|Driver Unit||Unkown (probably 8mm or 10mm)|
|Cord||Detachable, bi-pin connection|
|Plug||L shaped stereo mini plug|
|Weight (Without Cord)||Approx. 20g|
|Supplied Accessories||2x Earphone tips, 1x Cable|