The Ultra Cheap IEM Thread



Everything made by kz is bright and too much treble except this new AS06. The ZSN isn’t too bad but does have a peak in the upper mids which I can see some people bothered by with bad recordings or certain genres.


I have to agree with you. Especially the 1DD+1BA hybrids. A better choice I have is the Urban Fun Hi-Fi Beryllium hybrid which is much better balanced. It sounds very good with Spiral Dots.


After a few weeks testing and reviewing the ZS4 I have gone back to listening to the Yinyoo V2. Wow! Going back to a higher quality IEM really shows up the limitations of a less accomplished model. The detail, texture and soundstage are far better and the treble is so much smoother, open and extended. Have you tried these yet? They’re a real gem.


I picked up two pairs of the ZSN this weekend (silver/purple and black/grey) - mostly because I want the cable from the silver-purple set to go with the black/grey IEMs.

I have ZS7 and AS06 incoming for tomorrow too.

So far, I think the ZSN are the most enjoyable listen from what I’ve heard in the KZ line-up without EQ. The ZS6 is both too bass-heavy and too peaky/harsh in the highs. The ZSN brings the bass down just enough, while still keeping it present and “fun”. And I need less EQ to tame the highs. Not bad for a $23 IEM.

I’m hoping the ZS7 can do the same on the bass-side of things, and also sort out the ZS6 top-end somewhat.

It’s been fun playing with them next to some truly flagship IEMs … really gives an interesting perspective on what can be done for under $50 or even under $20. And they’ve all been entirely fun out of the new SP1000M, at least with little bit of notching out of some spikey/harsh points.

One consistent theme, for me, now, is that I don’t think I can go back to “BA-bass”. Even on IEMs that do it really well (even with the big EE, CA and 64Audio “pure” BA stuff), I’ve been spoiled since the AAW W900 and I think it’s hybrid designs for me going forward.

Another surprise has been that the medium-sized tips that KZ supply with their IEMs seem to fit me perfectly, remain largely comfortable, and still give a proper seal for getting solid and consistent bass performance. Where as the pack-in tips with the big-boy stuff has been nothing but discomfort and trouble. The KZ ZSN package costs about what I spend on 2 pairs of Spinfit CP240 …


I should add …

The silver/purple KZ ZSN came with a transparent/copper cable (VERY pretty). The black/grey came with the brown/black cable.

They’re also a different termination than, say, the ZS6, with the ZSN featuring an over-molded outer boot, which provides significant extra strain-relief and a stronger mechanical coupling … which sadly will NOT work with the standard ZS6 (etc.) connection, as the pins are largely recessed into the cable itself.


These came in the mail today, forgot I had backed them on indiegogo…


And I thought the EE Zeus XR(A) stuck out too much …

Are they really that thick?!


Yeah the ZSN is a nice surprise from KZ. I also like the AS06 as it’s laid back with good bass too. I don’t like the KZ tips much. They fit and seal well but I find them too bassy. I like using foam tips instead with KZs.

I like the new cable a lot. It also is the same connector as my Unique Melody ME1 so I can interchange with them.


Plastic, but sounds ok…they have a slider for gaming, movies, and music. I should really be more particular about what I back lol…but for cheap I’m assuming IEMs they aren’t horrible. But I think I will give these to my nephew or some one else lol

Edit: box design is very clever, but the ink for the writing is impossible to read. The picture shows how it pulls out, and swings away from the lower portion.


Maybe not the correct place to post this, but I have give the T2 Pro’s another go and they’re growing on me. For the money they’re great. Perhaps the treble is a bit rough around the edges at some points but apart from that they’re very good. A couple of downers for me are the fit they’re very hard to get a good fit. And secondly they need a lot more volume than all my other iem’s.


Yeah it is hard to go to them when I have my Andromeda sitting there. But for on the go they are pretty good, but once again I use my Andromeda more an more on the go


Yes that’s just the dilemma but for someone who doesn’t want to spend too much they’re very good, as long as you aren’t treble sensitive. I like my treble but some won’t. I haven’t heard the KZ iem line up so I can’t compare it to those.


Not going to lie @antdroid and @Torq talking them up makes me want to try them(the KZNs)…Plus @Torq mentioned purple…I’m a sucker for purple…


The gamos aren’t horrible, they don’t stick out quite as much as the image on the box shows…another interesting tid bit is they need to be charged for optimal performance??? I listened to them while not fully charged and they sounded decent, I’ll give another listen tonight when they are fully charged… right off the bat…not my most favorite thing in the world lol


Interesting. I’ve found my preferences are exactly the opposite – I like 100% BA. Hybrid IEMs come across as detailed needles at the high end and overwhelming fuzz at the low end.


I’ve certainly found plenty, in fact the majority, of hybrid IEMs that sound the way you describe.

Especially when talking about entry-to-mid-level gear.

What I haven’t found is any pure-BA IEM that does the full spectrum, and in particular bass quality, as well as the properly-sorted hybrid models. In particular, bass-texture, and slam, are lacking on the pure-BA models, even at the highest levels.

And in the “properly-sorted” class of hybrids we are, from my perspective, largely at “the other end of the spectrum” from “ultra cheap IEMs” (per this thread).


They’re very pretty in silver/purple, as @Crezo’ s post shows … and hard to argue with for ~$23 …

The ZS7 just showed up too … in rather different packaging (pointlessly larger, but more upscale) than every other KZ IEM I’ve had so far. No thoughts on those yet, as my Chord Hugo M-Scaler also arrived today and I’m sure that, feeding DAVE, is going to be monopolizing the bulk of my at-home listening time for the rest of the week.

But … it does leave me with a bit of a dilemma … lots of interesting low-cost IEMs to keep in a random pocket … which now makes me want a comparatively bang/buck DAP to keep with them. The dilemma being that there’s a ton of good, relatively inexpensive DAPs out there from a hardware perspective, almost all of which are just not up to par, even as budget models, due to quite dodgy software/firmware …


I’ve been down this analytical path 100 times, and never reach any conclusion other than a base model iPod Touch with a DAC/Amp add-on if needed. There’s NO substitute for stable hardware, software, and a strong ecosystem.



Most of the time I just default back to my (512 GB) iPhone XS, 3.5mm dongle, if not using a dedicated DAP.

My curse is a love of fidgety, jewel-like, gadgetry … which runs flat-faced into my intense intolerance for half-assed UX/software/firmware etc … hence the desire for a “simple” or “cheap” DAP pairing. More a “want” than a “need” as the phone/dongle is ample for the IEMs I’m talking about here!


I’m very curious about these. Did they fix the peaky treble or are the multiple BAs just a gimmick?