Current testing methodology is v1.2
November 19, 2021
3.07 x 3.03 x 1.22 in
The KZ EDC is an affordable pair of earphones from Knowledge Zenith or more popularly known as just KZ.
It looks quite similar to another set from the brand, which is the KZ EDCX, but will it sound the same? Let’s find out in this review.
Sub-$10 earphones with an excellent midrange.
he KZ EDC is a single dynamic driver in-ear monitor.
It comes with a refreshing mid-centric experience coupled with a very boomy low-end. Its tonality is quite natural and organic sounding.
However, the treble lacks airiness and leaves much to be desired. Tracks that normally have splash and shimmer will start to sound filed off. This results in zero sibilance, which may be the reason for tuning the upper end.
Of course, for people who prefer a darker-tuned treble, this won’t pose any problem but if you like splashy cymbals, high-hats, and some air in the upper end, then you’ll probably be better off with the KZ EDCX.
Still, the KZ EDC’s overall signature is fun and relatively easy to like, plus it will give you a non-fatiguing listening experience.
- Driver: 10mm Single Dynamic Driver
- Frequency response: 20-40,000Hz
- Impedance: 35Ω
- Sensitivity: 95db/mw
What’s in the Box?
- KZ EDC earphones
- 3 x pairs of ear tips
Stuff I like
- Monitor sound
- Pleasant tonality
- Engaging bass presentation
- Detailed and full-sounding midrange
- Decent technicalities
Stuff I like less
- Dark upper end
- Uneven treble
Out of the box, I thought the KZ EDC has a very similar look to the EDCX in terms of shape and design, but with different colors.
The design looks sleek and modern. I got the EDC in blue and purple but you can also get it in black.
In terms of sound, the EDC isn’t hard to like as its overall tuning is pleasant.
It has a V-shaped type of bass that keeps tracks fun and a detailed midrange presentation that’s forward in the soundscape. I was almost sure it was a V-shape until I heard the treble more closely.
After a few listening sessions, I think that the EDC leans more toward a Harman neutral with a bass boost. There’s treble but it’s just not emphasized and it’s quite rolled off.
All in all, my usual genres were a little tricky to dance around as I mainly listen to pop, J-Pop, and alternative rock – genres that wouldn’t necessarily need a well-extended treble to shine.
Listening to Seisyun Complex by Kessoku band was heartbreaking as the once vibrant and teeming percussion sequence sounded dull and rounded off.
Overall, modern songs and pop sounded good but I find myself constantly looking for those last octaves of extension.
Given its price, the KZ EDC has great build quality.
The body is mainly plastic that has a shiny resin embedded on the faceplate, while the detachable cable is sturdy is made of oxygen-free copper.
Apart from the obvious cost-cutting with the cable, the EDC doesn’t feel cheap at all. It’s not exactly premium but you can still feel that it’s a solid and sturdy product.
Fit and Comfort
As I’ve already tried the EDCX, I’ve gotten familiar with the KZ EDC’s shape – they’re virtually identical.
The EDC is comfortable to wear even on longer listening sessions since there are no weird protrusions or fins.
The cable isn’t the like the soft hand-twisted copper cables that I’m quite fond of but it still has good length and it doesn’t get irritating to wrap up for storing.
Regarding the fit, the pre-installed ear tips didn’t need swapping as they already gave me a nice seal. Still, the fit may depend on your ear shape and size.
Also, it wouldn’t hurt to roll the tip with a wide-bore silicone just to help with the treble air.
The KZ EDC has a warm V-shaped signature with a monitor type of sound.
Although it has a boosted bass response, the midrange remains neutral. This essentially makes the EDC a very capable earphone for monitoring.
The sub-bass is rolled off giving the mid-bass more emphasis. The midrange is full-bodied and natural while the treble is extended but with lower gain.
The overall tonality is organic and neutral with an ample amount of warmth.
I found the EDC to be pleasant overall and while the treble is uneven and darkly tuned, plus the upper midrange still has good gain that gives high notes shimmer even with their filed-off edges.
The sub-bass of the KZ EDC’s graph is rolled off, placing more importance on the delivery of the mid-bass.
Despite this, the sub-bass can reach a respectable depth, so much so that I’ve never found it lacking in its reproduction of rumble.
Texturing is also on point and instruments like the bass guitar have great grunge and sonic information to them, rendering them very life-like. The mid-bass kicks with moderate intensity with good definition and timbre.
This type of bass response is quite favorable, presenting good ability and control while still sounding musical.
The midrange is the KZ EDC’s focal point – well, from a sound perspective anyway.
The lower midrange is elevated at 300Hz which gives both male and female vocals equal energy and articulation.
The upper midrange is rolled off except for the 4KHz mark, which is the highest peak in the EDC’s graph. This elevated frequency gives high notes their propensity for shimmer.
The midrange is quite impressive due to its highly detailed nature, especially given its price point.
A lot of people dub it as the cheapest monitor earphone and I’d have to agree that its midrange performance is commendable as it mostly remains neutral while having good warmth and a pleasant tonality.
The treble is where the KZ EDC stumbles.
The upper octaves of the treble are boosted unevenly and with that comes sharp dips that make detail retrieval unreliable. And although one may point out that the treble is extended well, it has dipped in massive presence regions mainly in the 11KHz and 16KHz regions.
The perception of air is scarce and wispy, and it bottlenecks the midrange’s brilliant performance.
All in all, the treble does have zero sibilance but it files off important note definition and trailing.
The staging on the KZ EDC is decently extended in depth and slightly outside the ear range.
The transient response is inconsistent with how the treble is tuned but they retain a sufficient level of distinctiveness from one another.
Macro details take a lead over microdetails, while attack and decay are good on percussions and voices that live in the midrange while more minute details are somewhat faded. Also, the imaging isn’t so good as the 6KHz dip affects image placement quite a bit.
Overall, these are some decent technicalities for a set that can go as low as $9, depending on where you get it.
The KZ EDC has great synergy with pop and live recordings – and everything else actually, but you’ll find the treble roll-off pretty problematic.
Genres that rely on good sparkles, such as rock, alternative indie, and J-pop, will sound pretty lacking in some vague way.
Microdetails and nuances are mostly wispy and hard to perceive but the most apparent predicament would be the lack of shimmer and air to the notes, which make a lot of difference.
The KZ EDC is a relatively good proposition for a monitor earphone. And while others may require more sparkle up top, some are unfazed or simply can’t hear the difference.
The superb midrange and the elastic bass response are perfect for many fast-sequence songs. The tuning is sufficient enough to please a neutral head without triggering their hate for uncontrolled and bloated bass.
The midrange forwardness and detail are quite pleasant and would cater to a lot of listeners who love a mid-centric presentation.
The technicalities are also decent for the price.
Would I recommend the KZ EDC? Absolutely.
And while I do say that, I still thank KZ for going out of their way to correct the EDC to release a successor.
The EDCX shares all of the things that make the EDC great and while I’m most certainly guilty that I’m taking away the EDC’s limelight on its own review, I also see that it’s my responsibility to be instrumental in helping you choose better value options.
In short, the KZ EDC is great in its own way but I think you can go slightly higher and get better value for your money. If you do end up getting it, as I’ve said, you won’t regret it either.
Gavin is a college student who has a lot going on. From collecting IEMs and modding mechanical keyboards, to different hobbies like digital drawing, music mastering and cooking. It is safe to say he is a complete multi-faceted geek (and he's kinda cool too)
This post was last updated on 2023-12-02 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.