Current testing methodology is v1.2
The KZ VXS have completely taken me by surprise. I’m having difficulty taking them out of my ears.
6g per ear (56g with case)
It’s very rare but I’m going back through my catalog and relistening to my favorite tracks. This is how much I like these things.
NOTE: Right now the Amazon listing says these have a 10mm DD and 4 x BA Drivers. I think Linsoul has that wrong – it’s just 1 x 10 mm DD according to KZ site.
Best TWS Earbuds
KZ are really going wireless, and the VXS is an incredible start to their true wireless earbud experience.
As you know, I spend a lot of time with KZ in-ear monitors reviewing and listening to them.
KZ VXS TWS Earbuds
Very impressive sound for a very affordable unit
The KZ VXS are a surprising listening experience in an affordable package. The sound is impressive and I can’t believe they sound this good for this price. The bottom end is full and rich while the mids and treble have plenty of say in what you hear.
Definitely my go-to pair for 2022 and I have to congratulate KZ on a job well done.
- Driver: 10mm Dynamic Driver
- Battery Life: 5 Hours for earbuds / 25 hours with Charge Case
- Mode: Dual Mode (ear earbud has complete chips for connectivity)
- Bluetooth: 5.2
- Chipset: Qualcomm QCC 3040
- Codecs: APT-X
- Battery Capacity: 400mah
- Charging Port: USB-C
- Wireless charging: No
- IPX Rating: N/A
What’s in the Box?
- KZ VXS Earbuds + Charing Case
- USB-C Cable
- Manual and Warranty Card
- S/M/L silicon ear tips
Stuff I like
- Wonderful soundstage
- Full rich bass without sacrificing mids and treble
- Nice comfortable fit
- Cool charging case
- Sound quality that punches way above it’s price point
Stuff I like less
- Touch sensors on earbuds take some getting used to
Comparable products to consider
The Donner Dobuds One are an ANC TWS earbud at a similar price. The bottom end is also impressive but not as natural as the KZ VXS. If you need ANC in a budget earbud, then these are also worth a look and also take out the award for best ANC TWS this year.
I’ve always been impressed with their nice use of balanced armature drivers, sometimes hybrids, and more recently dynamic and electrostatic drivers in a tribrid format.
Overall, they’re very well priced for what they are.
KZ reached out to me and said, “Hey, would you like to try the new KZ VXS?”.
I, of course, was very excited. I’d done the A10 active noise canceling headphones that they’d released a few months ago, which weren’t especially impressive, but were pretty good for the price.
And so, when the VXS arrived, I expected them to be of a similar quality.
Boy, was I wrong?
As I say, I’ve actually had difficulty taking these out of my ears because I’ve been enjoying them so much.
But before I wax lyrical about how amazing they are, let’s go through all of the specs and the details so that you know what you are getting into for the price.
First Impressions of the KZ VXS
In terms of first impressions, the case and the packaging is really great. KZ never spend a particular amount of time overdoing the packaging, which I appreciate.
It could be a little bit more green-friendly, but it’s never larger than it needs to be.
Inside the VXS retail box, there is:
- KZ VXS with charging case
- a USB-C charging cable
- two spare sets of ear silicones, small and large. The mediums come pre-fitted
- a product warranty card and the information card, which walks you through how to best fit them, how to pair them, and how to use the operations by tapping the outside of each earbud.
The case itself is a beautiful, small, round unit with a clear lid.
You can see into the VXS in situ while they’re charging. There is a clear display of how each earbud is charged based on its color, and you also have a nice colored LED, which tells you the charging status of the case itself.
There’s no doubt that there is a saturated market when it comes to true wireless earbuds.
I’ve most recently done the HiTune X6 from UGREEN, which were great. The Donner Dobuds One were especially good. The xFyro I could leave behind. The Black Shark gaming earbuds were great except they had no touch controls on the outside.
With the KZ VXS, I expected they would sit around the same quality as the top-end of these units.
Only the Donner Dobuds One compete but as an ANC unit, they are a different beast.
Build Quality and Case
The build quality is very good. KZ have mastered the art of sculpting molds for in-ear monitors.
From looking at these in the case, I expected that these were not only going to look good but fit good.
Typically, with KZ, I expected the earbud ear nozzle to be a little bit longer than I would like, but I guess they have to cater for all ears.
The case itself is really quite light, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a reflection of quality.
It’s not a wireless charging case, but that’s not a big deal to me, as I seem to have a plethora of USB-C cables.
What I like about the case is those LED-charging statuses.
If the case itself is:
- between 0% and 30%, the LED light is red
- between 30% and 70%, that LED light changes to orange
- If it’s is over that 70% mark, then it goes green.
I think this is especially great. While some charging cases either have one LED or they have three or four dots that light up, depending on the charging status. It’s a nice change to have some color-coding on that charging so you know exactly where that case is at.
The earbuds themselves, with the clear case on top, also reflect their charge status going from red when they need to be charging, and they change to a nice blue, once they are charged, so that you know that you are good to go.
Overall impressions with the case, the earbuds, and the build quality, was while that they did feel light, it’s a really nice, well-put-together package, and the size of the case is especially cool.
It’s almost a case that you would expect with diamond earrings or cufflinks.
Tech Specs of the KZ VXS
It has one 10mm dynamic driver in each earbud.
It has a Qualcomm QCC3040 chip in it with Bluetooth 5.2. This means that it is aptX certified, meaning that it can do up to 16-bit and 24-bit audio at 48 kHz.
For phone calls, you have a CVC set up where CVC just means clear voice capture, which is designed to reduce external noise for your phone calls.
There are two modes on it, which you can switch by touching the outside of the unit.
One is like a full power mode and one is a game mode so that it does adjust the latency.
The battery life on this is around four to five hours, and with the charger, you can get up to about 20 to 25 hours. I’d say closer to 25 with the 400mah large capacity battery.
Fit and Comfort for the VXS
The comfort on these at first for me was a little bit difficult.
I realized that I’d made a big stuff up and had actually put the wrong earbud in the wrong ears, which is a bit of a rookie mistake for someone that does as many in-ear monitor reviews and owns as many in-ear monitors, as I do.
Once I had corrected this foolish error, I managed to get a nice seal that I thought was decent enough, and I started previewing music with them.
I felt that the bass was full and strong, but on further tweaking, I found that I could actually get even richer bass by getting an even better fit.
So, I would encourage anybody who gets these to make sure that you’ve got a really nice closed seal from each earbud – even if you’re experienced with IEMs.
I always liken it to feeling like you’re completely underwater, when you have that perfect seal, and that you can’t really hear anything outside, and the whole world sounds quite muffled.
While they stick out a little bit further than I would like, it’s important to remember that these aren’t custom in-ear monitors, and they do have to allow for different sizes of ears and ear canals.
They did, once fitted and sealed, stay in really well, and I did some good shaking of their head and jumping around to see if I could unseat them, but they were very well in place and didn’t fall out.
As I introed this, I was super impressed. But not initially, it took me a little while to get that seating right before I really started appreciating what they had to offer.
The bottom end on these is massive for a 10mm dynamic driver. It’s not especially tight, but it is tight in certain areas. The sub-bass is full and round, but quite warm and soft, whereas the core-base and upper-base where you start to reach the lower mids, starts to feel a lot tighter and really full.
Overall, the bass on these was quite rich, and I want to say detailed. It had characteristics and personality to it.
It wasn’t a single tone or just a highly tuned, fat, blob coming at you, it had refindement to it.
This is very impressive for the price that these are retailing at.
The mids are great as well. Being a guy that really loves vocal and being a guitarist, and wanting to hear those middle frequencies, it always disappoints me when a V-shaped IEM sucks all of the quality of the vocals guitars, and keys out.
With these, they were definitely there. They could be a little bit crisper, they sat slightly back, but not really enough that I would wanna criticize them at all. They are more forward than most other KZ IEMs.
The thing that let the mids shine, despite that lack of crispness, is that the sound stage lets them sit there on their own, in their own space, allowing you to isolate them out with your hearing really quite easily.
Overall though, it’s a full sound that comes at you with no particular frequency lacking.
Treble is also very much there and represents itself very well. There is separation from the mids, but there is that connectivity as well so that you are hearing those high sounds that are coming off symbols and coming off the really high-end of those frequency ranges, but it’s not especially overwhelming or fatiguing at any point.
The sound stage is really impressive. It’s so open.
There’s so much space and air in it, that it feels really quite natural, almost hi-fi level separation with that stereo feel.
And the way the instruments move around, exactly the way the mixing and mastering engineers wanted them to is really great.
I think even people who are experienced headphone and audio lovers, audiophiles globally, will even say that they are finding some of the stereo and soundstage movement new for them compared to a lot of the other things that they may have used in the past.
I know that’s a bold statement, but I do feel that it’s probably true.
There’s a remix out, “Moth To A Flame.” Swedish House Mafia, “Moth To A Flame” with Adriatique and The Weekend, and that’s a great track to try out with these.
The deep thumping dance, bottom-end, the clear separation, the vocals, and all the elements that bounce around, it’s a really great track for these.
Then switching to M.I.A from SOHN, which has this electronic thumping, slapping bass kick, that starts the song, which is so full and rich. Again, ensuring you’ve got a good seal.
The high tomson the drumkit that he uses in the song sounds so acoustic and nice and natural. That’s another good example of that full bottom-end.
Moving over to some rock with .alt, their track, “insubordinate” is an absolute banger.
I think this is particularly well mixed for a rock song, but these definitely enhance that impressive studio engineering with tight thumping bass, guitars, vocals, everything singing together and pushing forward while still having some space and nice sound stage around them.
“Natural Born Killer” by Highly Suspect. I always find their tracks bring a really nice freshness to the vocal and guitar mix. So, I always like to throw them on to try out rock, in general. This track has a deep pad underneath it which is just huge. And while the vocals could be a little bit brighter and more forward, it’s another good example of how great these sound.
Finishing out with a little bit of hip-hop with NF and Eminem spitting on the mic, the KZ VXS handled these massive tracks with ease.
Again, it’s really hard to criticize these, not just for the price, but they just sound fantastic.
The bottom-end of these is just constantly surprising me and making me smile.
PRAT being, Pace, Rhythm and Timing, really for me is defined as whether the music, you feel it, whether it moves you, whether everything is moving so tight in sync, that it just feels right.
The true-wireless KZ VXS definitely do that for me.
I actually want to just keep listening, and keep listening, and keep demoing them over, and over, and over because I just think they sound so good.
If you put a $300 – $500 price tag on these, I’d line up for them. In a blind listening test, I think they’d shine.
I don’t care what anyone else says, I’m a fan and that is just my personal opinion on how much I am enjoying these.
When I did the Donner Dobuds One, they were really stand out for me, their bottom-end, the ability to tune them with the app, they were superb, and I really started to feel like my Apple AirPods Pro were losing ground to these more affordable units.
The KZ VXS, for me, is probably gonna be my pickup to go from now on. They don’t have the active noise canceling, but the natural sound isolation is that good, I’m not really bothered. And once the music’s playing, I’m all smiles.
I’d go so far to say these are the best budget TWS IEMs for 2022 and the Donner Dobuds One the best TWS ANC earbuds for 2022.
Suited to what genres?
Normally with budget, in-ear monitors, or budget true-wireless sets, I end up recommending them to people who like certain genres.
With the KZ VXS, I’ve had difficulty finding a genre that they don’t do well with. And for that reason, I really could recommend them to anybody anywhere and may even buy these as gifts for people who are in my family and friends circle.
What’s the verdict?
At around $59, and I expect that you’ll probably be able to get them for a discount here and there, the hi-fi experience of these budget, true-wireless earbuds is really way above its pay grade.
I know I sound like an absolute fanboy, and I promise you I’m not getting paid for this review, but I really am impressed with what KZ have done with this launch into the market of a wireless unit.
If you’ve got any questions, please, don’t hesitate to ask below, I would be more than happy to get into it.
And I’d rather you ask me hard questions about these if you’re looking at buying them so that I can help you make a wise choice as far as I am considered wise.
Look forward to discussing this in the comments below.
Endless hours of experimentation, professional work, and personal investment in Home Theatre, Hi-Fi, Smart Home Automation and Headphones have come to this.
Former owner of Headphones Canada, a high-end headphone specialty retailer.
This post was last updated on 2022-12-11 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.