Current testing methodology is v1.2
March 26, 2019
1.57 x 4.72 x 7.87 in
The KZ ZSN Pro is a budget hybrid IEM with a Balanced Armature Driver and a Single Dynamic Magnetic Driver setup.
It’s a refreshed version of its older brother, the KZ ZSN, that has been a crowd favorite for years now because of how much quality it offers for its price.
The KZ ZSN Pro received a visual update and an upgrade on the drivers to improve specific sound quality areas, but how well does it perform? You’ll find out in this detailed review.
KZ ZSN Pro
Versatile and fun-sounding IEMs.
The KZ ZSN Pro offers excellent value and sound for an affordable price of around $20.
Its older brother, the ZSN, has made a name for itself as a great budget IEM option and has since become a crowd favorite. The Pro version is no different, as it provides a much improved and refined sound. So if you have a budget of around $20, the KZ ZSN Pro is one product that needs consideration.
- Driver: 30095 Balanced Armature + 10mm Single Dynamic Magnetic Driver
- Cable: 3.5mm L-plug cable
- Frequency: 7-40000Hz
- Impedance: 24Ω
- Sensitivity: 112db
What’s in the Box?
- KZ ZSN Pro earphones
- 3 x pairs of silicone ear tips
- 2-pin detachable cable
- User guide
Stuff I like
- Good price-to-performance ratio
- Immersive soundstage
- Great build quality
Stuff I like less
- Treble peaks at certain listening situations
- The bass sounds too boomy at times
Comparable products to consider
The CCA CSN is one of the latest budget IEM options in the market that features a hybrid driver.
The NiceHCK DB3 has been around for years now, and people still tend to gravitate toward it for its balanced tonality.
The KZ ZSN Pro comes in simple packaging, similar to most KZ and CCA products.
Out of the box, the overall design aesthetics of the KZ ZSN Pro makes these IEMs visual eye candy. I got mine in gray and I like how the grooves on the zinc alloy faceplate are embossed, which looks pretty sleek yet sophisticated.
Although only a few accessories are included, they’re of decent quality.
For example, the silver-plated cable that seems pretty standard in this price range is a welcome upgrade from the brown braided cables that similar brands commonly use.
The KZ ZSN Pro feels sturdy even with a resin shell, plus the zinc alloy faceplate adds stability.
Compared to other budget sets, the KZ ZSN Pro feels much more durable. I feel like they’d probably withstand heavy usage.
The included accessories are of decent quality as well, especially the included silver-plated detachable cable, which feels great in the ears and is much more reliable than the cables in older KZ models.
Even though there were only a few accessories, KZ did a great job of ensuring that the ones included are of excellent quality. Overall, I’m pretty impressed.
Fit and Comfort
The KZ ZSN Pro has a lightweight feel because of its resin shell structure, even with its zinc alloy faceplate. Because of this, they’re pretty comfortable in the ears, and sometimes, I even forget I’m wearing them.
Much like its older brother, the KZ ZSN Pro comes in a standard size for IEMs making it fit most ear sizes.
The included ear tips of decent quality and provided enough sound isolation for me. They were also comfortable, although sooner or later I might swap them out for ear tips made from a different material.
While the KZ ZSN has a subdued groove pattern, the ZSN Pro features embossed, more aggressive-looking grooves. This design update is meant to remove the sharp edges that can provide discomfort.
Style-wise, the new design still looks pleasing, and I prefer this design over the older version.
Upon testing them for the first time, I immediately noticed that the KZ ZSN Pro has an elevated bass that wraps around the mix nicely.
Although it’s not as punchy as other bass-head IEMs, it’s in a mix that complements other frequencies.
For me, it’s more of a slight V-shaped IEM in terms of sound signature, which contributes to its entertaining and colored sound.
I also noticed the boosted highs result in excellent detail retrieval.
For me, the bass is the KZ ZSN Pro’s main highlight as it has a strong and fast response.
The bass also has excellent clarity, and I haven’t experienced any kind of muddiness in the sound, which can be attributed to the upgraded dynamic drivers.
For its price, the bass frequencies of the KZ ZSN Pro are incredible, and it performs well with tracks that feature a deep bass sound. It also works well in presenting drum beats.
Since the KZ ZSN Pro has a V-shaped sound, it’s expected to have a slight recession on the mids.
The mids also sounded great with a decent amount of clarity though there are times when the low-mid bass gets crowded with mid-bass bleed, making deep male vocals sound inorganic.
In most cases, the mids could present instruments such as guitars and vocals smoothly and naturally, and it was also manageable to listen to.
I’ve experienced treble peaks at specific treble ranges on more sibilance-prone tracks, which was an unpleasant experience.
However, I don’t think this is a dealbreaker as this issue can be easily fixed with a bit of tweak in the EQ.
Overall, the treble on the KZ ZSN Pro is too sharp for my liking, and it would greatly benefit from some changes in the EQ.
I’ve tested the KZ ZSN Pro on different genres of music to get a proper understanding of how these IEMs sound and here are my findings:
- Metal/ Rock – The mids presented the guitars as natural on the tracks I’ve listened to. The instruments sounded more forward in the mix than the vocals, creating an energetic, sound. Tracks used: Cherub Rock (Smashing Pumpkins), Sweating Bullets (Megadeth), Shine (Collective Soul)
- K-Pop – The KZ ZSN Pro presented the vocals and instrumentations with outstanding clarity, and I like how the bass complements other frequencies, which makes the mix sound a lot fuller. Tracks used: Hype Boy (NewJeans), OMG (NewJeans), Russian Roulette (Red Velvet)
- Hip-hop – Since the ZSN Pro has a very boomy and elevated bass, it worked well with this genre’s deep and fast drum beats. The KZ ZSN Pro’s strong bass sound worked wonders for this genre and I noticed no muddiness when listening to the tracks. Tracks used: After Party (Dan Toliver), Goosebumps (Travis Scott)
- Indie – I’ve chosen specific tracks that can help me measure the soundstage of these IEMs, and I’ve discovered that the ZSN pro has a very immersive sound, although the sound separation could have been better than its predecessor. Overall, the tracks sounded lush and organic and still pretty enjoyable. Tracks used: Show me How (Men I Trust), Space Song (Beach House), Wings (So Yoon and Phum Viphurit)
- R&B/Soul – The vocals sounded great, combined with the immersive soundstage of the ZSN Pro. Especially on tracks such as Melting by Kali Uchis, her vocals could stand out from the instruments in the background. Tracks used: Melting (Kali Uchis), Get You (Daniel Ceasar), Telepatia (Kali Uchis)
After testing the KZ ZSN Pro, I’ve discovered that it’s quite versatile.
Even with its affordable price of around $20, the KZ ZSN Pro can easily compete with IEMs worth hundreds of dollars.
These IEMs are worth the hype because they perform better than you’d expect from something at its price point.
I like how the bass was tuned and how the hybrid drivers performed. KZ did a great job in designing these IEMs.
I’d highly recommend the KZ ZSN Pro to anyone looking for IEMs with an entertaining sound signature that works well with various genres.
A man of many interests, Querho is passionate about discovering new things that stimulate the mind. When he is not writing about the things he is passionate about, Querho can be found making music at his home studio.
This post was last updated on 2024-03-01 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.