Current testing methodology is v1.2
In this IEM shoot-out, we’ll be comparing the KZ ZSN Pro — a budget crowd favorite since its release a few years ago — versus the new kid on the block, the 7Hz Salnotes Zero.
This is to see how they’d perform when compared with each other.
For now, we’ll take a close look at their difference and similarities side-by-side, which can be vital when picking which IEM to choose between these two. Let’s get to it!
KZ ZSN Pro vs. 7Hz Salnotes Zero: Sound Signature
The KZ ZSN Pro is a classic in the IEM market.
It has a V-shaped signature, which means it has a strong bass, boosted highs, and slightly recessed but balanced mids.
It has a pleasing and colored sound, creating an exciting experience for the user. It also has a noticeable boost on the top end rather than the regular boosted bass frequency.
The KZ ZSN Pro is for you if:
- You like a brain-stimulating and overall fun sound.
- You like a pronounced bass with the perfect amount of highs.
- You like a colorful sound.
The 7Hz Salnotes Zero has a neutral, balanced sound signature highlighting vocals over instrumentals.
It mainly focuses on the treble, creating a smooth listening experience for those who prefer to listen to more energetic sounds and higher frequencies.
Though the bass still has some punch, it’s subdued and can feel inadequate for some people due to the lack of depth.
The Salnotes 7HZ Zero is for you if:
- You like a treble-focused sound.
- You like a less pronounced but still present and tight bass.
- You like a sound that is airy and relatively extends.
KZ ZSN Pro vs. 7Hz Salnotes Zero: Sound Quality
Over the years, the KZ ZSN Pro has been a crowd favorite and it’s considered a safe and popular choice for beginner users starting their audio journey.
Although this IEM is outdated, its sound quality still stands out and proves that it’s worth the money. For its age and price, it has good detail retrieval and clarity.
However, its sound imaging is lacking compared to the 7Hz Salnotes Zero, which is a more recent release.
On a brighter note, it still has great V-shaped signature characteristics. Its bass is well-pronounced, punchy, and excellent for its price. It’s also evident without any muddiness. However, its rumble isn’t as pleasing to the ears as other recent models.
The mids of the KZ ZSN PRO were also good for their price. It isn’t too fatiguing to listen to. However, a downside of this is that some of the mids’ lower frequencies mixed with the bass, making deep vocals sound unnatural.
Lastly, the boosted highs can cause a bit of sibilance and piercing. These characteristics caused listening to be distracting and harsh to the ear.
The KZ ZSN PRO is for you if:
- You like a sound with clarity and resolution.
- You like a more pronounced bass that does not get too bouncy.
- You like classic, clear, and crisp mids.
Even though the 7Hz Salnotes Zero is a relatively recent release, it’s proven to be excellent for its price.
It has a neutral-bright tuning which is uncommon at this price point, with a relatively great sparkle and clarity. It’s excellent regarding detail retrieval and has a wider soundstage than the KZ ZSN Pro.
It also has a natural timbre and above-average isolation, creating an excellent sound quality environment for listeners.
The bass of the 7Hz Salnotes Zero is present enough and it gives body to the mix. It’s also fast and tight, giving tunes the right punch. However, it lacks rumble and bass quantity.
The midrange of the IEM is slightly tilted upward, resulting in a slightly bright yet still precise reproduction of the instruments.
Lastly, the highs or the treble is the most pronounced in the 7Hz Salnotes Zero. It extends well with a bit of airiness, emphasizing the vocals in the tracks. However, though this is one of its best traits, the focus on high frequencies may be a bit fatiguing for sensitive listeners.
The 7Hz Salnotes Zero is for you if:
- You like a smooth and clear midrange.
- You like an IEM that focuses more on vocals rather than the instrumentals.
- You like an accurate and neutral sound with the right amount of soundstage.
KZ ZSN Pro vs. 7Hz Salnotes Zero: Caveats
The main weakness of the KZ ZSN Pro would be its outdatedness. Since it was released in 2019, its quality and characteristics have been overshadowed by more recent releases.
There are newer IEMs in the same price range offering improved specs in terms of resolution, sound imaging, sound stage, and bass rumble.
The sound produced on the ZSN Pro can also be relatively thin compared to other V-shaped IEMs, which can be a letdown for others.
Nonetheless, the KZ ZSN Pro remains to be one of the best choices for beginners who want to dip their toes in the audio hobby.
The lack of bass of the 7Hz Salnotes Zero is its main weakness.
Though this weakness provides a better focus on vocals, the lack of bass presence and quantity makes it a miss for bass heads. This IEM is more suitable for listening to other genres like house, jazz, rock, and rap.
The focus on high frequencies can also cause a bit of sibilance for sensitive listeners, creating an unsatisfactory experience for them.
Since the 7Hz Salnotes Zero leans on a neutral-bright signature, its treble can be a bit fatiguing to listen to after a while even though it’s generally balanced.
The KZ ZSN Pro can be quite outdated, but it can still go toe-to-toe with newer models like the 7Hz Salnotes Zero.
Since the two of them differ in terms of sound signature, they cater to very different listening palettes.
With their excellent quality at an affordable price, you can’t go wrong choosing either.
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 2023-11-28 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.