Current testing methodology is v1.2
March 9, 2023
0.79 x 0.39 x 0.39 in
The KZ ZVX is a new budget IEM offering from the Chi-Fi brand KZ.
KZ is well-known in the Hi-Fi community for its ability to produce top-quality products at an affordable price. One example is the KZ ZSN Pro, a go-to product for audiophiles and casual listeners.
Released in March 2023 and featuring a 10mm dual dynamic driver, the KZ ZVX retails between $20 and $30, depending on where you get it.
Let’s see how it does in this detailed review.
A newer IEM release worth considering.
Although relatively new to the market, the KZ ZVX is an impressive pair of earphones.
The quality you get from it is mindblowing and it should be a crime. Its bass is well-controlled yet sufficient and its midrange features excellent clarity.
On top of that, its build quality is solid and the included accessories are of great quality considering the price.
The KZ ZVX is an excellent example of an IEM done right and I’m confident you’ll find something to like about it.
- Driver: 10mm Dual Cavity Linear Dynamic Driver
- Cable: 3.5mm plug/0.75mm 2-pin
- Frequency: 20-40,000Hz
- Impedance: 25Ω
- Sensitivity: 109db
- Weight: 128g + 5g (earphones + cable)
What’s in the Box?
- KZ ZVX earphones
- Detachable cable
- 3 x pairs of foam ear tips
- Instruction Manual
Stuff I like
- Well-balanced and well-controlled bass
- Excellent detail retrieval and clarity on the midrange
- Sharp and airy treble that doesn’t sound too harsh
Stuff I like less
- Bass may seem lacking at times
- Vocals can sound a bit bland on some tracks
There’s not much to discuss regarding the KZ ZVX’s packaging since it comes in a standard white box with graphics on the front and some product information on the back. This type of packaging is quite common among budget sets.
Out of the box, the ZVX is simply stunning with its full aluminum shell construction. I was surprised because I expected a combination of a resin shell with an aluminum faceplate.
Because of their construction, these IEMs feel premium – as if they cost much more than their retail price.
Overall, I’m quite impressed with how the KZ ZVX looks.
The build quality of the KZ ZVX is awe-inspiring for its price.
Given that its shell is made from metal, durability is already in check. Plus, the accessories that came with it were nothing short of impressive.
The KZ ZVX comes pre-installed with foam ear tips, ensuring you get the best sound quality experience. It’s rare for sub-$20 IEMs to come pre-installed with foam ear tips so that’s a nice bonus.
On the other hand, the silver-plated 2-pin detachable cable is of average quality but it gets the job done.
Overall, I got nothing much to say about the KZ ZVX’s build quality – it’s simply impressive for the price.
Fit and Comfort
Since the KZ ZVX is entirely made from metal, it feels heavier compared to other IEMs.
This may be a concern for others but they’re actually comfortable to wear. The weight isn’t that noticeable and you can wear them for long periods without feeling any discomfort.
The included foam ear tips provide a snug fit and a tight seal, so you won’t have any problem regarding sound leakage.
However, the pre-molded ear hooks were quite stiff for me, which caused my ears to feel irritated. This was easily fixed by stretching them out a little bit to give me a better fit.
Other than that, I experienced no other issues with the KZ ZVX regarding fit and comfort.
The KZ ZVX has a generally neutral sound, with a tiny focus on the highs.
The bass is relatively quick and can manage busy tracks with ease. It also has adequate texture, amount, and control.
Male and female vocals have decent texture, with the mids being excessively recessed and too upfront.
The treble is never offensive. It keeps adequate vigor while being smooth, and definitely needs to be sibilant.
The ZVX performs admirably in terms of detail retrieval punching slightly above its price point but not by much.
Additionally, the depth and width of the soundstage are good, and the separation between the instruments is decent.
The KZ ZVX has excellent bass tuning that can compete with some of the best IEMs in its price range, like the 7Hz Salnotes Zero.
It has a very present sub-bass rumble, while the midbass has a clean and tight punch that produces an entertaining sound.
The bass is manageable in a mix that can be good or bad for some, depending on the user’s preference. However, it still has enough energy to color any genre.
Thanks to its well-balanced and controlled sound, there’s hardly any bleed into the mids. Overall, the bass presentation is impressive, offering enough texture and detail to complement other frequency ranges.
The detail retrieval and clarity of the KZ ZVX is impressive that may even forget that you’re listening on a sub-$20 IEM.
It’s a minor observation that doesn’t detract from the overall listening experience, but in some cases, male vocals can sometimes sound a little dry.
The vocals are brought in front of the mix by a noticeable lift in the upper midrange. This results in a lively and energetic audio presentation without sounding harsh or overpowering.
Lastly, the notes have a clarity and definition typically only found in more expensive earphones.
The treble tuning on the KZ ZVX is also quite impressive as it produces a crisp and precise treble with excellent extension and definition that never sounds harsh or thin.
In fact, it achieves an airy and natural sound by striking the ideal balance between sharpness and smoothness. The ZVX also manages to produce some sparkle on its top end.
In conclusion, the treble is a distinguishing feature of these IEMs, offering a remarkable listening experience to those on a budget.
I’ve tested the KZ ZVX on different genres of music to get a proper understanding of how they sound and here are my findings:
- Metal / Rock – I like how the KZ ZVX’s versatile sound signature performed well on heavy tracks. The guitars sounded heavy and articulated while retaining detail and clarity even with more high-gain tracks. Drums and bass weren’t drowned, as they could punch through with significant detail and clarity. The sound separation was impressive, as it presented how instruments are placed around the mix. Tracks used: Mayonaise (The Smashing Pumpkins), Playing God (Polyphia), Ignorance (Paramore), Cold (Korn)
- Pop – I enjoyed listening to tracks in this genre, as they had a good mix between a tight low end and energetic mids. The vocal presentation exceeded my expectations as they were smooth, with a good amount of texture to complement them. They were also very forward in a mix, which was a massive plus. Tracks used: Snooze (SZA), Closer (The Chainsmokers, Halsey), Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Tears for Fears)
- Hip-Hop – Although the KZ ZVX isn’t a very bass-heavy IEM, it still packs a decent punch on its low end. On the test tracks, the 808 hits were very detailed and articulated without sounding irritating. It had a very clean and detailed presentation, which is uncommon on budget IEMs. Tracks used: LOVE. (Kendrick Lamar, Zacari), Cash In Cash Out (Pharell Williams ft 21 Savage & Tyler the Creator)
- R&B / Soul – The tracks were presented with outstanding clarity and detail. Drum kicks were tight, and the hi-hats had great definition with no signs of sibilance. Vocals were lush and very forward in the mix. Tracks used: Be So Cruel (ASTN), Get You (Daniel Ceasar), Moonlight (Kali Uchis)
Nowadays, the market is saturated with many great budget IEMs that fit different musical tastes and preferences.
In the case of the KZ ZVX, it offers a competitive price-to-performance ratio and proves to be an excellent addition to the budget Hi-Fi market.
It has a versatile, well-balanced, and well-textured sound signature, making it easy to get used to. For under around $20, you get so much value for your money.
It’s exciting that brands are doing their homework and working to outdo themselves.
In conclusion, the KZ ZVX is definitely worth checking out and I was truly blown away by its performance.
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 2023-12-02 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.