Current testing methodology is v1.2
May 11, 2022
Although the names can be quite tiring, I’m glad that I’m still able to distinguish each of the iterations within the lineup with ease.
Of all the AK6 earphones I’ve tried, not one has disappointed me so far. Each of them stood out with their unique qualities that make them worth it for their price.
Can the AK6 Plus keep up? Let’s find out.
Enjoyable W-shaped sound for under $10.
The QKZ AK6 Plus is a budget-friendly pair of earphones from QKZ.
I find its bass presentation dynamic and with good levels of depth. The midrange maintains a good presence on the lower mids while the upper mids deliver satisfying shimmer and energy.
The high end is well-extended and airy while devoid of any sudden peaks and dips.
With this type of tuning, I think that the AK6 Plus will cater to people who prioritize clarity and energy without compromising musicality and dynamism in their music.
Considering its aesthetics and sound performance, I think the AK6 Plus is another excellent budget offering worth more than its asking price.
- Driver: 10mm Single Dynamic Driver
- Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz
- Impedance: 16Ω
- Sensitivity: 96dB/mw
What’s in the Box?
- QKZ AK6 Plus earphones
- 3.5mm jack cable
- 4 x pairs of ear tips
Stuff I like
- Bass has good levels of depth
- Forward midrange and airy treble
- Resolving ability
- Decent price-to-performance ratio
Stuff I like less
- For the price, none
As expected, the QKZ AK6 Plus came in standard QKZ packaging.
Out of the box, I immediately noticed that these earphones resembled the AK6 DAY in terms of design. And it was solely because of that I had a hunch that the sound would be pleasing just as well.
It was the dead of night and I cooked some noodles for that specific testing session. Somehow at the end of cooking, I forgot to focus and just loaded up a nostalgic R&B soul from my favorite K-drama.
The song “Who Are You” by Sam Kim entered my eardrums with a charming airiness and a good sense of clarity.
After realizing that I was getting carried away, I then proceeded to test the AK6 Plus with different sources. My 7Hz Sevenhertz 71 DAC seemed to have the most appealing synergy, weaving air into the spaces between instruments in the midrange.
At the end of my testing, I had plenty of good things to say about the AK6 Plus.
The QKZ AK6 Plus shares the same build quality as most QKZ earphones.
It’s mostly made out of plastic and the included cable, while being a cost-effective OFC cable, is detachable. The build quality is nothing to write home about.
Although some people may point out that the build feels cheap, it’s worth emphasizing that these are budget earphones. There had to be somewhere where QKZ could cut back on expenses.
With the sound you’re getting, I’d say the build is negligible.
The plastic material used for the shell feels durable kind and you can’t break it with your hands even if you try. There’s nothing more reassuring than a good dose of Dunning Krueger.
All in all, the AK6 Plus does feel a little cheap but it can step up in looks with a simple cable swap and tip rolling.
Fit and Comfort
Regarding the fit and comfort of the QKZ AK6 Plus, I’d say they’re fine with my ear shape and while I do like that they’re ergonomic, I don’t like when they slip out of my ear at times.
This isn’t an issue with the shell shape or the cable being too memory prone, but the stock tips just don’t stick to my ear.
I’d suggest doing a tip roll on the AK6 Plus but for the most part, the shape and the wearing experience are pleasant.
The AK6 Plus follows a W-shaped type of signature.
While authoritative, the low end doesn’t enter the bass head territory.
I have a pretty reliable test track for ascertaining this and it’s none other than “Starboy” by The Weeknd. The bass on this song is typically visceral and overwhelming on bass headsets.
On the AK6 Plus, it reaches great depth and has good dynamism with the slams and claps, but I’ve never felt subjugated by the rumble, which, to me, is a good thing.
A good bass to me is something that grabs you and makes you feel engaged with the music, but I start to dislike that when it interferes with the midrange or, worse, the treble. All in all, the low end is fun but is mature enough to reign itself accordingly.
The mids are fairly forward and have good energy. This midrange is pretty detailed with a good sense of air weaved into it.
The upper end also shares this airiness and while it’s well-extended, it never develops into sibilance.
The sub-bass of the QKZ AK6 Plus goes pretty deep but not to a level that’ll please a bass head.
To the average listener it’s almost unnoticeable so don’t confuse the bass as being tame or mid-bass-focused in any way because the sub-bass elevation is pretty apparent.
To me, the sub-bass is done well and reaches good depth with its rumble but without creating any excess frequencies that’ll bleed into other bands.
The mid-bass has a moderate impact with fairly good speed.
Overall, the bass is fun-sounding without making the low-end sound bloated.
The lower midrange of the QKZ AK6 Plus sounds fairly close to the listener. It maintains a good distance without sounding too near or too far.
Male vocals sound full but never too rich or syrupy. The upper midrange is energetic and has a good amount of splash.
Instruments like bells and electric guitars resound beautifully, flaring from the sides of the main track.
Airiness and detail are easily perceived in the midrange which is rare in midranges of similar-priced sets that I’ve tried.
The treble of the QKZ AK6 Plus is well-extended without any peaks or dips – it’s even and smooth throughout.
I could only infer that there’s a dip somewhere near the 6KHz mark, shooting down the sound imaging by a bit.
Still, for the most part, I’m still able to pick up on the threshold of each instrument as they’re playing, so I guess it’s not too catastrophic.
Post-10k details are easily picked up as microdetails and the airiness makes it very evident.
There’s some significant boost on the 11 and 16KHz mark, hoisting up the presence region. I think it’s what deliberately makes the AK6 Plus so charming.
High notes sound brilliant and smooth but never come off as artificially attenuated or nauseating.
All in all, the treble is sparkly and has good air and relative resolving ability.
I’ve found the staging of the QKZ AK6 Plus to be intimate rather open and with a decent enough depth.
It falls in line with the tuning more, so I guess even if I’m a soundstage nerd, I have to say that it’s fine.
The sound separation was good and had adequate space for instruments to play their parts. The layering is average but natural in its presentation.
Attack and decay are good with decent dynamism rendering rock songs and high-energy songs with ease.
Overall, these technicalities aren’t bad, especially for the price.
The QKZ AK6 Plus goes well with just about anything – digital genres, rock, R&B, and J-Pop.
I’m not sure if it has a pristine enough nature to be compatible with K-Pop but if you’re not too discerning about the bass presence, I think it’ll do just fine.
All in all, the signature is flexible and doesn’t have any obvious weaknesses in any genre.
The AK6 Plus is definitely an asset to the AK6 family.
It shares a lot of the AK6 blueprint but with a good approach to tuning and technicalities. It’s hard to fault and while I did do my testing using fairly competent sources, I can’t speak for using a phone or a laptop as an unadulterated source.
While all of the attributes do exist, some may become lacking once an adequately good source becomes absent.
You may resort to listening to high volumes, but I wouldn’t advise taking that up as a habit. All in all, I think that the AK6 Plus is a good option if you’re looking for an IEM to use outside of music listening.
Gaming and movies could work particularly great with this signature due to the W-shaped tuning.
At the end of the day, the AK6 Plus to the common ear will sound like a typical V-shape – I initially did think so, but the midrange sounded just as elevated as the lows.
It doesn’t matter though as long as the majority of listeners look upon it with good favor.
It’s a fun set that doesn’t compromise the technicalities, and it’s worth considering.
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.