Current testing methodology is v1.2
The QKZ AK7 is a fairly new offering from the Chi-fi brand QKZ Audio as it was released much later compared to other sets.
I’ve reviewed many IEMs from this brand and most of them have been quite decent.
The AK7 is no different as it’s dubbed as the new challenger and a contender versus more popular sets from the brand.
A bassy pair of IEMs with a fun sound.
The QKZ AK7 is a single dynamic driver IEM from QKZ.
The AK7 has a big bass, an exceptional midrange with great texture, and good treble air and details. If you’re looking for a good pair of earphones with more than adequate bass, I’d recommend it in a heartbeat without saying anything else.
While it does have some sonic flaws that could’ve been improved on, the QKZ AK7 is still a good set that’s a worthy challenger of the more popular QKZ sets.
- Driver: 10mm Single Dynamic Driver
- Frequency response: 20Hz – 20,000Hz
- Impedance: 32Ω
- Sensitivity: 98db/mw
- Max Output: 3mW
What’s in the Box?
- QKZ AK7 earphones
- 2 x stock tips
- Silicone ear hooks
Stuff I like
- Good sub-bass and mid-bass punch
- Splashy treble and good detail retrieval
- Good timbre and vocal texture
- Interesting design
- Good sound separation
Stuff I like less
- Bass fatigue
Just like other QKZ IEMs, the unboxing revealed the earphones and basic accessories, such as two pairs of ear tips and a pair of silicone ear hooks.
Despite its very basic packaging, the QKZ AK7 struck me as an interesting-looking product. With its geometrical cut faceplate, I thought it looked slightly similar to the BLON BL-A8 Prometheus.
The motions of testing were to assess the gear first and then find ways to improve it when the sound is less than what I expected. And this was exactly the case with the AK7.
The fit was the main culprit and made the sound seem loose and unrefined, especially the bass. When I held the earphones down, there was an instant improvement.
This has led me to do an ear tip swap, which was a hassle, but it saved me from the constant need to push down on the shell while listening. After doing this, the stage became more cohesive and refined. Details were noticeably better too.
In the end, I was able to ascertain that I like the AK7 – to an extent. It does have some issues sonically, but I didn’t think they were dealbreakers.
The QKZ AK7 is made of plastic and I found it more disappointing compared to other QKZ earphones.
Maybe it’s because of the design of the shells. Honestly, I would’ve preferred if the geometrical cut face plate was at least partly metal but I know this would drive up the price considerably.
I don’t hate the build but I just would’ve wanted to see a more suitable material used for it. I still think that these IEMs seem sturdy enough for the price. They’re also fairly light to carry and wear.
Overall, I think that gun metal colors shouldn’t be used on plastic builds because they tend to look cheap.
As for the cable, it’s an ordinary cable you’d see on a lot of other QKZ earphones, but slightly thicker which means that they’re less fragile.
Fit and Comfort
There’s no other way to say this but the fit of the QKZ AK7 is atrocious and I’d highly suggest that you swap out the ear tips before you even start using them.
A lot of the sound quality is affected by the fit and it will determine the sound you perceive from the earphones. Many people wouldn’t see the need to change the ear tips and will be given the impression that the AK7 sounds bad, which it doesn’t.
On the other hand, the comfort is excellent and the shells are shaped non-intrusively. I didn’t feel any discomfort while using these IEMs.
In terms of fit and comfort, I’d give the AK7 a solid B.
The QKZ AK7 has a warm signature and is tuned to be a V-shaped IEM.
It has a fairly big bass presence – maybe a bit too much, I suppose- and occasionally causes fatigue. I initially thought this was due to venting issues, but after extensive testing, the bass is that authoritative.
This doesn’t, however, say that the frequency range is muddy but simply that it makes itself more conspicuous than needed. It’s hard to tell though, because, at times, I’m just naturally bass sensitive especially when I’m tired.
I’d chalk this up to subjective experience but it’s best to take this with a grain of salt.
The midrange has a good presence, good vocal textures, and accurate timbre. These are very hard to come by in budget sets and you get to have them on the AK7.
The treble is splashy with no sibilance and it does a good job of rendering small details and handles the atmosphere really well.
And as for the level of cohesiveness, I’d say they work hand in hand very well to create a very natural and enjoyable sound.
The bass of the QKZ AK7 is authoritative.
The bass is deep and produces a lot of rumbles. It does grab on the short side of the stick when it comes to texture as it sounds more round than defined.
The mid-bass is shallower than I would’ve liked but it still gives a satisfying life-like kick drum replay. It’s still fairly speedy though and has adequate slam.
The bass on the AK7 is sensitive and songs that have a lot of bass on them will sound like they have a lot of bass. This presents small issues in terms of bleed.
It doesn’t veil the lower midrange but you can hear that it smears it a little, which could be a dealbreaker for clarity enthusiasts.
Personally, I would tone down the bass by a few notches and amp the mid-bass up a few. This could help with lessening fatigue when listening for longer sessions.
The midrange of the QKZ AK7 has a good presence despite being recessed.
On initial testing, it never came across as distant and sounds intimate. The vocal texture is especially good on this midrange and catches the small nuances and grunge of voices. A lot of rock songs benefitted from this as per testing.
The separation is also good and helped a lot with songs that have good layering on them.
The lower midrange to me sounds like it could use just a tiny pinch of more energy as it sounds relatively relaxed. It’s not stale but I would’ve preferred more push from it.
The upper midrange doesn’t seem to have any kind of glare and that’s good on any day of the week as I’ve discovered that my relative sensitivity to sibilance is quite high.
All in all, the midrange was the first thing I quite grew fond of during my listening experience with the AK7 and I’m quite pleased with how it’s able to replay songs with much emotion and texture to them.
It keeps me wondering if it would’ve been a better idea if the AK7 went with a more monitor sound approach.
The treble details on the QKZ AK7 are very easy to pick up and I haven’t found any issues with the level of details they’re able to resolve.
The transient response is splashy and has a good timbre to them. Cymbal hits come across as crispy and life-like in timbre.
Rock is especially good to listen to on the AK7 because of how good the transients sound.
As far as I can tell, the treble is well-extended and does a good job with the stage and airiness. It’s not the airiest sound but it also doesn’t have that unnerving sustain problem a lot of the AK6 lineups have.
I’d consider the treble a hit because it doesn’t cause any sibilance, even on tracks that are prone to it.
The benefit to this is listening at higher volumes, but you wouldn’t need to do that if you’re using a dongle anyway. It increases the dynamic range you’re able to hear and you wouldn’t need to crank up the volume to plow for more details to come out.
The QKZ AK7 is a good fun all-rounder set.
However, for people who prefer a more linear sound that focuses more on clarity, the overall signature won’t be able to cut it. That doesn’t mean the AK7 sounds muddy, but it does have a little bleed though.
The midrange has great performance in the tonality and texture department, and there’s a good treble extension and crispy transient response.
It does, however, suffer from congestion on busier tracks and the transient hits may sound a little veiled. It’s not a thick veil though, it’s like a thin blanket.
This makes me wonder what would’ve happened if they went for a monitor sound with a little sub-bass roll-off instead of a boost.
I like the QKZ AK7 and I found myself listening for too long on my initial first impression testing. I’d recommend these earphones if you like bass and you aren’t easily overwhelmed after listening for quite a while.
Do I advise against getting it if you’re bass sensitive? Not really. I don’t think they’re perpetually fatiguing but some songs have boosted bass sections with their equalization. This is amplified by the inherently present bass.
It’s fair to note that the level of bass sensitivity may differ from one person to another and it may sound like I’m describing these earphones as some bloated bass cannon but it’s far from it.
At the end of the day, the QKZ AK7 is a good set for under $5 with great tuning and decent quality to boot.
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.