Current testing methodology is v1.2
3 November 2018
9 x 6 x 3 cm
The QKZ DM7 is another budget IEM offering from the Chi-Fi brand QKZ.
I got these IEMs for less than $10 – or $7.5 to be exact (shipping not included) at AliExpress and for the price, QKZ continues to impress me with what they can offer in terms of quality.
Fun sound and impressive quality.
The QKZ DM7 is an affordable pair of earphones with a 10mm single dynamic driver.
For less than $10, it has a premium feel and impressive sound quality. It has a really good midrange presence and airy treble but the bass can be fatiguing when you turn up the volume. It does have a fun sound that makes for enjoyable listening sessions.
Overall, the QKZ DM7 may not be the best in the market but its sound signature is something that many people will appreciate.
- Driver: 10mm Single Dynamic Driver
- Frequency response: 20Hz-20,000Hz
- Impedance: 32Ω
- Sensitivity: 120db/mwz
What’s in the Box?
- QKZ DM7 earphones
- Reinforced case
- 3x pairs of stock tips
Stuff I like
- Fun signature and hefty note weight
- Good midrange presence and excellent upper midrange
- Splashy transients
- Splashy transients
Stuff I like less
- Bass fatigue on higher volumes
- Mediocre sound separation
The QKZ DM7 comes in the brand’s standard packaging, which is the hard case that you can use for storing these IEMs.
Upon unboxing, I was greeted with a gorgeous gunmetal aluminum alloy shell with cyan accent rings on its ear tips. It has a non-detachable cable and it comes with three pairs of ear tips in different sizes.
The DM7 comes in a simplistic and minimalist design. It has a sleek look that gives it a premium feel even though it costs less than $10.
The upgrade in quality on the DM7 is very apparent in its build and sound when compared to the majority of the QKZ in-ears I’ve tried.
Right off the bat, there were no glaring shortcomings in terms of recessed or peaky regions, and it sounded very cohesive. I think it’s a fun and likable signature that will handle a lot of genres well.
I do have my gripes about it but generally, if someone asked me if I’d recommend it to them, I’d tell them, yes.
Power-wise, the DM7 isn’t at all that demanding, and powering it off using a phone will suffice. It does scale with more power and upscales on its detail retrieval. Investing in a cheap and capable dongle DAC can take you a long way with the hobby and it doesn’t hurt to do so.
The build quality of the QKZ DM7 was kind of foreshadowed by the unmistakably sturdier case.
The shell seems to be sturdy and can withstand heavy use. It had more pronounced engravings and a glossy sheen to it.
I’m not so big on the cable finish as it’s super prone to microphonics, even more so because the style of wearing doesn’t oblige you to hook it around your ear like the conventional way.
Although it’s said on QKZ’s site that its cable is made up of oxygen-free copper, I’d still prefer an interchangeable cable, and the one on the DM7 is soldered to the earphones.
Overall, the build and the aesthetics of the DM7 are impressive, especially for the price.
Fit and Comfort
The fit on the QKZ DM7 is a hit or a miss.
The first time I put them on, I had trouble with isolation because they don’t give a solid seal. If you try to push them in deeper, it creates a vacuum in your ears decreasing all the sounds you hear by a very significant degree.
If you find dealing with fitting on earphones too cumbersome, then you’ll hate this part of the DM7. Swapping to other ear tips does fix this but I’m hesitant in recommending this since the DM7 has proprietary ear tips exclusive to the DM7 that have wider and thicker bores.
This is the first time I’m seeing a QKZ in-ear having this level of quality to its ear tips.
The fact that the DM7 has a shorter nozzle must have affected the modeling of the ear tips and ultimately caused some problems regarding the fit. If you fiddle with it for some time, you’ll get a nice seal.
Overall, it’s comfortable for my ear size, but this area of the DM7 is a mixed bag.
The QKZ DM7 sounds warm and is tuned to have a somewhat V-shaped signature.
I say somewhat because I’m sure that both ends of the frequencies are boosted but the midrange doesn’t sound too recessed.
The midrange has a good presence and will almost fool you into believing it sounds forward because of its forward upper midrange.
The sub-bass has good quantity and will sound big if the track’s bass is big. On songs where the bass isn’t too boosted, the sub-bass complies with providing good texture and ample warmth.
The note weight on the DM7 is hefty and sounds full on both male and female vocals. There’s adequate energy on the lower midrange and renders songs to be fun and engaging.
The upper midrange does this weird thing where its high notes just grab you and pull you to it. It’s a weird thing to illustrate and might be a psychological visualization exclusive to me, but I digress. The upper midrange is forward but doesn’t sound sibilant. It remains smooth and sweet-sounding.
The treble sounds detailed and has a good amount of air to it, attested to by the number of live recording tracks I’ve listened to.
Despite all these positive things about the DM7, I do have small gripes about it. Listening to moderate or high volumes will eventually cause listening fatigue mainly because of the sub-bass.
These earphones also struggle with sound separation and will become apparent when listening to genres with busier instruments.
Overall, the DM7 isn’t omnipotent but has a fun and cohesive signature that a lot of people would gravitate towards.
The sub-bass on the QKZ DM7’s graph is boosted significantly.
It sounds big on tracks that are mixed to have the quantity but it backs down when the bass is more neutral. It’s not the type of omnipresent bass that assaults your ears on every song.
The mid-bass has some good dynamism and does well with its punch and slam dynamics. The driver’s speed is decent but isn’t the speediest.
The warmth is good and doesn’t seem to deep-fry the signature into being overly warm. I’d say it’s like a good serving of thick honey on a pancake. It definitely plays a part in contributing to the DM7’s rich note weight.
Personally, I think the sub-bass is a little too boosted, even for BL-03 levels. It’s a flexible type of bass, yes – but a lot of the songs I listen to mix the bass, particularly on a heightened degree, and ends up fatiguing my ears before long.
Overall, some people won’t be bothered by this, but I say this just to give a little bit of perspective on things.
The QKZ DM7’s midrange has a good presence in the soundscape and doesn’t sound recessed at all despite the frequencies being boosted on both ends.
The lower midrange has an ample amount of energy and doesn’t sound stale. It does have a little bit of difficulty with clarity because of the bass but overall, it does not sound muffled or veiled.
The upper midrange is excellent with its forward nature. It doesn’t sound gritty or forcefully boosted and that’s because there’s no boost at the 8kHz region.
QKZ decided to boost a broad region starting from the 10kHz region upwards. In some cases though, the upper midrange distracts me a bit by grabbing my attention.
Overall, I like the midrange presentation on the DM7.
The treble has a wide boost past the 10kHz region and dies down at 20kHz.
The treble sounds well-extended with the amount of detail it resolves and weirdly renders air quite well. The presentation sounds very airy and articulate, and the transients are crispy but sound a little rounded on busy songs.
Overall, the treble is pleasant and doesn’t exhibit any kind of sibilance. Air on the treble and fast decay are typical QKZ problems but the DM7 has none of them.
The QKZ DM7 is a premium product even against offerings within QKZ’s various product lines. It’s uncanny that for $8, the DM7 can dominate a lot of the other sets that I’ve listened to from QKZ.
It doesn’t overly impress with its technicalities nor does it strike a particular strength in terms of tuning, but it’s just a fun earphone that does a lot of genres well.
The only caveat to the DM7 is the fatigue that I get from its generous serving of bass. I like listening to music for very long sessions and I just can’t do that with the DM7.
Don’t be confused with me saying this – the DM7’s bass is flexible but a majority of the songs I listen to have energetic and dynamic bass playback, so it’d be natural for this to happen.
As I’ve pointed out, a lot of people won’t even be bothered by this. To this end, one might say the DM7 has no flaws.
I’ve enjoyed using it for watching movies and YouTube videos. Since there’s a big sub-bass on the DM7, the explosions, and effects in movies sound more robust and engaging.
For gaming, it does well, but I’d not try to use it with games that require good imaging for an advantage as the DM7 is decent with it but not stellar.
Comparing it with sets near its price range, does it get to the level of the Tanchjim Tanya? Well, I can’t objectively answer that since the Tanya has a different signature but in terms of enjoyment, it can compete.
Overall, the QKZ DM7’s signature is one that many will surely love, if not like.
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.