Today, I’m reviewing the KZ VXS true wireless stereo (TWS) earphones. The VXS feature a 10mm dynamic driver, aptX technology and a low-latency game mode. It’s priced at $53.
Disclaimer: This sample was provided by KZ for an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.
- Bluetooth Version: 5.2
- Bluetooth Chip: QCC3040
- Battery life: (earphones) Up to 5 hours
- Battery life (total): 25 hours
- Price: $53
What’s In the Box
Inside the box, we find the KZ VXS TWS earbuds, 3x pairs of silicone eartips, a USB-C charging cable and the user manual.
The charging case is about the size of a large egg albeit flatter and rounder. It has a clear window on the lid so you can see the earphones inside. On the back of the case is the USB-C charging port. Inside the case, there’s a little pairing reset button and a single LED that shows the battery status.
As for the earbuds, they have a similar design to previous KZ TWS models: a pseudo custom shell shape in the familiar style of many contemporary IEMs. The shells come with a matte black finish and feel comfortable although they protrude out from my ears a bit.
Once again, KZ has gone with frustratingly narrow nozzles that make tip rolling a chore. The stock eartips actually look pretty decent but they’re too small for my ears. I ended up using a Frankenstein blend of some regular extra-large tips with some thin cores inserted inside of them.
In terms of battery life, you get 4-5 hours on a single charge from the earphones and 25 hours in total with the case. That’s a bit low and something that KZ seems to struggle with (unless it’s an intentional cost-saving choice).
Calls, Video and Game Performance
KZ usually do pretty good microphones on their wired IEMs so I had high hopes for the VXS. I was not disappointed: the VXS call quality is pretty darn good and you won’t have any trouble being understood on the other end.
The VXS performed well in both video and games. I didn’t notice any sync issues with videos on my iPhone, even in normal mode. With game mode enabled, the VXS is great for playing mobile games and there’s barely any noticeable latency at all.
I tested the VXS with my iPhone (AAC) and Shanling M5s (aptX). Both sounded good but aptX has a slight advantage in clarity and overall cleanliness. During testing, I didn’t have any disconnections or either side dropping the signal.
KZ has come a long way since its early TWS days and it really shows with the VXS. They have a light V-shaped sound signature with a zesty treble lift. Thankfully, the treble quality is pretty good; it’s not grainy or metallic but has a forward presentation.
The treble forwardness creates a brighter tone and adds abundant clarity to the midrange. It’s not a harsh or sibilant treble either but I did find some cymbal hits sounded slightly truncated. While listening to Karnivool’s “We Are”, the cymbals sound fairly natural and crisp without being sharp. The vocals still come through clearly, even during the busy chorus. Snare drums have a nice clean attack and electric guitars are full of bite.
The midrange has good clarity and a pleasing tone, even if the resolution is only middling. Things get a little convoluted during busy segments but I’d say VXS keeps things together as well as most other TWS in this price range.
The bass has a pretty solid thump but delivers that with good definition and speed. Sub-bass notes have a solid tight rumble. VXS doesn’t shake in your chest but it has enough impact to be gratifying. Playing through TOOL’s “Pneuma”, the VXS delivered kick drums with punch, weight and warmth without any significant bleed into the mids.
With its punchy bass, clear midrange and vibrant treble, the KZ VXS does a good job across multiple music genres. It might not have the best resolution and instrument separation but considering the price, the audio quality is really quite good.
The KZ VXS is probably the best TWS from Knowledge Zenith thus far. It has slightly better battery life, a fairly compact charging case and comfortable shells. But it’s the sound that has improved the most compared to previous models and that’s where VXS’ real strength lies. If you’re looking for a fun, quality sound and don’t care so much about extra features, the VXS is a solid choice.