In this review, I’m looking at the KZ ZS10 Pro X earphones. The ZS10 Pro X is a hybrid penta-driver IEM with 1 dynamic driver and 4 balanced armature drivers per side. It’s priced at $33.
The original ZS10 Pro was a smash hit for KZ and to date, they have sold over 500,000 units. This new version has upgraded black and gold 50024s BA drivers and new matte black faceplates in lieu of the polished ones from the old model.
Disclaimer: This sample was provided by Linsoul for the purpose of an honest review. All observations and opinions here are based on my experience with the product.
KZ ZS10 Pro X Review
Inheriting the strengths of the original and improving on them, the KZ ZS10 Pro X offers great value.
Not a lot has changed from the old model in terms of design and that’s a good thing. We still get the classic alloy faceplate + resin shell as before but this time the faceplates have a matte black finish.
You can see the internals through the clear resin shells. The medium-length nozzles have a solid lip that holds eartips securely in place. They also have a protective mesh cover to keep out ear wax and dirt.
The KZ ZS10 Pro X is a comfortable IEM. These shells are smaller than many of KZ’s other hybrid models and they fit great in my ears. Passive noise isolation is about average for this type of shell, so they’re great for commuting or using in noisy environments.
The stock cable is the standard KZ flat ribbon silver-plated copper model that they’ve been using in recent times. It has plastic components and handles pretty well. There’s a little bit of cable noise but nothing too distracting.
The KZ ZS10 Pro X has an upfront, V-shaped presentation. You can definitely hear signs of its ZS10 Pro origins, such as the bass slam and energetic delivery. What’s most impressive to me is the cohesiveness with which KZ has melded the 5 (or 10 depending on how you look at it) drivers together.
To my ears, this IEM sounds like a mix of the original ZS10 Pro and the recent KZ ESX. It’s balanced, vigorous in its approach and relatively smooth to listen to. The overall clarity and resolution are great for a budget IEM and it boasts good detail retrieval as well.
There’s an upper midrange lift that may be a little disconcerting if you’re sensitive to that range. I find that some electric guitars can sound a bit shrieky but only on rare occasions.
Tuned primarily for fun, the KZ ZS10 Pro X isn’t afraid to let its hair down when it comes to bass. There is a little bleed into the lower mids but for the most part, the bass is well-controlled and non-intrusive.
It delivers ample mid-bass slam along with some seat-shaking sub-bass rumble. Leading edges have good definition and a fast attack followed by natural decay, giving bass notes natural weight and body.
The midrange has good clarity and articulation, despite being slightly recessed. However, this is combined with some of the best layering and instrument separation you’ll find in this price range.
ZS10 Pro X’s mids are spacious and open. There’s more emphasis on upper midrange instruments and female vocals but the lower mids hold up well, even next to the exuberant bass.
The treble is lifted which helps to counterbalance the forward nature of the bass. It’s an energetic treble that might feel too aggressive to treble-sensitive listeners. But if you like a bit of zing and sparkle in the highs, the ZS10 Pro X will oblige with enthusiasm.
One area that has improved greatly compared to the original ZS10 Pro is the treble timbre; it sounds more natural and even, although it still has more than enough shimmer to add excitement.
Soundstage and Technical Performance
The soundstage has average dimensions and width. But the depth of the stage is truly impressive. It has excellent layering ability, aided by great instrument separation and overall resolution. Instruments and vocal positions are vividly clear, giving the ZS10 Pro X some of the best imaging you’ll find in a budget IEM.
KZ ZS10 Pro
The KZ ZS10 Pro has the same driver configuration but uses 2*30095 + 2*50060 balanced armatures compared to the new dual 50024s used in the Pro X. The result is a smoother, more cohesive sound.
ZS10 Pro X has better sub-bass extension giving it more authority and rumble in the lows. Its upper midrange is less shouty and aggressive than the ZS10 Pro. Vocals and midrange instruments are more forward on the ZS10 Pro X, giving it an engaging character.
The upgraded model’s treble is more even and less strident, providing better consistency and cohesiveness across the board. In addition, the ZS10 Pro X has better instrument separation and imaging, despite its soundstage being slightly narrower.
The KZ ZS10 Pro X is a worthy upgrade to the classic. The same great fit, thumping bass and clarity enhanced by better end-to-end extension and cohesiveness is enough to put KZ back on our best IEMs list. Recommended.