Review by Mhark Jhoshua Q. Torres
Thank you Linsoul Audio for letting us give our honest take towards the KZ AS06. Given that the review unit is from Linsoul audio and is free of charge, it doesn’t affect the honesty and integrity of this review.
Linsoul Audio Online Stores:
Direct store: https://www.linsoul.com
Knowledge Zenith which is more infamous as “KZ” has been the king of sub 1000 php ($20) IEMs in the Philippines for at least 2 years. It is a china based company that produces Single dynamic drivers IEM up to 5 hybrid drivers (4 BAs +1 DD). They are famous not because of its phenomenal sound quality but for being bang for the buck. As we surf the internet, KZ doesn’t have their own website and rely towards online shops such as aliexpress and gearbest.
The KZ AS06
The AS06 comes it two color way, transparent black and cyan. The first thing that I noticed is the change of design, as compared to the previous KZs with circuit board design, the styling of AS06 has more edge and is better looking. Cable didn’t adapt the ZSN’s and it is disappointing, the nozzles have 3 grips for the tip not to slip.
- Driver unit: 3 balanced armatures
- Sensitivity: 105 dB
- Impedance: 15 ohms
- Frequency response: 20 Hz–40 kHz
- Cable length: 4 ft (1.2 m)
- Plug type: L-shaped
The packaging of KZ AS06 is not the usual white box, the IEM is now packed in a black box with KZ embossed. Opening the box, you will see the AS06 and a metal nameplate under it where the model name is written. You’ll get the typical KZ paperwork, cable, and 2 extra tips. Still no carrying pouch or even several tip choices, the cable is still the same copper cable, it is less enticing to look at as compared with the ZSN’s stock cable.
Fit and Comfort
The nozzle is neither too long nor too short, with medium sized ear tip, the fit and isolation is superb. There are no discomforts to even listening for an hour. The AS06 is one comfortable IEM, though it might feel to big for some users with small ears.
I love IEMs with midcentric to flat sound signature as I really love listening to vocals rather than instruments. My genre ranges from heavy rock, alternative rock, pop rock, acoustic, pop, jazz and folk. Majority of my test tracks are in 16 bit – 44 khz and 24 bit – 48 khz FLAC file and here is the list of my commom test tracks.
- Reese Lansangan – For the Fickle (background, female vocals and upper mids)
- Foo Fighters – Bridge Burning (Imaging, Layering, Coherence, Sub bass and Mid bass, Mids, Treble)
- LANY – Thick And Thin (Mid Bass, Mids)
- Ed Sheeran – Dive (Mid bass, Lower Mids)
- Norah Jones – Don’t Know Why (Upper Mids and Instruments)
- Paramore – Hard Times (Imaging, Layering, Coherence, Sub bass and Mid bass, Mids, Treble)
- Radiohead – Life in a Glasshouse (Imaging Layering, Bass, Instruments, Lower mids, Treble)
- Passenger – Coins in a Fountain (Mid bass, Layering, Imaging, Instruments, Lower mids, Treble)
- Tori Kelly – Hollow (Background, Upper mids)
- Ariana Grande – Raindrops (Background, Upper mids)
Sub bass goes deep enough to give enough depth to rumbles, texture is above decent for the price while the quantity is neither excessive nor lacking. The AS06 is well extended especially for a pure BA IEM.Mid bass is quite punchy for a pure BA IEM, not the same weight you’ll get from single DD IEMs such as TFZ t2 galaxy or Ibasso it01 but it is surprisingly punchier than the tin audio t2 pro. Texture and resolution is fair, it is fast and agile as it decays pretty quick, lastly the mid bass is smooth and good for easy listening.
The mids is neither lean nor lush it is just enough not to sound hollow or too thick. Coldplay and Foo Fighters songs sounded really nice and enjoyable with the as06, the placement is a bit recessed after burning in for about 50 to 100 hrs. Upper mids lacks transparency, it is too thick to give sweetness towards female vocals guitar strums sounded a bit thick as well but it is still enjoyable, it shares the same placement as the lower mids which is a bit recessed, surprisingly the AS06 is not sibilant at all.
Treble is not your typical KZ, they are slowly tuning their IEMs the right way. The treble is not piercing anymore but still packs good extension. It is quite airy for a BA IEM and that helped a lot to make the sound stage a bit wider and taller, treble is not too thin and a bit smooth while the placement lies between the bass and the mids. The treble decays pretty quick too resulting to agile performance when playing pacey tracks.
Sound Stage and Resolution
Sound stage is massive – when you compare it with the likes of ZS3 and ZST, they are not congested or boxy anymore, the AS06 copes up with live tracks as well as studio tracks. The AS06 is not that detailed and is made for easy listening, for me the bass is the most detailed part across the three frequencies.
Synergy and Sound Signature
The sound signature of the AS06 is balanced to slightly warm, if the mids is placed a bit more forward it can even pass as neutral IEM (at least for me). With warm DAP such as Fiio X7 mk1, the bass became more upfront and slighty more resolving while the mids became lusher, the upper mids became too thick to be enjoyable (at least for me who loves lean sounding upper mids), and the treble sounded a bit rolled off. As I pair the AS06 with my smartphone (Huawei Mate 10), the sound became more balanced as the upper mids and treble lost some body, of course the soundstage narrowed and the resolution became just satisfactory.
Tin Audio T2 pro and TFZ Galaxy T2
The is a smooth sounding IEM with good enough level of details and above decent sound stage. It has fast and punchy bass, thick and lush mids and smooth treble. For under 2000 PHP (50 USD) this performs great, recommendable for long listening periods as it can adapt through different song genres.