The market for earphones has undergone a cataclysmic shift to accommodate TWS or totally wireless models. There are models ranging from the innovator Apple’s AirPods to multiple variants of knockoffs for the same and other brands like Lenovo as well. Since this shift, only a few companies still stick to the traditional wired models and continue producing them. One of those companies is KZ and they’ve two new wired earphones to their lineup. With more TWS models popping up in the earphone market, let’s take a step back and compare these two new additions to the KZ product range – the KZ ZST PRO vs ZSN PRO. Also let’s find out which is the “Best under $20 Earphones in 2019”.
KZ ZST PRO vs ZSN PRO
There are many things to be considered while evaluating a winner in comparison and the same goes for the KZ ZST PRO vs ZSN PRO. Aspects such as design, comfort, ease of usage and the output sound will be considered to attain the verdict between the KZ ZST PRO vs ZSN PRO. With both models being made by the same manufacturer, some of the properties will be similar and the verdict will be depending on the much more finer and subtle features that differentiate the two.
Design: KZ ZSN PRO vs ZST PRO
The KZ ZST PRO earphones are made from hard plastic which isn’t fragile, but quite the opposite. Unlike other plastic devices, the KZ ZST PRO earphones are sturdy in a manner that is surprising for something made out of plastic. The colorful nature of the KZ ZST PRO earphones justifies the other name it is known by, the KZ ZST Colorful. It comes in many different color variants. The earbuds feature a detachable 2-pin system. This allows other cables with 2 pins to be used according to the user’s preference. The cable that comes with the KZ ZST PRO earphones unit is of two versions – ones with the universal inline remote and without it.
The 2-pin connector fits perfectly into the earbuds and is made of a transparent plastic material. Colored with a smoke tint, the 4 colorful wires which are twisted inside can be seen, giving it raw and natural aesthetic. With the base made of a similar hard plastic like the ZST PRO, a metal finish also adorns the back in the KZ ZSN PRO headphones. The ZSN PRO is shaped more like a design seen in TWS earphone models hitting the market. The KZ ZSN PRO also has a detachable 2-pin connector system which can also be upgraded to a Bluetooth headset with the purchase of a Bluetooth module sold separately. The cable that comes with the KZ ZSN PRO headphones also is in two variants like the ZST PRO.
Comparing the KZ ZST PRO vs ZSN PRO in terms of design, the ZST PRO looks to be the winner with its colorful and sleek design while the ZSN PRO is pretty basic in comparison.
Comfort: KZ ZSN PRO vs ZST PRO
The KZ ZST PRO earphones don’t weigh much and are ergonomically shaped to provide a comfortable fit. The inclusion of two extra pairs of silicone tips in different sizes helps people with different ear shapes to accommodate the KZ ZST PRO earphones in a comfortable manner. The large size of the earbuds pose problems for some people with small ear sizes when used continuously for long amounts of time at a stretch. While comfortable at first, a feeling of being pushed emerges with time.
The KZ ZSN PRO headphones are designed in a manner that the cable is to be kept over the ear and through the back like Bluetooth earphones. This wire design stays the same in both the Bluetooth module sold separately as well as in the basic cable that comes with the ZSN PRO unit. This manner is made comfortable with the type of cable employed. Some models falter in employing this cable manner resulting in an uncomfortable usage, while that isn’t what happens with the KZ ZSN PRO headphones.
The KZ ZSN PRO headphones might bag the comfort category with its smooth wire.
Deciding the comfort king between the KZ ZST PRO vs ZSN PRO is easy due to the different methods. While the KZ ZST RPO earphones are comfortable with the ergonomic design, the incompatible nature for people having smaller ear sizes makes it lose out to the KZ ZSN PRO headphones.
Audio Performance: KZ ZST PRO vs ZSN PRO
The KZ ZST PRO earphone provides a balanced audio experience with the bass and vocals boosted slightly. The treble is well-balanced with the mids. This ratio of trebles to mids and vocals to bass is in a perfect combination to make it to a good musical memory. With a good quality seen in most songs, the KZ ZST PRO falters a bit when it comes to songs with multiple instruments present at the same time, with distinguishing features between instruments slowly starting to blend in and a slight change is felt. This is quite normal for a sub $20 earphone. The sound isolation provided by the KZ ZST PRO earphones is quite good, but the sound tends to leak a little when used in quiet environments.
The KZ ZSN PRO headphones present a much more basic audio performance. The bass isn’t put out with the mids, vocals and trebles all kept at an equalised level. While these settings are good enough for most songs, ones that have sudden peaks or dips suffer a loss in quality. The sound isolation is of great magnitude in the KZ ZSN PRO headphones with absolute isolation attained with a slight increase in volume. The sound leak is also much better than seen in other headphones of this price range.
The balanced audio tuning levels in the KZ ZST PRO earphones compensates for the small leaks in audio.
KZ ZST PRO vs ZSN PRO is a tight battle in the aspect of audio performance as there are only subtle differences between both of them. The KZ ZST PRO earphones take it home as an enriched audio output is more important than a slightly less leak in sound.
Pricing: KZ ZST PRO vs ZSN PRO
The KZ ZST PRO vs ZSN PRO is not possible to make a difference as both of them are priced with less than a dollar’s difference between them with the KZ ZST PRO earphones being cheaper. The ZST PRO is sold at $18.13 while the ZSN PRO is sold at $19.05. And Gearbest is offering them both at a reduced price of $15.99 now for 10 days.
Verdict: Best under $20 Earphones in 2019!
With two wonderful wired earphones sold below $20 by KZ, KZ ZST PRO vs ZSN PRO is difficult to proclaim a single standout winner. When one looks at cost, design and audio performance (ignoring the slight leak in audio), it is the ZST PRO that comes on top. Even then, the upgradable option of the ZSN PRO to a wireless Bluetooth headset can’t be ignored.
Considering that Gearbest is offering them at the same price for a few days, the preference is to opt for the KZ ZST PRO earphones, unless you’re looking for a Bluetooth option. In that case, the KZ ZSN PRO headphones should be your choice which costs the same, plus an additional amount to buy the Bluetooth module which is sold separately. The exclusion of the Bluetooth module with the ZSN PRO is one more reason to opt for the ZST PRO.