KZ AST---- equal quality of 2000$ but  1/10 PRICE

KZ AST---- equal quality of 2000$ but 1/10 PRICE

First a little background. Years ago, I purchased some Etymotics ER4p's and have been quite happy with them. After over 10 years of reliable service, and trying units with more drivers really appealed to my ears, but not the $2000+ price point.

Balanced Armatures (BA) provide speed, and if you don't know what that means, then you may be in need of some learning. For someone who owns electrostatic speakers like myself, will likely desire their headphones to attempt the same, or similar. Dynamic drivers (found in > 99% of headphones out there) won't cut it, way too flabby. Planars are likely the best option (electrostatic being the best option again) but are often difficult to drive by a portable unit. BA's can sooth that niche.

So the search began, and I tried various units with a combination of drivers. The 5 BA units I tried sounded good, a fuller sound than my Etys but didn't possess the resolution. I then tried some 8 BA units, this is when the magic really took hold. That was until I saw the price tag ($1500 USD and up). I almost purchased the Westone 8's but my wallet wouldn't open. So back to my Etys and off I went.

I started digging around and stumbled across various Chi-Fi units. Trying to get my hands on some highly regarded ones was a bit of a challenge, but the KZs are well represented ,and generally well regarded. I started with the 5 BA version known as the AS 10's. As I expected, the sound was not *quite* as revealing as my Etys, but they worked very well and exceeded the Etys in many areas, and were "fun". The brand had proved itself, so I eyed these 16 units ,the ASTs’ and some googling of reviews convinced me to give them a shot.

Well, as others will note, the manufacturer makes some pretty products.They are at the level of even Westone 8's but...... the prices are not close on their ~$2000 CAD. So, is that you... what to choose!

Considering their price, they are not 1/10 Etymotics’s,so as the ASTs, but I certainly appreciate good base, this is where fast comes in. To recite a quote from the Austin Powers move Goldmember: Tight like a tiger. The treble to me is good. These seem to pull it off quite well. I am hearing things in the music that I've not heard before, which is what I'm looking for. There is no particular issue with balance for me.

Comfort, I'm good with them. I wore them for 4 hours today and no complaints (arguably more comfortable than the Etys with the custom mold). I actually like them.

Final opinion, if you are a fan of BA headphones, like good/excellent resolution, and don't want to empty your wallet of $2000+, then you really need to try these, they won't disappoint. Well done KZ!And the most expensive product they have is KZ AST,you just can have a try!!!

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