I am no stranger to the KZ brand. I already own the superb, bass-heavy ZS10 Pro. I have been impressed by them, thus far. Then, I heard they had the next great KZ IEMs, which is called the ZAS Terminator, which is the supposed, Terminator of all the KZ IEMs. I saw the features and the specs of the ZAS, so I figured I would give these a try. Will this name live up to the hype?
DESIGN/FEATURES: The ZAS has 10mm double magnetic drivers, which is large for IEMs. The frequency response is 7-40,000hz, which is Hi-Res Audio. The sensitivity is 111 dB with an impedance of 24 ohms, which is above average. Of course, for PS4 gamers, it is low enough to be driven by the Sixaxis controller. While use, I set the level to 20, which is high for most sound devices with an impedance that is a bit higher, such as 30-32 ohms. The ZAS comes with 12 (6x2) hybrid drivers, made up of two DWEK BA (Balanced Armature) Drivers for medium and high frequencies. Then, two 30095 drivers for high frequency and a DD (Dual-Driver) for low frequency. The ZAS housing is made of zinc alloy. The body is made of a semi-transparent resin, which is clear enough for the driver and the “guts” to be seen. Included are four additional and interchangeable ear tips. The ear tips are made of silicone. There are medium ear tips on the IEMs by default. The ear tips fit snug inside my ears, along with the support of the OFC cable, covered by plastic, which can wrap around the ear. No worry about them slipping out.
The OFC cable is high-quality and detachable. There is a Y-splitter, which is made of plastic. Also, there are angled, gold-plated, 0.75mm IEM pin connections within a transparent resin.
By default, the IEM connectors are not attached to the earpieces. Therefore, they will have to be installed. This can be tricky. I found out the hard way. I figured it out, however. First, look on the side of the transparent resin of IEM connectors for the L and R. The letters can be a bit hard to see because they are engraved in the transparent material. Anyhow, make sure the L or R is facing outward. The R will be the cable with the mic. Then, connect the earpiece to the IEM connectors. The faceplate should also be facing outward. The ear tips should be at the bottom, facing the ear. Also, the sides are engraved in white on the inside of the resin cavity. Now, they will be ready to listen to, properly.
BASS/MID-BASS/SUB-BASS: Like the ZS10 Pro, the ZAS has a similarly aggressive, clean, clear, controlled, deep, fast, thunderous, tight, and punchy bass. The punchiness of the bass is like hearing boxing gloves against a punching bag. Despite that, the bass remains clear, so it does not bleed into the mids. I think the ZS10 Pro might have a bit punchier bass. The ZAS bass is cleaner. Out of curiosity, I performed a test of some games. I tested the performance of the ZAS while playing various shooters on PS4 Pro. The test was done while playing Call Of Duty WWIII, Black Ops 4 and Modern Warfare Remastered. The most impressive thing was hearing how loud and clear the explosions were, nearby. Once, a teammate used an Artillery Barrage killstreak. I was in awe of how the explosions gave a surprisingly, clean, loud, and punchy, sound. Then, a Glide Bomb killstreak was used. All I could hear was a clean and thunderous boom. The aftermath of the explosion makes a nice, thunderous rumble. In other words, the sound is similar to the sound of a subwoofer. There seems like the wind is blowing in my ear after an explosion. Wow!
HIGHS: The sound is warm on these and unbelievably superb. Compared to the ZS10, the sound is more refined. With that said, the treble highs are nice and controlled, even at loud volumes. No recognizable sibilance on those S and T sounds. No distortion. In fact, the sound is more compressed. For example, Call Of Duty Black Ops 4 is a prime example, which has lots of sharp S and T sounds. Gunshots are loud but clear. Each time bullets hit, there is a loud, T sound, which follows with a loud, “squish”, when a kill is achieved. I found having the volume high while hearing a combination of those S and T sounds are not harsh on my ears, which is shocking. With other sound devices, I have to turn the volume down, when hearing these sounds. Voices heard with the ZXR has an intimate and high-quality sound. The best way to describe this is like someone is talking directly in your ear. Hearing the voices from characters in WWII was one thing. Hearing them on Call Of Duty Black Ops 4 is another. Hearing my female character, Battery’s voice lines sound great. “Cluster grenade, enjoy!” “Splash!” “Dropped!” “All right, boom time!” “All talk!” “Doggone!” Those are some of my favorites voice lines. Once, Battery ran inside of an open-ended bay of the Summit map. Battery said a voice line, while outside of the bay. Then, her voice became magnified, as she entered the bay. Plus, there was an echo of Battery's voice. The authenticity of the echo was unbelievable and nearly, scary. This is a good example of the transition between mid to high sounds.
IMAGING/SOUNDSTAGE: The ZAS has GREAT imaging in the way they handle directional sounds. Great detail. During matches, I could hear the dialogue of nearby teammates shouting out the location of enemies, and other random sounds, throughout the map, such as explosions and gunfire to the left and right of me with precision and clarity. I knew what was going on around me and where the action was taking place on the map. Sounds seem more magnifies when sounds are heard in a different direction. For example, each time my character looks in one direction, the sound increasingly amplifies in the direction, where things are going on, such as gunfire and explosions. Of course, I would hear less, where fewer actions were taking place. If my character, looks straight ahead, all sounds can be heard, equally.
The soundstage is very wide and airy. Very immersive. I played a match on the very open, “Gustav Cannon” map. I could hear sounds, very clear from across the map at a far distance. Not to mention, sounds from a distance, sounded a bit closer than they actually were. If that makes sense. In Modern Warfare Remastered, I was playing on the “Charlie Don’t Surf” mission. The detailed sounds of an abundance of gunfire, the thud of bullets riddling bodies, the snake-like hiss of RPGs flying overhead, loud explosions, and dialogue of the Marines, as well as the OpFor. I was able to hear those sounds better than ever. The transitional sound of a roaring sonic boom from a trio of fighter jets doing a fly-by overhead sounded heavenly. Playing on the mission, "War Pig" was fun. Of course, there were the same sounds, which I heard in the previous mission ala gunfire, explosions, dialogue, etc. However, hearing the tank firing its turret and mini-guns to my left was CRAZY. I was totally immersed.
LOWS: The lows are great, as they pick up subtle sounds with no effort. Ridiculously great detail, as they are heard much clearer and a bit louder. I am hearing sounds, which I could barely hear with other sound devices, such as the breaking of glass from afar, breakage of pottery, or bullet casings hitting the floor. In Modern Warfare Remastered, I heard a cat meowing in the alley on “The Bog” map. Never heard that before. In Black Ops 4, there are detailed sounds, such as crunching, as my character was trampling through the deep snow, cracking of the ice or sounds of moving water, while swimming on the “Icebreaker” map. Of course, I am sure, some are wondering about footsteps. Well, the ZAS, picks up footsteps on those Call Of Duty games, VERY well. There have been times, where I was able to hear footsteps of enemies coming after me from some feet away. Then, as they got close, I was able to get in a good position to get the drop on them.
MUSIC: Music sounds great on the ZAS. The voices are very clear. Not to mention, everything can be heard on a track from instruments, snares, bass, etc. Impressive.
MIC/REMOTE: The speaker for the mic is underneath a plastic, one-button remote. The remote has six functions. For phone calls, one press answers the phone. Press twice, hangs up. Press and hold to reject calls. While listening to music, one press pauses. Press twice for the next song. Press three times for the previous song. The mic is fully functional for gameplay. On PSN, I did a test for the adjust mic settings. I could hear my voice, crystal clear. During gameplay, my voice could be heard clearly.
NOISE-CANCELLATION: In addition to everything, the noise-cancellation is great on these IEMs. I played some music, while the TV was up and could only hear the music.
VERDICT: I am in awe of how great these sound. Considering these are Hi-Res, the price is not too bad. Not to mention, they can perform with some top headphones out there. Great for music and surprisingly, SUPERB for gaming. If you already own a pair of KZ IEM’s, these would still, be worth checking out. It is an upgrade.