Question KZ zs10 Pro VS Samson Technologies SR850 for sound quality and durability?

digital_ecologist

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Hi, I'm looking for really good sound quality on a budget, I've done some research and got it narrowed down to 2 options, but I don't know enough to pick between them.

KZ ZS10 Pro VS Samson Technologies SR850

I know they're very different styles, and that's actually part of my problem, what's going to give me better sound quality, the larger components of the over-ear ones, or the 10 drivers and seal of the in-ear KZs?

I also would be interested to know if either option has an edge in durability. I tried to be careful with my headphones/earbuds, but I find that ridiculous things happen to them to in spite of my best efforts.
 
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digital_ecologist

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Sep 26, 2018
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Thanks, that's helpful, was already being nudged in that direction by some content from Linus tech tips on an unrelated topic about user replaceable parts. You've now made the choice really easy. Thank you!

With the KZs, if I really like the sound, I can upgrade the cable, or even grab their new upgraded Bluetooth adapters if I want. Of course, with the upgrades, it starts to leave budget territory. But I can test them out for a good long while before making any of those choices.

Better than the, compare reviews, purchase, pray, approach you have to take with standard Bluetooth buds. :)
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Thanks, that's helpful, was already being nudged in that direction by some content from Linus tech tips on an unrelated topic about user replaceable parts. You've now made the choice really easy. Thank you!

With the KZs, if I really like the sound, I can upgrade the cable, or even grab their new upgraded Bluetooth adapters if I want. Of course, with the upgrades, it starts to leave budget territory. But I can test them out for a good long while before making any of those choices.

Better than the, compare reviews, purchase, pray, approach you have to take with standard Bluetooth buds. :)
Changing cables won't really make a difference in the sound, but those IEMs cable is not the best, it tends to tangle pretty easily so replacing it to just have a better cable that stays smooth may be useful, but not to improve audio quality.
 
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digital_ecologist

Estimable
Sep 26, 2018
7
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4,510
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Changing cables won't really make a difference in the sound, but those IEMs cable is not the best, it tends to tangle pretty easily so replacing it to just have a better cable that stays smooth may be useful, but not to improve audio quality.
Thanks, wasn't expecting a significant jump in audio quality from a cable upgrade, but it's helpful to have that confirmed. Going to try to avoid upgrading the cable on these unless it really annoys me.

Mainly because, I was initially thinking all the two-pins would be interchangeable, but as I recently discovered, the ZS 10 pros have a 0.75, and the other ones that were interesting to me with a notably different tuning (heart mirror, moon drop, TIN-T series all seem to have a .78 2-pin connector. :-(

Hey, not sure I'll get a response to this, but since I'm here anyway, as a curiosity, how in the world the single driver IMs compare favorably to something like a five driver per side KZ?

Is it all carbon nanotube magic?
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Thanks, wasn't expecting a significant jump in audio quality from a cable upgrade, but it's helpful to have that confirmed. Going to try to avoid upgrading the cable on these unless it really annoys me.

Mainly because, I was initially thinking all the two-pins would be interchangeable, but as I recently discovered, the ZS 10 pros have a 0.75, and the other ones that were interesting to me with a notably different tuning (heart mirror, moon drop, TIN-T series all seem to have a .78 2-pin connector. :-(

Hey, not sure I'll get a response to this, but since I'm here anyway, as a curiosity, how in the world the single driver IMs compare favorably to something like a five driver per side KZ?

Is it all carbon nanotube magic?
Just more drivers does not mean better sound. It's how they are made and tuned. There is more to audio than just technical spec sheets.
 

digital_ecologist

Estimable
Sep 26, 2018
7
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Just more drivers does not mean better sound. It's how they are made and tuned. There is more to audio than just technical spec sheets.
Thanks again, in a bizarre twist, both my cheap pairs of plugin buds died within two days of each other this week. Using it as an excuse to pick up the Heart Mirrors which showed up as 5 bucks off for me, not sure if this is universally true at the moment, or just a quirk of the algorithm . Anyway, it will be an interesting comparison between those and the KZ zs10 Pros I am expecting to get for Christmas.

I've gotten really fascinated by budget audiophile stuff recently, noticed something strange, KZ seems to be the favorite among three types of musician, drummers, bassists, and worship musicians, whereas the audiophile community seems to lean towards moondrop and a few others more heavily than KZ.
 
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hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Thanks again, in a bizarre twist, both my cheap pairs of plugin buds died within two days of each other this week. Using it as an excuse to pick up the Heart Mirrors which showed up as 5 bucks off for me, not sure if this is universally true at the moment, or just a quirk of the algorithm . Anyway, it will be an interesting comparison between those and the KZ zs10 Pros I am expecting to get for Christmas.

I've gotten really fascinated by budget audiophile stuff recently, noticed something strange, KZ seems to be the favorite among three types of musician, drummers, bassists,and worshiped musicians, whereas the audiophile community seems to lean towards moondrop and a few others more heavily than KZ.
They are all pretty good, would need to compare reviews of the sound signatures between them, and try them yourself. There are a lot of pretty good audio things under $50 to play with, many are more than good enough to keep even for those picky with audio. I had a few pairs of almost $200 sets that I sold after I tried the KZ 10 Pros and a few others.
 
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digital_ecologist

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Hi, so I spent some time testing the Heart Mirrors, and the ZS10 Pros, against my daily driver TWS, the Jabra Elite Active 75Ts and the results were interesting to say the least.

In spite of the fact that they all sound different, deciding which one sounded best was unsettlingly difficult, which speaks volumes for the quality of the budget IEMs, given that there currently half the price of the TWS, and approximately 1/3 of the price the TWS was when it first came out.

Each one has songs where it clearly outshines the others, however, comparing connected to my iPhone, on the Ben Folds album with the Western Australia Symphony Orchestra, (which I thought would be relatively fair to all three), the ZS10 Pros have a slight advantage over the 75Ts, which in turn have a slightly larger advantage over the Heart Mirrors.

That said, the Heart Mirrors beat the competition by a huge margin on any a cappella vocal tracks I tried them with, and are really nice for phone calls, because of their vocal focus.

Not sure if this will be helpful to anyone, but if anyone is interested in the nitty-gritty, I didn't use any EQ with the IEMs,
but I left the hearing based optimizations, as well as my personal EQ adjustments enabled on the 75Ts, because I always use them in that configuration.

Overall, I'm extremely impressed with the value of both IEMs so far, and might even pick up a much higher tier IEM in a year or so, if both pairs I have now make it a full year without breaking, or letting me down in some way. :)
 

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