Imagine a pair of earphones that are as transparent – wait, perhaps more transparent – as the much talked about Nothing Ear (1). What’s more, they let you experience lossless and high-quality audio (in the news now, thanks to Apple Music making lossless audio available to users), because they come with good drivers, good tuning and also have wired connectivity (lossless audio does not work over Bluetooth). And the cables connecting the buds are detachable, so you can just change them if something goes wrong. Actually, these are classic in-ear monitors, or IEMs, and can be used by musicians to listen to their own music while performing. That good!
All this for Rs 899 (or sometimes Rs 999). We are talking about the KZ EDX earbuds.
Wait, what is KZ?
KZ is not a brand known to the masses. But those who follow audio are well aware of it. The brand is considered by many to be one of the pioneers of the Chi-Fi revolution. Chi-Fi is basically a mix of ‘Chinese’ and ‘hi-fi’ which is high fidelity and has of late gained immense popularity because of Chinese brands that deliver high-quality audio at surprisingly affordable prices. A bit like what we are seeing in smartphones.
And as we said, KZ, which stands for Knowledge Zenith, is one of the leading players in this segment. The brand is known to create portable audio gear with exceptional sound quality and features at an extremely competitive price tag, which is often just a fraction of what most brands charge. The EDX in-ear monitors are a classic example.
Crystal Clear… design
The EDX are a pair of earphones that have the ability to change the way people think of wired earphones design. Especially the Crystal unit, it comes with twisted metallic rose gold wires wrapped in clear plastic with some translucent touches which are eye catching, but the real attraction of the EDX is the earbuds. Much like the ultra hyped Nothing Ear (1), these buds are also transparent. This means you can actually see all the tiny circuitry inside the buds. It is a very premium look – yes, even though they are made of plastic. These look beautiful.
The buds are detachable from the cable, which is a major plus in both design and performance terms. If those wires go bad (and often they are the first to conk out), you have the option to replace them. And well, you can even try getting better cables if you want slightly better performance.
This is audiophile stuff – not what you see in other earbuds under Rs 1,000. The wire comes with 0.75 mm two-pin injectors that have to be inserted into the buds to get them working. Fitting them in properly may take some getting used to, especially fixing the right earbud with the right wire because the markings on both earbuds are too small, but once you get the hang of it, the process becomes easy.
The ends of these attachable wires are also slightly harder and can be curled up, creating a flexible hinge that you can wrap around your ear while wearing the buds, ensuring that they stay in. Once again, there is a bit of trial and error involved here, but we think it is worth it. The wire also comes with a mic and a multi-function button, allowing you to use it to take calls if needed. You also get three different ear tips sizes in the box– small, medium, large, you can pick the size that fits you the best.
The EDX also have two more colour options, white and black but these have no transparent design elements. We recommend the crystal option, of course. There is no carrying pouch in the box but at this price, we do not really mind.
And crystal clear sound too (with just the right touch of bass)
They do not just look good, the KZ-EDX sound very good too. They come with single 10mm Composite Magnetic Dynamic drivers which at this price point is a USP in itself. The earphones deliver exceptional clarity especially in highs and vocals which makes them a good fit for on-stage monitoring.
The company has marketed these as “customised heavy bass earphone” but there was nothing ‘heavy’ about the bass on the earphones – they really should hear some of the other brands at that price point in the Indian market. The sound has somebody and you get a slight hint of extra bass. We think KZ has hit that sweet spot where the quantity and quality of the bass are just apt which is a massive positive because this is one area where even the most renowned brands drop the ball, loading the earphones with bass, at the cost of other frequencies.
As they are wired, you can get a little bit extra out of those lossless music formats and there are also no latency issues with games and videos. And they work just fine with any device with a 3.5 mm audio jack – no amps needed. They handle calls decently as well. Some might complain about the absence of volume controls on the earbuds, but as they are wired, you will always have the audio source close at hand to tweak it, or change tracks. So not a big deal
As these are in-ear earphones and come with different sized tips, the noise isolation of the earbuds is pretty good as well and they manage to keep a lot of ambient noise out. Of course, you would need to get the right ear tip and get used to fitting them just right in your ears (perhaps the toughest part of using the KZ EDX).
At their price of Rs 899 (sometimes lower, depending on the deals available), the KZ-EDX are perhaps the best blend of great sound and design. The IEM not only sound good but also come with a design that is far from traditional which we think is one of its biggest assets. No one is going to think they are pair of sub-Rs 1,000 buds, when they see them. Or hear them, for that matter.
Next up: Make your tablet a computer with this Bluetooth keyboard that costs less than Rs 1,000
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