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These are one of the worst earphones I've ever heard and, despite being the most expensive KZ to date, it's the only one I find unlistenable. If you look at any frequency response graph, you'll see a huge spike in the 2-4 kHz range of 10-15 dB. Many KZ hybrids have a similar spike but this one is the worst by far. It translates into painfully harsh upper mids for many people. I literally can't listen to instruments like violin and trumpet on these without turning the volume way down because it hurts. For what it's worth, their bass is nice but not really better than the bass on other recent KZ hybrids.
Honestly, for a fraction of the price the KZ ED-16, ES-4, ZSA, and ZSR are all superior options. I've never personally known someone who thought the ZS-10 sounds better than any of the above but I know many who think the reverse. The ED-16 in particular sounds quite neutral and can compete with much more expensive IEMs, while the ES-4 is the better choice if you like a V-shaped response.
Your complaint is likely resolved by a fairly inexpensive tip swap. Not defending the IEM's as a whole as I do have some gripes, but the fact that the included tips are garbage is honestly the cause of 90% of issues people are having soundwise. Not saying these are the best or even particularly amazing IEMs , but a swap to a decent set of tips would put them in or slightly above the range of KZ's other offerings depending on preference. Now whether they're worth the price increase for IMHO inferior materials /overall build quality for a few more drivers is another issue entirely.
If you saw my eartips collection, you wouldn't be saying that. Ostry OS300 filter tips actually make the ZS-10 tolerable because they significantly cut the frequencies of that spike, but they still sound worse than many other options because of how recessed the mids are.
As for the KZ Starline (stock) tips, I disagree completely. They're one of the most comfortable tips if you have large canals and I prefer them over many premium options. Most of my IEMs have either KZ tips or JVC Spiral Dots.
If you don't mention swapping tips how am I supposed to know that? I have no way of knowing what you do or do not have at your disposal. Something I can know is that based on even cursory glances at forums/reviews the main issues MOST people have with these IEMS can be resolved by switching to a pair of tips that actually compliment the sound as opposed to aggravating it.
As far as my comment on the tips being garbage perhaps that was too general of a statement & I was a bit harsh. They are garbage for THESE particular iems & for people who don't have the ability to engage in intercourse via the ear canal. 😁
Jokes aside I'm certain that you can get better offerings at this price point & even lower, but it's probably not coming from within KZ's own line up. Then again sound is fairly subjective so no point in arguing over it, if you felt that the other KZ models are superior that's cool.
I don't think it's necessary to mention tip swapping when discussing the fact that these IEMs have an unusually nasty spike in the upper-mids. My point was that basically everything in the KZ lineup is superior to these, while also being at a significantly lower price point.
At a price point similar to these, one can also buy the TinAudio T2, which many regard as the best Chi-Fi IEM on the market and can absolutely compete with major brand IEMs at several times the price.