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A community member
Jan 26, 2018
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I've had this for more than a month now. I swear to all the gods, get the VE Monks Plus instead!
At best, Mee Pinnacle is only slightly better than the Monks when using my Audio Gd NFB 11.28. The Pinnacle is slightly clearer in the highs and mids but the VE Monks still sound very good and actually sounds more balanced!
The Pinnacle is thin sounding compared to the Monks!
Considering the HUGE price difference, this makes the pinnacle a VERY LAME IEM!
On top of that, the VE Monks is less dependent on an amp!
The Pinnacle is a nice earbud but the $109 difference is freakin insane!
Jan 26, 2018
Drift6216
78
Jan 27, 2018
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Interesting. By the way, since you're comparing with your Monk+, I have found that I like the way that the KZ ZST sounds (with foam tips) way way more than my Monk+.
I still like how quickly I can throw on the Monk+ but the ZST is only about $18 usd and (with foam tips, like comply or Shure, for maybe $8 to 15 usd) I like the way they sound much more than the Monk+. Way more bass, good isolation, nice highs. Without foam tips I find the ZST treble a bit high and the bass a bit weak so tips are kinda necessary to enjoy the ZST. A downside might be that the Monk+ sometimes seems to have a degree of soundstage but the ZST really doesn't. Still, for enjoyable sound, the ZST with foam tips crushes the Monk+.
Jan 27, 2018
A community member
Jan 27, 2018
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You've got me interested to try the kz zst. I've been interested to try balanced armature iems for awhile but didn't want to spend a lot and just end up disappointed. I was actually thinking i might have to break the bank and go all the way with senn ie800 + a high end DAP to get close to my desktop setup. But can't afford them right now. It's just hard to be satisfied with iem's when you have a decent desktop setup (i can't not compare). Do you use the KZ ZST with a portable amp?
I have the Xduoo XD-05 but found that they have a harsh sound. Based on reviews, the amp is the weak link and some suggest to replace it with the burson opamp V5i but I'm not sure if it's worth another $65.
Jan 27, 2018
Drift6216
78
Jan 30, 2018
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Honestly? Aside from my phone (Moto G4, so nothing special), I've only used the KZ ZST with my Fiio E07K. I like it well enough. I should try it with my Fiio Q1 mk II as well but I haven't been able to stop myself from using my Takstar pro 82 every time I use the Q1. The fully opened bass ports with bass boost is stupidly fun.
My experience with non-headphone audio is still heavily lacking. The only earbuds or iems that I have experience with are: VE Monk+, KZ ZS3, and the KZ ZST. Please don't let me overhype you. I like the ZST, the $18 base price is great, and they definitely aren't boring but I own or have heard multiple headphones I would choose over them.
In fact, I would choose any of these over the KZ ZST: Beyerdynamic DT990 600 ohm (with MrSpeakers Alpha Pads), Takstar Pro 82, Audeze LCDX, Philips SHP9500S, Hifiman HE-400I.
And I would choose the KZ ZST over these: AudioTechnica ATH-AD700, Sony MDR-V6, Superlux 668B (Brainwavz HM5 Velour pads), Sennheiser HD280 Pro, VE Monk+, Axent Wear Cat Ear LED Headphones (my girlfriend's set...), KZ ZS3.
At the price tag, I think the ZST is absolutely worth a try and very fun with foam tips. Just don't expect it to dazzle more than $200+ headphones or the stupidly good valued sets like the SHP9500S or the Pro 82.
Oh, and my desk setup is a Schiit Mimby/Magni 2 stack with a pair of Beyerdynamic DT990 600 ohm padswapped to MrSpeakers Alpha Pads. Portable is the Fiio Q1 mk II with Takstar Pro 82 but potentially with KZ ZST as well. My desk is definitely better in treble and bass (in cleanliness, sparkle, and impact) but my portable setup is pretty good too. The Pro 82 is a closed back with a detachable cable, comfy, light, and with adjustable bass. It's also pretty portable for an overear headphone. It also has that effect of enjoyable sound where you just kinda forget you're listening to music even while you enjoy it. Then bass or sub bass comes in and it's so very there. Absolutely worth ~$72 and the month to come in from china.
Jan 30, 2018
Drift6216
78
Jan 30, 2018
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About dac/amp traits: The E07K is a bit weak in the bass department and doesn't sound good to me without a +4 db in the device's bass setting. Pushed above 32 (of 60) volume on +0 db gain, the amp starts to distort and increasingly harshen treble. It sounds okay with low impedance headphones like the ATH-AD700 or iems, but if you feed it into a good amp like the Magni 2 or try to directly power a DT990 600 ohm it isn't a good time. The Q1 mk II doesn't have the Mimby's bass but it is a solid dac/amp and doesn't distort. Unlike the E07K, the bass is fine. I subbed it in for my Mimby while I was checking something and it played beautifully with my desk setup (though not quite like the Modi Multibit can). It doesn't sound like it has any distortion. Not at max volume on high gain into a car, not at max volume on high gain (preamping) into my Magni 2.
Jan 30, 2018
mrduckderpalot
5
Jan 30, 2018
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lul, ve monks are nothing compared to pinnacle p1 in the bass department and resolution, although VE monks are impressive, I wouldnt compare both IEMs.
Jan 30, 2018
A community member
Jan 31, 2018
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" Please don't let me overhype you. I like the ZST, the $18 base price is great, and they definitely aren't boring but I own or have heard multiple headphones I would choose over them. " > I think it is really hard for iems to compete with headphones for the most part. Not that there aren't any great iems, I bet there are really amazing ones but not as easy to find at the same prices.
"In fact, I would choose any of these over the KZ ZST: Beyerdynamic DT990 600 ohm (with MrSpeakers Alpha Pads), Takstar Pro 82, Audeze LCDX, Philips SHP9500S, Hifiman HE-400I." >I also prefer the Senn HD 558 over the Mee Pinnacle and the 558 can be bought for $80 today. But I prefer the pinnacle over the senn urbanite. I really love the Sony MDR-CD900st but i can see why not everyone would prefer the sound.
Jan 31, 2018
A community member
Jan 31, 2018
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I agree that the mee is better sounding overall but I wouldn't say that they justify the price difference. I was planning to spend more time on this iem, unfortunately my pair got channel imbalance. The left bud was noticeably louder than the right. I've lost confidence with the build quality.
Jan 31, 2018
slugman
67
Feb 15, 2018
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Comparing those headphones you listed to the KZ ZST isn't even a fair comparison. For one thing the ZST is a budget chi-fi IEM, and you listed mostly over ear headphones. When compared to other iems in their price range, they are a real bargain considering it has a driver and armature.
If we're talking strictly KZ iems, I recommend the KZ ZS5 or ZS6. I own the ZS6 and think they sound great (especially with a dac+amp), however the outer campfire-style shell design is not comfortable for more than 3-4 hour listening sessions. Its not even fatigue from the tuning, its just the damn shell is pointy and protrudes into your ear. I've heard from some reviewers that the ZS5 has a better soundstage than the ZS6, however I can't substantiate them.
If you are going to get the ZS6, make sure to get the KZ upgrade silver audio cable. The cable that comes with the ZS6 is really crappy, the upgraded cable makes a huge difference.
Feb 15, 2018
Drift6216
78
Feb 15, 2018
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I believe your initial response is directed at me. Yes, I agree, comparing the ZST against over ear headphones isn't fair. I made those comparisons to try to balance expectations because, as I said, I like them a lot but I don't want to overhype them. My current experience is mostly with headphones so that affected what I decided to list. I did list a handful of sets that I like less than the ZST as well.
If we're talking comfort levels of KZ design then I again have to recommend trying the ZST. The shell fits nicely in the ear. The shell of the ZS3 does not for nicely. I also have the silver upgrade cable. The biggest differences I notice are that microphonics are gone and the cable doesn't stick to itself. So unballing it after quickly tossing it into your pocket is pretty quick.
Feb 15, 2018
Drift6216
78
Feb 17, 2018
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I spent all of Thursday using my KZ ZST with the Q1 mk II. Lovely. The day reaffirmed my belief that the Monks have no chance against them. No hiss at all, which I was worried I might find with low impedance iems. With foam tips, the bass is there; with foam tips and the Q1 bass switch on, the bass is fun as hell. Treble is very present but not even slightly harsh like it is with silicone tips.
Very enjoyable to listen to anything but especially anything warm. Jazz, rock, electroswing, lofi hiphop, Japanese pop, edm, rap, moestep, synthwave, chiptunes, pop punk, alt rock, soundtracks, etc. I need to hear more iems (and speakers and headphones, of course) but I'm hard-pressed to find a reason not to recommend them as a very affordable and enjoyable set. Foam tips like the Comply t500 (or a more durable brand like Shure) heavily suggested though.
Feb 17, 2018
MyPacifica
1
Apr 6, 2018
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Agree on HD 558 (mine modded) over Px. After returning home and switching from Px to HD 558, i can appreciate the lows better. Otherwise, overall quite satisfied on the bang it gives for the money.
Apr 6, 2018
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