We Pinoys love anything with BUDGET attached to something and of course when it comes to gadgets it is more than welcome to be a part of the adjective.

 Hi-Fi devices or audio devices that are capable of playing High Fidelity Audio a.k.a the highest quality reproduction of sound.

Sadly, Hi-Fi devices also come with a High Price tag.

I was introduced to the world of Hi-Fi audio by a college friend of mine and it got me curious.

Did my own research(which you can read below) and was itching to try it out and experience it for my self.

Good thing I discovered a Budget Hi-Fi Earphones to get me started on this Hi-Fi journey. and NO this is not a sponsored post. This is just a random impulse buy and decided to do a blog about it. :)))

As a Filipino who enjoys a variety of music, the world of Hi-Fi devices is something I want to experience and well.. I'm getting my feet wet and entering that world through the KZ ZST Pro. Is this worth the 800 peso price tag?

What the heck is Hi-Fi Audio?

High Fidelity Audio or Hi-Fi Audio is a term that is used by Audiophiles to refer to high quality reproduction of sound. Believe it or not, audio recordings done after the 1940's are of inferior quality due to usage of inferior quality equipment. 

Basically, this is the type of audio where it is very much close to the actual sound produced DURING a recording. 

So, in theory/actuality, Hi-Fi audio = Higher Quality Audio. 

However, it can only be produced by hi-fi capable devices. Which of course means, expensive equipment. 

It involves having some pre-amps, tube amps, power amplifiers, Hi-Fi speakers and more, all for the love of Hi-Fi audio. 

AFTERGLOW | Monoprice Stereo Hybrid Tube Amp With Bluetooth PHOTO: F. MARTIN RAMIN/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, STYLING BY ANNE CARDENAS

But then again, it doesn't mean you won't get access to such equipments since budget devices are also available on the market with the only downside of not fully getting the full Hi-Fi experience. 

What you'll be getting rather is probably a taste of what more expensive and better equipment can provide for an affordable price.

This is just a brief overview of what Hi-Fi Audio is all about. I'll probably link some good resources below if you want to know more.

KZ ZST PRO: What's inside the box?

First off, watch my unboxing video here:



You can also watch it on our facebook page: www.facebook.com/techgabster

The one I ordered from Lazada comes with the unit, cable with microphone, some spare earbuds in different sizes and a cheap earphone soft-case. 


The Packaging

The overall packaging is I guess "okay" for the price. It is not premium looking and not that impressive. It also comes with some manuals and documentation. 

The Unit

KZ ZST Pro have Dual Drivers, which is basically what brings out the sound. One driver is for the bass sound and the other is for the treble. 

The whole thing is encased in a candy colored plastic casing which is semi-transparent and I think it's very beautiful to look at. 

It has the ZST logo on the side with silicone ear buds, two pin holes for each cable.

NOTE: This is an in-ear monitor type of earphones so it really kind of goes deep within your ears.

Oh and did I mention that you can replace buy replacement cables for this? That's already + points for me. 


The Cables

The cables are made of a rubbery material with red and grey stripe colors and a microphone with a button to take your calls with.

It doesn't look that pretty if you ask me. But I do feel it's durable than most cables out there. 

Again, since the unit is separate from the cables, the moment you have a defective cable, you just need to replace the cables and not the whole unit. It can save you a ton of money from buying replacement earphones every time the cable goes wonky.

The Performance

To fully test it out, I went on and use the KZ ZST Pro as my daily driver for 7 full days. 

While I don't have any Hi-Fi audio to use nor do I have a device that would help me achieve the full Hi-Fi experience like a DAC(Digital to Analog Converter) connected to my phone, the way I tested these out is compare them with what I currently use, which is a cheap CDR-King Earphones and an Audio Technica Earphones(i forgot the model name, but it's a noise cancelling earphones for sure).

Another thing I did is to set my Spotify settings to only stream/download songs in VERY HIGH Quality.

If you want to learn how to set your spotify settings to use VERY HIGH Quality settings, you can read my article right here: How To Stream Music On Spotify In VERY HIGH Quality Settings?

Day 1: First Impressions

I immediately notice the difference between the Audio Technica earphones I have while I do love the sound of the Audio Technica(i'll shorten it to AT okay? haha), the KZ ZST Pro have a more balanced treble sound. 

The AT actually has a deeper bass while the KZ ZST Pro have a deep bass too but it is also balanced by the driver that controls the treble it really is something different.


Day 7: Final Judgement

I played different kinds of music that are tagged as hi-fi audio on Spotify(I swear setting it to VERY HIGH Quality makes a whole lot of difference than when you play on just the normal quality setting on Spotify).

I'm into the drum and bass music nowadays or some chill hiphop beats that are very relaxing and just overall calming and using the KZ ZST Pro vs the AT Earphones...I'll take the sound of the KZ ZST Pro over the AT ones.

But that is my preference though, it might be different for you since each person have different sound preferences. 

For its price, I'm very impressed with how it performed. I would probably invest in a hi-fi audio player or at least a DAC soon to fully test this with real hi-fi audio and I'll update this blogpost when I do.

For now, the performance satisfied my needs and would recommend this to anyone wanting to have a whole new experience with audio :)

Pros and Cons

Here are the things I like(PROS):

  • Budget Friendly
  • Incredible sound quality for the price
  • Balanced Bass and Treble sounds due to the dual driver system
  • It's very stylish, I love the colors

Here are the things that I don't like(CONS):

  • The cable is durable and all, but I think it could still be better
  • Sometimes the cables detach to the unit maybe I need to put it in better
  • There are times that I wish there's a slightly more bass to it

Overall, I'm really happy with this purchase. Again, the sound profile of this earphones might not be your cup of tea but I do suggest you try it out as well. 

Price and Availability

The package I got is worth 799php from Lazada. You get free shipping fee as well since it is under the promo of the seller wherein you get free shipping for orders that are worth 500php above.

I got mine 3 days after I ordered it. 

You can buy it here: http://bit.ly/KZZSTProLazada

http://bit.ly/KZZSTProLazada


There are also other online sellers out there. Just make sure you get an authentic product and don't be swayed by the really cheap ones in the market. 

The price range for KZ ZST Pro is around 799 to 1200php(depending on the package inclusions).

Still have questions?

Do I just buy these earphones and experience Hi-Fi? YES and NO.

If you have a hi-fi audio playback capable device at your disposal, then yes. 
If not, you can only experience up to a certain level of higher quality audio like the one in Spotify.

Where can I get Hi-Fi Audio?

There are streaming sources for hi-fi audio such as Tidal Masters and Qobuz Sublime+.
There are also download services like PrimePhonic, HD Tracks and more.


That site is one of the best resources I found about Hi-Fi audio and breaks them down for you.

Where can I find fellow Audiophiles in the Philippines?

There are several facebook groups for Audiophiles in the Philippines.

Here are some of them:


HEEP - Headphones & Earphones Enthusiasts Philippines (Can't find the FB link, i'll update this)

Where can I buy Hi-Fi Devices?

Of course there are a vast variety of audio devices in most music/audio stores in the Philippines.
There are also online sellers. 

One of the most trusted source for Hi-Fi Capable Devices is H.E.X which is a facebook group of fellow audiophiles that are selling their used items or even brand new ones for a steal price. 


I'll try to put more resources as I find them for you guys. :)

Conclusion

Well, that's my review of the KZ ZST Pro. I've yet to try it out using a DAC or an actual Hi-Fi Capable audio playback device, but soon I'll be doing that and add to this review. 

I hope this helps you start your own journey through the world of audiophiles and music enthusiasts!

What do you guys think about Hi-Fi Audio? What is your recommended budget hi-fi earphones?

TechGabster

Tech Gabster

A Blog About Tech and the Digital World

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