Vendor Store: Shenzhen Koston Technology Co. Ltd. (3rd Party)
Vendor Rating: 24933 sales with 97.2% Positive feedback
Product Link: AliExpress Item Page
AliTech Score: 5 Star
Review Type: Personal Purchase
Price: $10.06 (Free shipping)
Pros: Well made, Great looks and OMG that sound
Bottom Line: If you can find a better set of in ear headphones under $50 I would like to hear them!
The KZ ATE headphones have been causing a stir all over the internet since release a couple of years go but I have only recently discovered them. For those in the know they need little introduction but here is an overview for the rest of you.
The KZ ATE are IEM (In Ear Monitor) style headphones with a claimed 5-25000Hz response range and provide a 16Ω load. They have a standard 3.5mm right angle jack and come with or without a mic depending on your preference. I have the set with the mic.
Unlike many other IEM headphones the KZ ATE have a sizable driver unit that on first glance looks a little odd but they are very comfortable to wear. The correct placement is such that where the leads protrude from driver should be pointing directly forwards, the cable is then folded over the top your ear so they hang behind your ear. Each lead has a small weight placed so they hang correctly and stay in place. This sounds complicated but soon becomes second nature.
They come with three sets of buds, two different sizes in rubber and one set of foam. The foam did not feel too secure for the stems so I opted for the rubber. Initially I started with the small set and have to say my first impressions was somewhat underwhelming given the hype these headphones have received. The sound was clear but lacked any real bass punch.
A few days later I tried the larger set and these were a revelation. All of a sudden the bass came alive, I put this down to the fact that with the smaller buds they sat in a strange position in my ear and this blocked the outlet in the stems but I cant be sure.
So now to the sound, they most important thing. The KZ ATE have a real effortless quality to them and sound quite balanced throughout the range. They really do have great scale in the base but it is not overblown and muffled. Many in ear headphones try to make up for lack of bass by artificially boosting it but I think the size of the driver units mean they have not had to resort to this cheap trick and this brings far more clarity at this end of the frequency range. They are not a one trick pony though and sound really good all through the frequency range. I have thrown all sorts of music at them from Death Grips through to Joni Mitchell and they have not been phased.
At work I use a good pair of Sony over ear wireless headphones and there is little to pick between them. The general consensus online appears to be that the KZ ATE sound better than most headsets up to $50 and will even give a good showing against more expensive than that. From my experience to date I would have to agree.
Everything about these headphone has a quality feel.
The cable have strong brass fixings to the driver units, the Y splitter is one of the best designs I have seen and looks really strong. The driver units are translucent and it looks like the actual drivers are copper.
The cable coating is also translucent so you can see the leads within, it has a strange almost sticky feel but this is just the rubber coating but this does not cause it to tangle.
The whole package has a quality will above the price.
The vendor is really good. Communication is fast and polite and the product shipped quickly.
It is hard to fault these headphones. They are so cheap, feel high quality, sound so good and if you lose them you could afford to buy a few more pairs for the amount your would pay for something comparable.