Earlier this 2020 year, the Chinese company KZ introduced its first wireless hybrid earbuds called KZ S1. Most recently, the KZ brand introduced the next generation – KZ S2.
In this test, I will talk about the main changes of the new KZ S2 hybrid earbuds from the older brother S1. In addition, I will share my impressions of the build quality and sound, also the main advantages and disadvantages.
The first thing I pay attention to is the price tag. If now you can purchase the first generation KZ S1 for $24, then the updated version starts at $29. As expected, at the start of sales the price tag will be slightly higher. Perhaps the price of KZ S2 will fall in one month.
If you look at the technical part, the new S2 wireless earbuds received two 7 mm dynamic and balanced armature drivers. The new earbuds have not yet received the aptX codec, but only AAC. Naturally, there is a wireless connection Bluetooth 5.0 and Realtek 8763 chipset.
KZ S2: Specifications
|Driver unit:||Hybrid technology: 7mm 1 DD + 1BA|
|Bluetooth protocol:||AAC, and SBC|
|Charging Time:||120 min|
KZ S2: Unboxing
There is no point in expecting premium packaging from the KZ S2 Hybrid TWS earbuds. Since the price tag for the device is very budget up to $30. So, I got a pretty familiar little white box from KZ company.
On the front side, you can see a sketch of the earbuds and the name of the model, and the main technical features are written on the back of the box.
Inside the box, all the components are well-packed and here I found – these are headphones, a charging case, a manual and a Type-C cable for charging.
For even greater savings, the manufacturer supplies earbuds with only one set of ear tips. It’s good that I have my favorite ear tips that fit perfectly with the new KZ S2 model.
KZ S2: Design
The appearance of the new generation KZ S2 received some changes compared to the previous version of S1.
Yes, you can notice that the shape of the earbuds has not changed. This is a typical KZ headphone design, as was previously the case with wired models, such as the KZ ZS10.
The earbuds are made of glossy plastic, which comes in two colors – it is white and black. I have a black version on the review and it looks pretty good.
In terms of size, the KZ S2 earbuds fit well in my ear canal and weigh about 4.5 grams. Although playing sports in them is inconvenient, and even more so running. In everyday use, the earbuds do not cause severe fatigue.
On the front of the main change was the presence of a mechanical button. The previous generation S1 had touch control and now it is very much lacking on S2. Nearby there is a red-blue indicator.
The inner part received three contact magnetic connections for charging through the charging box and the correct shape of the sound guide. A metal mesh is installed on the base of the sound guide to prevent foreign debris from entering.
On the side of the KZ S2 case, you can see an inscription that indicates the presence of one dynamic and one balanced armature driver.
It is worth noting that the earbuds received protection against splashes of water and sweat by standard IPX5. But you can’t swim in them in the pool or take a shower.
The charging box also received changes compared to its predecessor. Now the KZ S2 case has become a little larger, so putting it in your jeans pocket will be problematic.
On the front part, I see the inscription KZ Acoustic, and at the bottom of the box, there is a Type-C port for charging. I am very glad that even budget wireless earbud modules have started using the modern Type-C connection.
The lid has a magnetic connection and with one hand to open it will not be a problem. Inside the case, there are seats for earbuds, and between them, there is a charge level indicator.
There is also a button on the back of the box, if you click on it, you can find out the remaining battery level in your case. The green color – from 70 to 100%, orange from 30 to 70% and red from 0 to 30%.
Despite the small changes in the KZ S2 compared to the previous generation of S1 hybrid earbuds, I was impressed by the build quality.
Z S2: Connection and control
As for the quality of communication, I do not have any problems with the operation of the wireless connection Bluetooth 5.0. During my testing, I did not observe communication failures and the signal was always stable in a radius of 10 meters.
Connecting to smartphones is very simple and intuitive, and pairing takes a matter of seconds. If we talk about the delay, then when watching a video on YouTube it is almost absent, but during games, there is a slight delay.
As I mentioned, the manufacturer decided to install mechanical control on the KZ S2, instead of touch control, as it was on the S1 model. Maybe now the control has become much more accurate, but when the earbuds in your ears you can feel a little pressure when switching the buttons.
- One-click – play/pause and accept/put a call.
- If you double-click on the left earbud – switch to the previous track, and on the right – the next.
- Hold of about 2 seconds calls the voice assistant on your mobile device.
The volume control in the KZ S2 model is not provided, as in the first generation S1. Therefore, I would like to see the volume control function on KZ S3.
KZ S2: Sound
Finally, we got to the most interesting – this is the sound quality. Now the manufacturer has made a big leap in sound tuning on the new model of hybrid wireless earbuds.
I do not want to say that KZ S1 has a bad sound. The sound on the S1 matches its price. If we talk about the new generation KZ S2, then the sound quality has become a little better.
Each earbud has one dynamic driver and one balanced armature with a size of 7 mm each. Naturally, each of them is responsible for its own sound range.
The low frequencies got good dynamics with rich bass. The mid and high frequencies have clear sound, but not at maximum volume. For example, high frequencies begin to wheeze a little at maximum volume, if you listen to music up to 85-90% – there was no problem.
Otherwise, the vocals sound beautiful and each musical instrument is well highlighted on the external background of the sound.
The quality of the microphone is not a strong point for all vacuum wireless earbuds and the KZ S2 model is no exception. Yes, you can talk, but the sound quality will be average.
KZ S2: Battery
The battery life slightly showed better indicator on KZ S2. For example, now the S2 model at maximum volume lasted about 3 hours and 40 minutes.
If I recall the previous generation KZ S1, the result was about 3 hours and 15 minutes. Although both models have a built-in battery capacity of 40 mAh.
Inside the case, the new generation S2 received a slight improvement and now the box has 500 mAh battery capacity, instead of 400 mAh, as it was on KZ S1. Therefore, the total battery life was about 20-24 hours.
A full charge through the Type-C port will take about 2 hours of your time.
KZ S2: Conclusion and Reviews
The first impression of the next generation of the KZ S2 budget hybrid wireless earbuds has remained positive. Of course, the earbuds were not without flaws, but do not forget with the initial low price.
For example, the main disadvantages I can attribute are a rather large case, mechanical control and hissing sound at maximum volume.
The other sides are quite positive – this is the ideal build quality and sound at the level of wireless earbuds with a price tag from $50 to $70.
KZ S2: Price and Where to buy cheaper?
Currently, you can buy the new KZ S2 Hybrid earbuds at a low and bargain price of $29.99.
For relatively little money, you get decent wireless earbuds with good sound quality and perfect design.