The Chinese manufacturer KZ has introduced an updated model of wireless earbuds called KZ SKS. This earbud model replaced the very popular KZ Z1 Pro model, which I will be comparing throughout the entire review.
The updated version of the earbuds received a number of significant improvements that were lacking in their predecessors. But can the new version of TWS earbuds surprise me? Therefore, I propose to find out the main advantages and disadvantages of the SKS model.
But first of all, it’s worth talking about the cost of the earbuds, since the KZ SKS model will cost you only $32. This is a very sweet price tag considering its technical features and let me tell you about the main ones.
The first thing that distinguishes wireless earbuds is the presence of the Bluetooth 5.2 version and a 10 mm dynamic and armature driver. In addition, the earbuds boast a Qualcomm QCC3040 chipset and support for AAC, SBC, and aptX audio drivers.
Another new model of earbuds stands out for its beautiful shapes and ergonomic design. Also, the battery life has become an order of magnitude more than that of its predecessors. Okay, now I think that you can start your in-depth and detailed review of KZ SKS earbuds, and find out if they are worth your attention or not.
KZ SKS: Specifications
|Driver unit:||10 mm driver + armature 30019 driver|
|Bluetooth protocol:||aptX, AAC and SBC|
Unboxing and packaging
The earbuds are delivered in a small white box, but the density of the cardboard surprised me quite a lot, given its low cost. On the front of the package, you can find the inscription of the company name KZ, SKS models, and a drawing of the earbuds themselves.
Inside the package, I found a standard package, for example, a charging box with earbuds inside. Also here I found a small Type-C charging cable, silicone ear tips, and various documentation.
I would also like to highlight that the quality of the components has become an order of magnitude better. Even if you look at the set of additional silicone ear tips, they fit well in the ear canal and did not cause me much disgust.
Design, build quality and materials
Remember I compared the KZ SKS and KZ Z1 Pro models with each other at the beginning of the review? So, these two models received absolutely identical designs and appearances. That is, even the shape of the earbuds and the case was exactly the same. Therefore, I could easily charge the Z1 Pro earbuds in the case from the SKS model and vice versa.
This does not mean that the company has not improved anything in terms of design. As I said, the quality of the silicone ear tips has improved and therefore the fit in the ear canal did not cause me much discomfort.
It is also worth mentioning that the weight of one earbud was only 4.4 grams. Thus, I could easily wear the earbuds for hours without taking them off.
To be more precise, after two hours of listening to music or watching a movie, my ears begged for rest. And here’s another thing that I liked about the new SKS model is the comfortable exercise. I could easily walk out into the stadium with this model of earbuds and run several kilometers without much discomfort.
As for the workmanship, the KZ earbuds are made of monolithic plastic. In which I did not find extraneous squeaks and sounds while wearing. But the plastic itself was made of glossy material and for me, this is not the best solution. Although the quality of the plastic was not the cheapest, as is the case on the more budgetary TWS earbud models.
On the front of the case, there is a touch panel, which I will talk about a little later. There is also the Restart inscription on the front of the case, but I don’t even know what the company wanted to say. But on the inside of the case, there are two contacts for charging the earbuds. The base of the sound guide received a metal mesh that protects the ingress of dust and dirt into the earbud case.
Now let’s talk about the case itself, which was already made of matte plastic, and not glossy like earbuds. This is great news, as in practice, the case of the charging case will be more durable. As I said, the dimensions of the SKS model remain the same, as in the Z1 Pro model – they are 61 x 61 x 32 mm. And the weight of the case without earbuds was 45 grams.
Yes, it may not be the most compact charging box, but I managed to easily put it in my jeans pocket. On top of the box, there is the KZ company logo, but on the back, there is a Type-C connection for charging the box. I want to note that there are no other charging methods such as wireless.
If we talk about the quality of workmanship, the box lid has practically no backlash and opens very easily and without any problems. Under the cover of the box, there are seats for earbuds and there is an LED indicator between them. The latter displays the level of the remaining charge in the case. Okay, I figured out the appearance, but now let’s find out the main features of the quality of connection and communication.
Wireless connectivity, latency and touch controls
The new model of KZ SKS wireless earbuds uses the latest generation of Bluetooth 5.2 version. I was very surprised with this feature, as these are budget TWS earbuds. In addition, KZ has installed a QCC3040 audio chipset with support for aptX, AAC, and SBC codecs.
During my testing, I found no major audio quality issues. Also, the signal was always stable, even at a distance of 10 meters from the signal source. The earbuds are connected in a typical method and can be used either in pairs or separately.
If we talk about the level of latency, then the earbuds have a game mode, which shows a latency of about 200-240 ms. In the game PUBG Mobile, I was quite a comfortable playing and my ears practically did not hear any strong discomfort. But when watching videos on YouTube, there was practically no latency at all.
The touch controls are very adequate and I practically did not have any accidental clicks. Let’s talk about the main functions that are available on the new KZ brand earbuds.
- One-touch makes a play, pauses, accepts or puts a phone call.
- Double-tapping switches track forward and backward depending on the channel.
- Holding for 2 seconds on any of the earbuds calls the voice assistant function.
- Triple tap to switch modes from normal to gaming.
Unfortunately, I did not find the volume control function. Also, the earbuds do not have an auto-pause function.
Sound and microphone quality
In each channel of KZ SKS earbuds, a 10 mm dynamic driver was installed and there is one armature driver 30019. In fact, this is a hybrid technology that makes the sound of the earbuds very pronounced and good.
Indeed, if you start your story, I would like to draw your attention to the margin of the maximum volume level. It is very large and listening to music over 80% of the volume level is simply not possible, so as not to damage your hearing. I couldn’t even listen to music at 80% volume levels. But a quiet place at 50% volume level was just right.
Low frequencies have a very positive effect on the new TWS model of KZ SKS earbuds. For example, I liked the presence of massive and deep bass, which does not interrupt other frequencies as much.
The mids and highs go well with the new earbud model. Since these are hybrid earbuds, each driver is responsible for its own frequency. The vocalist’s voice was clearly audible, and each musical instrument played very piercingly.
In general, when I started testing KZ SKS earbuds, I did not expect to hear high-quality and premium sound in budget TWS earbuds. Compared to competitors, the price tag for a similar sound will range from $80 to $150.
The last thing I want to talk about in this section is the quality of the microphones. KZ SKS earbuds use the most common microphones that do not have ambient noise cancellation technology. Therefore, in a quiet place, the sound quality of the microphone was pretty good. But in a noisy place, microphones absorb ambient sounds well and my interlocutors heard me not quite clear.
Battery and run time
I carried out the test for the battery life of the KZ SKS earbuds at 100% volume level. The result showed a time of 2 hours and 45 minutes. But as I said above, listening to music at 100% volume level is generally not possible. Therefore, at a 50% volume level, battery life will lie within 4 hours.
In addition, the charging box has a built-in 400 mAh battery. And you can easily recharge the earbuds several times and achieve a total battery life of up to 20 hours.
At the same time, the earbuds are charged in the charging box in 50 minutes, and the charging box itself was charged through the Type-C connection in 2 hours.
Conclusion, reviews, pros, and cons
After testing the new model of TWS earbuds KZ SKS, I was left with quite positive emotions. Yes, given their insignificant cost, the earbuds received not only a modern and ergonomic design, but also good technical features.
The advantages I can attribute are high-quality and surround sound, which has a dynamic and detailed sound. Also, I can not pass by a good and high-quality build, which does not disgust me.
But the Bluetooth 5.2 version and the QCC3040 chipset are certainly excellent functionality for budget wireless headphones. I also liked the good volume level and the battery life.
I can single out the disadvantages – this is the lack of a proximity sensor for automatic pause. Also, the earbuds did not provide a volume control function in the touch control. The sound quality of the microphone in a noisy place is not the best. I did not find any other significant disadvantages, as for my class of devices.
Price and where to buy cheaper?
Currently, the price tag for TWS KZ SKS earbuds is very attractive, which was $ 32.87 with a 55% discount.
These are incredible wireless earbuds that are able to surprise you with both their ergonomic fit and sound quality. Thus, I can easily recommend the earbuds for purchase, despite the main drawbacks.