Last Updated On: 4-23-19
KZ’s ED9 is a fairly standard wired budget pair of earbuds, but with one interesting feature: It comes with two sets of removable “balanced” and “bass” tuning nozzles that screw onto the fronts and hold the tips, effectively giving you the option between two different sound signatures.
Packaging is minimal but nice – the cover slides off to reveal a hard open box with a contoured packing piece inside where the buds are embedded, and the bundled wire and inclusions are beneath.
One significant con with the packaging is that the included instructions are generic and not for the ED9 specifically. It’s not obvious which pair of tuning nozzles are actually the bass or balanced versions and I had to figure it out on my own with some googling.
Included with the headphones:
- two pairs of removable tuning nozzles
- three extra pairs of different sized silicone replacement tips
- instructional pamphlet
The buds are quite heavy and, with the tuning nozzles screwed in, stick pretty far out. I was able to get a comfortable fit and solid seal, but I could definitely feel them hanging kind of out and down. It is possible to wear these inverted and run the wire over the ear, which did seem to pretty much relieve that weighty sensation.
The larger nozzles with the white screen are the balanced tuners and the smaller nozzles with the black mesh are actually the bass tuners, and are what came screwed into mine by default. Changing them and the tips out is perfectly easy.
The wire is nice and sturdy and caused minimal microphonics, but the outer insulation is kind of gummy and sticky.
The jack and angled support is also nice and sturdy and plugged firmly into my device.
All in all these are nice looking and robust earbuds for the minimal price, and they fit well too. The only issue is the weight and length causing them hang out and down, but this can be pretty much solved by inverting them and wearing the wire over the ear.
Spec/Performance Discussion, Listening Impressions, Other Related Observations
I opted to first use the “balanced” tuners, which essentially don’t filter anything and presumably would give me an unbiased impression of what these earbuds actually sound like. Suffice to say, The ED9 sounds really impressive for the minimal price. The response is flat and very consistent, with decent detail throughout. No specific flaws that tend to be common with cheaper headphones were perceptible.
I then changed the tuners and did some a/b testing before I actually settled on the bass tuners because I liked the sound better. The bass tuner isn’t any kind of electronic part that augments the bass, rather it filters out the mids/trebles a bit and changes the sound signature to a softer/rounder style that overall feels a little easier to listen to.
The bass doesn’t get any louder with the bass tuners, but rather just kind becomes more emphasized and forward. The ED9’s response range is 7 – 46.2K Hz, which is comparatively excellent for budget earbuds, and they even publish their own response graph:
The low extension is definitely still there with the balanced tuners in. I tested them with a few drops I normally listen to and all of them fully came through without losing volume, tone, or pitch.
The impedance is 18 ohms and the sensitivity rating is 106, which together means these will get loud very easily and just about any device should power them no problem.
The isolation is also decent – I’d put it around medium, and these should suffice fine for most commuter use in environments that aren’t excessively noisy.
The ED9 has a one year warranty which is comparatively average for budget earbuds.
Overall Take, As Compared To The Competition
The ED9 is a sturdy, decently comfortable, and very impressively good sounding earbud for the minimal price, and as of the time of this writing/update is definitely in the best-of conversation. The two “balanced” and “bass” sound style options with the removable tuners is also a nice feature, and they both sound good in their own way.