Hey guys, today I am reviewing the KZ ED16 earphones. The KZ ED16 is a soon-to-be-discontinued model from KZ, so better get a pair while supplies last!
I received this pair at a discounted price from the MissAudio Store on AliExpress. If you guys have a minute, consider checking them out at the link below. The MissAudio Store is one of the only sellers of the KZ ED16 on AliExpress, so I would advise everyone to pick up the ED16 while you can...
If you don't wanna read the written review, check out the video review at the end of this post.
Overview and Design
I bought the ED16 from AliExpress for $12 -- regular customers can find the ED16 on AliExpress for $16-$20, mostly on the higher end of that price range.
The KZ ED16 is an interesting earphone, due to a rather glaring typo or misprint on the shell of one of the earphones. For reasons unknown, one of the earphones clearly says "ZS7" on the shell. This is clearly a huge design error, and is likely the reason behind its immediate discontinuation. I am not sure if KZ has already stopped producing the ED16, but numerous sources tell me that production has already been stopped. So grab a pair while you can -- but be sure to finish reading my review first!
The ED16 is made entirely out of plastic, and feels slightly cheaper than other KZ models I own. This may be due to its very light build. In any case, the ED16 looks and feels like an earphone that costs more than its budget price tag.
The ED16 comes in two colors: Translucent black and translucent blue. I got the black model, and it is very interesting how KZ allows us to view the internals of the ED16. It's a very uniquely shaped earphone, and a good looking one at that. The ED16 also has detachable cables. I was a bit disappointed that KZ chose not to include their new braided cable with the ED16. Instead, they stuck with the old rubbery cable, which comes in a red and white design. However, the advantage of having a detachable cable is that you can swap it whenever you like. I'm still waiting for my braided cable to arrive from AliExpress, so when that arrives, I'll be sure to toss the old rubber cable in a drawer somewhere.
Complain all you want about the lack of a braided cable, but you cannot complain about the sound on the ED16. The KZ ED16 blew me away -- it may even be KZ's best sounding model to date.
The soundstage is very open, wide, and airy. Music sounds like it's coming from around your head. The overall sound is bright and fun.
Bass is impactful and quite deep, though not as "boomy" as on the KZ ES3, which is a good thing, I thought. Bassheads will love the ED16, especially when used with an equalizer. Bass is rich and hard-hitting, perfect for bass-heavy genres.
Vocals are crisp and clear, not at all recessed. Highs are clear and sharp. I did detect a bit of sibilance in some songs, but it's not very noticeable, unlike on the TRN V80. The V80 has harsh highs which can only be tamed with an equalizer.
The ED16 can handle basically any genre of music, performing best with rap/trap music, but rock music will sound absolutely great on the ED16 as well. With an equalizer, you can transform the sound and bring out the ED16's full potential. I recommend JamesDSP for Android devices.
The ED16 is a comfy earphone which provides a great seal. Due to its light build, it sits very well in your ears. The memory wire on the cable is a bit annoying, and normally I would cut it off, but I am just waiting for my braided cable to arrive so I can quickly swap the cables.
The ED16 isolates noise well, though not on the level of the KZ ES3 or the TRN V80. But you won't be disappointed if you're looking for an earphone to use on public transportation. The ED16 will cancel out most outside noise -- a great choice for work, for the bus, or just for listening at home, in bed, or wherever.
If you're looking for an earphone with an open, airy soundstage, hard-hitting, impactful bass, clear and sharp highs, crisp vocals which aren't at all recessed, and a great seal, all at a below $20 price... Well, you can stop looking, because the KZ ED16 is probably the best choice on the market today. I can say with certainty that I like the ED16 more than any of my current KZ models. Grab a pair of these while you can, you will not regret it -- you truly get the most bang for your buck. With an equalizer, you can unleash the full potential of the ED16 and you won't go back to listening without one. The ED16 is on the level of the TRN V80 -- maybe even better. But I love the V80 equally. The ED16 deserves a 9/10 rating, and most headphone reviewers will agree with me on this -- just look up "KZ ED16 review" online. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading this review!