Review KZ S2: Inexpensive hybrid TWS wireless earbuds with AAC codec, waterproof and game mode 2022.
I was asked to consider the KZ S2 wireless headphones for a long time. Since this is, so to speak, an improved version of those very sensational S1 and Z1. The model is based on a fairly advanced Realtek 8763 chip with support for SBC and AAC codecs, game mode and bluetooth version 5.0. Of the additional features, splash protection and a hybrid acoustic scheme of the headphones themselves are declared. Consisting of 7 mm. double dynamic emitter and, respected even by serious companies, armature driver 30095. In general, let’s start.
Bluetooth: v5.0 Realtek 8763
Codecs: SBC, AAC
Emitters: dynamic 7 mm. + reinforcing 30095 (HF)
Frequency range: 20 Hz — 20 kHz
Impedance: 24 Ohm
Sensitivity: 98 dB / mW
Operating time: 3.5 h
Headphone capacity: 40 mAh
Case capacity: 400 mAh
Other: gaming mode
Headphone weight: 5 g
Case Weight: 42 g
Packaging and equipment
The packaging is only slightly different from the KZ approach we are used to. It does not carry any useful information at all.
All the most interesting is hidden in the instruction manual located inside. This is where we find out the detailed specifications, as well as the algorithm for resetting to factory settings. If suddenly the headphones for some reason play very quietly or have some other flaws, then the first thing to do is to make this reset. In most cases, this completely resolves the issue.
Also included is a standard warranty card, a short Type C cable and a set of white silicone ear pads. With which, by the way, they did not guess again. Personally, this shape does not suit me at all, but I still consider the best ones that came with KZ E10. Such, in the form of a fungus with a cut core.
The model sits comfortably in the ears, fits securely and provides an excellent level of passive sound insulation. True, he acts a little.
But this is understandable, inside there is a double 7 mm. dynamic driver and armature 30095. And that’s not talking about the microcircuit and the 40 mAh battery, which provides about 3.5 hours of operation on a single charge. And taking into account the charge of the case, listening to music can be extended up to 14 hours.
Design / Ergonomics
The case is medium in size. It is made of black matte plastic and has a large KZ Acoustics inscription on the front. The bottom has a Type C charging port, which, in my opinion, is not the best choice, since they will have to be charged while lying down.
The loop is normal here. No sophistication, of course, but I can’t say bad either. It will most likely last a long time.
The lid is fixed with magnets, just like the cups inside.
This time they did not spoil us with notches, which is why the selection of third-party ear cushions is very difficult here. You need to either cut the core, or initially buy short ones. There are no buttons here, only a single LED indicator that simultaneously signals the charge of the case and the cups inside.
The headphone cases are made of nice-to-the-touch glossy plastic with two charging terminals, a compensation hole and a rather thin metal sound guide on the inside.
The sound guide, of course, has a special protrusion for holding the ear pads and a protective metal mesh. Above and below you can find two more holes: for internal ventilation and a microphone built into the body. I propose to judge the quality of the latter independently, I will insert an excerpt into the video version of the review. For me, it’s quite normal.
The faceplates here are decorated with a small indicator LED and a circle with the company’s logo inscribed in it. Actually, this circle limits the area of the sensor. The controls here are quite classic: one touch pauses, two switches tracks, and three switches the headphones to the so-called game mode. Allowing to greatly minimize delays in games or when watching videos. Unfortunately, volume control from headphones is not provided.
In fact, there are two codecs, standard SBC and much better quality AAC. That is connected with the chip from the company Realtek inside. Water protection, as I said, is, but only from splashes. The model is not afraid of sweat and light rain, but it most likely will not survive immersion in water.
I would rate the signal quality as good. Interruptions of course happen, but very rarely and literally for a quarter of a second. In terms of volume, I never exceeded 60%, that is, with a very decent margin.
The impulse is quite fast, calming down even in less than 100ms. The waterfall is predictably clear, with peak distortion reaching 2.5%. That, in general, very decent results to date.
The frequency response curve has a rise in the bass area of 12.5 dB, with a clear attenuation in its sub part, then there is an imperceptible deflection of 2.5 dB, a double selection of the intelligibility area, a compensation pit and a small peak to enhance detail at 9 kHz. It is interesting that for some reason we also emphasized the 18 kHz, which were not heard by all. Which already belongs to the so-called diamond.
In a nutshell, KZ S2 sound can be described as quite deep, balanced, with a good bias in nuances and elaboration of mids and highs. A double dynamic driver is responsible for the bass here, which means naturalness, mass and drawing will be just gorgeous. The lower part of the mid frequencies seems to be captured by this radiator too, since the so-called guitar meat really rocks. The model is deprived of only that same sub part. It is slightly lower in frequency response and, therefore, the konrabass, bass guitar and cello sound mainly with their own body, softly damping where, for example, Redmi AirDots2 starts such a vibrating buzz.
The lower part of the middle is also pleasant, rich and very melodious. It’s very expensive to listen to it. Vocals, strings, winds have a good very massive basis and perfectly convey the whole drive and emotional grain of the instrument. But the closer you get to the high frequencies, the more the sound becomes thinner, turning into a rather sharp, sparkling and super-detailed picture. It is pleasant to listen to, but the joint between the emitters is more than noticeable. For its price tag, this is, of course, very cool, but the model does not mark higher. It is difficult to put a review hero next to 1More TWS ANC.
At the high frequencies, the manufacturer skillfully inscribed a compensation pit, which this time should have been made even deeper. Because every now and then you can catch the excessive accentuation of all sorts of whistling and hissing sounds. In well-recorded music, there is nothing like this, but on YouTube videos, audiobooks and various poorly recorded and mixed material, unpleasant cutting sounds continually slip through. The ear quickly adapts to them, but in contrast to a purely dynamic or well-made hybrid model, it hits the ears. From here it is worth focusing on styles and genres. I would recommend raising the equalizer by 5 dB. 30 Hz and lower it by the same 5 dB. 7 kHz. with a Q factor of plus or minus 1 kHz. above and 10 Hz below. This setting will make the ears just gold, adding a sub part and gently softening the sibilance.
The virtual scene is built medium in width and similarly in depth. The armature emitter of course tries to pull out even the smallest shades for us and add air to the instruments, but this only applies to any percussion, echoes of strings and other high-frequency tails. If you compare the S2 with the previous versions of the S1 and Z1, the progress is obvious. Now the music really sounds, albeit with reservations, but everything is already pretty cool. I did not even hesitate to compare it with 1More ANC, although there is a gap between them in terms of price tag. Baseus WM01 Plus is noticeably darker, thicker and lighter on the tops. The already mentioned Redmi AirDots2 are not even suitable for holding a candle. Feels like a class below KZ S2. But the heroes of the review are also far from TRN T300 and ZMI Purpods Pro. The level of construction and elaboration of the sound composition is not at all the same. That is, the ears, as they say, are in their place. If everyone,
As a result, KZ S2 wireless headphones show obvious progress after the first versions of the S and Z series. Of the minuses, I want to scold them for the inability to install headphones with full-size attachments in the case, well, and the charging port on the base. The model has much more advantages. Many will appreciate the game mode with minimal delays, good signal level, incredible volume compared to the same Xiaomi, splash protection and a much longer battery life. It took me more than 3 hours on a single charge. In sound, the model, in my opinion, is correctly positioned within its 30 dollars. The ears definitely play for their money and even a little better, but they do not climb into the more expensive segment. Such a rich, comfortable sound with bright detailed highs. This makes it much clearer, than pure dynamics and much more melodic than hybrids with a reinforcing center. In general, KZ made an excellent model in its price tag.
That’s all for me. If you have any questions, ask them in the comments below the article. Happy shopping everyone!