QKZ x HBB Khan's Review
QKZ has another new collaboration with HBB, which is what I have here with me today, the Khan. It is an IEM with dual dynamic driver configuration which sports 10mm DD handling the bass as well as a smaller DD 7.8mm handling the mids and the highs.
The shell is 3D printed with some nice looking faceplate with pseudo carbon fibre. The L side of the earpiece sporting QKZ’s logo while the R side sporting HBB’s logo. In the box, it also came with a “gold” looking coin that has HBB’s logo on it. The shell size is not too big nor small, sits and seals very well in my ears, no discomfort throughout my listening period which spans over 2-3 hours, music, netflix as well as casual gaming with it.
Packaging is quite nice for an IEM that costs 40$, especially coming from QKZ, which normally have packaging style similar to KZ’s. The packaging consist of a hard storage case, 3 pairs of eartips, OFC cable, a HBB’s “Gold” coin, and the Khan itself. The overall unboxing experience of Khan feels like the IEM cost more than 40$
Gears used for this review
Topping DX1 + JDS Atom Amp
Topping DX1 + Topping NX7
Sony Walkman ZX300 with MrWalkman’s Firmware
iPod Touch 5th Gen
Macbook Air M2’s 3.5mm port
My review is solely based on what I hear via my equipment and I never consider my reviews to be objective in any way rather a subjective approach. Do take into consideration that everyone’s ear anatomy is not the same, so the psychoacoustics perception might be different as well, but i believe it will not stray too far
Khan sounds a little like a harman tuned IEM with a unique twist to it. In fact it is quite similar to one of the dual DD IEM that I reviewed a few months ago, namely the Truthear Zero. The timbre is quite natural to my ears, although the note weight is slightly lacking in my opinion, but for the asking price, can be overlooked. In terms of tonality, it is slightly warm, the slight warmness does contribute to the bass texture afterall.
The sub bass takes the stage here and it does rumble quite a bit and very enjoyable especially listening to EDM track such as Amin Van Bureen’s Ping Pong
Mid bass is lacking a little punch here as it is very evident on Metallica’s Lux Aeterna,
Speed is quite good and the bass texture is quite good overall with good control and tight
Mid range is neither recessed nor too forward, providing sufficient details and the bass also doesn’t bleed to the mids
Male vocal is slightly recessed whereas female vocal is more forward and a bit more energetic and lively, both male and female vocal has good texture and note weight
The mids are generally clean and good, although certain instrument such as piano does sound a little lacking in terms of note weight, but this is just nitpicking
Treble is smooth and never sibilant, a very safe tuning, rejoice treble sensitive folks!
While it’s good to have a safe approach, it also kills off some air which is evident on some busy tracks where everything will sound a little like “mashed” with each other
Detail retrieval is average, it is good for the price but don’t expect it to be analytical or use it for critical listening
Soundstage is slightly out of the head but lacking a little height and depth to my ears. Imaging is average, instruments can be picked up easily but of course it struggles a little on busy tracks.
Khan is quite easy to drive, able to get decent listenable volume from any 3.5mm jack. Macbook Air M2’s audio jack is quite capable of putting out decent volume. However, it does scale with better sources as well as amplification. Amping it with JDS Atom, it does exhibited better control in terms of bass tightness and also slightly better imaging
Comparison (Kiwi Ears Cadenza)
Both are priced quite closely to each other 35$ vs Khan 40$
Cadenza is a single DD with beryllium plated whereas Khan is a dual DD with a dedicated DD handling the bass and another DD for the mids and highs
In terms of tuning, Cadenza is a little laid back whereas Khan is slightly more energetic on the top end
Bass on Cadenza is more linear sounding whereas on the Khan the sub bass is elevated causing the mid bass to sound a little lacking in terms of punchyness, Cadenza retained the punchyness but the sub bass doesn’t rumble that hard compared to Khan
Mids on the Cadenza is slightly laid back compared to Khan which is a little forward
Treble is smooth on the Cadenza and also having a little more air compared to Khan, Khan is lacking a little air but both are smooth
Detail retrieval capability on both set are quite close, soundstage on the Cadenza sounds a little “bigger” due to the extra air from the treble region, this is not to say that Khan is having a small/narrow soundstage, just slightly smaller than Cadenza
Both are easy to drive and both are good sets in my opinion, at the end of the day, it is just up to you to decide what’s your preference and what you will be listening to most of the time and pick the one for you.
I don’t have any problem recommending Khan if you’re looking for some fun and to experience having a “dedicated” woofer handling the sub bass which does produce a very very fun rumble when the track calls for it. However, if you are mainly looking for technical performance, you may skip this set, Khan is not for you, this is not to say that Khan’s technical performance is bad, it’s just that the tuning isn’t focused on being technical. It is a fun set overall and easily likeable by many out there I believe.
*Khan is sent over by Linsoul in exchange for this review. I thank them for the opportunity as always and I received no compensation to produce this review.
Head over to Linsoul’s store to grab a pair now if you’re interested
QKZ x HBB Khan - Non Affiliated