I’m really starting to lose track of KZ earphones lately. Every week the seem to release something new and it’s becoming a bit tedious. The TWS E10, however, is something different. In execution at least. This is the first true wireless earphone from the company and rather than go for an all in one solution they have opted for stand-alone wireless adapters that sit externally from the earphones housing.
What is the KZ TWS E10
The E10 is a set of true wireless earphones that utilize an adapter instead of housing the Bluetooth electronics on the inside of the shell. This allows for a higher driver configuration without an increase in size. Many True wireless earphones are bulky and cumbersome but the E10 looks like any other set of KZ earphones. The external Bluetooth units replace the need for cables and sit behind the ear.
The TWS E10 is a 5 driver hybrid earphone that uses 1 dynamic driver and 4 balanced armatures. It has Bluetooth 5.0, APTX support, a Qualcomm 3020 chip, inbuilt microphones and touch controls. It’s a pretty feature-packed earphone for the price.
Packaging and accessories
The packaging for the KZ TWS E10 is simple and gets the job done. Its not fancy and the image of the earphones is virtually impossible to see but it keeps them safe in transit and won’t add too much cost to the final product.
You pull off the outer sleeve and pop the plastic top and are faced with two compartments. on the right, there is the Box and charging case for the earphones and the left is a small box that contains the instructions, warranty card, some spare eartips and charging cable. The eartips are all but junk and I suggest you outfit the E10 with your favorite aftermarket tips straight from the start.
The case is very plastic but it’s well built and not too bulky. Its a clamshell design with magnetic closure. This case as well as being a great place to store the earphones when not in use is how you will charge the earphones. The IEM’s sit in special slots whereby the charging pins will make contact and commence the charge.
To pair the earphones with your device via Bluetooth you will also need to use the button on the inside of the case and hold until it flashes blue. These lights will also indicate when the earphones and case are in charging mode.
Speaking of charging we are happy to report that KZ is using a USB-C cable for the charger which brings inline with all the other devices I currently own.
Build quality is good for the price. Its a 2 piece resing shell earphone with metal nozzles and grills. The Earhooks also feel very well made and are flexible yet not flimsy. I have no issues with the build quality and in fact, would go as far as to say its more premium than the price would suggest.
Comfort and Isolation
The E10 is a very comfortable set of true wireless earphones. Having the ear hooks means that you get this really secure fit that a lot of these earphones lack. It gives a lot of support and they never feel like they will fall out which makes them great if you are doing any type of sport.
The other advantage is that despite being a multi-driver hybrid they are also smaller than I would expect because they don’t need to fit all the wireless chips and batteries inside the housing. They go behind the ear so the actual housing fits snuggly into place with its ergonomically friendly design. They are not the smallest earphones, to begin with however so if you have small ears I suggest looking elsewhere.
Insertion depth is a medium shallow and they do a decent job of isolating you from environmental noise.
The sound quality is fine. These aren’t going to challenge similarly priced wired earphones but they do represent very good value to performance when compared against another budget true wireless earphones.
Its a V-shaped earphone with laid back mids and elevated bass response. The mids are generally not bad but do push a little to the sibilant side and lack definition and clarity.
They do resolve decent detail in the midrange and vocals are clear and present. the lower end of the mids is not swamped by the elevated to end and overall I was impressed with the detail retrieval in this area.
The lows are enhanced but it’s not a boomy sounding earphone its does lack speed and texture but it has decent sub-bass response and works well with pop, EDM and hip hop.
The reason not to buy
Well KZ goes and ruins a perfectly good earphone that could have been perfect for sports-minded and active people. Firstly there is no mention of sweat or dust resistance. This is somewhere I really think they messed up because the stability of the IEM’s makes them perfect during vigorous movement. Yet that’s not the biggest flaw.
The biggest flaw is the absolutely abysmal battery life. During testing at our average listening levels, we scraped just over 3 hours of playback time making it the worst battery life we have ever tested of a true wireless earphone. To make matters worse we were almost another 3 hours until they charged again from the case and there was no fast charge capability. To me, this is completely unacceptable and makes them extremely hard to recommend.
I like a lot about the KZ TWS E10. The design is solid. It’s super comfortable and has a very secure fit. If these earphones were sweat or water-resistant and had a battery life of over 7 hours + quick charge I might just have made them the best true wireless earphones for sports on the market right now. However, as it stands the lack of protection makes them a risk for sports and the battery life basically kills the functionality for everything else. I think KZ is onto something here but I think at this price spending just a tiny bit extra gets you the Sabbat Ultra’s and they are just a way better earphone.