Review - Drop Cavalli Tube Hybrid (CTH)

Review - KZ DQ6 (sub 50€)

(si prefieres ver esta review en español, haz click aquí)


Let me start out by saying that the KZ DQ6 was sent to me free of charge by LuckLZ, they have not requested anything specific except for an honest review, but as always, it is good to be aware of the fact that it hasn’t cost me anything to try these IEMs.

In case you are not aware, LuckLZ is a seller on AliExpress that sometimes sends me items for review. Although they haven’t specifically requested that I post links, you can find their store here: https://es.aliexpress.com/store/4612004?spm=a2g0o.detail.100005.3.4c7d557dTmhrEW

And here is the link direct to the KZ DQ6: https://es.aliexpress.com/item/1005001879050215.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.731663c0PUaxTe

(Note: These are not affiliate links, I do not receive anything from any purchases made following those links)



Intro…

Something new from KZ is not a surprise, however, something from KZ that is different to anything I have tried from the brand before is!

The DQ6 is the latest release from KZ (unless they have released anything since I received them, which is also possible) and is not the usual KZ hybrid offering. This is a multi-driver IEM, 3 drivers to be exact, it just so happens that all three are Dynamic Drivers, rather than the usual DD+BA that we see on KZ multi-driver models.

I am someone who really likes DD, especially for the bass and lower mids, and some of the best timbre I have heard in IEMs has come from Dynamic Drivers. This means that I was actually excited to try out this new offering from KZ, I mean, if 1x DD is good, 3x must be better no??

Also, as another break from the usual KZ, the shape and style of the shell has changed, making these a set of IEMs that I certainly wouldn’t recognize as KZ upon first glance.

Anyway, let’s look at them one step at a time and see whether they are something to get excited about or not.



Presentation…

The presentation of the DQ6 is not one of the things that has changed. They arrive in the typical KZ fashion, in a small and simple white box. Inside the box we find the IEMs in the typical plastic moulded shape, along with the cable and a selection of tips.

So, it really isn’t any different to the usual KZ packaging.



Build and aesthetics…

Here is where the DQ6 stand out as being different. Instead of the usual KZ shape with either a metal or plastic faceplate (depending on model), they have kept it similar but with a redesign to the shape.

The font plate is smaller and of a different shape than usual, made of metal, with the KZ logo stamped into it (not printed) and a small vent at the bottom.

The rest of the shell is clear, on this set, and has what seems to be a more ergonomic shape to it. On the part of the shell that fits into your ears, KZ has shaped it with a protrusion that helps hold the IEM in place and make sure it is always positioned the same. 

This is very similar to the way custom IEMs are made, using the shape of one ear to position and hold the IEM correctly. Now, in my case, this is actually quite comfortable. The protrusion did irritate me for a short while but once I got used to it, I actually liked it. However, I can see this being very different for people with different anatomies, so you would really need to try these out to find out if they are comfortable for you. Luckily, KZ seems to have experimented with this shape on a budget model first.

I don’t see any glaring faults with the build quality, so I have no reason to believe that it will last any less than other KZ models. 

Another thing that has changed are the included tips. Due to the redesign of the shape, the insertion is less than before, meaning that tips are shorter and seem to aim to create the seal right at the beginning of your ear canal. In my case, I didn’t get along with this very well.

When using the included tips, I had to opt for a large in one ear and a medium in the other, something that I have never found with any other IEMs or tips (that I can remember). I also got the sensation that they could move at any time (not something that can really happen but they gave me the sensation). In the end, after working through multiple types of tips, I settled on some large silicone tips with a rigid core and not as shallow as those included with the DQ6.



Sound…

As I said at the beginning, I am a fan of Dynamic Drivers, therefore a triple DD set up is something that intrigued me. It also means that KZ should be able to avoid that slightly metallic timbre up top that appears in their hybrid models, although, being honest, they have improved a huge amount in that regard anyway. But BA are not the subject here, the triple DDs are.

In the subbass category, songs like “Way Down Deep” by Jennifer Warnes or “No Mercy” by Gustavo Santaolalla prove that there is plenty of extension and a fair bit of presence in the lowest regions. Anyone who has been following my reviews will know by now that I am not really a bass head but I do like it to be there when needed, and in the case of the DQ6, it is certainly there when needed.

That probably makes sound like it is highly boosted in the lowest of regions but that is not really the case. There does seem to be a bit of an elevation in the subbass as it doesn’t show any signs of roll off and at the same time provides the sub-bass rumble that is needed, be it the songs above or others. I really enjoyed the low end rumble on “Royals” with these IEMs.

The remaining bass frequencies are also slightly boosted over the mids but again, not too much, or at least not too much for my personal tastes with most music. If the track does have a large bass boost in its recording, then the DQ6 can present this as too much bass, but that is not really the fault of the DQ6.

The transition into the mids is decent, without much of a bleed, except in cases like those mentioned above, where the track has too much bass in its recording. In those cases, it is not really bleed but more of an excess that overshadows the lower mids.

In the case of well recorded music, or at least music that is not overly boosted, the lower mids are actually quite pleasurable, with a nice tonality to them. There is a nice body to the lower end of acoustic guitars and the like, without overshadowing the vocals. For example, “Tears In Heaven” by Eric Clapton (Live Version) I found to be pretty well balanced.

Moving through the mids, I don’t really have any complaints at all. They seem to be nicely balanced and with good presence throughout. They are not as lush as the mids on other alternatives but they are far from offensive in any way.

In fact, my first real complaint comes when we reach the sibilance range, as the DQ6 is a little hot for my tastes in this range. After playing around with tips and settling on those that I mentioned above, the sibilance is reduced to a level that is just slightly too hot for my tastes but I can cope with.

The highest of frequencies do roll off slightly and I would prefer them to extend slightly more and present a little more air up top, but to be honest, they don’t do a bad job and certainly don’t leave me with the feeling that a LPF has been added (which some other models do).

As far as speed and definition, again, the DQ6 do a pretty decent job. They are not detail monsters, nor do they push it at you, but they do have more than enough to present you with the feeling that the music is complete, there seems to be nothing missing. The speed with which they do this is also quite decent, even on complex passages, the dynamic drivers hold their posture and don’t fall apart. Again, these are not IEMs that are going to leave you open mouthed with their speed and definition, but they won’t leave you complaining either.



Conclusion…

The DQ6 are something that risks being different from the rest, and I like that. It is nice to see KZ trying other things lately rather than just their hybrid designs with more and more drivers.

Personally, I am a fan of the looks (they resemble IEMs found on many stages) with the fit and comfort suiting me quite well. This is obviously something different for each and every person.

As far as sound, I think they do a good job for their price, which is around 20€. I am a fan of dynamic drivers and this one has 3, so I should be happy right? I mean, the sound is not perfect and there is room for improvement in various places, but in general the sound is pleasant and more than acceptable for the price range.

The only real part of the sound that irritated me was the sibilance I found excessive with the majority of tips but with the ones I ended up using, it is lowered to an acceptable (although still not great) level.

At the end of the day, I think that the DQ6 are a good buy at their 20€ price range and I am happy to have spent some time with them.

SenyorC