TL;DR: The KZ ATE sings loud and proud for such a cheap IEM. Despite that, they're one of the most aggressive sounding IEMs I've come across, for better or for worse.

Chinese manufacturer KZ is to headphones what Oppo or Huawei means to cellphones – cheap, of a decent quality, and Chinese. KZ was one of the first who came into the audiophile market riding the wave of distributor-sellers bridging the gap between Eastern manufacturers and Western consumers. They have seen become a staple recommendation for audiophiles with not much cash to burn, offering sound quality of much higher value than what their price tags would suggest.

This week we will be taking a look at one of the older, but still highly recommended KZ models – the ATE. My experience with the KZ ED9 was not a very good first impression (it had channel imbalance issues straight out of the box), so now, let's find out if maybe I simply got off on the wrong foot.

(Disclaimer: the product in review was received free of charge from George at in exchange for my honest opinion. Please take the following with a grain of salt and always try before you buy.)