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KZ ZST (2016) vs Etymotic ER2XR
The KZ ZST (2016) and Etymotic ER2XR make for good, if unremarkable, In-Ear Monitors at their respective budgets.
With that said, while they both should serve reasonably well, you might want to look into other options at the $20 and $120 price points - it's likely that there are some better alternatives available.
If you want to learn more about the KZ ZST (2016) and the Etymotic ER2XR, however, we prepared a summary of the information that we have:
The KZ ZST (2016) was loved by reviewers at Rtings, a highly trusted source that performs reliable in-depth testing. It did great in its "The 5 Best Cheap Earphones - Fall 2020" roundup where it was named its "Runner Up for Best Cheap Earbuds - Wired Alternative", which, in itself, makes it a product worth considering.
Taking a look at the Etymotic ER2XR, it got featured in roundups from two reliable sources that conduct their own testing - Head-fi and Wirecutter (NYTimes) - but it fell short of earning a top spot in either.
We conducted an analysis of all of the review data that we could find on these two products. First, we focused on sources that tested and rated both of them, like Head-fi, and learned that they all showed a preference for the Etymotic ER2XR.
Then we took a look at the highest review scores that these two In-Ear Monitors received. We found that the KZ ZST (2016) managed to earn a rating of 8.3 from Head-fi, whereas the Etymotic ER2XR got its highest, 10, score from reviewers at Head-fi.
Finally, we compared them to other In-Ear Monitors on the market and found that the two of them got reviewed similarly to the majority of their competitors. The overall average review score for In-Ear Monitors in general is 7.7 out of 10, whereas the KZ ZST (2016) and Etymotic ER2XR managed averages of 6.9 and 10.0 points, respectively.
It should be noted that it might not be entirely fair to do a direct KZ ZST (2016) vs. Etymotic ER2XR comparison due to the difference in their pricing; some sources have a tendency to review more premium products better than more affordable ones.