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Apple EarPods (2016)
See Top Ranked Earphones

Apple EarPods (2016) vs KZ ZS3

Analysis:

The Apple EarPods (2016) makes for a good, if unremarkable, Earphone for people with a $17 budget.

The KZ ZS3, however, is merely mediocre at its $13 asking price, when compared to similarly priced products, and won't satisfy the needs of most people.

In either case, we suggest that you first take a look at some other options at the $17 and $10 price points before committing to one of these - it's likely that you'll be able to find some better alternatives.

If you're still interested in learning more about the Apple EarPods (2016) and KZ ZS3, however, we wrote a summary of what we could find about them:

The Apple EarPods (2016) has managed to impress reviewers from some of the most highly trusted sources on the internet, including Rtings and SoundGuys. It performed great in their in-depth hands-on roundups - it was awarded the "Best Wired Apple Earphones" title by Rtings and "Best for most people" by SoundGuys in their respective Earphone roundups. That's high praise, especially when coming from such high-quality sources.

As for the KZ ZS3 - Head-fi, a source that conducts reliable hands-on testing, has featured it in its KZ-ZS3 Hifi High-End 3.5mm In-Ear Earphone Headphones Earpiece Original Headset Bass Earbuds With Microphone review roundup. However, it didn't make it to any of the top spots.

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 KZ ZS3.

Then we took a look at the highest review scores that these two Earphones received. We found that the Apple EarPods (2016) managed to earn a rating of 8 from Pocket-lint, whereas the KZ ZS3 got its highest, 9, score from reviewers at Head-fi.

Lastly, in order to better compare them to the rest of their competition, we averaged out their review scores. The KZ ZS3 managed to get 9.0 out of 10 - considerably better than the 7.3 review average of Earphones in general - whereas the Apple EarPods (2016) earned 6.7 points.

It should be said that doing a direct Apple EarPods (2016) vs. KZ ZS3 comparison might not be entirely fair due to the difference in their prices - some sources don't put much weight on value for money and thus tend to give better review scores to more expensive products.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
SoundGuys
Rtings
CNET
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
PCmag
What Hi-Fi?
The Verge
Expert Reviews
Macworld
Techradar
Tech. Specs Comparison
Apple EarPods (2016)
$19
KZ ZS3
$13
Canal Earphone
No
Yes
Earbud
Yes
No
In-Ear Monitor
No
Yes
Noise-cancelling
No
No
True Wireless
No
No
Wireless
No
No
Significantly higher than average expert review score
7.4
Overall Avg. for Earphones
9.0
Avg. Review Score
Score
Highly recommended by trusted experts
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Lightning headphones of 2020” 
Last updated: a month ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Wired Apple Earphones
in “The Best Apple Earbuds of 2020” 
Last updated: 3 Jul 2020
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Earbuds Under $50” 
Last updated: 15 days ago
BestReviews
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Earbuds” 
Last updated: 5 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The 4 Best Earbuds For Gaming - Fall 2020” 
Last updated: 10 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The 6 Best Earphones With A Mic - Fall 2020” 
Last updated: 10 days ago
Recommendations
No Data

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