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Bose QuietComfort 20 (2013)
See Top Ranked Canal Earphones

Bose QuietComfort 20 (2013) vs KZ ZS3

Analysis:

The Bose QuietComfort 20 (2013) is a great Canal Earphone for its $249 asking price.

The KZ ZS3, however, while a reasonable product for $13, doesn't stack up against its competitors quite as well. If you're considering Canal Earphones in the $10 range, you might want to check out some better options.

The Bose QuietComfort 20 (2013) has managed to do great in various roundups conducted by reviewers from highly trusted sources that perform objective in-depth testing, like Rtings, SoundGuys, Wirecutter (NYTimes), and Tom's Guide - it was dubbed "Best Wired Noise Cancelling Earbuds" by Rtings, "Best All-Around" by SoundGuys, and "Bose’s best noise-cancelling earbuds (for Apple devices)" by Wirecutter (NYTimes). Any product that's held in such high regard by some of the most reliable sources should be considered by everyone who's looking for a Canal Earphone at this price.

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 Canal Earphones received. We found that the Bose QuietComfort 20 (2013) managed to earn a rating of 9 from PCmag, whereas the KZ ZS3 got its highest, 9, score from reviewers at Head-fi.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Canal Earphones on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Canal Earphones being 7.4 out of 10, whereas the Bose QuietComfort 20 (2013) and KZ ZS3 managed averages of 8.2 and 9.0 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct Bose QuietComfort 20 (2013) vs. KZ ZS3 comparison might not be entirely fair - some sources don't take value for money into account when assigning their scores and therefore have a tendency to rate more premium products better.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
PCmag
SoundGuys
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Rtings
Tom's Guide
CNET
Laptop Mag
Android Authority
Gear Patrol
TrustedReviews
Tech. Specs Comparison
Bose QuietComfort 20 (2013)
$249
KZ ZS3
$13
Higher than average expert review score
Significantly higher than average expert review score
7.4
Overall Avg. for Canal 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 noise cancelling earbuds” 
Last updated: 5 days ago
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Pros and Cons of Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones” 
Last updated: 20 Sep 2019
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Wired Noise Cancelling Earbuds
in “The 6 Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds And In-Ear Headphones - Fall 2020” 
Last updated: 12 days ago
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Bose noise-canceling earbuds
in “Best Bose Headphones 2020” 
Last updated: 24 Jul 2019
Android Authority
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “What are the best noise cancelling earbuds?” 
Last updated: 3 Mar 2020
Gadget Review
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best Noise Cancelling Headphones 2020” 
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best noise-canceling headphones of 2020” 
Last updated: 23 days ago
BestReviews
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Bose Headphones” 
Last updated: 6 days ago
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones” 
Last updated: 20 Aug 2020
Recommendations
No Data

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