- Sound Quality
- About our rating system
Have you ever heard of Noontec? I haven’t. But that doesn’t mean they’re any less than some of the better known brands. Noontec’s bread and butter is computer storage, enclosures and phone accessories. The Zoro Headphones by Noontec is their first shot at the mobile audio market and might I say, it’s a good start. It is an honor and a privilege to get the chance to check them out before they hit the American shelves; so here we go!
The retail packaging says a lot. Even before you get a chance to try it out, the box has a product page right on the front flap. Inside, it details out each major point of the headphones and the additional accessories including the audio cable and carrying bag. Also, because the headphones come in 3 colors (black, white and red), there’s a window to see what the color looks like; instead of relying on the product image. Because this accessory was originally sold internationally, there are 6 languages with decriptions of the headphones’ specs. For a United States release, I’m not sure if they’ll keep the different languages but it really wouldn’t make a difference either way.
The Zoro Headphones we received are black with a piano finish. The company’s logo is laid on the top of the headphones, the sides and each of the outer earmuffs. For convenience and storage, the sides of the headphones bend inwards so that it can be stored in the small carrying bag. The hinges are supported by steel so one does not have to worry so much about cracking or wearing out the hinges. Underneath the headband, there’s a soft cushion that lays on the top of your head; the earmuffs are also cushioned very well. Plus, for more comfort, each earpiece can move independently so it can fit each users’ ears securely. The audio cable plugs into a 3.5mm 24 gold-plated jack under the left earpiece. The jack is universal so if you want to use your own audio cable, it will work. However, the benefit of this audio cable (other than matching colors) is it is tangle-free; it is a flat cable that cannot be knotted up like your normal audio cable might.
The Zoro Headphones are extremely comfortable. I used them while walking, running, jogging and even push-ups; they never fell off. In fact, I did not have to adjust them. Some headphones tend to tighten up after a while and squeeze on your head, not these. With the adjustable headband on each side, it was very easy to find the best position to hear my audio and feel like I wouldn’t be worrying about the security of the headphones.
I used these headphones with my iPad 3rd gen and my Motorola RAZR Maxx. While I use music streaming apps like Spotify and Slacker Radio, I did get a chance to listen to songs that were downloaded directly to the devices in the highest of qualities. The music I tested ranged from my favorite classical composer, J. S. Bach to a more modern musician, Skrillex. At first, I felt the bass wasn’t balanced. I didn’t feel the “umph” that you might want if you’re listening to music that is driven by the beat of a bass drum. I then compared it to a pair of Beats by Dre headphones. The bass was considerably louder, but then the mids and highs were tougher to listen for. I then tested the Zoro Headphones again and found the bass level to be more than adequate.
Next, I tested the headphones with my iPad on Netflix. Watching an action movie like Thor and then a documentary such as The People vs George Lucas, I came to the conclusion that these headphones have a great balance of sound. I didn’t feel the urge to need a sound mixer to change any of the audio frequencies. There was, however, one problem: sound leak.
Most of the higher end headphones allow the user to listen to their music at any level and the user doesn’t have to worry about the people around them hearing what’s being played. Even with the Beats by Dre, in the ear and over the ear, the sound did not escape. Unfortunately, with the Zoro Headphones, they do. If you watch the video below, you’ll see a video and audio demonstration of just that. Hence, if you were to use this headphones on a plane, train or bus, turn down the volume to be courteous (if you want). Otherwise, the use of the headphones at home, walking, or working out should be no problem with your surrounding environment.
There’s no coincidence that I tried the Zoro Headphones against Beats by Dre. One might even go as far as stating that the Zoro Headphones are a visual reproduction. However, the Noontec logos and its sound quality might prove that even if a product is influenced by another, it can still have merit. From a consumer perspective, the Zoro Headphones might be more appealing because of their price. While there’s no official American price, these headphones may be in the $100 – $130 range. The Beats by Dre Solo (closest resembles) ranges around $200. Currently, the company who has agreed to sell the Zoro in the United States doesn’t have a product page; otherwise I would be pointing to it.
Try It? Buy It? Trash It?
Buy it. I’ve had headphones that have sound leak and generally, it’s pretty simple to overcome; turn down the music. These are great looking headphones and while people might mistake them for Beats by Dre, you sure didn’t pay that exorbitant amount.