Let's dig deeper
So, what exactly do you get for $40 more than the original Zoro headphones? Looking at their website, it seems the structure is slightly smaller in the II, however, its weighs 14g more as a whole. You are provided with a slightly better frequency response, double the input impedance, 10 mW more power, and a microphone located within the cable.
Finally, a cable microphone! Most mobile and Bluetooth headphones will include a small microphone located within the structure of the product. Not only does this barely pick up any sound, it sounds terrible and is certainly not good for busy environments. We tested the Arctic P614 BT recently and the in-built microphone would cut off the first half of the first word and the last half of the last word in every sentence you spoke.
The leather ear cups are quite small, but feel very nice on the head. Usually on-ear products will see your ears get quite hot and also uncomfortable as soon as 15 minutes into the journey. A 20 minute walk and 20 minute train ride into the city reported absolutely no issues for me - consider me impressed.
A slightly niggling issue would be the fact that there is no Bluetooth support whatsoever. For $99, this product isn't exactly cheap, but I can see Bluetooth enticing more people to make the purchase even if it added an extra $10 onto the total price tag.
Listening Experience - a walk and train ride
I took the train into the city yesterday for my University open day - keeping a complete open mind about these headphones as I'm usually an in-ear fan. The headset folds nicely and fits neatly within the carry bag, alongside the cable being easy to untangle and plug in. Touching on the detachable cable option, most people don't realize that a very common place for your device to start breaking and losing sound is around the part where the cable connects to the headphones.
If you're wrapping up the cord and storing the product while travelling or it's in storage, you're putting a lot of stress on that point joint, however, if the cable can be detached and rolled up, no harm should come its way. The detachable cable is also useful when you get caught on something, instead of ripping your phone out of your pocket or the device off your head, the cable will simply detach.
I listened to a few more mellowed-out songs this time around, alongside throwing in a few bangers as I should. Twenty One Pilots and their melodies sounded full and clear, alongside my general slew of hardstyle by Audiofreq and heavy metal by The Amity Affliction coming back quite positive - these headphones handle punchy bass extremely well.
When listening to some more chilled-out rap like that from Nas, the mid and high range sounds are a little muffled when compared to other offerings - showing that the drivers could do with a little work. However, overall, for such a compact design, I'm quite impressed.
Usually you can tell when a travel audio option is of high quality almost instantly when picking it up. For the Noontec Zoro HD II, I first thought that it might be yet another cheap import option, however, its bark is certainly better than its bite. I was originally put off by the shiny exterior and plastic design, however, the metal backbone and solid construction means it should last you just fine on a global trip with a few falls included.
The microphone isn't great, but it does the job and the headphones are certainly comfortable enough to wear for periods of time. You might experience a little hot-ear and sweat issues, but realistically, these cannot be avoided when a 27-degree morning, sunshine and leather ear cups are presented to you. The noise-cancellation is satisfactory as is expected by the structure and design of this product.
These headphones will handle a wide variety of music and store comfortably in your backpack or handbag when not in use.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, Pricing & Availability]
- Page 2 [A Closer Look & How They Feel and The Listening Experience]
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