Top positive review
20 of 21 people found this helpful
on 21 October 2013
▣ Audio Sources ▣
PC using Arcam rDAC & Graham Slee Solo SRGII amp.
Samsung Galaxy S3 (with and without an E11 amp) using PowerAmp Android app.
▣ Overview & design ▣
Having heard good things about the professional version of the headphones, I decided to give Noontec's newest HD version a try.
Design wise, these seem to be exactly the same as the professional version, but apparently have slightly improved sound and better seal from background noise. They also come with an inline remote/mic, which the pro lacked. Personally, I quite like their design, even though it's quite obvious where Noontec got their design inspiration, but it doesn't bother me one bit, because noontec actually made a headphone that sounds as good as it looks, something Beats by Dre simply couldn't achieve for some reason; Although since they split with Monster, their latest headphones are becoming more balanced and neutral sounding, which can only be a good thing.
Build quality is nothing spectacular, but adequate at this price, the hinges at least seem to be reinforced with metal, which is good news. Mine have been on a few journeys so far and have been fine. They fold down nicely and can be stored the included cloth pouch. The cable isn't the best quality and mine has now split at one end, which is disappointing. I've since replaced it with a V-MODA cable.
▣ Audio ▣
Sound quality is where these really shine. They are fairly balanced and neutral, accurate and detailed. Highs are slightly mellowed and treble rolled off. Mid-range is neutral and smooth. Bass is tight and extends extremely well. These always make me smile when pumping bass heavy tunes through them, like Reggae, Dancehall, Intelligent Jungle and Trap (Tunes like: TNGHT - Higher Ground, sounds awesome), as you'll feel the bass vibrating on your ears, which I love; Although, to achieve this, you may need to use a Fiio E11 amp and PowerAmp player for Android (which has a great EQ and superb audio enhancements). However, The Zoro HD's are easily driven without an amp and still sound great.
Another headphone I've been recently auditioning is the Momentum on-ear, which is another good sounding and comfortable on-ear headphone, but they just don't appear to have the same bass impact and extension as the Zoro HD.
Update August 2014: I now have the V-MODA XS and they take sound to a new level. Where the Zoro falls slightly on treble and Momentum on bass, the V-MODA XS nails both. They're not cheap but worth it. I can still easily recommend the Zoro HD in this price range though.
▣ Comfort ▣
For on-ear headphones, these are pretty comfortable and seal quite well. The headband is also comfortable and fits my head perfectly. I can easily wear them for a few hours before my ears need a rest. My Momentum on-ear are probably a tad more comfortable, but they do have luxurious suede ear padding.
▣ Conclusion ▣
Overall, I'm extremely pleased with the Noontec Zoro HD and they're one of my favourite portable headphones I've tried under £100. If you're looking for a great value, portable and fashionable headphone, that actually sounds great, then give these a try, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.