Noontec Zoro HD full review
Let's deal with the audio elephant in the room: walk the streets of any major conurbation and you'll likely see multiple people wearing big chunky headphones bearing the Dr Dre's Beats logo. Those people will tell you that Beats headphones offer great audio fidelity, in particular for DJs who require a lot of clear bass in their mix. Audiophile fans of other brands will tell you that Beats purchasers are fashion victims, fools parting with a lot of money in return for a stylish set of mediocre cans. See all audio reviews.
Why am I talking about Beats headphones in a Noontec review? Take a look. Noontec has clearly worked out that the style is what draws people to Beats, and has styled its own professional headphones accordingly. But the price is right: you can pick up these Beatsalike headphones for around £50 online, whereas similarly specified Beats cans will cost you anywhere between £90 and £300. So how good are the Noontec Zoro HD headphones? Read on to find out. (See also: Top 10 best headphones: What are the best headphones you can buy in 2013?)
Noontec Zoro HD headphones: build, design, style
We're not talking about the greatest build quality here - the Zoro HD headphones are constructed mainly of lightweight plastic. A thin plastic band fits over your head, with a rubbery plastic cusion beneath and nice leathery padded earcups inside the largely metallic earcups. A couple of hinges allow the Zoro HDs fold up into a small bundle for compact storage and travelling. This works well but I fear for the longevity of those hinges in heavy use.
Weighing just 150g the Zoro HD headphones are plenty light enough to be comfortable to wear for long periods. The headband can be adjusted in order to make it fit perfectly, and I found it relatively straightforward to create a good seal. We didn't hear much ambient noise with the Zoro HD headphones even in a noisy environment such as the gym.
As I mentioned above, the Zoro HDs have a very Beats-like look. A silver and red logo affixed to outside of both ears, and a black shiny finish elsewhere. There's a 48-inch-long red cable, which is a decent length, and we like the fact that both ends have 3.5mm connectors - you should have no problem with cable tangles or getting the cable caught on passing objects. On the cord is a one-button remote with microphone. See also: Best headphones for kids - tested to protect children's hearing.
Noontec Zoro HD headphones: specs, performance
For your fifty-quid you get neodymium 40mm drivers and 32 ohms impedance. Response is in the range of 13~26,000Hz, and sensitivity at 1 KHz 1mW comes in at 108dB, according to Noontec. Max power is rated at 60mW by the Zoro HD's manufacturer.
Audio performance was pretty good to our ears, in particular at this price. As with many DJ headphones these days there is plenty of bass, but it sounded clear. It works okay on bassy, ambient music - often a problem for more muddy headphones. Midrange is better than average, too, so we found rock and pop music with voice and guitar sounded natural and clear. We also found that classical string music enjoyed decent clarity and plenty of punch. (For a more expensive Beats-like headset check out the iT7x headphones review.)
Noontec Zoro HD: Specs
- Driver Type: dynamic
- Plug type: 3.5mm
- Driver diameter: 40mm
- Frequency response: 13~26,000Hz
- Sensitivity at 1 KHz 1mW: 108dB
- Input impedance: 32 Ohms
- Max power: 60mW
- Performance: High Definition
- Audio Cable Length: 1.2m