Headphones are something that I find people have a hard time agreeing on. For me, I look for something comfortable and versatile that provides good sound. I am far from an audiophile, but I know when my music sounds unclear, has too much bass, or is overly tinny.
For the gym, I prefer my wireless earbuds. However, I wanted some on-ear headphones for around the house and traveling. I happened across Noontec's new ZORO II wireless headphones and figured I would give them a go.
When you open up a new pair of ZORO II's, you'll find everything you need to enjoy your music in any situation. There's a USB cable to keep them charged up, an auxiliary cable for those times you prefer to be wired, and a travel bag to bring everything with you on the road.
The ZORO II is a sharp-looking set of headphones, sporting a two-tone red and black color scheme with silver trim. The padded earphones fit comfortably on your ears and are big enough to fit over some people's ears entirely. And though they are padded, they still have a relatively low profile, so you don't end up looking like Lobot while wearing them.
Not only are the arms adjustable to accommodate various head sizes, but they also fold up to fit nicely in the included bag.
There are three ways that you can get up and running with the ZORO II headphones, and all of them are extremely simple. The first is to connect them like you would any other Bluetooth device, by putting them in pairing mode and then selecting them in your phone's or computer's settings.
The second is to put your NFC-enabled device up to the section of the ZORO II labeled NFC. This will automatically pair them.
And lastly, you can just connect using the provided auxiliary cable. This will give you sound, but will not allow you to use the ZORO's built-in playback, volume, or in-call controls.
I have been pleasantly surprised by Noontec's ZORO II. To be completely honest, I had never heard of the company and, frankly, wasn't expecting much. Instead, what I found was that that these headphones rock. The sound quality is fantastic.
I am not audiophile, but I can tell you that, whether it is a phone call, podcast, or music of any type, the output of the ZORO II is crisp. Voice and treble come through loud and clear and the bass is heavy enough for effect, but doesn't overpower the rest.
There is also no discernable difference in sound quality when connected via Bluetooth or hardwired. Not only that, but they do an admirable job of blocking out external noise, so they are a great option for the coffee shop. I even wear them when running the snow blower to nullify the noise of the engine while clearing the driveway. It's almost as if the machine isn't running at all.
The buttons on the ZORO II conveniently let you perform core functions right from the headset without having to fiddle with your phone. You can answer and end calls, control volume, skip tracks, and start and stop music playback.
Another thing to love about these earphones is the battery life. The manufacturer lists it at 35 hours of use between charges. And although I haven't scientifically tested this claim, I believe it because in months of ownership, I have rarely had to plug them in to power up.
Having the option to use an auxiliary cable is immensely handy as well. Not only does it let you use your headphones with a dead battery, but it gives you the freedom to listen to them on a plane uninterrupted without worrying about switching to airplane mode.
Really, Noontec's ZORO II is the perfect travel companion. It is versatile, gets great battery life, filters out surrounding noise, and folds up into a small enough package to fit in your carry-on.
To sum up, the ZORO II sound system is an overall great experience. They have become my headphones of choice over my Skullcandy Hesh 2.0 and Jaybird Bluebuds X when not at the gym.
No doubt that there is a lot to love about the ZORO II, but it is not without its foibles. The size of the padded earphones falls just short of being one size fits all, so the headphones could be considered on-ear for some users and over-the-ear for others. It just so happens that my entire ear fits nicely, with some minor finagling, though I can see it getting annoying or uncomfortable for some folks.
I did find that if I wore them for an hour or two straight, I needed to take them off and readjust to give the outside of my ears a break. However, I don't think that is necessarily isolated to just these headphones.
I was reluctant to list the $150 price tag as a con because sound quality of the ZORO II is so good that it rivals that of far more expensive headphones. In my eyes, that could very well be a bargain. However, the average buyer will likely balk at the price, since you can find wireless headphones with similar features for much less money.
Noontec's ZORO II wireless headphones are the complete package, bringing high-end sound over wire and Bluetooth. Built-in call and music controls let you rock out, exercise, or just sit back and chill without having to fumble around with your phone.
They are also easily portable, folding up into their own travel bag, along with all of their accessories. Throw in an efficient outside noise reduction system and wonderful battery life, and now you have quite the travel buddy. The ZORO II's are also sleekly designed, so I don't feel ridiculous wearing them in public.
If you are looking for superior sound at a fraction of the cost of the more well-known brands, Noontec's ZORO II should be on your list.
See the Noontec ZORO II at Amazon (opens in new tab)
They look just like Beats headphones. What wireless in-ear-buds do you use?
Aren't the Jaybird Xs he mentioned in-ear?
I missed that part in the review. It was midway through, and missed it. Thanks.
Bare a similarity to the Nokia purity pro. Buyer beware.
That's not a good way to assess these. You're saying that the generic plastic casing looks like another, and passing judgment on the internals (with no mention of what was wrong with the Purity Pro headphones, no less). It just doesn't pass the smell test.
Similar design and components, could be made on the same assembly line. Purity pro had poor quality, non changeable batteries, so they started to off with rave reviews but soon failed many owners.
Would like to see some sort of 'after the buzz' reviews on WC.
Well, this article says the guy has been using the things for "months." He doesn't specify how many, but it's not like this review is just an initial impression of sound. And, again, you're not using any real logical connection for quality determination. They don't even really look that similar, beyond having both come in red.
Great review, Seth. You're right on the con of the price. I wouldn't mind getting some actual headphones, but more as a secondary listening option because I use earphone with just one in a lot (so I can talk or listen for the phone, as examples). The quality of these sounds very nice, though. I continue to go the cheap route on my earphone now. I simply haven't managed to find a review of something compelling enough to spend more on earphone, when they usually involve inferior audio quality and a higher price tag for the convenience of size. I'd be up for something like this in a wireless option, where you can go wired when you want, but don't need to deal with the cord when you want to have freedom of movement (I can't come close to counting the number of times I've had the cable from my earphones get in the way). It's neat that these auto-pair through NFC. Does that cover Bluetooth playback, and is it something that others usually offer? I don't keep tabs on audio devices too heavily, but I can't recall NFC pairing with other sets of headphones.
NFC assists with pairing via Bluetooth. NFC's protocol is way too limited to allow for streaming content methods.
It's been well known amongt Audiophile's that Noontec Zorro are far better than Beat's Solo (Beats are notoriouly poor SQ wise). I use a pair of Zorro II wireless at the gym paired with my - the're brilliant. I have Schiit Lyr 2, Schiit Bifrost Multibit & Mr Speakers Alpha Prime's for quality listening time :)
I was liking what I saw until I scrolled down and saw that "n" on the side. That's hideous. IMHO.
What is wrong with it? No worse than the Beats B logo...yet Beats offer awful sound quality
My Philips wireless headphones cost half of that and are brilliant !
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