The Very Well Balanced Noontec Zoro II HD
Noontec Zoro II HD ($99)
In late 2011 I reviewed the Monster Beats Solo and found it simply horrible. Knowing there were a bunch of Chinese knock-offs, I set out to find one better than the original. I eventually stumbled onto and reviewed the Noontec Zoro. I found it much better. The subsequent Noontec Zoro HD was better yet. Fast forward to the middle of last year, and Beat releases their next generation headphones including the Solo2, which I loved.
Proving the game is still afoot, Noontec has recently released their new Zoro II HD...and I'll be damned if they haven't done it again. These new cans are sweet!
The Zoro II HD is an on-ear, sealed headphone. Build quality is quite good for a $99 heaphone. Most parts are plastic, with the hinge having a few metal parts. I found the hinge to be nicely designed, having just the right amount of tension before clicking into open and closed positions.
Arm extensions provide just enough travel for adjustment, but folks with very large or small heads may have troubles. This headphone may not go small enough for young children. Size adjustment is detented and holds securely in place, but it definitely has a somewhat "plasticy" feel.
The Zoro II HD is available in four colors, I've got the blue one here. I feel the high-gloss, fine-fleck paint job is pretty good quality for a headphone at this price, though it does pick up fingerprints very easily. The design is somewhat changed from the previous Zoro with the headband ends a more interesting shape and having significantly larger ear-pads. All-in-all, I'd say this is one of the nicer looking headphones I've seen at this price.
Ear-pads are a medium-grade pleather over memory foam, and are larger and more comfortable than the previous Zoro. Headband pad is ample pleather over foam configuration. Caliper pressure is medium and the headphones quite light, making for an above average comfort and fit for a headphone of this type.
Accesorization is sparse...but at this price it almost always is. The flat, tangle resistan cable has a one-button remote, and is just slightly short at 48" longI tend to think 52" is perfect. Noontec claims the cable is OFC and connectors 24 carrot gold coated. Also included is a velour draw-string bag.
Time for the good stuff, let's talk about how they sound.