Noontec ZORO II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones Review
Noontec ZORO II Wireless Sound Quality
To really give the ZORO II’s a test, we used them for a little over a week in all kinds of environments from mowing the grass, to flying across country, and of course a multi-hour session with Battlefield 4 for testing purposes only (at least that is what I told my wife). We use both wired and Bluetooth connections to an iPhone 6+, Samsung S4, Lenovo Laptop, and USB Bluetooth 4.0 dongle plugged into our home gaming PC as sources. The content ranged from MP3 VBR , movies, games, and CD.
We have used several different pairs of headphones and earbuds including those from Shure, Plantronics, Sennheiser, Bose, Jaybird, Beats, and Bang & Olufsen. Of these the only the Jaybird X2 was a wireless Bluetooth model as earbuds so we were curious how an on-ear would be to live with. The ZORO II wireless were comfortable for the most part with a soft headband and snug fit that prevented them from falling off during outdoor activity. The ear pads hand-made using something they call protein cotton, which is extremely comfortable to wear. However, they did tend to make our ears sweat after very long gaming sessions or work outside in 75F weather, the downside of something resting on your ears instead of in them.
Overall the sound quality was flat and unlike the Beats headphones, there was not the usual extra bass to muddy up some of the smoother tracks from ColdPlay or Led Zepplin. Usually flat sounding headphones is a good thing, however the ZORO II Wireless lacked a bit of life and warmth compared to the Jaybird X2. Part of this is due to the fact that the ZORO II’s sit on the ear and while the ear pads were comfortable for several hours of use, they do not do a great job of blocking external sounds. This lack of sound isolation means that the environment needs to be fairly quiet to get all the subtle detail out of your music.
When we were in a relatively quiet space, the Noontec ZORO II did produce some very nice sounding music from the thump of David Guetta and Deadmau5, to the subtle notes from Adele, or the whine of Flyleaf and Perfect Circle. Unfortunately the lack of sound isolation also means that above 38% volume anyone around you gets to enjoy whatever you are listening to as well as my wife pointed out during my heated Star Wars Battlefront beta session, I mean testing. Subjectively we preferred the sound quality of the Jaybird X2 over the Noontec ZORO II Wireless Headphones but felt the ZORO II’s had decent quality for the price range. We did prefer these over the Beats due to less false bass, your experience might be different.
There are two microphones in the ZORO II Wireless, one located between the earcup and headband on the left side and a second in the block containing the action button on the audio cord. In both cases the person on the phone said they could hear us clearly unless we were in a noisy place and then they could hear background noise. They did say the background noise was a bit more when using them in wireless mode most likely due to where the mic is located. Not bad for a primarily gaming oriented headphone with no boom mic to get in the way.