When I ask most audiophiles to name their most desired set of headphones, the pervading choice is almost always Beats By Dre. Forget the fact that the company makes over a dozen different types of cans. Most are stellar but not all. The majority of those asked seem to feel these are the upper echelon of audio perfection. Conversely, it’s also agreed the prices for Dre’s cans are of an equal elevation akin to a lunar landing.
Suitable offerings that fit a decidedly reduced price point need more of a voice. Enter Urbanear’s Zinken (Petrol blue) on-ear headphones for mobile devices. The Zinken replaces high tech innards for premium sound with a handful of novel features, which are pretty handy. The cable pulls double duty. It has a 3.4mm stereo plug one end and 6.5mm plug on the other. The headphones feature a 2nd 3.5mm jack called the ZoundPlug. With it you can share your tunes with another listener. There is an inline microphone with a single button to answer calls, skip and backtrack through tracks and even pause your tunes. It goes on record to support iPhone, Blackberry, HTC and many more. The ear pieces collapse for portability and swivel for comfort. Plus the coiled cord stretch a full 47 feet.
Beyond the bells and whistles, the Zinken headphones set from Urbanears is a pretty simple product with solid audio reproduction and performance. While the audio is good, I did find low ranges to be a bit muddy, overshadowing the highs and sacrificing a degree of crisp clarity. This is less of an issue when using playback devices with extensive EQ settings. That said, the bass is nice and vocals still come through discernibly. The overall soundstage doesn’t bring to light any sounds or instruments that typically fall to the background.
But comfort and general use are all quite nice. The headphones are light and comfortable for long hours of playback. The padding at the earpiece and the headband is adequate and soft. The headband is also adjustable to help suit your desired fit. And the single button on the inline controls, while not much, is responsive, easy to reach and quite handy. At the current price point, it’s easy to recommend these for the frugal less demanding listener.
Bottom Line: The Urbanears Zinken on-ear headphones are very good comfortable performers. Easy to recommend for easy listening.
· Good performance-to-cost ratio
· Double duty TurnCable
· Lows muddy up some of the high tones
· Fitting them comfortably is a bit confusing
The Urbanears Zinken headphones are available at Amazon for $99.
Shawn loves gadgets, literature, history and games. For 10yrs+ he's straddled both the comic book & video game industries, as a writer, editor, marketing officer & producer. Shawn got his start in tech & games as an editor & Hardware Director for GameRevolution.com. More notable accomplishments include Executive Producer on mobile games Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved & The Shroud.