You may not have heard of Noontec before, but the Australian audio company has been around since 2002. Over the past several years, Noontec wowed audio enthusiast with their affordable and stylish headphones, the most notable of which being the Zoro.
Keeping up with the times, Noontec updated its latest Zoro II headphones with wireless functionality and dubbing them the Zoro II Wireless, which we’re taking a look at today.
If you know about (or better, own) Noontec’s headphones, the follow-up to the Zoro should look familiar – from the outside, the Zoro II Wireless are almost identical to the Zoro II HD wired headphones. In many ways they resemble a certain headphone brand owned by Apple, with its glossy black plastic construction and red accents. (Cough, Beats, cough.)
The left ear cup features a power button, power indicator, 3.5mm jack for wired use and a NFC area for quick pairing. The right ear cup features volume and playback controls and a microUSB charging port.
The Zoro II Wireless are made entirely out of plastic, which makes them feel a bit cheap, especially the loud snap that happens when you unfold the headphones. While most of the design decisions Noontec makes are understandable, this is something I feel like needs to be addressed in the firm's next pair of cans.
I find the headphones comfortable for being an on-ear, but they aren’t very good at keeping sound out like on a noisy train. They're also a bit limited in the customization department. I had to wear them at max length, which is pretty unusual for me. That said, if you have a big head or typically wear a cap, the Zoro II Wireless may not fit you.
As for the sound, the Zoro II Wireless offer a warm and pleasing sound signature. There’s a slight mid-bass bump that works well for pop, rap, EDM and other bass-heavy music. Highs and treble detail are good but it can’t compare to the crystal highs of the .
Similarly, bass is punchy and fun, but won’t rattle your skull like the . The Beats may hit harder, but their bass sounds a bit uncontrolled and lacks the texture of the Zoro II Wireless. From early reviews, the Beats Solo 3 Wireless don’t seem to have improved on sound quality but we’ll reserve judgment until we hear them ourselves. All that said, keep in mind that the Beats cost $300 (£250, AU$400).
When you consider the Zoro II Wireless’s $150 (£160, €150, AU$150) price, the sound quality is quite good if not totally memorable. Nothing about the sound of the Zoro II Wireless stands out, but in my book that’s a good thing. They sound good without having any fatal flaws. Overall, they offer a pleasurable listening experience ... as long as you’re not expect them reveal any hidden details from your music.
Noontec claims 35 hours of playback with the Zoro II Wireless and I found that estimate to be pretty accurate. Moreover, I actually found it difficult to run these headphones down all the way, meaning that the average listener will only need to be charge them once a week if you plan on only listening to them for couple hours each day.
An additional perk with the Zoro II Wireless is the inclusion of multipoint Bluetooth support. This lets you connect two devices to the headphones simultaneously. This is a huge bonus if you use multiple devices and don’t want to waste time digging in the settings to connect your devices and a feature that not enough headphones find themselves with. There’s no active noise cancellation but it’s relatively uncommon for headphones in this price range to have that feature.
If you want a pair of on-ear wireless headphones that sound good and last forever, the Noontec Zoro II Wireless are a great choice. Their styling may not be for everyone but if you like how they look, you’ll be happy with how they perform. Summarized, these are relatively affordable wireless headphones that sound like some of the most expensive competition.