Jan 3, 2014

Posted by in Audio & Video, Gadgets, Reviews | 1 Comment

Urbanears Zinken Review

This is not the first time we’ve encountered this particular pair of headphones but it will be the first time this gets featured here at PTB. So how does the Urbanears Zinken fare?
Build and Design
As far as build quality and design goes, the Zinken definitely carries the Urbanears DNA with a pastel color scheme and the use of rubbery plastic materials. The headphones are closed and the size is what you’d expect for an on-ear headphones. The leather and foam that make up the ear pads are very soft and comfortable. The ear pads are supported by thick metal hinges that allows the ear pads to be folded inward to make it easier to stow away.
The headband is nice and thick with a layer of thin padding that’s also covered in the same leather used in the ear pads. For a better fit, the Zinken utilizes an adjustment mechanism for the headband.
The L and R channels are distinguished by etched letters on the metal hinges. A quicker approach would be to use the audio jack ports to distinguish the left from the right. The Zinken has a couple of audio ports; one port is 3.5mm found on one channel and the other is the 6.35mm port found in the other channel. Once the cable is in place, the extra port functions as an extension which allows us to plug another headphone or earphone.
To compliment the dual port design, the audio cable or TurnCable has two different sized ends, and as you might have guessed, one end is 3.5mm and the other end is 6.35mm. If you need a 6.35mm jack, simply plug the 3.5mm jack to the corresponding port on the Zinken. If you need a 3.5mm jack, just plug the 6.35mm jack to the 6.35mm port on the Zinken. This is a nice feature that offers solid flexibility for people who jump from mobile devices that uses a 3.5mm jack to a studio sound board or turntable that uses the bigger 6.35mm jack.
One thing I noticed about the 3.5mm jack on the unit I’m reviewing is that it has some white spots…it might have been mishandled which caused the damage or it might simply be a factory defect…I can’t be sure.
The cables also have that telephone coil so that it can be a long cable without looking so long. And if you’re gonna use this on a smartphone, there is a mic with a single button that facilitates calls and music playback. Curious thing on a Mac, the button actually launches iTunes.
The entire build is primarily made of industrial grade plastic with a rubberized finish. The finish feels very smooth to the touch but one thing I noticed is that the unit that was loaned to us for review already exhibited discoloration in the inner side of the headband. I might have simply gotten a dirty unit or this could mean that the rubber finish discolors over time.
The Urbanears Zinken actually just released this new color that we are currently reviewing. The lavender or officially labeled indigo color looks like a perfect color swatch for the more feminine market…I know my wife likes it.
Sound Quality
To reaffirm our previous observation of the Zinken, the sound quality is one of the best out there.. The Zinken is able to recreate a solid amount of bass while allowing enough midrange and treble to come out. In some occasions, it felt to me like it’s a little too bass heavy to the point that it muffles the sound ever so slightly. It really did not change from the last time we tried these out.
The sound from different instruments are audible and clear and noise ambient noise is reduced while tuning in to good music. This particular headphone is targeted for the DJs or the musical producers and one important aspect is sound accuracy. In this aspect, the sound accuracy suffers a little bit due to the slightly bass heavy nature of the Zinken.
We’ve had a chance to review the Sennheiser On-Ear Momentum headphones before and the Zinken is a little bass heavier a bit that the Sennheiser. The On-Ear Momentum has a more balanced sound profile compared to the Zinken while not sacrificing a good amount of bass for the bass hungry. But the Zinken is much cheaper than the On-Ear Momentum.
Conclusion
So, with the Urbanears Zinken going for Php 7,950.00 standard retail price, contrary to Calvin’s opinion, I think this is actually a compelling option for a very good pair of headphones because you do get what you pay for. If you are still looking for that sure-fire late holiday gift, this is one to consider for that really special person. So what exactly are you getting when you get a Zinken? You get great sound quality, a robust build, and the trademark contemporary design that only Urbanears can deliver.


  1. Zinkens go for only PHP4950.

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