We’re big fans of the large, ear muffler kind of headphones, especially during these cold winter mornings that are heading towards Christmas. Zebronics recently tossed us the Diamond series DJ headphones for reviewing purposes, which was around the time that we misplaced our ear mufflers at a bus stop. So you can take our word for it when we tell you that we spent plenty of time getting up close and personal with this pair before jotting down the review.
The first thing that struck us about the Zebronics headphones was the fact that the folks behind the packaging design sure do make an impression. They made us want to get into the product packaging designer’s mind and fathom what he was dwelling upon while wrapping them up. ‘Wrapping them up’ is probably the wrong way of phrasing it since almost half of the headphones stick out of the box like a badly wrapped present. We’re not sure of how the manufacturers expect them to reach consumers safely, but it’s probably a novel way of shipping products. Unlike a lot of peripheral sellers out in the market, Zebronics at least gave us credit for being able to figure out how to use a pair of headphones. We didn’t find a user guide in the box which had the main specifications and compatibility spelled out clearly.
The headphones are quite pleasant to behold if you’re the type who likes simple and robust-looking accessories; a hulk among headphones if we ever saw one. The entire color scheme is black, with the Zebronics logo sitting on the earcups along with the company’s ‘Always Ahead’ tagline. Though the cable length is cited at around 2m on the box, it can stretch for more than that due to the coiled cable that’s reminiscent of the cords attaching telephone receivers to the main unit. This cable also plays host to the external in-line volume controls and mic. Adhering to the cool DJ-styling, the right earpcup can be swung away from the ear for whenever you need to grab that sound bite without taking off the peripheral. The headphones basically work with personal portable players, Mac, PC, CD/DVD players and just about every other gadget that has the necessary outlets to accommodate them. The technical specifications involve 50mm speaker dimension, 32ohms speaker impedance, 105dB S.P.L. at 1KHz sensitivity and frequency response rate of 20Hz to 20,000Hz.
Coming down to the first two things that we usually seek in a good pair of headphones, this Diamond series DJ edition accessory offers just the right amount of comfort for a regular-sized head along with some decent noise isolation. The headphones may look gigantic in the hands, but they wrap so neatly around the head, they almost belong there. Then there are the soft springy earpads that very gently smother your ears while shielding them from outside disturbances. We could have told you that they’re extremely comfortable over the ears for long periods of use with the generously proportioned earpads if it wasn’t for their unique skull compression technology. In spite of the fact that the length is somewhat adjustable, the headband is built for the comfort of an average-sized head with sharp vision. We mention the requisite sharp eyesight because wearing a pair of glasses while using these is a right-down pain on the ear. The parts of the frame that sit right above the ears have a lot of trouble ‘fitting in’ with the headphones and it can get very annoying after some time.
So how much noise isolation do they offer users? Once you snap on these headphones, it’s like being under water or enjoying the aftereffects of having a gun go off somewhere near your ears. Every bit of sound around us got a few decibels lower than usual below the huge cushy earmuffs. Music and audio effects are thrust right into the ears without actually hurting them even at the highest volume. They’re good enough to push panicky shouts of “Watch out for that car!” right into the background if you’re unwise enough to navigate around a busy street while high on Lamb of God, Immortal, Green Day, System of a Down, Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, well, you get the picture. In our case, it was an old lady calling for our attention by forceful application of an umbrella to the head. We did eventually stop tapping to the music on her foot but took a while before that thumping on the head was identified as originating from an external source. This could also have something to do with the ample amount of protective spongy material lining the inner side of the headband.
This DJ spinoff from the Diamond series is great with music. Handling low-range to high-range tones with effortless suavity, it didn’t have us wishing too bad for virtual surround sound. Playing games like Quake and Counterstrike is every bit as fun as listening to music on these headphones. At the same time, we did have a spot of trouble while trying to estimate the direction from which enemy forces were slipping in. After a couple of hours, the earpads which push into the ears rather intrusively start to get bothersome. But if you do have a compatible head-size, there will be no reason to complain about the comfort levels. They’re good for music and movies as well as plain old gaming action. Summing it up in a single line, the headphones deliver good quality audio, albeit with a bit of redundant pressure to the skull.
Though they seem to be positioned as headphones that work well for music, they serve the gaming and movie watching needs very obligingly indeed. So what if you don’t get the trending virtual surround sound offered by bigger brands.
The build feels very sturdy under the fingers and the right ear cup that can be slid away from the ears, is a very convenient feature.
The level of noise isolation extended by this pair is its strongest attribute.
Yes, we did say that the construct feels solid, but the tight fit still bothered us a bit.
Priced at Rs. 1,100, the Zebronics Diamond series DJ headphones extend some good value for money due to the fact that they’re suited for all kinds of entertainment needs; add to that their ability to work with a variety of gadgets and gizmos. After spending some quality time measured in quantities with this pair of headphones, we have come to the conclusion that they deserve an 8 out of 10 rating from us.