UrbanEars is known for their headphones and earphones that are more focused for the on-the-go consumer. They have yet to make a mark on the professional range of audio products, and their lack of products justify the reasons why.
Today we have the UrbanEars Zinkens. A pair of closed on-ear headphones that UrbanEars made for the “DJ in mind with the respect to the wallet of an amateur” which features either a 3.5mm or 6.3mm plug that can be connected to the headphone on both sides whilst maintaining a small yet unique and minimalistic look. Are the Zinkens your next on-the-go headphones? Let’s see.
The headphones themselves are already minimalistic and stylish, and the packaging complements it very well. Right now we have the “Forget-Me-Not” color which is a light blue/violet mix that is very attractive and pleasing to look at.
Opening the box was easy as well as you only have to remove the 4 tapes enclosing the box and just simply pull the box from behind in order to open the unit. On the sides are general features such as the ZoundPlug – UrbanEar’s solution for an adapterless connection, and a simple logo at the right side of the box.
There is nothing special once you open it as it holds the headphones, and the small upper triangle box houses the ZoundPlug cable for the headphones itself. Below the overall packaging you will find the manuals, warranty guide, and sticker of UrbanEars.
Design and Build Quality
Straight out of the bat the headphone looks amazing. It doesn’t feature any RGB not any unwanted designs on its exterior – just a simple light blue/violet finish that complements the rest of the headphones.
Located on the headband is a stiched UrbanEars logo and the located at the hinge is a crafted UrbanEars logo as well. On the bottom sides of each cup we see the 6.3mm input on the left and a 3.5mm input on the right, a great feature to see as you can use it to share your music to anyone.
The hinges of the Zinkens are very easy to move but stays in place sturdly as well. It is made from stainless steel and feels very durable.
The connection of the Zinkens might be the most interesting part of the entire headphone. UrbanEars has this cable known as the “Zoundplug” that features a 6.3mm twisted cable on the end, while having a 3.5mm smartphone on the other. Both ends can be connected to the sides of the headphone depending on which adapter you will use.
The headphone is smartphone and IOS friendly which was a huge plus to us at it makes portability and the overall price justifiable. The earcups of the headphones are made from soft foam though it isn’t stated on what foam it is, whether memory or not. The overall plastic used in the Zinkens feel great and isn’t easily scratchable.
The overall build quality of the headphone is superb. The plastic used doesn’t feel cheap at all, and that is always a good sign. The hinges also feel durable despite their ease to move and manipulate, but it doesn’t feel as if it will be breaking anytime soon.
All in all, construction wise the Zinkens are a well built pair of headphones that doesn’t feel breaking any time soon.
Since these are a pair of headphones that were made with the mindset of travelling, Comfort is another important factor to consider. Supporting the headphones are a pair of very soft and plush earcups whose memory foam isn’t stated on what kind.
After a few hours of general use I did find them hot to wear and somewhat clamping my head due to the force of the headband. As I tried commuting using these I noticed that my ears did get hot but it didn’t reach to the point where it would bother me. The earcups are sweat resistant and that was a big plus as during my commutes on buses and train stations, my ears did get sweaty.
The noise isolation of the Zinkens is superb. They are better than most on-the go and over-headphones that aren’t ANC as well. This is a big plus for those who doesn’t like getting annoyed by their surroundings as the Zinkens really block outside noise verywell.
Another big plus is that while the Zinkens are great at blocking outside noise, it was also great in keeping music all by yourself as well. You won’t be disturbing your seatmate in the bus or anyone in the office using these cans.
The most important factor to consider when buying headphones/speakers, is sound quality. Of course, ‘good’ is a subjective word that can mean different in every person, so we’ll describe the sound quality of the Zinkens accurately. Experts from Music Critic agreed that for the price, this set of headphones is very good though there are other options which with a little more money you can get a better audio.
The Php4,950 price tag of the Zinkens doesn’t justify its sound quality. The Zinkens sounded awful, as both the mids and highs are recessed and the sound stage and separation is poor. The bass was muddy and lacks detail – it sounds as if it was forced.
Upon listening to several different genres, the Zinkens had no advantage in sound quality when compared against gaming and studio headphones with its price range such as the ATH-M30X, Razer Kraken, and HyperX Cloud II.
Several headphones/earphones sound significantly better than the Zinkens, and for the Php4,950 price tag, you can buy a pair of discounted Sennheiser Momentum On-Ears that features a better build quality thanks to its all stainless-steel aluminum design, and sounds significantly better in every aspect.
The Php4,950 also opens several bluetooth headphones that are better, as well as IEMs, and studio headphones such as my favored Php3,500 Studio headphone – the Audio Technica ATH-M30X.
All in all, the Zinkens sounded poor and could be compared only to $5 headphones. There are several options in the market that surpasses the Zinkens, going for as low as 1/5 of the price – such as the KZ KS3.
Style over substance as many people would say, that is pretty much the same when it comes to the UrbanEars Zinkens. While looking amazingly great and feels very well built with very useful features, it lacked on the most important department – sound quality.
The price of $100 or Php4,950 here in the Philippines doesn’t justify nor even should be considered by the sound quality it has. IEMs such as the Sennheiser CX 213, KZ ZS3, and Soundmagic PL11 sound significantly better as well as headphones such as the Audio-Technica ATH-M30X, Superlux HD681, and gaming headsets such as the Cloud Core, Siberia V3, and G430.
Design wise, the Zinkens did not fail as it is undoubtedly one of the most attractive and minimalistic headphones that we’ve seen. Overall, if you’re looking for a pair of good looking headphones with handy features that can share your music, but has a below average sound quality, the Zinkens would be a good choice.
Where to Buy
The UrbanEars Zinkens are available at any PowerMac, Digital Walker, and related stores.