Youtube review: http://youtu.be/Bn1nwEt9pSs Photos: http://dalethorn.com/Photos/Leica_Dlux/Headphone_Noontec_Zoro2_01.jpg http://dalethorn.com/Photos/Audioforge/Noontec_Zoro2.jpg Sources: iPhone6+ with Portaphile Micro/PA2V2/Decware Zen Head amps using the LOD, various computers using Microstreamer/Beyer A200p/v-moda Verza DAC/amps. Review notes: My first impressions of the sound of the Noontec Zoro-II (Zoro2) are based on direct comparisons to other headphones - the v-moda M100 and XS, the FAD Pandora VI and IV, the Beyerdynamic T1 and T90, the AKG K812 and K712, and notes that I've accumulated from many prior reviews. I'll describe how I relate to the Zoro2 (i.e. my personal tastes and how I use the headphone) only after covering all of the objective issues. Most reviewers expect low-cost headphones to have less fidelity than higher-price headphones, one reason being that the low cost of manufacturing doesn't allow the kind of detailed quality control in driver matching etc. to guarantee that the sound will be exactly the same (or close to it) from sample to sample. A second consideration for reviewers is the time invested in making the review, in hopes that the headphones the customers purchase sound the same as what the review describes. I haven't heard the original Zoro (or Zoro HD), but I was curious as to whether Noontec could maintain a consistent level of quality in a headphone half the price of the Beats Solo2, which seems to me to be the most likely target competition. A long story short: they did it. In many of my reviews I've used the Audioforge equalizer out of necessity, since many of those headphones have steep treble rolloffs, or less often, excessive treble brightness. In the Zoro2's case, we have only the small plus or minus 5 db variances that are found in even some of the highest-priced headphones, therefore I needn't comment further on EQ settings (although I do them anyway just to try to quantify the headphone's 'signature'). Out of the box**, the Zoro2 sounds great. I can't say how it compares to other $100 headphones, since I don't know of any other $100 headphones that have this level of sound quality, unless those other sub-$100 headphones are being discounted as not selling or as discontinued items. However, since I suspect that the design aim is to compete with the Beats Solo2 and other similar brands and models up to $200, I can say that the Zoro2 is very comparable. **Some of the very low-cost headphones I've had change quite a bit during the burn-in process, but the Zoro2 sound has changed very little. The Zoro2's treble** is a little soft (below 'neutral'), but good enough for most critical listening, unless you have perfect pitch or require the full harmonic detail that's typical of the best open-back headphones. I wanted to determine how the Zoro2 handles very loud and complex music passages, like what I hear in some of my versions of Beethoven's 9th symphony, where the orchestra and chorus are going full-tilt at the same time. The Zoro2 performs well above its price point in this regard, with good separation of instruments and voices. One thing that reviewers mention frequently with small closed headphones is the 'constricted' sound coloration they usually have. I can't say whether the Zoro2 is entirely free of that, but it's not something that stands out to me, and that's also better than expected for this type of headphone. **The Zoro2's on-ear design and earpads conform to my ears properly, getting a seal that preserves the bass response well, but I've noticed that if I put the earpads against hair instead of directly on my ears, some of that bass will escape and the headphone can sound brighter as a result. Different use cases and preferences will determine how users judge the sound, but I'd advise customers to avoid putting the earpads over hair, since the best response in my opinion is with the pads directly on the ears. Isolation is less than what I've experienced with some of my closed on-ear headphones, but where I hang out most days about 100 yards from a busy freeway, the isolation is enough to keep the noise well below the music level. I'm good with the isolation then, but the leakage is even better news - it's low enough that the Zoro2 should be playable at reasonable volumes in libraries, in quiet offices, and on public transport. The Zoro2 is probably average in weight for a small on-ear headphone, which is to say it's pretty light. The clamping force is also average I think, and that means it becomes comfortable very quickly, and stays securely in place with activity that doesn't involve rapid head movements. The Zoro2 is an ideal portable headphone in the sense that it can be pulled off the head when not in use, and worn around the neck with no comfort issues for most people. This is important to me, because even though the Zoro2 does come with a nice durable carry bag, I like to be able to go places without having to deal with a bag or case - just put the headphone around my neck and drive to work, then set the headphone down somewhere on the desk. The range of adjustment for different head sizes is OK - about 3/4 inch on each side, where my average size head fits in the middle of that range. The cable is single-entry and detachable, and it's the flat-ribbon type that has a good durable thickness and doesn't add noticeable weight. The plug that goes into the earcup is a standard 3.5 mm plug, so I'd guess that any generic cable with 3.5 mm stereo plugs on both ends could be used with this headphone. According to Noontec, the control button on the cable will answer a phone call and also terminate the call. In previous reviews I've included the following music examples with comments about how the headphones sound with each track. My suggestion is instead of reading each one as an absolute unto itself, you could compare my notes here to those other reviews and see how the Zoro2 compares with each individual track.