Here is a pair of in-ear headphones for those looking for an Earthier solution to their sound. ZealSound brings us the HDE-300 pair that features a genuine wooden enclosure for the buds with just a small presence of plastic parts to complete the design. The idea is to bring a more natueral range of sound and heart pounding bass (as they say).
Just about every headphone manufacturer claims their headphones offer some crazy amount of bass. These, simply put, do not. There is bass presence however, and a good amount for the price you would be paying for these, so I believe that makes for a good wash. The bass level you get compares to what you would find in any known name-brand headphone ranging between $30-50. You get some mid-lows, but the lower lows aren’t really that noticeable. Then again, these are running only $14.99 right now, which makes them worth every penny.
Their range is pretty decent allowing for the enjoyment of all sorts of genres of entertainment. From hip hop to classic rock, they sound quite nice for the price. I can’t seem to find a difference between these and a few others that are within the price range I mentioned, so I can’t tell if the wood is pulling out an advantage card somewhere or not, but it does make them look nice on the outside.
The wood is focused around the main body of the earbuds with a plastic ring between the wood enclosure and the tips, and a plastic cap on the back. Both buds sport the ZealSound logo etched into their side. The 3.5mm cable features a braided design to prevent snagging and offers a great visual. The connector is coated with gold to provide a better contact with your device.
In-line of the cable there is a remote featuring a single button for answering phone calls. You won’t be able to control your music with it sadly, so you will find yourself pulling out your device for anything else. At least your distractions are minimal when you do get a pesky phone call while listening to your music.
Phone calls are pretty clear when using the in-line microphone to accept calls. Not the best we have ever used, but once again, a quick shout out to the price once again proves there is no concern here. It sounds good if not better than you would expect for such a cost.
ZealSound does refer to these as noise-isolating headphones. It is important to understand what manufacturers mean when they say this as the claim to fame is not to be mistaken with “noise-canceling”. These do not offer any electronic solutions for removing the background noise out of the mix. What they mean by noise isolating, is the fact that the buds have a nice tight fit in your ears, that help seal them a little from those outside noises. Really, it’s like a mashup of headphones and earplugs and that is all. They do indeed have a nice fit if you use the right tips, and do effectively isolate a little bit of noise.
Our only bully moment targets the cable itself. Although the braided design is visually nice, you do pick up a lot of noise in your buds from the cable dragging around your clothes and moving around. These headphones are best used when sitting still–like an office job for example, where you will be spending most of your time at a desk. This isn’t the fault of the braid, but simply the materials. Again, there is the focus on price, but you will always hear us complain about noise created by the headphones themselves.
Inside the box (other than the headphones themselves), you get two extra pairs of tips to choose from. The medium size pair is already applied to the headphones. If you find them too small or too large for your ears, you can opt for the small or large pair included in the box to swap out with. It is important that you get a good fit that is both tight yet comfortable. This helps alleviate those outside noises as mentioned as well as take full advantage of the range the headphones have to offer, including the lower bass frequencies that you want to capture as much as possible.
Also inside is a small clip to help fasten the cable to your clothes with so that you can reduce some of that noise we mentioned from the cable dragging around. There is also a cloth drawstring pouch for storing the headphones in when they are not in use.
A well-priced in-ear solution that offers a decent amount of range and bass. Although not as bassy as some, the price-point helps to justify this if you are not looking to spend a lot of money. They come with everything you need for a comfortable fit and protective storage. The noise generated by the cable is the only drag. Over-all, for $14.99 (currently), they prove to be a good buy.
*Average price is based on the time this article was published
Driver unit: Dynamic 10mm Neodymium
Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz
Maximum input power: 10mW
Connection: 3.5mm gold-plated jack
Cable length: 53 ” / 1.35m
ZealSound In-Ear Headphones HDE-300
3 pairs ear tips (S/M/L)
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