Sunday, 8 July 2012

FSL Zero Quick Review

FSL Zero Quick Review

Thanks to iheadphones for the sample.

Brief:  Bluetooth, both good and cheap.

Price:  £60

Specification:  Bluetooth version: V2.1 + EDR (A2DP stereo transmission), Transmission distance: ~ 10m (Class 2 standard), Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz, Sensitivity: ≥ 85 dB, Output Power: 2 x 15mW, Charge time: 1-2 hours, Continuous Playing time: 9 hours, approximately, Built-in battery: 3.7V 300mah (High-energy lithium polymer battery), Charge power: USB port (cable included); DC 5V, 500 mA

Accessories:  Charging cable.

Build Quality:  Nice.  It’s not the most premium looking plastic used but it feels sturdy and the head band is metal.  It should stand up well.

Isolation:  Quite a reasonable amount.  It’s sufficient for normal use but not really up to say all day on the tube.  It’s a bit much if you want to use running or cycling as the isolation is sufficient to mean you’re in danger of getting run over.  It really depends what you want them for and if you want to be cut off from the outside world.

Comfort/Fit:  Rather good.  I could wear these happily for a good few hours before my ears wanted a little air.  They are light on the head and clam just the right amount, enough to keep them on but not so much its crushing you.  As a glasses wearer I had no trouble with them getting a fit or comfort.

Aesthetics:  So so.  These aren’t much a looker, nothing bad just rather plain.  Given some of the garish monstrosities out there it’s nice to see something more polite.  These also being wireless are not going to attract an unwelcome element to come steal them off your head. 

Sound:  Better than you would expect.  These are not expensive and despite being Bluetooth and battery containing sound really good.  They are fun and lively that I think suits their freeing aspects nicely.  I know they aren’t being actively marketed as such but I think these would be perfect for a gym.  Its energetic sound driving you on and no wires getting in the way.  Let’s face it, at this price your likely aiming much more for fun than you are a ruler flat, analytical headphone.  It’s much more about having a good time.  The bass is accordingly boosted and with a bit of a hump, still depth isn’t bad.  The mids are a bit recessed on the whole and then very focused in the middle.  The vagaries of such delicate and nuanced vocals from the likes of Nora Jones are distinctively meh.  Slap on some bouncy chart toppers and they sound most lively and are clearly far more at home.  Highs are forward and a bit crispy, a little too gritty and edgy for my delicate sensibilities but dramatic and attention grabbing.  Very much that “scream if you wanna go faster” type of sound.  Its fun.

Value:  If you just want the best sound you can get for £60 then this is not it.  Its not meant to be either.  The selling point here is no wires and that steals money that could otherwise go towards better drivers.  The combo these have is a bit of a compromise but I think a superb one.  So long as you really do want wireless.

Pro’s:   Bluetooth, Good sound quality, Exciting and lively sound.

Con’s:  The mic didn’t seem to do a great job, can get better sound if use a wired set.

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