[section_title title=”Performance”]Performance

The first thing thats readily noticeable about the ZIP is how effective the tangle free zip cable is – to an extent. In use it works wonders and having direct control over the slack offered by the  earphones to refrain from excess cable is a nice touch. On the other hand, the extra bulk induced by the zipper element – either zipped or unzipped – doesn’t make the ZIP ideal headphones for carrying around, in an amusing turn of irony. They feel noticeably bulkier and present when folded in the pocket more so than any other earphones I’ve used.

On top of the above, the earphone fit isn’t fantastic and I actually couldn’t get the right earbud to fit my canal properly; it feels loose and rather forced. A swapping of earbuds helped alleviate this somewhat but it doesn’t cover up the generic fitting of the ZIP or the lack of supplied earbuds.

The actual audio performance of the ZIP isn’t great or disappointing, it just sort of is, which I’m inclined to say is fine for what should essentially be a back-up pair of headphones. The overall tone of the ZIP sounds like it’s had some sort of robotic EQ setting applied down the line, which isn’t the case as far as I know, but more likely a limitation of the driver and component quality.

Coming to individual track selections, running the ZIP through a battery of electronic material including everything from older Chemical Brothers tracks and Disclosure to more obscure underground ‘house’ material from the likes of Amine Edge, the same weird robotic constraint eeks through in the sound resulting in an odd, tinny presentation. Due to the less than stellar fit of the ZIP too, they don’t even benefit from a good seal most in-ear options do helping aid as best what is a relatively poor bass offering and so not great for anyone who has a large library of electro to play.

Moving onto more laid back tracks such as songs from Laura Mvula, the ZIP also falls flat in dealing with her crisp voice and the backing instrumentals, and in turn, making her sound overly raspy rather than distinctive. Turn the volume up to try and induce some clarity and you can almost feel the sound mushing towards the high-end of the scales becoming a fuzzy mess, unfortunately.

The voice capability aspect of the ZIP performs as well as expected with call pick-up/cancel working easily enough and the relevant button has a satisfactory click to it on the inline controls itself. Call quality was certainly good enough and I can’t say I’d expect any better or worse from a pair of headphones at this price.

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