The Competent and Low-Cost Noontec Zoro II Wireless

Wireless headphones are hot, hot, hot these days. I'm going to make a concerted effort to cover quite a few in coming months. Here's a start...

I really liked the MEElectronics Air-Fi Matrix2 AF62 but found the replacement product lacking...so it's got to be dropped from the Wall of Fame, and now I need a replacement low-cost wireless headphone. Fortunately, Noontec has just released the Zoro II Wireless ($149) and it's a solid performer. Let's have a look.

Build Quality and Styling
Inexpensive headphones can be pretty hit-or-miss in these areas, but I found the Zoro II Wireless sealed, on-ear headphone to strike a solid balance between cost and build quality. Materials are all synthetic and of medium grade, but the execution is quite good.

Fit and finish on all parts is tight and clean. Moving the ear capsules around produces mild creaking plastic sounds, but no more than might be expected, and I had no problems with noises when worn. The "click" when the folding feature is latched open or when closed is fairly loud, but the detent is quite firm and secure.

I found the overall look of the headphone quite good. The gloss black of the pair I have do pick up fingerprints rather easily, but otherwise the color and finish combinations look good. The Zoro II Wireless is available in black/red and blue/light blue.

Noontec_ZoroIIWireless_Photo_Colors

The headband ends have an interesting shape that's not too bland, and not too gaudy...stylish but subdued. They look pretty much as good in person as the pictures.

Comfort
On-ear headphones are never as comfortable as over-ears, but the Zoro II does a good job in this department. Pads are fairly plush and seal well on the ear without undue pressure. These are fairly light headphones and I had no problems with hot spots at the top of my head.

Ear capsule swivels move easily and conform quickly to fit my head. Headband adjustment is detented; moves with the right amount of friction; and remains secure. The headphone fit is a bit insecure on my head with shaking motions, and they don't remain on my head when rising from a pillow. But fit security seems fairly normal for a headphone of this type—you couldn't jog with them, but normal movements around the office or home will be just fine.

Headband pad appears to be medium grade pleather, and earpads are of medium grade protein leather. The earpad feel is good, and doesn't feel sticky in long listening. In fact, I'd say this is a decent material at this price. You'd have to go to a much more expensive headphone to get better performing materials.

Electronics
Featuring Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and apt-X compatibility, the Zoro II Wireless paired as expected and was able to connect to two devices at once successfully. There are voice prompts announcing power on, power off, device connected, and device disconnected. There are no voice indications of battery level or the name of connected devices.

Controls are at the rear of each ear-capsule and are ergonomically position for easy use. The left earpiece has a power button that also functions to instantiate pairing; pause/play media; and answer or reject calls. The right earpiece has two buttons for volume up/down (short push) or next track/previous track (long push).

Range is good, about average. The headset did announce disconnection when too far out of range, and reconnected automatically when back in range. Full battery charge lasts a claimed 35 hours.

The only strange thing I found with the electronics is that when the cable is inserted for passive playback, the electronics remain on and Bluetooth connection remains intact but is not heard. Connecting to the phone with the wire will give you passive playback and phone controls, but Bluetooth remains connected.

Accessories
The Zoro II Wireless is modestly accessorized with a four foot, flat cable with one button remote, and a soft travel pouch.

Let's have a listen...

COMPANY INFO
Noontec
Building C,Zhangkeng Industial Park, Minzhi,Longhua
Minzhi,Longhua
Shenzhen 518031 China
sales@noontec.com
+86 755 8179 8305
ARTICLE CONTENTS

COMMENTS
jim in cheyenne's picture

I don't know if it is quality control or something else;
the Zorro II's I acquired are not worth listening to.
(My standard phones are the Sennheiser 6xx)
Hopefully you can listen before you buy, or get a good return option
Hopefully YMMV

ednaz's picture

Reading Jim's comments brings back memories of my first (and second and third) set of MEElectronics wireless headphones. The first sounded like I was listening to music through an Our Gang tin can and string system. The second was so mid-range hyped that I got a headache after 30 minutes of use. But I'd seen so many great reviews, so I exchanged them again...

And the third time was absolutely a charm. Suddenly I was hearing what I'd read that many reviewers had heard. I wonder if your experience with the replacements was a sample variation problem. I'm a photographer, and the huge range of sample variation in performance - focus speed, but mostly sharpness - from lens to lens from many manufacturers means that guys like me go to shops and try four samples and pick the one that's best, and that matches the tech spec charts from professional reviews.

I wonder if the same thing is going on here. Would be really interesting to see the results of a half dozen "identical" headphones, first from a bargain brand, and then from a top of the line brand. In photography, the bargain brands are as expected in sample variation, but at the high end, surprisingly, there are a few stunningly expensive high end professional lenses that are wildly inconsistent, unit to unit.

tony's picture

In my travels, I've seen the LG Tone Bluetooth device in use, I've asked folks about it, they love it!

I own an older version, I love it! ( but I've never used it for music )

One of my Sons has a LG Tone and loves it!

Now, Today, Harmon have a hand in creating one of the Tone variants, ( the Platinum ), it's supposed to feature 24 bit abilities ( ?, does that mean anything ).

These thing max out at or around $170 US.

I'd recommend them because they allow keeping the phone in the pocket and hands-free.

I'm having the idea that LG is doing something special for Audiophiles, the V20 Phone has quad DAC chipsets and their matching Harmon Tone headset is said to be Audiophile level. ( probably not at Sennheiser HD 600 level but as good as we might hope for, from Bluetooth )

Love to read your comments on these developing technologies, especially since you have the closest relationship to Harmon of any person I'd know.

Tony in Michigan

ps. RMAF have you listed for a couple of interesting Seminars. I hope they let you have the video copy and allow you to post it on this site. ( my fingers are crossed )

poleepkwa's picture

I am not how available these reasonably priced units are in the States (and at what cost), but these Bluetooth headset I have like have been the XTZ Divine and Fidelio M2BT.

neo's picture

Too bad the Noontec looks like a beats knock off...
What do you think of Sennheiser's new affordable cans? The HD 4XX, HD5XX

potterpastor's picture

I had/have both and to my ears, the Zoro ii HD wireless with the wire sounds exactly like the Zoro ii HD. Would you agree, or is there a sound degradation?

Tyll Hertsens's picture
The Zoro II seems a bit more lively and open, it has a bit more treble response up high, but they're quite close.
veggieboy2001's picture

I've heard some good things about the 1MORE Bluetooth MK802.... I remember you being a bit underwhelmed with the wired version. Have you had a chance to hear them yet?

Type35's picture

I don't get your comment about the Matrix2. It's still available on Mee website and you can also find the corresponding Ausdom model on Gearbest for about $30. So why retire it from the Wall of Fame? It still seems like a legit low cost Bluetooth alternative.

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