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PC SPEAKERS

Zalman Theater 6 Surround Sound Headphones Review
By: Gnorb
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  • Rating: 3 stars3 stars3 stars3 stars3 stars / 57
    2004-05-26

    Table of Contents:
  • Zalman Theater 6 Surround Sound Headphones Review
  • Looks and Feel
  • Tests
  • Movies
  • Games
  • Music
  • Conclusion

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    Zalman Theater 6 Surround Sound Headphones Review - Conclusion


    (Page 7 of 7 )

    Zalman Theater 6 Surround Sound Headphones

    These headphones held up well as surround sound headphones; muchbetter than software-based options available. The spatial separationwas much better than I expected at times, and for the price, thatquality on a pair of headphones can't be beat. Panning and stereophoniceffects were also good, which helped me enjoy films like The Return of the King with all the proverbial bells and whistles, while sitting at my desk calmly doing my work.

    If you're a true audiophile, or are looking for top of the linesound from your headsets, you'd be better off looking elsewhere.They're great for movies and gaming, but playing music is of averagequality. Furthermore, I found it difficult to control the individualchannels for clarity of sound. This was most obvious when listening tothe Beatles' Yellow Submarine, in which the vocal tracks werepretty much drowned out. This is more of a software issue than aheadphone issue, but it's something to consider when purchasing thisintriguing item. In order to get the best sound quality, I found myselfneeding to mess around with the EQ on my sound card to truly enjoythese speakers. That's more of an issue with the sound card than withthe speakers; however, it attests to the headphones' lack of corestrength, not surprising, however, in a pair of sub-$75 headphones.

    As far as design is concerned, these are generally very welldesigned headphones. The only problem I really had with constructionwas the quality of the cable. Reinforcing with Kevlar (such as in thecase of the Sennheizer HD 500's I've reviewed) would have been a wisemove, since these speakers are more sensitive than most to beingcarelessly tugged and yanked.

    That said, if you're looking for a portable 5.1 solution, whetherit's because of your travel schedule or because your neighbors keepcomplaining about your movie and video gaming habits, go ahead and getyourself a pair of these. You won't be disappointed, unless you're acomplete audiophile. (Even then, you'll probably like these better thanany software 5.1 solution you're likely to find). You'll get the bestsound, however, if you couple these with the Zalman portable USB soundcard, headphone amplifier, or have a sound card that will allow you tocontrol each speaker individually. After all, it's really a matter ofpersonal taste.

    Pros

    • Comfortable for long term use.
    • Great channel separation.
    • Innovative design creates as close to true surround sound as you're likely to get with headphones.

    Cons

    • Weak cabling can jeopardize sound.
    • Weak in the extremes of frequency; low fidelity highs, low fidelity lows.
    • The speakers' proximity to the ear detracts from thesurround-sound experience. (Something that would be helped by a slightre-design in any future releases.)

    Overall, I wouldn't hesitate recommending these to anyone lookingfor a portable Dolby 5.1 solution. If you're just looking for a pair ofheadphones to listen to music with, look elsewhere for a better deal.

    If you're deciding on whether or not to buy these headphones,remember that you'll probably want to buy the USB sound card along withit. The technologies play well together, and the portability makes it anice addition for anyone who travels on a regular basis. In short,these headphones are great for listening to movies, okay for videogames, and lackluster for listening to music.

    Thank you for joining us here at Dev Hardware. We'd like to thank Zalmanfor sending us both the sound card and the headphones. If you have anyquestions or comments, please feel free to join us in the Dev Hardware forums. Otherwise, head back to the front page for some more news and reviews from the world of computer hardware.


    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.
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