Headphone Review: Urbanears Zinken

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Urbanears | On-Ear Headphone | $140

Urbanears is a known company, but only by sight. You may not be able to ID them if I say their name, but once you see the product, you instantly know what I’m talking about. Featuring matted designs and available in a rainbow of colors, Urbanears has created an identity for themselves. The Zinken is the new flagship model for Urbanears. The new on-ears have quite a bit of features and a warm, relaxing sound to back them. 

Specifications

  • Driver: 40 mm Dynamic
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Impedance: 85 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 98 dB

In the Box

  • Urbanears Zinken Headphones
  • Dual-Sided ¼” <-> 1/8” Cable
  • Non-Smartphone Headphone Jack Adapter
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The Zinken really don’t come with the set of accessories I’d expect.

Design

Urbanears continues using simplistic design with the new Zinken by reusing the design of their Tanto and Plattan. The design consists of a simple matted color of your choice that remains very soft on the eyes. Color choices run wider than the rainbow itself offering about 10 colors in all. The model I have is black with a good contrasting steel hinge that can stand out very nicely.

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The design of the Zinken is just simplistic.

The cable matches the matted, base color of your headphones while having a quarter inch jack on one side and the standard eighth inch on the other, Urbanears calls this the Turncable. It’s able to connect to either type of jack (quarter or eighth inch) by switching which side the cable connects on the headphones.

Design: ★★★★★

Audio

I really had no clue what to expect when I got my hands on the Zinken. I was pleasantly surprised when I heard them though. The signature as a whole represents a slightly off-neutral, warm, lush sound. The overall quality is great; it’s much better than anything I expected from them.

Bass

The low end has an overall strong linearity associated with them, but do have the slightest focus on the low-bass. The result is a thicker, well-bodied texture with a nice impact associated with the punch. That said, the punch has a good tightness to it despite not being as quick. Although it’s very linear, the thicker bass seems to create the perception that it doesn’t dig as deep as it could.

Bass: ★★★★½

Mids

As stated before, the midrange is very warm and lush. This combination creates a relaxed sound. This ‘laxedness really doesn’t interfere with the full quality overall though. The detailing is still ample and is coupled well with a decent clarity in the upper mids. Vocal dynamic is good overall, but can use a bit more oomph on the upper end at times. As stated, vocals remain lush, with a hint of sweetness here and there, but nowhere near where it should be.

Mids: ★★★★½

Highs

The high end has a good extension into the higher frequencies, but can still get a little higher. Snare snaps don’t have the energy they should have, nor are they as strong. This adds to the relaxed nature of the Zinken. If you go into the higher highs, however, you find that things change pace a bit. They still are laid back, while having ample energy and quality. Separation and detailing are well laid out in the upper highs.

Highs: ★★★★

Audio: ★★★★½

Build

The Zinken has an overall good build quality, but are missing some things that could make it a little better. For starters, a pouch or case would have been a nice to include to keep the Zinken protected while not in use.

The housings themselves feel very strong. They are made of a thick plastic that doesn’t feel cheap. This plastic will definitely be able to protect the drivers from harm’s way. Coming out of each housing is a large metal axle that allows the housing to swivel.

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The housing is very well built.

The headband has a thin metal frame to it that looks like its anodized black to remain hidden from view. The outer headband is made of the same plastics used for the housings. Overall, it’s not too flexible, but still very strong and should be able to resist snapping very well.

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The headband feels very strong on the Zinken.

Urbanears includes 1 cable for users to use. The cable itself is coiled with a nice thickness to it and very well built. It avoids tangles in a very nice fashion while its thickness makes it feel strong. I don’t have any doubts that this cable will last for a while.

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The cable is coiled and strong.

The TurnCable has a ¼” inch jack on one side for studio, recording, and DJ use. The other end is an 1/8” jack that will fit most smartphones and tablets. The headphone jacks are both straight and made of rubber. The strain relief is there; it’s thicker and not as flexible.

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The headphone jack is made of strong materials, but straight.

Build: ★★★★½

Comfort

The Zinken come with thicker, soft padding that makes them very comfortable to wear. The padding on the headband is also thick as well. The headphones overall are very light, which can help during long listening sessions. They can still cause a few small problems after a couple hours of use. Overall though, these are very comfortable on-ears.

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The Zinken come with nice soft padding.

Comfort: ★★★★½

Value

Urbanears has created a headphone that has a lot to offer. It’s great minimalistic design in a wide range of colors couple well with just about any device you may have. The audio quality is something that can be enjoyed and appreciated by anyone while the build and comfort aren’t too shabby either. I can see a lot of people not liking the coiled cable though, and others wanting a pouch or case. Urbanears also includes a remote and mic for smarphone users. They also include a nifty 3.5mm jack on the other cup that allows you to share music with others; it acts as a splitter. Urbanears calls this the ZoundPlug.

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Urbanears does include a remote and mic for smartphe use.

Value: ★★★★½

Final Thoughts

I really wasn’t expecting much when I got the Urbanears Zinken, I’ll be perfectly honest. However, I did find them to have great quality, and are worth the price. No, they aren’t a steal, but price very well for what they offer. If you’re after a warm, comfortable, on-ear headphone, this should make it to the list to look at.

I’d like to thank Valerie for the product sample

Overall Score

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Urbanears Zinken

† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Cumulative scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
This accessory, product, or app was received as a sample. Thanks Valerie for the product sample.
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