Premium, elegant headphones deliver outstanding sound.
One of the most revolutionary pieces of technology in the last 20 years was the launch of the iPod. For the first time, digital music was within our grasp and could fit into our pockets. There are many modern devices that we have the iPod to thank for, but let’s focus on the music part for this review. Because of the iPod and the insurance of digital music players, not to mention the inclusion of meida players on our mobile phones, there has also been an evolution in headphone development as well.
Here at MacSources, our writers have had the privilege of testing out many different styles of headphones. A lot of them feature Bluetooth as its main connection method, but there are still some headphones that require a corded connection. There are a lot of audiophiles that prefer this type of connection over the wireless connection. This premium set of over the ear headphones by VEHO the Z8 Designer Aluminum Headphones, are a beautiful, stylish example of what a corded connection can provide.
Normally, I don’t comment too much about packaging, but really the first impression for these gorgeous headphones starts with the box. It’s a premium style box that has a magnetic closure fold. When it opens up, you see a full-sized window that allow you to see the spectacular design of these headphones. What is really cool, is that the finish of the box is a softer feel and mimics the soft silicone feel of the headphones.
Speaking of the feel of the headphones, the headband has that soft silicone feel that I just mentioned along with soft leather ear pads with an incredibly pillowed cushion. For me, they were not a tight fit at all were very comfortable. The earpieces are square-shaped, which fit my ears very well. The outside of the earpiece is constructed from aluminum and there are many accent pieces that also include aluminum. In a word, the headphones are simply elegant.
Another ‘first’ I noticed was the weight. The Z8’s seemed to be quite a bit heavier than the another set of headphones I frequently use. The Z8’s do not have a weight listed on them, but the ‘other’ pair I use, weighs in at 150g, only about 30 grams more than my iPhone 6. The Z8’s feel quite a bit heavier. It’s not really a problem and would certainly not keep me from using them, but it is noticeable.
Perhaps the greatest thing I noticed right away was that these headphones are wired and not Bluetooth. It is nice that the cable can be detected when the headphones are not in use, but I still prefer wireless headphones. These headphones can become ‘Bluetooth’ compatible if they are used in conjunction with the SAEM™ S4 Bluetooth receiver also by VEHO. The only plus side to them being wired is that you don’t have to worry about charging them. Plus, the stereo cable provided with the headphones is a flat-style cable, which is virtually tangle-free. I do wish VEHO had provided a better cable wrap for it – all that it came with was a twist-tie.
Another feature that I really like is that the headphones are built to be compact and portable. The earpieces fold inward and fit neatly inside a drawstring bag that is packaged with the headphones. This is a very nice touch as the pouch also makes it easy to keep the cable with the headphones.
Of course the most important ranking for a set of headphones deals with its sound quality. I typically look at three distinct areas when reviewing headphones – depth or bass, sound mix, and isolation. A lot of headphones tend to lack a depth of sound and the low-end is lost leaving the sound hollow. That’s not the case with the Z8’s. I listened to several different styles – hip hop, alternative, vocal, and instrumental to reveal the truth sound quality of the Z8’s. I found that each style was punchy and did not sound hollow at all.
The same is true for the sound mix. While the headphones can’t directly effect how the audio track was mixed, it can make the tracks lose some of their dynamic range if they are poorly constructed headphones. The Z8 headphones handled varying ranges very well. My best test for this is instramental music. There are so many different rises and falls designed into the tracks that they can get lost in the headphones, but I didn’t find that with the Z8s.
The isolation factor wasn’t bad with the Z8 headphones, but I don’t think I would recommend them for studio mixing. I would say that about 90% of ambient noise was filtered out while I had the headphones on. If a song hit a particularly high point volume-wise, 100% ambient noise was not perceptible. I tend to prefer a little bit of ambient noise to leak through because I want to be aware of what is going on around me.
Overall, the sound of the Z8’s is incredible and the style is very unique. The Z8 Designer Aluminum Headphones live up to their promise of delivering a high-quality, premium headphone listening experience to users.
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