Ouch. Although Zalman promises deep bass and clear highs, what I got was a very harsh-sounding output. Whether I was listening to a slow jam or something a little more heavy, the sound would be quite shrill. The bass was adequate, albeit not incredible, but the mid-range and higher notes proved to be painful in the long run. I’d argue that being shrill and harsh is much worse than being muted, the latter of which typically describes headphones that come bundled with music players.
I have little complaints in terms of the “thump” of the bass, but Zalman needs to put in more hours focusing on the rest of the range. The output does not sound “clean” at all.
Aesthetically, the Zalman ZM-DS4F dual stereo headphones with 2-way 4-speaker system isn’t ugly. On the ear pieces themselves, you get a sort of three-dimensional feel because the inner white housing is wrapped by a layer of clear plastic. It’s actually fairly attractive in that respect, but the headband needs some serious work. More padding would definitely be appreciated, as would some smoother edges. This would prevent the cutting into my neck as described earlier.
In the end, the dual speaker idea is a good one but the execution isn’t quite there. The biggest issue is the shrillness of the sound and without addressing this problem, these headphones aren’t going to win any awards. That said, it’s utterly cheap at less than thirty bucks. I guess you get what you pay for.
- Excellent price
- Unique dual-speaker design
- Well-built ear cups
- Collapsible form factor
- Harsh, shrill sound quality
- Sharp edges on headband
- Lack of inline volume control
Overall Rating: 6.0 / 10.0