Noontec Zoro HD
We initially had the $75 Noontec Zoro on the list, calling it a "bargain audiophile headphone" thanks to its clear, balanced sound. The standard Zoro is still available, but Noontec has more recently released the Zoro HD, which looks identical but offers better sound. It lists for $149.95 but can be had online for $99.95.
The good: The affordable Noontec Zoro HD headphones mimic Beats Solo styling, but the Zoro HDs sound better, delivering clean, well-balanced sound that will appeal to audiophiles. They're also comfortable to wear, they fold up to stow away in an included carrying pouch, and they have an inline remote/microphone for making cell phone calls.
The bad: The plastic hinges don't inspire confidence in their long-term durability.
The bottom line: While their build quality is nothing special, the Noontec Zoro HD headphones improve on the original Zoros, offering audiophile-grade sound in a $100 pair of headphones.
May 14, 2013 9:40 AM PDT
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET
| Caption by: David Carnoy
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