Urbanears Zinken review: Urbanears Zinken

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3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Stylish design; handy DJ features; Strong bass.

The Bad Unimpressive overall sound quality; build quality issues.

The Bottom Line The Urbanear Zinkens offer strong bass, a stylish design and some handy DJ-friendly features, but they fail to impress with the overall sound quality so it's hard to justify the £120 asking price.

6.5 Overall

With so many headphones around from a seemingly infinite array of companies, it's often very difficult to find the right pair for you.

If you're a budding bedroom DJ then you'll no doubt need a pair with plenty of bass but enough style to catch the eye of that sweet young thing who's been hanging round. The Zinkens by Urbanears fit the bill but does sound quality similarly woo the ears? And are they worth the £120 price tag?

The Zinkens are available now from the Urbanears website.

Design and build quality

Rather than opt for crazy patterns and fancy textures, the Zinkens are a far more subdued animal. A soft-feel matte plastic covers every surface, which some may find rather dull, but it's evidently designed as a fashion-conscious item, so I'm sure there will be plenty of you who love the look.

My model was an all-black affair, which didn't make them look any more fascinating but they are available in a rainbow of garish hues including 'pumpkin', 'grape', 'tomato' and seven others. If you need to make sure your musical accessories complement your wardrobe then the wide choice of colours will help you avoid a colour-clashing style faux pas among your hipster friends.

The earcups are pretty big and were able to sit around my ears, although they're not proper over-ear cans, so they aren't too chunky to wear on the bus. The cups join to the headband via sturdy metal bars that fold in for cramming into a small bag. They also swivel to the side for only using one ear, which DJs love to do for some reason. The headband itself is a decent size and feels secure without being overly tight. A soft padding on the inside helps them sit comfortably against your dome.

Urbanear Zinkens cups folded inwards
The cups bend inwards if you have floppy bunny ears, or more likely, if you want to pack them neatly in a bag.

Build quality seems fair overall, with the stiff plastic and metal hinges resisting my attempts to hurt them. I'm confident you could haul them around in a bag all day and they wouldn't suffer for it. Sadly though, little protective caps on the sides of the hinges fell off and got lost, revealing the screw and the cabling beneath.

Although it might not result in serious damage, it quickly turns the look of your £120 headphones from clean, simple and stylish into slightly battered and cheap. It's the sort of oversight that should have been eradicated in the quality control process, long before they were put on sale.

Cable

The cable is a crucial part of the Zinkens as it allows you to do a couple of neat tricks. For one, it's removable, meaning you can replace it if you accidentally slice through it while chopping carrots. It's also got a coiled section that gives you some leeway to move away from your audio source, without sending it crashing to the ground. It means you don't have 5ft of cabling dangling from your pocket if it's connected to your phone.

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