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Cygnett GrooveZone headphones review: Cygnett GrooveZone headphones

Mmm, shiny: Cygnett's gleaming noise-isolating headphones are a little flimsy but deliver solid audio.

Ella Morton
Ella was an Associate Editor at CNET Australia.
Ella Morton
2 min read

Before we get started on the finer points of Cygnett's GrooveZones, a nitpicky technical distinction must be made. The company's info on its GrooveZone headphones states that "the GrooveZone's over-ear design cancels out the buzz of everyday life". Skimming through this statement, some might drop everything and rush to their local retailer, salivating at the notion of picking up noise-cancelling earcan headphones for AU$69.95.


Cygnett GrooveZone headphones

The Good

Snug earcans reduce some ambient noise. Full-bodied bass. Inexpensive. Comes with a heap of accessories.

The Bad

Ears get warm after about half an hour. Construction feels cheap and flimsy.

The Bottom Line

The construction is a little flimsy, but the GrooveZones deliver solid audio. The mountain of included accessories is a nice bonus.

Attention shoppers -- the GrooveZones are not noise-cancelling in the active, pricey, Bose QuietComfort way, but noise-isolating. This means that the sounds from the surrounding world are reduced by creating a physical barrier, rather than via circuitry and signal inversion.

With that clarification sorted, let's move on to the all-important looks.

The GrooveZones are available in white and black, but if you're planning to choose white to match an iPod, prepare to do some polishing -- ours got grubby within a week. The moulded earcans exhibit cutie-pie contours last seen in JBL's Reference 420 headphones and are finished in gleaming plastic. Unlike the 420s, they swivel for folding into the supplied case. The plastic connecting either earcan to the headband feels hollow and flimsy, but the leather-coated headband itself is comfy against the head.

A flexible, soft-coated audio cable snakes from the left earcan. The texture of this thing is infinitely touchable -- if you're prone to fiddling, you'll be twirling it around your fingers to the beat of your playlist.

A big plus is the inclusion of a mountain of accessories: a double-headphone adaptor, in-flight plug adaptor, extension cable and 6.5mm plug are all tucked into the pocket of a sturdy black carrying case designed to snugly house the GrooveZones.

The GrooveZones eliminated a surprisingly high amount of ambient noise, though they couldn't match the blissful silence that's possible with active noise-cancelling headphones. In audio tests, music was full and bass-heavy. When plugged into an iPod Touch, the 'phones picked up hissing and artefacts not registered by Apple's standard earbuds. If you have a digital library crammed with 128kbps MP3s, you may curse yourself for not encoding the files at a higher bitrate.

The downside of sealing your ears in snug-fitting leather-lined cocoons is the potential for overheating. The sides of our head began to get toasty after around half an hour of wearing the GrooveZones. The feeling wasn't uncomfortable -- in fact, it would be welcome in winter -- but these are not headphones you would want to go jogging in.

All up, the GrooveZones sound very good, if a little bass-heavy, and do well to temper surrounding noise. The shiny plastic finish unfortunately lends a cheap feel -- and we'd love to see an inline volume control -- but those complaints aside, these cute critters are a good buy at AU$69.95.