Urbanears Zinken review
17th Jul 2012 | 10:05
The Urbanears Zinken headphones bring DJ-style swiveling earcups to the party
Like the Urbanears Plattan, the Zinken headphones are named after an area of their native Sweden and feature a a similar no-frills Scandinavian design, but this time with enhancements such as swiveling earcups and a flexible dual-use cable.
Going up against the likes of the B&W P3s, the Philips Fidelio L1 and the Beats by Dre Pro Beats, have the Urbanears Zinken got what it takes to make it into our list of the best headphones around?
Urbanears Zinken: Design
Sporting a similar minimalist design to the brand's other products, such as the Plattan, the new Urbanears Zinken feature DJ-style swiveling earcups so you can opt for the classic one-eared stance of which DJs are so fond when lining up the next track.
You can also fold them up for storage, while the twisting action of the earcups means more flexibility when fitting them into a tight space in your bag.
Aside from the swiveling cups, the real draw here is the TurnCable which has a standard 3.5mm jack at one end and a 6.3mm plug at the other end for hooking up to your decks or hi-fi equipment.
All you need to do is detach the cable from the headphones, and you can use either the 3.5mm end or the larger 6.3mm jack to plug them into one of two ports on the earcups, leaving your chosen jack free to plug into your source.
The 3.5mm port (or ZoundPlug, as Urbanears likes to call it) can also be used to plug in another pair of headphones, so that a friend can listen to what you're listening to.
It's a simple, yet effective, idea that gives you added flexibility without you having to carry around a separate adaptor (which you'll inevitably lose anyway).
The headphones will be available in a variety of striking colours - we were given the Tomato version to try out which sport a pleasingly Play-doh-esque red hue.
Urbanears Zinken: Comfort
The underside of the headband is well padded (more so than the Plattan) so that it won't start digging into your bonce after an hour or two of tunes which is good news for those with a long commute. The earcups also feature plenty of cushioning that not only keep your ears from getting too squashed but also forms a reasonable seal to keep sound leakage to a minimum.
What's more, while the design is still decidedly on-ear, the earcups are bigger than those found on the Plattan, making the Zinken much more comfortable.
Urbanears Zinken: Durability
The fact that the TurnCable is partially coiled means that there's plenty of leeway to stretch without the need for reams of excess cord poking out of your bag or pocket. The jacks at the ends of the cable are moulded from a sturdy rubber and they've certainly proved to be durable so far.
We've been carrying the Zinken around for about a month now and they don't appear to show any battle scars from constantly being shoved into a bag and generally treated with the minimum amount of care.
Urbanears Zinken: Sound quality
The audio performance is strong, with a clear, punchy sound that copes well with bass-heavy tracks but equally good on a variety of genres from classical to pop.
What's more, while Urbanears makes no claims about noise-cancelling, the well-fitted earcups do block out a fair bit of background noise.
Urbanears Zinken: Verdict
At £120, the Urbanears Zinken are a fair bit more expensive than the Plattan (£50) but then they do offer some juicy extras in the form of comfort and that handy dual-purpose cable.
In short, the Zinken offer great design and punchy audio, they're just a tad pricey. But if you're a hipster (and the Zinken are certainly aimed at hipsters) with cash to spare then you won't be disappointed.
Urbanears Zinken availability: Available now
Urbanears Zinken price: £120