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  1. #1
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    Zalman 5.1 Headphones: [Updated with my Impressions]

    If there is one headphone, which people have dismissed without even listening, it is Zalman ZM-RS6F 5.1 Headphones. I personally dismissed them and advised people against buying it.

    I have a Sennheiser HD580 with a decent amp and a great source. For my serious music listening those are sufficient. However, since I don't want to connect my HD580 to my PC (obvious reasons), I realized I need a headphone for my PC, since I was sick of my cheapo labtech headphone... I play FPS, I play CS, I listen to Mp3s and I have an Audigy2 in my system.

    My fist intent was to get a Sennheiser HD280, I had bought them once and had to return it for comfort reasons, but I always regretted that decision. I could only get Sennheiser 280 for CDN$200 everything included. I was looking around for a budget headphone with decent sound... There was no other headphone that was appealing to me in that price range, and I did not wanted to 'repeat history' with 280 plus its price was really high.

    Then, I got interested in Zalman 5.1 headphone. I read the tomhardware review of it, and it mentioned that although the 5.1 sound might be not up to par, but the music quality in stereo is superb with these headphones. It stuck me, that for CDN$60 this headphone is really cheap, yet very functional in games and music--my needs, as well, I can play and have fun with 5.1 sound with foobar and its settings... furthermore these headphones are closed and provide isolation... after a few minutes of thinking, putting things into prospective I realized that this headphone is a great value for its price... at $60 there are only horrible sony MDR180-280 out there.

    Going against the convention I have ordered this headphone and as soon as I receive it I will post my impressions.

    I guess sometimes thinking on your own and going against status quo pays off--hopefully.
    Last edited by wali; 02-03-2004 at 04:41 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Nice, nice ..... I like it .. your fighting the popular opinion .. i'll be waiting to hear the impressions

  3. #3
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    I bought a pair, when they were on sale for $40. (wish I got 2 of them now)

    My son uses them all the time now while playing games. he rarely uses the speakers anymore.

    they are not the BEST headphones for audiophiles but for general all around use and gameplaying they are pretty good, at least from the use my son is putting them through.

    I haven't had a chance to really try them much since he has confiscated them from me.

    the only thing they are in need of is a volume control, to avoid the hassel of going into windows or game control to change the volume.

    Only one (2) opinions but . .

  4. #4
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    Re: Zalman 5.1 Headphones: I'm going to give them a try

    Originally posted by wali on 01-20-2004 at 07:53 PM
    However, since I don't want to connect my HD580 to my PC (obvious reasons
    Explain the obvious to me.....

    I've got my HD580's, and Audigy 2 and a headphone amp. Used primarily for gaming.

    That said, I'd love to try out the Zalman's for gaming.

  5. #5
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    Nothing can beat the HD580's and a qaulity headphone amp for around $300. It is the best combo in the business. Zalman shmalan.

    4.1 headphones will do absolutely nothing as I have said countless times before. Headphone drivers are placed directly on your ears. This means that sound can be positioned very clearly without the need for more drivers. The concept is decent but it just doesn't work in the audio sense of it.

    That said, let us know what you think of em

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by liquidsoul on 01-20-2004 at 11:44 PM
    Nothing can beat the HD580's and a qaulity headphone amp for around $300. It is the best combo in the business. Zalman shmalan.

    4.1 headphones will do absolutely nothing as I have said countless times before. Headphone drivers are placed directly on your ears. This means that sound can be positioned very clearly without the need for more drivers. The concept is decent but it just doesn't work in the audio sense of it.

    That said, let us know what you think of em
    I'm only interested in Zalman for using with my computer and games. I have also read that it sounds decent with audio as well--in stereo off course... At CDN60 its the best value for a computer headphone.

    For my music I'm very happy with my HD580.
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    AMD 2100+ ocd -to- 2.1 GHZ
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  7. #7
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    Re: Re: Zalman 5.1 Headphones: I'm going to give them a try

    Originally posted by xinco on 01-20-2004 at 11:35 PM
    Explain the obvious to me.....

    I've got my HD580's, and Audigy 2 and a headphone amp. Used primarily for gaming.

    That said, I'd love to try out the Zalman's for gaming.
    I don't know about the amp which you're using with your HD580, but I tell you why I'm using a dedicated CDP as a source for my HD580 rather than my Audigy2.

    HD580 is a studio monitoring headphone, very sensitive to electric activity. HD580 and even HD280 when they're connected to PC's soundcard even with an amp they pickup the disturbance from the electric activity in your PC. The less electric disturbance you have in the 'path' the cleaner the sound and lower the noise floor.

    Just to satisfy your curiosity, try your HD580 with a dedicated CDP, listen to the same songs you listen most of the time. After an hour or so go back to your Audigy2 and see if you notice any difference.

    I personally definitely feel a difference.
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
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  8. #8
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    In an audio setup, everything makes a difference on the sound. Whether a person hears it or not is a totally different story.



    Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring Banaaaaana phone




    Last edited by a cat : yesterday at 05-11-2004 at 11:09 AM

  9. #9
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    I don't use my HD580's for music (what a shame, huh?).

    I just use my Mark Levinson amp & CD with my B&W 802's!

    If I had a true preamp, rather than just the No 39 w/variable out driving the amp directly, I'd use them on the stereo too. I just can't justify the price of a 380s just to use my headphones.

  10. #10
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    Quick question, is it possible to hook up the Zalman head phones to a cd player?

    If so, sweet

    Bman






  11. #11
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    http://www.fastlanehw.com/reviews.ph...=view&revid=40

    I have the HD280s myself...excellent set.
    PORTABLE: Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 2.4GHz | 4GB PC6400 DDR2 | 160GB 7200rpm HDD | ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 | 8x DVDRW/Blu-Ray | 15.6" UltraSharp TrueLife display

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by Bman0093 on 01-22-2004 at 05:56 PM
    Quick question, is it possible to hook up the Zalman head phones to a cd player?

    If so, sweet

    Bman
    Definitely, all you have to do is to connect the 'front' connecter out of the three connectors, which Zalman 5.1 has to your CD player.

    Anyway, I have received the headphone today, as Im typing its going through burn-in... Hopefully by tomorrow evening Ill be posting my impressions.

    If you guys have any question about Zalman 5.1 or curiosity let me know.
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    AMD 2100+ ocd -to- 2.1 GHZ
    Thermalright SLK 800 HSF w/ 80mm fan
    ABIT NF7-S v2.0 ocd -to- 400 FSB
    ATI 9800 Pro 128 DDR - Retail
    1x512 DDR 400 PC 3200
    WD800JB - ATA 100 - 7200 rpm
    Audigy2 w/ Monsoon MH 505 5.1/Sennheiser HD580
    LiteOn 52x32x52 CD-RW - LiteOn 16x DVD ROM
    Windows Xp Pro - w/ Service Pack 1
    LG Flatron 777 fn-plus - CRT
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  13. #13
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    what do you think of them?
    MOLE!!!

  14. #14
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    As promised here I'm with my impressions of Zalman5.1. I have been playing around with this headphone for more than week now. Here is my $0.02 on this headphone.



    Build Quality

    The build quality of Zalman 5.1 headphone is pretty good, and it s comparable to a $200-$250 hi-fi headphone. The attention to detail is great, and it looks expensive. This headphone looks more expensive than my HD580.

    Weight: incredibly this headphone is quite light for its size; however the weight distribution is the reason for that.

    Cable: the cable is pretty long (~6) and light, insulation is pretty good and unlike HD280 if the cable touches your clothes or gets rubbed against any material you're not going to feel the resonance.



    Comfort: this headphone is big and heavy, but when you wear it, it feels a much smaller and lighter headphone. The headband is very comfy and does not hurt your head after long durations. The ear-caps are kind of hanging loosely from the headband causing the weight to be distributed evenly on your head and ears. This design aspect of Zalman 5.1 headphone is a real nice touch, and something that hi-fi headphone makers should use. When you wear a Zalman 5.1 for yourself, then you will know what I was talking about.

    You need to burn this headphone first:

    Burn-in to be exact. Any experienced headphone user will tell you that a new headphone needs to be put through a burn-in process of at least 48 hours (headphone burn-in FAQ). Out of the box these headphones were anemic, muddy, and I could only listen to them with my Volume at 70%. I put them through a burn-in process of 24hrs. And I have been listening to them for the last week. Now as I listen to them the difference is day and night and my volume is at 40%--that s not an overstatement.




    Source:

    Audigy2 | Creative Drivers


    Where is the 5.1?

    The best way to get a feel of the 5.1 ability of this headphone is to run the speaker calibrator of Creative (or your respective soundcards) drivers. Except the subwoofer the rest of channels are there.

    DVD movies:

    I played The Matrix DVD, enjoyed it, the feel of 5.1 sound was there. Imaging, soundtrack, and voices were pretty clear. These headphones are really cool to watch movies late at night without too much compromising on movie sound quality. It does not sound like a 5.1 speaker, but it also does not short-change you on sound-quality. Zalman 5.1 is great for movie-buffs, those who like to watch movies without distraction, and without disturbing anyone--especially late at night.


    Games:

    This is the perfect gaming headphone. Well, that s my opinion. Why? Best sound positioning I have experienced in any game with a headphone. Total immersion in single-player games, I played Far Cry demo with this headphone since the demo have 5.1 support, and the sound imaging was awesome. In my gaming tests this headphone passed with flying colors. DOOM3 (if ever released) will be perfect for this headphone with it's atmospheric survival-horror theme. If you guys can, try this headphone with "Clive Barker's Undying. I don't have that game, but I won't even try it with this headphone; that game was scary!

    At $60 no other headphone comes close to Zalamn 5.1 for gaming; however, if you want a mic then you need to get a standalone mic and stick it in the top of your monitor or buy a $5 headset. I highly recommend this headphone for gaming.




    Music!

    Ok, before you listen to music with this headphone, try this "ENABLE CROSSOVER! wtf is with those caps? I did that to help you remember it. If you do not enable crossover, this headphone will make you put it in the microwave and hit 10min. why? It seems that if you do not enable crossover the headphone drivers get confused, although I do not know the exact reason, more audio savvy members will be able to explain that.

    So, you have put this headphone for min48hr burn-in. your speaker sitting as well as windows ctrl panel is set at 5.1 speakers. You have disabled all of the EAX effects or any other transform stereo to surround effects. Basically your music playback is set in pure stereo (not for DVD-a). then you might say something like this: Damn! This headphone sounds great! That s exactly what I said. This headphone sounds sophisticated, warm, detailed, and best of all it has a huge soundstage. Bass is punchy and present, highs are clear and extended. Before using anymore audio-nerd jargons, this headphone sounds great.

    I tried Jazz, Rock, Heavy Metal, Classical and many pop mp3s which I have. Jazz sounded best with Zalman 5.1, I guess the huge soundstage of this headphone is the reason for that or I'm partial to Jazz.

    I must say that it's a little tricky to get this headphone to really sound great with music; however, you can always post a question in this forum and ask for help. I can't say enough good things about foobar2000, but if you're new to that little wunder-player I'll post a few settings, which seems to be working for everyone, [Foobar2000 Setting: kernel Streaming, resampler 96000, playback 24bit fixed point].



    Conclusion:

    Zalman 5.1 at its current price is the best value for money headphone you can ask for. This headphone is like a mini-5.1 speaker system plus a great set of regular stereo headphone. I had never expected to be so much impressed by this headphone, and to convince myself I even waited for more than a week to see if I change opinion.

    This review is basically my experience with Zalman 5.1 headphone, and I do not ask people to buy/not to buy this headphone.

    Once again, please enable crossover for this headphone... Any other question post in this thread.

    -wali
    Last edited by wali; 02-03-2004 at 07:07 PM.
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    AMD 2100+ ocd -to- 2.1 GHZ
    Thermalright SLK 800 HSF w/ 80mm fan
    ABIT NF7-S v2.0 ocd -to- 400 FSB
    ATI 9800 Pro 128 DDR - Retail
    1x512 DDR 400 PC 3200
    WD800JB - ATA 100 - 7200 rpm
    Audigy2 w/ Monsoon MH 505 5.1/Sennheiser HD580
    LiteOn 52x32x52 CD-RW - LiteOn 16x DVD ROM
    Windows Xp Pro - w/ Service Pack 1
    LG Flatron 777 fn-plus - CRT
    Logitech MX500 W/ RatPadzGS
    Logitech Elite Keyboard (Black)

  15. #15
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    I like what I hear, your feelings on it seem to mirror those of all the reviews I've seen too. I need a good Gaming set of headphones, so I guess I'll be taking that plunge


    (anybody else find some kind of gadget every month to buy? GF is gettin kinda jealous )
    MOLE!!!

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