Zagg Z.buds...Anyone seen or heard anything about these?
Nov 27, 2008 at 6:11 AM Post #3 of 24

thatwunguy

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they look like an attempt for the makers of the popular invisible-shield to piggy back their previous success and venture into the over saturated world of bassy iphone headsets.

Perhaps that was too cynical?
 
Nov 27, 2008 at 3:13 PM Post #4 of 24

Aeroflux

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The real question is whether better [and fully compatible] options are out there for the iPhone? I just got the e-mail today, and I'm tempted to get these just based on the poor selection. I've always had a problem with the headphones that come with the iphone tangling and being too short, and the nylon covered cord + the adjustable cord sliders make this even more tempting.

I sleeve my own computer wires and I wouldn't hesitate to sleeve a good headset, but the iPhone control pod is daunting and would take a good scalpel with the precision of a surgeon to properly dismantle. Even then the innards might be too much for a nylon weave to slide over. Again...seems mighty tempting.
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Nov 27, 2008 at 3:40 PM Post #5 of 24

tstarn06

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Check out the NuForce 7s, reviewed by Headphoneaddict on Head-Fi. $49, and made for iPhone/Touch. Less expensive, and HPA says they are close in SQ to the Klipsch X10s, a nice endorsement from a knowledgeable Head-Fi'er.
 
Nov 27, 2008 at 3:42 PM Post #6 of 24

tstarn06

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Quote:

Originally Posted by srvctec /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I just got an email today from Zagg and these look pretty innovative for lower priced ear buds. Zagg Z.buds

I don't have anything to do with Zagg, just curious if anyone has an opinion if these are any good or not.



Always odd when a new member posts about a new pair of phones, and mentions he/she has nothing to do with said company/phones. I believe you, but it is very strange. Anyway, there is a less expensive alternative for iPhone/Touch. See my post above.
 
Nov 28, 2008 at 3:44 AM Post #7 of 24

srvctec

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tstarn06 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Always odd when a new member posts about a new pair of phones, and mentions he/she has nothing to do with said company/phones. I believe you, but it is very strange. Anyway, there is a less expensive alternative for iPhone/Touch. See my post above.


Well, glad you believe me! I found about head-fi on the Mobility Site forums from another member who mentioned that this forum was hands down the best place to come for info about headphones, etc. Click the link to Mobility Site I provided and search for my member name (same as here) and view all my posts. On second thought, here is the direct link to my profile there. Or you can Google srvctec- 99% of what comes up is me.

I added the disclaimer because I'm a new member here. I've been on online forums for enough years (selling nothing at all in those several years in thousands of posts) to know exactly what a new member posting a post like I did looks, so I know exactly where you are coming from.

I was just curious about these headphones. I think the nylon cords seem like they would be just about bullet proof since that seems to be the weak link in most of the headphones I've used.
 
Nov 29, 2008 at 4:07 AM Post #8 of 24

jezza.risky

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So I've never completely understood what's so different between the iphones headjack, and a normal one. Anyways, I have heard of the z-buds, I actually got to try them, before they came out, about three or four months ago, and they plugged right into my laptop which uses just the regular headphone jack. Frankly I wasn't impressed with them at all, however, since they were the prototypes, they could have improved their sound quality since then, cuz their sound quality has to be the worst of any headphones I've heard, not that I've listened to a lot but when they're worse then ipod headphones that have a cackle when they get to loud it's kinda sad. I really would love to give them a thumbs up for everything, since my girlfriend went from advertising for Zagg to working for them and as far as invisible shields go I'm all for everyone having one, but i don't like the z-buds :/
 
Nov 29, 2008 at 5:16 AM Post #9 of 24

tstarn06

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Just mentioned it was an odd coincidence. Sure it's all good.

But I think the NuForce phones sound like the better alternative. Heck, i even ordered one. Probably give it to my teenaged daughter.

Quote:

Originally Posted by srvctec /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Well, glad you believe me! I found about head-fi on the Mobility Site forums from another member who mentioned that this forum was hands down the best place to come for info about headphones, etc. Click the link to Mobility Site I provided and search for my member name (same as here) and view all my posts. On second thought, here is the direct link to my profile there. Or you can Google srvctec- 99% of what comes up is me.

I added the disclaimer because I'm a new member here. I've been on online forums for enough years (selling nothing at all in those several years in thousands of posts) to know exactly what a new member posting a post like I did looks, so I know exactly where you are coming from.

I was just curious about these headphones. I think the nylon cords seem like they would be just about bullet proof since that seems to be the weak link in most of the headphones I've used.



 
Dec 4, 2008 at 6:16 PM Post #11 of 24

Taikero

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jezza.risky /img/forum/go_quote.gif
So I've never completely understood what's so different between the iphones headjack, and a normal one. Anyways, I have heard of the z-buds, I actually got to try them, before they came out, about three or four months ago, and they plugged right into my laptop which uses just the regular headphone jack. Frankly I wasn't impressed with them at all, however, since they were the prototypes, they could have improved their sound quality since then, cuz their sound quality has to be the worst of any headphones I've heard, not that I've listened to a lot but when they're worse then ipod headphones that have a cackle when they get to loud it's kinda sad. I really would love to give them a thumbs up for everything, since my girlfriend went from advertising for Zagg to working for them and as far as invisible shields go I'm all for everyone having one, but i don't like the z-buds :/


Had the Z.Buds you tried been burned in at all? There are plenty of cheap phones that sound much better after burn in, and if you were listening to a fresh pair it could account (at least partially) for the poor sound you heard.
 
Dec 5, 2008 at 4:04 PM Post #13 of 24

Taikero

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I went over to the Zagg office this morning and listened to a pair of their Z.Buds with my Sansa View. (Not even the best DAP for testing a pair of IEMs out, but...)

The pair of Z.Buds I tested had been returned to the company on a warranty return, and the customer claimed their Z.Buds didn't work. I was actually happy to try a warranty return because that would give me the opportunity to see what the Z.Buds sound like after being used for a while.

For the record, whoever that customer is, your Z.Buds work!

I must say that I was impressed, given the price point of the Z.Buds at $65. They are easily worth over $100, and I actually think I prefer them to my Super.fi 5 EB (without any EQ, for overall sound quality. They can't match the bass of the EB of course). The sound is very clear (not muddy), but it's not analytical like an Ety would be. It has some warmth "injected" into the sound, but not too much. Bass was present and didn't encroach on the rest of the frequencies, although I think it was slightly boosted from flat by a couple dB. The mids weren't recessed from what I could tell, which I thought was nice. The highs were somewhat "sparkly", but weren't shrill. I think the only area where the phone might have problems (as with most IEMs) is the very high highs. Granted, I only had about 5-10 minutes with the Z.Buds, so I can't give the most detailed analysis of the sound (Didn't have any violin music with me anyway), but of the songs I tested I was very happy with the quality.

Compared to my Image X10, I'd say the overall sound signature was slightly less bass, more forward mids, and more "airy" highs. The Z.Buds aren't as good as the X10, of course, but I'd say they'd give the lower end ($100-$175 range) Shures and UE phones a run for their money. I didn't get a good feel for the sound stage in the time I had with the Z.Buds, but I didn't feel as if I were listening to a "cramped" sound, at least. I want to mention that I couldn't turn the volume of my Sansa View above about half with the volume control on the actual IEM turned all the way up. They were plenty loud and have no need of an amp (Although I bet they'd benefit from one). My only real complaint is that there was no explicit left or right IEM indication (From what I could tell, the right IEM is the one with the microphone controls), which I think Zagg should change in their next iteration of the Z.Buds just to prevent confusion.

I don't know how long these phones had been used, being a warranty return, and they could have anywhere between 0-100+ hours on them. I would've preferably liked to test a pair for a week, running them through some burn-in files for at least 48 hours just to make sure. I would've definitely liked to listen more to some violins, some acoustic guitar, some female vocals, and some bass-heavy tracks to get a real feel for these phones beyond a cursory impression (Hey, I had to get to work. Somebody's got to pay for my headphone addiction...), but no matter.

Zagg Z.Buds are easily worth their asking price, and more. They are definitely better than any V-Moda, Skull Candy, or other "common" popular cheap IEM I've heard, and while I don't have any sub-$100 IEMs to test against right now, I would put them above any IEM I've previously heard priced at < $100 (I haven't heard the Nuforce NE-7M/NE-8 yet, which is this IEM's main competition at a few bucks less, but I plan to at some point).

The other amazing part of this IEM is the cord, which I feel could be marketed as its own product for other IEMs that have replaceable cords. It felt strong and durable, and is made of nylon. From what I could tell, I think you'd have to be an idiot to tangle the cord. About a third of the way down from the actual drivers, there are two sliders you can pull apart. When you do, there is just enough space to put your head through. This makes the headphones sit just below your neck when taken out of your ears, and prevents them from falling down. There are separate controls for the microphone and for volume control. The microphone control sits close to your chest, and the volume control is farther down, near the waist. The volume control had full range and completely silenced the phones when I turned it all the way down, and from what I could tell didn't distort the sound when put in a spot below 100% volume. Sitting between the microphone and volume controls is a removable "button loop", which you can attach to any spot on your shirt/coat/clothing, which would help prevent your cord from getting snagged, and even if it got snagged, would prevent the Z.Buds from being yanked out of your ears.

I asked to test out Zagg's other headphone, which is not an IEM, but they didn't have any on hand at the moment. I may have to return at some point and give them a listen.
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What I do know is that this non-IEM headphone contains a custom driver made especially for Zagg.
 

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