veho ZB6 Wireless Headphone REVIEW Plenty of Power and Fully Portable
The veho ZB-6 Wireless headphones arrived in an 8 1/16 inches tall by 8 3/16 inches wide by 3 5/8 inches thick retail box. The back, top, bottom and front panels utilized a matte black coloration, allowing the white text to shine. The cover displayed an attractive, subtle, side view of the black veho wireless on-ear headphones, which directly mirrored the first-hand view from the side panels. The back panel proved to be a little busier than I like. Along the top left, veho provided three paragraphs detailing the Low Energy Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity, remote control capabilities, voice commands for Siri and Google Assistant and the ability to use Bluetooth and Auxiliary connections. Beneath the three paragraphs, veho listed five icons with descriptions: 25-hour Built-in Li-Po rechargeable battery, Bluetooth 4.1/Auxiliary connection, Balanced mids/highs for premium listening, noise-isolating ear cups, on-ear controls. Along the bottom right, you will find the specifications 40mm drivers, 100 +/-3dB, 20Hz-20kHz frequency, 10-meter range, 380mAh 3.7V battery, charging time two hours, Bluetooth 4.1. In addition to the text, veho provided pictures of their logo on the side of the earcups, the aux-in port along the bottom of the left ear cup and an oblique view of their headphones. If you grip the bottom panel, you can lift the front panel and top panel upward. On the inside cover of the flap, you will see an exploded view of the headphones showing the ergonomic controls, foldable design, tacton soft touch casing, soft leather ear cups and a comfort headband.
With the packaging open, you can directly visualize the headphones behind a clear plastic shell. Open the top of the plastic and slide the ZB-6 headphones upward. Within the inner box, you will find an extremely short 11-inch USB-A to USB-micro cable, a generous 48 1/2 inches long 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable and a 24-panel instruction multilingual instruction manual. The manual was well written and laid out in sections rather than by languages, which worked pretty well. Setup and use of the headphones were very straightforward. The headphones were designed with three buttons arranged around the right earcup, a “+,” “-” and “multi-function” phone icon. To turn the headphones on, simply press the multi-function button for three seconds (bottom icon). You will hear a female voice state “Power on.” To turn off the device, hold the “MFB” until you hear “Power Off.” To pair the device with your smartphone, hold the MFB button for 3–5 seconds. You will know that you are in pairing mode by two separate cues. The LED along the bottom of the right earcup will alternatively flash blue/red, and you will hear “Pairing.” You will then need to navigate to settings on your phone, select Bluetooth and then select “Veho ZB-6” from the list. When successful, the female voice will announce “Paired.”
The attractive ZB-6 headphones were designed to connect via Bluetooth or Auxiliary connection. The 3 inches wide by 3 1/4 inches tall triangular earcups seemed to fit over my ears instead of upon them. In fact, I would likely call these headphones over-ear rather than on-ear. The 290 gram/10.15oz headphones were truly comfortable to wear for prolonged periods of time. Across the top of the headphones veho added a thick foam headband. Each of the earcups can fold inward for portability, and each side of the headphones has a 1-inch extension arm to adapt to different head shapes. Located along the bottom of the left earcup, you will find a 3.5mm input port, and along the bottom of the right earcup, you will find a micro-USB input port. Perhaps the greatest feature of the headphones was the 25-hour life and 2 hour charge time. I have tested these speakers over the last 1.5 weeks, using them 2–4 hours per day to listen to music before bed. At average use, you can expect nearly two weeks of enjoyment. Personally, an overnight charge intermittently will keep the headphones fully charged, nearly indefinitely.
Once paired, I turned to audiocheck.net to test the Low Frequency Response and Subwoofer Audio Test (10–200 Hz), High Frequency Response and Hearing Audio Test (22–8 kHz), Left/Right Stereo Audio Test, and the Stereo Perception and Sound Localization. As detailed on the packaging, the headphones had a full bass sound, with a lower range of 20Hz. The upper range is less dependent on the headphones and more dependent upon the listener’s hearing ability. As we age, we lose the ability to hear upper sounds and thus the upper range for most young adults will be around 14–16kHz. I was able to hear the high pitch at 16kHz and my 6-year-old son was able to hear 17kHz. The left/Right stereo audio test showed that the channels were correctly programmed and you could enjoy stereo sound. The stereo perception and sound localization test is a very interesting and eye-opening test. If you navigate to the bottom of the page, you will see “The Real Thing” “Original Binaural Recording.” Select this link and prepare to look cautiously over your shoulder. The headphones passed my initial testing, with flying colors, but I noted an odd button combination. I prefer the volume buttons to increase/decrease volume with a single press. Unfortunately, the veho ZB-6 reversed the combination and used a long press for volume control and short presses for track advance/rewind. When the combinations are reversed, I find that the volume control is much less sensitive. The MFB features proved to be straightforward and typical of other devices on the market. If you double tap the volume “-” button, this will activate the voice assistant. Double tapping the “+” button did not have a command. If you single tap the MFB button, you can start/stop music or answer/Hang-up a call. If you hold the button for 2 seconds, you can reject an incoming call and if you double tap to redial the last number called.
With the above testing completed, I simply wanted to enjoy music and video. I navigated to Amazon Prime Video and watched “Star Trek” and “Power Rangers” and found that there was no lag between speech and video. I was pleased with this finding as sometimes there is a lag between audio/video. YouTube seems always to have a lag, but this was not that noticeable either. Netflix and Movies anywhere also had the same enjoyable experience, sans lag. I then wanted to hear some Holly Cole “Train Song” to listen to the bounding opening bass line. The veho ZB-6 bass was better than expected and songs by Johnny Cash and Josh Turner were very enjoyable. For a while, I forgot that I was using a sub $100 pair of headphones based on the enjoyable full sound. To continue with my standard cadre of test tracks I listened to my favorite section (3:00–4:00) of “Why So Serious, Joker Theme” from the Dark Knight Rises and watched the opening sequence to Star Wars Episode 3 “Attack of the Clones,” and“Bright Lights Bigger City” by Cee Lo Green. Being incredibly pleased with the bass, I listened to Eagles “Hotel California” and Enya “Orinoco Flow” and was happy with the tones and with the overall lows.
For the next test, I wanted to test the mids/highs, and sound staging. Typically to test the fullness of the highs/mids, I listen to acapella and instrumental tracks to try to pick out each of the instruments. I listened to a variety of songs by Anthem Lights, Pentatonix and then to the Gladiator, Far and Away and Braveheart Soundtracks. To make sure that I was testing quality tracks, I tried a variety of sources to include iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Prime Video/Amazon Prime Music, YouTube, Pandora and CD quality. To test the soundstage, I listened to Yosi Horikawa Wandering EP and enjoyed the visual imagery. I listened to a variety of songs, a variety of groups and felt that the headphones stood up to the tests. From Beach Boys to CCR, to Led Zeppelin, to Johnny Cash, to Bill Withers “Lean on me,” to Ben E King “Stand by Me,” to a variety of Motown and more modern artists like Charlie Puth, Katy Perry, and Meghan Trainor. The veho ZB-6 headphones are an amazing pair of inexpensive headphones that only have a few setbacks. First, there was no included carry case/bag for the headphones. Many devices at this price point have a carry satchel/drawstring bag etc. to store the headphones but the veho ZB-6 did not. Second, the phone call feature often feels like an add-on. Since the microphones often pick up ambient sounds, I find that phone calls with headphones are typically not enjoyable. The ZB-6 phone calls were passable but still felt that like I was talking in a tunnel.
There was a clear difference between wired audio and wireless audio, but the ability to use the headphones sans cable was fantastic. I enjoyed the appearance, the quality, the durability, the battery and the overall feel of the headphones. The voice control option by double pressing the “-” button was responsive and improved the headphone control. The Bluetooth range was on par with other devices, providing the option to pair/connect up to 30 feet away. The ear pads were comfortable, the headband was comfortable and prolonged listening was a pleasurable activity.