Zalman ZM-RS6F USB Theater 6 Headphones Review


A closer look

These headphones are supposed to function like an entire home audio system in compact form. Compact? Entire home audio? We have two problems here. Erm….. read on now…

First of all, the word “compact” cannot be associated to these headphones in any way. The sections that cover the ears are not only horizontal, but they are oval shaped. I don’t have huge ears, but the headphones did not sit comfortably on my ears at all, leaving the top part of my ears squished against my head. I have to admit, I came out looking a bit Vulcan.

These headphones sit on hinges that allow them to do a ninety degree rotation so that they lay flat. Function? I don’t know. The top band that goes secures these monstrosities to your noggin is comfortable enough with leather and velvety material, and expands about two inches extra if you need it. In the middle on both sides of the headset, there is an additional hinge that allows the speakers to fold upwards for storage. Even with this advantage, I still don’t feel good enough about its size to shove it into a suitcase.

Lastly, the Zalman headset is equipped with a 1970’s-Buick-seatbelt-length cord with a USB at the end. Seven feet? Really? I mean, how far do you really have to go from your computer? Do they even make monitors that big? Perhaps, but the length seems extreme. Anyway, the cord has a box on it that contains the sound card. Apparently, this sound card is one of the best USB audio cards for an external, high-end audio device. The box has a switch for volume up/down, as well as green LED light that glows when the headset is plugged in and flashes when the headset is being used to carry sound.

Second issue: audio effectiveness. The headphones are good, but not great. During gameplay, it is possible to lose sound in the middle when an enemy goes across your screen firing from left to right. The sound literally disappears when the action is going on right in front of you. Also, the bass is pretty lousy. I like big, meaty bass whenever I can get it, which means that listening to gangsta rap or even while watching Lord of the Rings, I don’t get enough bass to be truly satisfied.