Zebronics is an Indian company that usually re-brands Chinese OEM peripherals under the Zebronics brand name. Zebronics has products ranging from motherboards, tablets, power supplies to even PC Chassis. Here on review is their new headset called “Iron Head”.
While they call it a 7.1 headset its actually a 2 channel headset with just 2 x 40mm drivers like many normal headphones. A lot of headphones priced under 3k are used primarily with onboard sound solutions. These headphones suffer from the low sound output as most onboard audio sound chips provide sub-par audio quality and even max volume is inadequate. So those who use headphones with large drivers from low powered onboard sound solutions like the Realtek AC880 or similar will suffer from low max volume and generally low-quality sound.
The Iron Head seeks to redress this issue by having a built in USB sound card. The advantage of such a solution is that the user can use these headphones on laptops and on any PC without a dedicated sound card like solutions from ASUS or Creative. The disadvantage is that you can only use this headphone on a PC or laptop. You cannot, for instance, use it with an XBOX 360 or with a TV.
The Iron Head is powered by a single USB port and via its built in controller you can control the volume, mute/unmute option and microphone mute/unmute. However to use these functions you require to install the drivers bundled on the CD provided with the package.
|Sensitivity||111db +/- 3 Db At 1 KHz|
|Impedance||32 Ohm +/- 15%|
|Mic dimension||6×5 mm|
|Sensitivity||-62db +/- 2 Db|
|Cable length||3.0 m|
|Package contents||Headset, Driver CD, Manual|
The package is very standard and comes with everything you require to use the headphones including the driver. One thing to note is that Zebronics do not have the drivers uploaded on their website as yet.
Perhaps they would upload them in the future but you can’t use the 7.1 virtualization feature without the drivers. Other than that it’s a simple procedure to install the drivers and configure the headphone and mic to your tastes. There is also a bundled EQ along with environment effects to play around with.
Testing wasn’t very straightforward.
I tested against 2 other headphones that are in a similar price range in my possession – Idance Audio Crazy 611 (review sample sent by Idance Audio India) and Rosewill RHTS8206 5.1 headphones (review sample sent by Rosewill). The Rosewill is also a USB powered headphone but has discrete drivers for an actual 5.1 channel effect rather than a simulated 7.1 effect like with the Zebronics Iron Head. However, the issue came up with the source.
The Zebronics is a USB powered headset, and I couldn’t use my regular DACs as a reference. Using the onboard sound on my PC wasn’t doing justice to the Idance, and the Rosewill had its own built in DAC. So testing was going to be very unequal but it cannot be helped. I quite liked the Idance headphone when I heard it but even when using my best DAC and headphone amp, it’s simply no match for the Zebronics Iron Head! Very surprising but the Zebronics is simply in a different league to the Idance even though both of them are at the same price level. The Rosewill does sound better in bass, treble and soundstage but it’s not a huge difference.
The Rosewill RHTS-8206 at $50 is however much more expensive than the Zebronics and the differences in sound quality are not very large. Also, while the Rosewill has 8 speakers inbuilt, the 7.1 virtualization tech of the Zebronics sounds darn good and honestly it’s hard to tell the difference between actual 5.1 and simulated 5.1. So the Zebronics has great bass. Good impact, speed and depth while not sounding muddy. Mids are also great, and both male and female vocals are very clear and without any glaring faults. The Rosewill doesn’t do as well, and vocals sound a tad off. The treble is also very good. Very clear, well extended and lacks any bite (sibilance, harshness).
Overall the Zebronics has no real glaring faults in the sound quality department. I haven’t heard any sub 2k headphone sound as good as the Zebronics and the fact that it comes with a built-in DAC is something really amazing ! The Zebronics Iron Head was launched at as MSRP of Rs. 1,899 which is a very good price for the headphone. Unfortunately, most dealers like Flipkart want Rs. 2,799/- for the same headphone. I have managed to find just one seller who is selling the Iron Head for Rs. 1,899/- so choices of buying this headphone for the right price are slim.
- Good Built and Sound Quality
- Balanced Headphone for anything ranging from music, games to movies.
- Simply destroys other sub-Rs. 2,000/- contenders tested so far
- Built-in DAC and Mic
- Value for Money
- Difficult to find a dealer online selling around the official quoted price.
- Not so comfort fit
- Drivers not available for download on the product site