ZealSound wrote to me one day to inquire if I was interested in reviewing their wood earphones. I then visited the Amazon website link that they sent to me and checked out some of the reviews consumers left. With an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars, I decided to accept the offer. 2 weeks later, I received the HDE-300 in-ear noise-isolating wood headphones with microphone.
ZealSound believes that wood is widely used in musical instruments because it makes them sound better, and hence they applied it to their range of natural wood headphones. There are currently 3 models with identical driver specs but differing only on the wood and design. HDE-100 has the smallest housing with smallest wood chamber, the HDE-200 has a slightly larger wood filling, and the HDE-300 is the largest.
The HDE-300 has an in-line mic with a single button to pause your music or answer phone calls.
True to the claim, ZealSound HDE-300 wired earphones delivers a pleasant warm overall tonality. The bass has quite a loadful of boom but not bloated nor hard. The mids are present though a little muffled for critical listening when the bass track is loud. And like most headphones tuned for warm sounds, the treble does not deliver the hyped presence or clarity, but it is sufficiently clear, enjoyable and not veiled. Instruments like Kenny G saxophone gives a slight raw output which could be a good thing as it balances the laid-back characteristics. Tracks from Daft Punk give you the comfy deep bass while the highs blend nicely without screaming in your ears.
Classical music might sound less exciting due to the bass-bias tuning and rounded treble, hence the brass and strings do not come out as bright. The HDE-300 will work great for modern genre lovers who find the tracks too bright.
The ZealSound HDE-300 is suited for listeners who love listening to music towards the warm sound. I like the boomy bass definition without the overly strong kick effect, and clear laid-back treble. The headphones are priced at US$21.99 and Amazon currently sells than at a limited promotion price of US$13.99.
ZealSound HDE-300 Specs
Driver: Dynamic 10mm Neodymium
Frequency response: 20 -20,000 Hz
Maximum input power: 10mW
Connection: 3.5mm gold-plated jack
Cable length: 1.35m
Accessories: cord clip, 3x ear tips, cloth case