Tech

Zendure ZenPods Review

Today we’re taking a look at the new noise cancelling wireless headphones from Zendure called the ZenPods. I would like to thank Zendure for sending me a pair early to test out and they didn’t pay for this review so my thoughts and opinions are my own. These earphones will be available on indiegogo so be sure to check them out if you’re interested.

In the box these earphones come with a charging cable and some additional rubber tips in a few sizes so you can find your best fit. The case is quite small and easily fits into your pocket or bag and doubles as a charging case for your earphones. These charge by USB-c and the earphones are Bluetooth 5.0 which means you’ll get a more secure connection. They’re also IPX5 certified for light water resistance, against sweat and light rain. Each of the earbuds have a touch sensitive area on the back which is used to control the functions.

For the touch controls, its 1 tap to play/pause music, or answer and hangup a call. A double tap on the left earbud goes to previous song and a double tap on the right goes to the next song. A triple tap launches your phones voice assistant. Pressing and holding for 2 seconds rejects a call and a 3 second hold changes the mode from noise cancelling to ambient sound mode and noise cancelling off. In my testing I found the touch controls quite easy to use and quite responsive.

One of my absolute favourite things about these earphones is that they have an ‘ambient’ mode that allows you to listen to music and still hear the outside sounds. This is something that not many noise cancelling headphones I’ve tested have. Only the more expensive Sony headphones tend to have this feature. It works quite well and lets enough sound in so that you won’t miss any announcements on a plane for example. However it isn’t super quick to change into this mode. You have to press and hold for 3 seconds to get to it. Then it cycles through the modes to get back to noise cancelling. Nevertheless I’m so happy this feature is included.

The noise cancelling is quite good although not quite as good as over the ear headphones. But for the size and weight of these, they’re definitely more that adequate for cancelling minor plane or train noises.

In my testing the battery life has been quite good. The battery in the case is 300mah and each earbud is 35mah. This gives around 6 and a half hours of playtime before needing to be recharged in the case. The case gives an additional 15 and a half hours playtime for a total of 22 hours before you need to recharge the case.

As for the sound, they have 13mm drivers and sound quite good. The audio quality isn’t the best I’ve heard but you can hear the music clearly. The bass is present but not overly bass-y. I would say its overall on par with other in ear earphones I’ve tried. Now the microphone built into these is supposed to have a special ‘clear voice’ algorithm to make your voice easily understandable even in noisy environments. However in my testing on a few calls, people said I sounded like I was in a small echoey room. As you can hear now though while connected to the computer the microphone performs quite well.

The pairing process is fairly easy. Once you take one of the ZenPods out of the case it goes into pairing mode and shows up in your bluetooth menu. Its not quite so easy with multiple devices though. When you want to connect it to another device, like my MacBook. I had to disconnect it from the phone then put the Zenpods back in the case and take it out again to enter pairing mode again, then connect to the laptop. Switching between them is not fast or easy. So these earphones are best suited to a single device I would say.

One thing I didn’t like about these is that if you press and hold too long on the touchpad, the earphones turn off. And the only way to turn them back on again is to take out the earphone and put it in the case then take it back out again to turn it back on.

Finally, the retail price will be USD$119 which is a little on the high end but you do get some great noise cancelling and ambient modes and the microphone is better than most other earphones I’ve tried. Overall I think its a great option to consider for your next noise cancelling bluetooth headphones.

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