Date: March 12th, 2008
Article by: Jackie Mueller (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Zalman USA
<--CLICK FOR DEALS ON A HEADSET IN THE UNITED STATES
<--CLICK FOR DEALS ON A HEADSET IN CANADA
PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING
These headphones will work without installing the included drivers, although at the cost of losing surround sound so obviously it's a good idea to set up the software for full functionality. That process is quick and easy and most users can choose all the default install settings.
It should be noted that the included drivers are generic and provided with sound cards that use a C-Media chipset. Therefore, some of the features like the recording and mic functions will not apply when using the ZM-RS6F.
The main screen of the software shows the output device and number of channels (which I set to 6). DSP mode allows each channel's volume control to be adjusted. These headphones do not have a built-in subwoofer so when the speaker test is ran that channel will not be heard.
The mixer tab has volume controls and balance adjustments. Volume can be adjusted here or on the sound card itself. I personally find it much easier to push a button on the sound card to adjust the volume. Other options on this tab such as recording, microphone, and line in do not apply and can be disabled.
The effects tab has an equalizer and various effects to try out that emulate the way sound is heard at different locations such as a concert hall, living room and even a padded room. The environment size can also be changed here, creating a different effect.
After spending some quality time watching Star Wars and playing Doom 3 with the headphones on, I've come to the following conclusions:
The ZM-RS6F is a solid piece of equipment. As soon as I held the headphones in my hands I could tell they were constructed from a nice durable plastic that wasn't going to break easily. I can see them lasting a long time with normal use and would survive an accidental drop to the floor now and then too.
The padding on the ear cups and head band is soft and overall quite comfortable. The ear cups covered my entire ear but I was feeling a bit sweaty after a couple hours of wearing them. For a set of headphones this size, the vents on the ear cups are just too small to be effective. Additionally, they feel (and look) bulky when worn due to the size and shape, and are a bit on the heavy side. The sound card adds to the weight also.
Surround sound made the movie watching experience much more enjoyable and was probably even more welcome during a game, since I could hear enemies creeping up on me and it was easy to tell what direction they were coming from. After a couple minor adjustments in the software the sound was clear and quite good. Music sounded okay, but I can't really recommend it because there's an important element missing – bass. The lack of a woofer in these headphones means that there is no bass response whatsoever, and after just a short time it was noticeable and missed.