There are people who enjoy music, and then there are people who live and breathe music. DigiZoid has been one of the many companies that separate these two camps with their high quality audio accessories. Their latest ZO2 Personal Subwoofer promises supreme audio quality and enhanced bass hits in a ultra-portable package. We take an in-depth listen to what they have got to offer, in the full review right after the cut!
Some of us are content with the standard Apple Headphones, or the new EarPods, but then there are the audiophiles looking for the best sound they can get their ears on. Not only are the headphones important, but you will find that an amp is also a necessity for most. Despite DigiZoid's fancy "Personal Subwoofer" title, an amp is what the ZO2 comes down to be.
Out of the box, you'll find a USB to micro USB cable for charging, an aux-in cable to plug into your computer or music player, and the ZO2 itself. Right away, you'll notice how simple and slim DigiZoid designed the ZO2. On a sleek and lightweight enclosure, there is a large LED that lights up in multiple colors to show different statuses and modes and a small spring-loaded toggle switch that controls everything. There is an input and output jack on the top and a USB charging port on the side.
There are a number of modes and profiles that you can set the ZO2 to. DigiZoid calls it their Sound Signature Tuning. Essentially, you can adjust the level of bass ranging within the 32 SST profiles within the device. These profiles are displayed through the LED light bar from green (minimal bass) to red (maximum bass).
To take full advantage of the ZO2, DigiZoid recommends that you select the appropriate connection modes. Each mode is based off of what type of connection you are using between your audio source and the ZO2. If you were connected through a dock connector such as an iPhone through the 30-pin/lighting connector, then you'd want to be in Line Out Mode. Now if you were using headphones, DigiZoid stresses that you use the headphone out mode.
From what I've noticed, the differences between these two modes are that while you are in line out mode, volume is controlled directly through the ZO2 and if you're in headphone out mode, volume is controlled through the audio source. In line out mode, you have 32 volume levels that are displayed through the LED light bar from dark blue to purple. In headphone out mode, the LED is pink.
With all these functionalities, it wouldn't really matter if the audio quality that the ZO2 is boosting comes out muddy and weak. Fortunately, DigiZoid was able to deliver on audio quality as well.
While the Personal Subwoofer was in use, the overall sound had a significant boost in the highs, mids, and lows. The bass had a clean and clear punch to every hit while the mids were punctuating; you are still able to differentiate and clearly hear the individual instruments. Obviously, with the ZO2 being advertised as a Personal Subwoofer, it only makes sense that the bass was the main attraction. Hip hop and rap have heavy bass hits and the ZO2 does its job to enhance the overall listening experience.
Taking this around with you while you're on-the-go presents no problems whatsoever. Despite the miniature size of the ZO2, the battery life is surprising. With a good couple hours of normal use, you're looking at about 5-7 days on just a single charge. This is, however, on normal use. If you are someone who enjoys the blood red MAX SST profile, then your battery will reach its MIN rather quickly.
As great as the ZO2 is an amp, there are some significant drawbacks. When the volume is set to a fairly low to normal level, the amp performs fantastically. However, once you bring the volume up a few more notches, everything becomes muddled and basically unenjoyable. The higher you set the SST profile, the worse it gets, even with professional grade headphones.
This may not be a huge problem for people looking to enjoy their music on-the-go, but to fully appreciate your music collection at home, a portable amp such as the ZO2 may not meet your needs. But then again, in such a portable and light form factor, the ZO2 may not fit the tech scene that you would have set up in your entertainment center at home anyways.
The DigiZoid ZO2 provides great volume improvements and bass boosts that enhances the overall audio experience. Once you've found the ideal SST profile, everything will sound much better. I was able to hear instruments that I never knew were even in some songs. As for the bass, it hit much harder, and what more can be better than a satisfying and deep bass hit?
The ZO2 fits perfectly with any mobile audio player and it isn't so heavy that you'll be discouraged from bringing it along but it is also not so light that it feels cheap. The greatly improved audio is definitely worth it if you are always wishing for more from your iTunes playlists. I just hope that your wallet is as deep as the bass because the ZO2 will dig out a $120 sized hole. If that doesn't deter you, then we definitely recommend giving DigiZoid's Personal Subwoofer a go.