BlueAnt Pump Zone Bluetooth Wireless Headphones Review - The BASS Monster!

When we at GIZGUIDE discovered this amazing thing called music that eventually made us want our very first non-stock earphones or headphones. Once we got to the local audio store, we were overwhelmed with the huge amount number of peripheral selections at the local music store. Audio was more complex than we initially believed it to be. What we were looking for was a wireless model that we could quickly pair with the number of devices we carried around with us on the go but have decent audio quality. It just so happened that (Digital Walker or Beyond Box) carried the Blue Ant Pump Zone Bluetooth wireless headphones with MEGA Bass.
BlueAnt Pump Zone Bluetooth Wireless Headphones Review - The BASS Monster!
BlueAnt Pump Zone review

BlueAnt Pump Zone Specs

Driver Unit: Dynamic
Connector: 3.5 mm dual channel plug
Battery: 450 mAh
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
Buttons: Pause, Play, Next, Previous
Dimensions: 190.5 x 160 x 81.28 mm
Weight: 255.99 g
Price: 5,250 Pesos

Unboxing / Accessories

The box

The box itself is sturdy with matte texture printed with legal information and features. Inside it's lined soft material to protect the Hard zip case where the headphones, documentation and wires are placed. Pretty generous as a whole.
It comes with a generous incluhard zip pouch that stores the USB to Micro USB and 3.5 mm audio jack
It comes with a generous incluhard zip pouch that stores the USB to Micro USB and 3.5 mm audio jack

Build Quality / Design

Solid build!
Solid build! NFC key visible here as well

The headphones themselves are made of a combination of solid sturdy polycarbonate, faux leather, metals and soft materials. Overall, the headphones feels premium and sturdy and it looks very sexy.

All the plastics are solid with no creaking and are matte with the headband having a soft touch matte finish. The metal folding hinges are stable with a satisfying click when in place. The band can extend by an inch with well defined steps. The foam used in the cups are not very soft but mostly serves to contain the sound. 
While we have no way to test the antimicrobial claim of the leather ear cups, they do grip well even when wet. 
Charging and 3.5 mm female port present
Charging and 3.5 mm female port
This Bluetooth headphones looks beautiful!
The buttons are all located on the right ear cup and feel good to press. They are slightly recessed and require some force, meaning they won't be pressed accidentally. These buttons work only on Bluetooth (more on that below). The buttons are play/pause, volume up/down and back/skip. Sadly the buttons don’t allow you to fast forward or rewind the song.

The headphones has a 450 mAh battery that is charged via micro USB. It also has 3.5mm jack with an included cable. The headphones has Bluetooth 4.0 and has a microphone. There is also NFC pairing on the left ear cup.

The headphones are worn over the ear, but since the cups are smaller than other over-ear headphones, you have to put on the headphones from behind your head, fitting your earlobes into the cups. This has the added benefit of keeping the headphones in place when exercising. While wearing the headphones on the ear is more convenient, is not recommended as the side-ward pressure clamping on the earlobes can cause soreness. 

The headphones are quite small and compact and may cause problems with larger heads. With a max height of 7 inches between the inside of the headband and the bottom of the cups and a max width of 6 inches between cups, can have trouble on larger heads causing strain over time. There is also very little vertical swivel with the cups.

What I noticed right away was how flexible but sturdy the moving parts were. (The swivels and the extending head band) 

If there was one gripe we had with the build, it would be the faux leather because it seems to be a very thin lining that could easily crack and chip apart after extended use. We have yet to see some cracking and chipping so far though. So we could be wrong.

Comfort / Isolation

Absolutely Sexy from a far!
Absolutely Sexy from a far!
Buttons are present in this photo

The Pumpzone is comfortable to wear when listening to and when letting it hang on your neck; however, we found that out of the box it can feel a little too constricting but after a while it loosens up and feels more natural to be on your head and on your neck.

Eventually, fatigue kicks in and even though the weight of the headphones is decent, it becomes heavier after a while and the weight is felt on your earlobes and on your neck. Of course this after several hours of continuous use.

The Isolation is okay. You can still hear loud ambient noises like vehicle engines and generators. It's not a total removal of ambient sound but it is enough for most people. Also, during playback and enough volume, the music drowns out the ambient sound anyway.

Battery Life

While playing at 80% volume, the headphones lasted slightly over 29 hours making the manufacturer’s claim of 30 hours close to reality. 80% volume is already pretty loud for most music. You can use the 3.5 mm cable when out of battery. 

The headphones have a 450 mAh battery that takes 2 hours to charge. We wish that it was faster, but we're okay with that.

Sound Quality /  Performance

The headphones uses the play / pause keys as the power button. It can be turned on two ways: normal and pairing mode. While turned off, holding the play button for 3 seconds, with the LED above the play button showing a solid blue, turns it on in normal mode and pairs with previously paired devices. Holding the play button for five seconds or until the blue LED blinks turns it into pairing mode and allows you to pair with devices. 
Holding the play button until the LED turns red turns the headphones off. 
This makes it inconvenient to pair new devices as you have to turn off then turn on the headphones. It also means that you can't start listening immediately and have to wait a minimum of 3 seconds from turned off. 
We also notice almost no lag when listening to music and videos!
The Bluetooth 4.0 works well. The range is pretty good. The headphones works at 20 meters with line of sight and BlueAnt claims it can work up to 30 meters.The buttons work well especially with other BT 4.0 devices.  NFC pairing works well too.

Moving to the quality of sound, this headphones is all about the bass! The lows how ever are crisp,  punchy, powerful and note worthy. While it isn't the tightest and fastest around, we can hear low notes that we couldn't hear from other Bluetooth powered headphones.

The headphones favors bass over other parts of the sound more.
However, other parts of the spectrum such as the mids and treble department isn't that covered. Vocals is far from clear and the treble sounds hollow and lacking in detailsThis is most evident when playing high pitched songs like CHVRCHES’ “Bury It”.

For casuals, this would be acceptable. However, its sound quality performance needs improvement to please the audiophile market.

Note: The headphones have a wide variety of codecs available. Thus, it can play high definition sound. You are able to tell the difference between high bitrate FLAC and MP3.

Pros - Sound is crisp and powerful with decent sound stage but it is all about the bass with barely any trebles, decent Isolation, easy to pair and connect, battery life is amazing
Cons - We would like for the next generation to have better highs (trebles) and mids, can get heavy because of fatigue after several hours of use

Verdict

For the SRP of 5,250 Pesos, the level of comfort and sound produced by this headphones is a mixed bag. At this price range, we would expect even highs, lows and mids but with the focus on bass being the deal breaker for some. SO if you are all about the bass, then this headphone is for you! But if you prefer the full spectrum of sound at great quality, then there are other wired headphones out there with better sound quality.

GIZ Rating: 3.75/5 Stars
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