The Zomo HD-120 mono-stick headphone (or “monophone”) is something I reckon you’re either going to love, or hate. Setting aside the colour (there are several variations available), the very idea of DJing with just one ear is bound to polarise people.
I spent some time with it, including using it for a real DJ gig, in order to work out how practical it is and who might be interested in such a device. Today I’ve got a full review and a video talkthrough of the Zomo HD-120 – an unusual headphone indeed.
I quite liked it, but my partner said she thought it was awful! As I say, it can polarise people, and that’s even before they’ve used it.
I quite liked it, but my partner said she thought it was awful!
In the hand it feels like a sturdy, well-built thing, with an ergonomic foam grip that has the “Zomo” logo in grey on the back of it, and a smart spot-colour / chrome / matt rubber earcup that has a choice of detachable pads – one velour, one leather effect.
The cable is a standard DJ-style coiled effort, with a right-angle 1/8″ TRS connector for your DJ controller or mixer that comes with the usual 1/4″ adaptor attached. and a chunky XLR connector on the headphones end – a nice touch, that lends a feel of professionalism to the HD-120.
Obviously the way you use this is going to be different to how you use most other headphones.
DJ monitoring is a personal thing, with some DJs keeping their headphones permanently on their heads (but only one ear), some permanently on both ears, others round their necks, using one or two ears to monitor as they see fit.
So the way you would potentially take to this would likely be wildly different from the next DJ.
Me? I usually DJ holding one earcup of my headphones to my ear with my shoulder, leaving both hands free for mixing, and allowing me to make the music in my ear louder or softer by squeezing harder or releasing the pressure from my shoulder (believe me, it’s only the HD-150 that’s got me thinking about this at all!).
And actually, I found it to be fine for my style of DJing, and quite good fun. It’s loud enough, and while it’s pretty hard to assess sound quality on only one ear (again, something I’ve just found out!), it sounds fine and has the clarity and punch necessary for DJing. It’s also undeniably an attention-grabber.
Ultimately, there’s one reason why this isn’t for me. Turns out that while I do indeed use my normal two-cupped headphones in a way that’s compatible with using one of these, there’s actually a part of my DJing that the HD-120 can’t help me with.
You’ll either like this, or really not want anything to do with it!
When I can’t decide which of two or three tunes to play next, I usually put one of the contenders on in my headphones, put them on both ears, turn them up, close my eyes and let the tune take over. If I’m feeling it, I’ll know fast and I’ll use it, or if not, I’ll decide equally as fast to try something else. And as there’s no way you can do this with a mono-stick style headphone, it’s a no-go in my DJ bag.
But as I said at the start, you’ll either like this, or really not want anything to do with it! If you think this kind of headphone would suit your (there are several colours to choose from. too), the Zomo HD-120 a competent example of the style. It’s well made, there’s a decent DJ lead provided, and it sounds good enough.
So the question is: Are you a monophone-type guy (or girl)?
- Unusual, eye-catching design
- Sturdy build
- Chunky, detachable DJ cable
We don’t like:
- Design won’t suit everyone’s DJing
What do you think?
So do you love or hate this design? Have you sever seen a DJ using a monophone design? Have you ever used one? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
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