It feels like we’re constantly on the hunt for a great pair of sports headphones that look great, are comfortable, and sound good too — all at a decent price. Dozens of companies have come up with what they think are the best sports earbuds or in-ears out there, but most fall well short of the mark. Ziofen, however, thinks it has the option — the Ziofen Sport-Borne earphones.
But are the Ziofen Sport-Borne headphones really all that good? They’re certainly cheap — but simply being cheap doesn’t mean they’re worth buying. We put the headphones to the test to see how they performed.
The Ziofen Sport-Borne earphones look pretty standard in the design department, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We wouldn’t say they look bad, but we wouldn’t say they look great either. One thing that is a little disappointing is that they’re somewhat large — much longer than you would expect from a wired pair of headphones, but about the size you might expect from true wireless in-ears. Part of that size is that the earphones need enough room for the little wings that come with them — but they certainly don’t need as much room as they get.
In the box, you’ll find a nice slew of accessories, including a white clamshell case, six pairs of ear tips, and a pair of attachable wings that keep your earphones in your ear. Also includes are a pair of memory foam tips, which are a nice addition and should also help keep the earphones in despite the somewhat large size.
Like the design, the comfort level of the Ziofen Sport-Borne is fine, but nothing incredible. Like any earphone, the Sport-Borne’s get a little uncomfortable after extended listening periods, but the point is that they’re for sports — so if you really only use them for an hour at the gym or on your run in the morning, you should be fine.
Then again, if you’re a real sports buff and plan on using these for hours at a time, we recommend trying something else. We found that under normal gym use they had a few small issues with falling out, but nothing too serious or too frequent.
When it comes to sports headphones comfort is just as important as sound, but sound is still an important consideration nonetheless. The Ziofen Sport-Borne earphones may not be an audiophile’s dream, but they actually sound pretty decent.
Let’s start with the bass, which isn’t as pronounced as some might want, but is present nonetheless. If you’re a hip-hop fan, you may not get the bass that you’re looking for, but there’s still some bass there for everyone else. Unfortunately, there seems to be a bit of a roll off in low bass frequencies, so if you’re looking for something that extends down to sub bass you might want to look elsewhere.
The mids are a little complicated. The low-mids certainly aren’t bad, but there’s a slight boost in the high mids that makes the earphones sound a little radio-ish. It’s not too bad, but it’s certainly there, so take heed.
The high end is far better sculpted than we expected from headphones in this price range, but it’s also fairly pronounced, making the music sound a little airy and tinny — like what you might expect from classic iPod earphones.
These earphones also get real loud real quick — so be careful with that volume knob so you don’t cause damage to your hearing.
The earphones are closed-back and they do block out some outside noise, but not all. The memory foam tips help with that though, so if blocking outside noise is important to you you may want to use those.
The Ziofen Sport-Borne earphones certainly aren’t bad, but they are a little mediocre. They look fine, are decently comfortable, and sound decent, but they don’t excel in any area except price. At $20 the Ziofen Sport-Borne earphones are a decent buy, but we would recommend going for something like the Fiio F3’s instead if you’re looking for sports earphones in that price range.
|Frequency response||20Hz – 20kHz||Active noise cancellation
|Driver size||7mm||Noise attenuation||Unknown|
|Sensitivity||103dB||Eartip material||Gel, memory foam|
|Total harmonic distortion
|Rated input power
|Maximum input power
||No||Cable length||1.2m (4ft)|
||3.5mm||Case type||Hard case|
||No||In-the-box||Hard case, 6 gel tip pairs, 1 memory foam tip pair, 1 pair of wings|