The new gaming headset from the audio professionals at Teufel is quite colorful. The Zola, announced at the end of November 2022, relies on a highly customizable design and is quite colorful. However, our Teufel Zola review shows that the headset also knows how to convince in terms of sound.
|Frequency range (headphones)||10 – 20,000 Hz|
|Connectivity||3.5mm jack; USB-A|
|Microphone type||omni-directional, with noise reduction|
|Frequency range (microphone)||100 – 16,000 Hz|
|Compatibility||PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, smartphone, tablet|
|Special features||Removable design elements; 7.1 sound via USB sound card|
|Price||€ 95.00 *|
Teufel Zola review: scope of delivery and design
- Simple and chic design
- Unique customization options
The most striking feature of the new Teufel Zola gaming headset is undoubtedly its colorful and even more customizable design. Thereby, the headset itself comes in two basic colors, Light Grey and Dark Grey. The special feature: Ear pads, microphone pop protection and the caps on the outer sides of the ear cups are available in many different colors.
Anything goes: either in the same colors as the headset or in bright red, yellow, purple-blue or light green-turquoise, which can create exciting color contrasts.
The colored parts can be exchanged in just a few steps, and the corresponding retrofit kits are also available for purchase separately. However, they are not a bargain at 24.99 Euros for a set of ear pads and microphone protectors, or 19.99 Euros for the individual covers.
The replaceable parts first have to be attached when the Teufel Zola is put into operation, because they are included individually in the scope of delivery. The scope of delivery is rounded off by the detachable microphone, a 3.5 mm jack cable including inline remote control and a USB sound card, which is responsible for the 7.1 surround sound.
The design is comparatively simple and reduced to the essentials. Teufel relies on a robust and high-quality metal frame and generous oval ear pads. There are no controls on the headset itself and RGB lighting is also consistently omitted.
Score deduction for workmanship
- Comparatively rickety
- Quite scratch-prone
The build quality of the headset is okay, although I have seen much cheaper headsets myself that leave a higher quality impression. This starts with the fact that the headband of the Zola turns out quite wobbly and rickety.
In addition, the metal headband leaves first unsightly cracks on the casing already after unpacking when adjusting the right size. The connection cables to the ear cups are a bit too long, but they are covered with fabric. All in all, the build quality is decent, but we’ve seen it better.
How comfortable is the Zola?
- Very comfortable to wear
- Slightly thin cushion
The wearing comfort of a gaming headset is always a very personal thing and yet there are certain factors that are crucial here. I find the Teufel Zola to be very comfortable, and that’s despite the fact that the headset is truly no lightweight, weighing in at 330 grams.
In addition, the comparatively tight headband provides quite a high contact pressure, which is fortunately absorbed very well by the soft ear pads and the headband. The fabric covering of the pads also ensures that you don’t get sweaty underneath.
Compared to some other gaming headsets, the pads are comparatively thin. The ear pads and the headband are 1.5 cm high. Each at the thickest point. However, this doesn’t detract from the wearing comfort, even during long gaming sessions.
However, gamers with big ears will only get their money’s worth to a limited extent. For this, the space inside is a bit tight with 6.4 cm in height and 4 centimeters in width. Medium-sized or small eavesdroppers will feel comfortable under the ear pads in the long run, though.
Practical test and handling
- Headset must first be assembled
- Assembly a bit fiddly
- After that, quickly ready for use
So after unpacking, the Teufel Zola first wants to be assembled. What still goes very easily with the covers of the ear cups, proves to be a bit fiddly when pulling on the ear pads. After all, millimeter-thin rubber lips have to be placed into the intended holders. With a bit of dexterity, however, this can be done relatively quickly.
Now just connect the 3.5mm jack cable and twist it in 90 degrees to hold it to the headset and you’re ready to go. Said jack connection then also ensures broad compatibility with all consoles, tablets or smartphones.
However, you only get the best possible sound on PC and Mac in combination with the USB sound card, which in turn also has a jack connector, into which the Zola wants to be plugged.
The headset is then immediately recognized, set up and ready to use. Nevertheless, we recommend downloading the accompanying software, as it comes with many useful additional features. But more about that later.
Playback and recording quality
- Good, somewhat bass-heavy sound via jack
- Perceptibly richer, better sound with sound card
- Very good spatiality in 7.1 surround sound
40-millimeter drivers and a comparatively large frequency band from 10 Hz to 20,000 Hz give hope for a good sound of the Teufel Zola. In the basic settings or in analog operation, it is initially noticeable that the bass is comparatively strong in the foreground.
The mids fade into the background a bit, but are still clearly discernible and detailed. The trebles are also well positioned and do not distort even at maximum volume. This clearly shows that the Zola is tuned for listening pleasure.
Basically, I would describe the analog sound as good; the low tones do have a lot of punch, but they are not really reproduced precisely. However, the connection via the USB sound card makes a clear difference.
The sound is much more detailed and powerful and benefits from the 7.1 surround sound, which not only improves the three-dimensionality, but also noticeably expands the sound stage. This is even noticeable when listening to music.
However, I still consider an adjustment of the equalizer within the software to be absolutely necessary. With a reduction of the bass frequencies and a boost of the mids, the Teufel Zola realizes a really convincing sound and, if desired, even at a maximum sampling rate of 96 kHz.
How good is the microphone quality of the Teufel Zola?
- Good to very good microphone quality
- Slightly susceptible to plosives and sharp S sounds
However, there are positive things to report about the microphone quality of the Teufel Zola. Here, mids and highs are somewhat preferred, which results in a voluminous and detailed sound of one’s voice.
However, the microphone lacks a bit of detail in the low frequencies, which means it is probably only suitable for podcast recordings or dubbing videos to a limited extent. However, the Zola is very suitable for gaming chat, video conferencing or similar. However, you should not position the arm too close to the mouth, since the microphone is susceptible to plosives and sharp S sounds. With a little distance, this is not a problem.
Software Connection: Teufel Audio Center
- Simply built software
- Few setting options
- Useful sound enhancements
The companion software for the new Teufel headset is the Teufel Audio Center, which features a simple and clearly structured design. On the main page you can make a few basic settings, but in the other settings you can go deeper into the matter.
Here, for example, you have the possibility to make your own voice audible to a certain extent by means of a microphone monitor or to adjust the sound with the help of a 10-band equalizer – an option you should definitely make use of. You can also adjust the sampling rate and turn the surround function on or off within the software. The app is not really comprehensive, but it is an important tool for improving the headset’s sound.
- More from the manufacturer: Teufel Cinebar 11 Surround “4.1 Set” review: the perfect soundbar?
Teufel Zola Test: Conclusion
With the Teufel Zola, the traditional German manufacturer delivers a rock-solid gaming headset that aims to stand out, especially with its unique look and customization options.
I think this is a nice idea and a successful contrast to the usual RGB lighting and the like, although changing the ear pads feels a bit more fiddly than necessary. The build quality is okay, but the headset already feels quite rickety when unpacked. In return, it scores with a convincing wearing comfort, even in the long run.
Thanks to the jack, the Zola is compatible with almost all platforms and produces a good, albeit somewhat bass-heavy sound. However, the sound is much better in combination with the USB sound card including 7.1 surround sound, which is only available on the PC. Here, too, you have to do some fine-tuning in the software, but then the headset can really convince in terms of sound.
The microphone, which scores with a really good quality, is a positive surprise. In summary, the Teufel Zola is a good gaming headset that – apart from the design and the customization options – does not have any unique selling points. Thus, a good price-performance ratio is realized, even though other manufacturers offer a better sound for less money here.