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Parrot Zik Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones with Touch Control - Black
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- Parrot has given the Zik headphones four active microphones (two internal and two external) making this patented Parrot technology one of the best in its class in ANC
- The Zik provides up to 98% reduction, isolating almost completely from external sound
- . Parrot Zik features an ultra intuitive touch sensitive panel, located on the right ear cup
- When connected via Bluetooth, simply swipe up and down to increase and decrease volume, and forward and back to conveniently skip tracks
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|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||URBEN DEALS||HeadphoneMate Official Store||Seller1ON1||Blynk||Approved Sales NY||Anarvin LLC|
|Headphone Fit||Supraaural||Over-Ear||over-ear||over-ear||over-ear||Over Ear|
|Item Dimensions||14.4 x 10.2 x 8.7 in||—||6.5 x 3.3 x 5 in||3.3 x 5 x 6.5 in||5.91 x 3.15 x 7.87 in||12.8 x 14.3 x 3.4 in|
|Item Weight||—||—||0.76 lb||—||7.76 ounces||2.58 lbs|
|Additional Features||android-phone-control, ios-phone-control||USB POWERED, COMPACT DESIGN||Noise-Cancelling, Wireless||Active Noise Cancellation, Foldable, Wireless||—||universal-phone-control|
Designed by Philippe Starck, the Zik headphones host the most state-of-the-art technologies
Parrot, along with world-renowned French designer Phillipe Starck, have collaborated once again to create Zik, headphones combining advanced technology and sleek design.
Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
Zik headphones feature four active microphones - two internal and two external - to make this patented Parrot technology one of the best in its class in ANC. The Zik provides up to 98% noise reduction, isolating external sound almost completely.
Parrot Zik features an intuitive touch-sensitive panel, located on the right ear cup. When connected via Bluetooth, you can simply swipe up and down to increase and decrease volume, or forward and back to skip tracks.
A head detection sensor is discretely incorporated in the foam of the ear piece, allowing the Zik to automatically detect when you are wearing the headphones and when they are removed, pausing and restarting music or switching to a call.
Unique Listening Quality
To recreate true-to-life sound, the Zik features a unique quality called the “Parrot Concert Hall” effect. This effect mimics the sound of a live concert, with the music seeming to come from directly in front of you, rather than from the sides, as with standard headsets. This innovative acoustic sound provides a more natural way of enjoying music.
Free Yourself from Wires
Listen to music or make crystal-clear calls wirelessly with the Zik via Bluetooth. Choose whether to control your calls and music manually from your device, via voice recognition, through the earphone touch panel, or from Parrot’s Audio Suite App, available for iPhone and Android smartphones. Bluetooth streaming is available with all Bluetooth compatible devices. Parrot has also integrated NFC into the Zik headphones, allowing you to pair, connect, and play music from your NFC-compatible device with a simple tap to the Zik.
Parrot Hands-Free Calling
The Parrot Zik is specifically engineered for crystal-clear conversations. Equipped with two directional microphones and a Jawbone Conductor, the Zik captures the vibration of the jawbone and merges it with the sound of your voice for clearer calls. With the embedded head detection sensor, if you receive a phone call while listening to music, you can simply remove your headphones and your call will be automatically switch to your smartphone.
Exclusive Downloadable App
The Parrot Audio Suite is a unique downloadable app for your smartphone, allowing you to control your music wirelessly. Using the Parrot Audio Suite, you can adjust your audio settings to customize the sound or simulate a virtual music scene to create your desired sound depth.
- Sleek design
- Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
- Intuitive touch-sensitive panel
- Head detection sensor
- "Parrot Concert Hall" effect
- Bluetooth connectivity
- NFC capability
- Parrot Audio Suite
- Frequency Range of 10 Hz-20 kHz
- 3.5 mm analogue line-in
- Lithium Ion Battery
- 6-hour usage time with all features activated
- 18-hour usage time with only ANC activated
- 24-hour standby time
- Bluetooth V 2.1 with AVRCP, A2DP, and HFP profiles
- Applications for iPhone and Android smartphones
What's in the box
Mini jack cable designed by Starck, micro USB cable for charging and updating, lined pouch to protect Zik, quick start guide in eight languages
Top customer reviews
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I'm an early adopter of technology, so I bought this `sight unseen' the moment it was released. I had been in the market for a good wireless headphone/set and had been disappointed with what'd I'd experienced so far (most recently with the Novero Rockaways). So while I waited and tested other products, I continued to use my Bose QC2s. Ultimately, what I was looking in a headphone/set was (1) solid sound, (2) wireless/Bluetooth capabilities, and (3) solid headset capabilities. Fit was also very important and one of the reasons I started moving away from my Klipsch S4is - I could never get a good fit with those. And then lastly: battery life/longevity. Anything else would be a bonus. What appealed to me about the Ziks was all fancy gadgetry. With that all said, the following is how I came out on this set:
Sound/Audio Quality - This is paramount. I spend most of my time listening to music on my subway commutes and on airplanes, so this is by far the most important characteristic for me. I think the Ziks produce sound beautifully, really beautifully... but only when powered on (more on this below). I found sound fidelity to be rich - all the lows, mids, and highs were easily discernible even with music on my iPhone (much of which is compressed to 256kbps AAC). I never tried lossless, but from what I read, you that's when you can really, really hear these come alive. I also listen to a lot of Pandora and Spotify, some of which is, or course, lower bit rate than 256k. Unlike the Beats, which I've repeatedly heard over emphasize the lows and essentially drown some of the mids and lows, I felt that the audio quality with the Ziks was very well balanced. I felt the sound quality was at least on par with my QC2s (which is very good) but better than the Klipsch S4i (which actually sounded decent to me before, but now sounded a bit muffled compared to the Ziks). I was really pleased.
Much of my listening was with noise cancelling (ANC) on, which I think is really necessary. I get a faint `humming' with the ANC off (similar to what you'd get if you cupped your palms and put them over your ears). Some folks love the Concert hall effects and EQ controls, but I rarely used them because I felt that they drained the battery too much and didn't add a whole lot to my listening experience. As a side note, I think the noise cancelling was better than on my QC2s simply because I hear less of the `hum' than I do with my QC2s when ANC is on.
Now, everything mention above is with the unit powered on. Once you turn it off and use it passively with the provided audio cable, the quality takes a HUGE hit. In fact the first time my battery ran out and I resorted to using the unit passively, I actually couldn't believe how awful music sounded. Completely flat, neutral, and lifeless. I'm not joking when I say that it was worse/on par with the quality of the $20 headphones that come with the iPhone. When I recharged the battery and turned the set on, it was like the music came alive again. I felt so disappointed that $400 headsets can't replicate at least some of the quality when turned off. After all, I've used cheap unpowered, passive headsets before that sounded 10x better than these when off. With battery life issues (more on this below) this is a big problem and seems like an oversight/afterthought by the company. Like it or not, you're going to have to always plan on keeping these powered on. That said, I only knocked off a half point off for this issue because it is meant to be used power on... but still, it is inexcusable for a $400 headphone.
Design/Fit - Completely subjective but I like the design. The flat sides have a minimalistic feel (despite the size of the cans) and lend themselves well to the touch controls (which work very well). I've had train myself not to touch the flat side when adjusting the headset on my head because it toggles the play/pause function. Other than that, no issue with the design.
However, the fit is problematic. They're heavier than the QC2s, but that doesn't really bother me. This does: I have a small-average sized head but these feel like if I ran with them or bent down to pick something up, they'd easily fall off. The fit isn't snug. I would definitely not use these at the gym for that reason. They really should have made these more adaptable to a larger spectrum of head sizes.
Wireless/Bluetooth - I didn't have any dropouts as some have stated. It seems to have good range and I could consistently keep a link between the phone (which is usually in my pant pocket) and headset. So no issues here.
Headset capabilities - Admittedly, I've only tested this briefly, but the audio quality when on calls is nothing to write home about. But then again, I'm not looking for superb sound fidelity when talking on the phone - just need to make sure I can hear the other person very clearly and they can hear me well. I think the Ziks getting a passing grade on this, but they're certainly not raising the bar here.
Battery Life - Now for the Achilles heel. Battery life is the biggest problem and what prevents this from being a truly superb headset. [I should mention that I'm on my second set. The first set had sever battery problems and would sometimes drain at a rate of 1%/minute(!) with only the ANC turned on so I was getting less than 2hrs before it shut off. My exchanged pair is much better.] I'm not getting anywhere near the stated 18 hours with only ANC and 6 hours with all the features on. You should probably count on half (I'm currently getting about 9-10 hours with only ANC). I get amazing battery life with a single AAA battery in my QC2s.
This is one of the reasons I don't use the EQ and Concert hall effects - I just don't think they're worth it for the battery life hit I'd take. Given that this uses a proprietary battery that can't be charged outside the headset, I think this is the weakest link with this product. Especially given the fact that audio quality in this headset is unbelievably awful when powered off and used passively. As such, I knocked off 1 point for the fact that (1) the battery does last something even close to the stated amount, (2) it is proprietary, and (3) it cannot be charged outside the headset (at the moment). Buyers should be prepared to have 1-2 charged batteries at their disposal if you're going to use all the features.
All in all, I'm really at a crossroads with this product. I want to love it madly, but can't find it in me to do so. I Go back and forth between feeling I should return this and wanting to keep it. I LOVE all the nifty features (touch controls, mute when removed from your head, control through app, etc) - as a techy gadget freak, I eat all those up. But despite those features and the great sound quality when the device actually has some juice left it in, the appalling audio quality when you lose power, which you will often, and the nagging battery life issue puts me in a tough spot given then price of these headsets. At half the MSRP, I think this is a no brainer for a keeper. But at $400, I'm having difficulty determining whether I should bear the shortcomings. It's a lot of money and for the price, I need something I'd consider superb.
That said, the one thing keeps me from hitting the return button at the moment is the fact that, as an overall package with all the features and benefits and audio quality (when powered on, of course), there's just nothing that competes within this at the moment. At least not that I know of... not unless you want to spend $500+, which I don't.
Please note, there are several (not included) accessories that I believe are paramount to full enjoying these headphones, and as such I would recommend you not look at these as a pair of $400 cans, but anticipate sinking in another $100 or more to increase their operational flexibility.
-Parrot Zik Hard Case ($45 on Amazon at time of writing this review): The headphones are packaged with a simple cloth bag, and if you want to really carry them around or store them with a better degree of comfort (they are expensive after all), then I would highly advise you picking up a hard case for them. At their current price, I would have wanted the hard case included, though at least they have a case specific that can be purchased (a sore point with some of my other cans). This particular hard case has a smaller container internally that easily fits a spare battery, a charging cable (which I do not need/have), and a audio "tether" (i.e. direct connect to the audio player if your battery dies), with room for more batteries (personally, i do not need a third battery) or other small items.
-2nd Battery ($25 on Amazon at time of writing this review): A second battery is very important to insure minimal operation with little to no need to "tether" the cans to the device. The Parrot battery can be physically removed/swapped, so it is nice to have a spare, fully charged battery at the ready.
-Battery Charger: I use the Digipower TC-U450 Universal Battery Charger ($15 on Amazon at time of writing the review). I have read many reviewers complaining that the they are forced to recharge their batteries with the headphones, which cannot be operated at the same time (note: I have never charged in this way, so cannot say for sure that they cannot be charged and played at the same time). The Digipower will charge my spare battery, so that I always have at-the-ready a full spare on-hand. At this time, there is a charger on Amazon that is specific to the Zik, though my charger will recharge just about any odd-shaped battery in addition to Zik batteries.
-Headphone Amplifier: I utilize a Fiio E11 ($59.99 on Amazon at time of writing this review). For those rare times that I am busy, or have forgotten to recharge the spare battery, I will need to tether the Zik to the audio device. If you do not have a headphone amplifier, these cans will be underpowered and sound muddy. I have several headphone amplifiers from Fiio and find them highly important with any headphone that are not wireless. Interestingly enough, i have a spare batter for the E11, and it also can be recharged with the Digipower TC-U450.
As mentioned, my primary use for these headphones is in the office, or when flying/traveling. I always have the application running, and continually run all of the following: Equalizer, Active Noise Cancelling (ANC), Concert Hall (CH). With all three running in addition to music I find that on average, I am recharging the spare battery, and swapping out batteries about once/day (not sure that I have ever needed to recharge a battery twice in a day). If I would have to guess, I believe that with all bells and whistles continually running, I probably get about 6 hours to a battery. After 8 months of almost continual usage, I have not noticed any significant decrease to battery life.
a) Software: There is a [free] application that you download in order to take advantage of operational controls, such as ANC, equalizer, etc. With this application, I feel that you get a great deal of configuration options (Im currently using an iPhone 4s). You can select from several different intensities, or go custom within the equalizer section (or selecting the "tuned by Lou Reed" option from the main screen), or you can turn on or off the ANC from the main screen. You can adjust the perceived speaker "direction/angle" and "room type" from within the Parrot Concert Hall, and view the current battery charge from the Battery Level section. Combine all of this and you get a very configurable pair of headphones.
Active noise cancelling is pretty good, though I personally feel that it is not quite up to par with my Bose QC15. That being said, it is close in comparison (tested in front of a fan, in front of traffic, on various airplanes, etc).
PLEASE NOTE: do not open this application on your phone without first powering up the headphones. On several occasions I have done just that and occasionally it resets my user-defined Equalizer settings. I have done this enough times, that any time I make an adjustment to this section, I will take a screen shot in the off-chance that I have to re-build it.
b) Hardware: The Parrot Zik include a set of touch-based controls on the right ear side. Tap, slide up/down/front/back/etc., and you get the cans to perform different operations (pause, skip forward/backward, volume up/down, etc). I have found the controls to be quite simple to use, and they respond accurately (for the most part). They are a very nice set of functions to these cans. The headphones also have an auto-pause when you take them off your head. I have found this particular function to work about 85% of the time, especially if I just pull back the right ear cup to listen to a co-worker. However, you could just pause the music yourself with a tap to the headphone before taking them off.
c) General Operation: Bluetooth works well, and have a pretty good range. From my desk, I can move ~30yrds from the audio device without signal loss/degradation. However, if the audio device and these cans go far enough apart to lose the signal, the headphones will not automatically reconnect when back in range. I actually have found that you need to power-cycle the headphones to get them to reconnect.
Please note I still buy CD's. Mainly as I cannot get the audio bit rate when downloading/streaming than I can when I rip direct from a CD. Currently I rip my music at AAC 320VBR, though considering re-ripping the collection to Lossless. I listen to just about any genre (excluding Blue Grass and County). These headphones have put up with rock (classic, hard), electronica, classical, ambient, metal, soundtracks, etc.
a) Wireless: I find that as long as I have configuration properties set up in the application, that I get very good sound quality. Low, Mid, Highs are all articulated, and I am able to really dig into every nuance in a given song. Base response feels tight, and sound seems to just flow from these cans; so smooth. BUT, I have been tweaking my custom equalizer settings for months to get the sound "just right" for my audio preferences. I do not have other headphones with these capabilities, though I would say that my Parrots are a shade behind my Sennheiser HD598 regarding sound quality.
b)"Tethered" (aka using the audio cable): I would avoid this operation if at all possible. Even with a headphone amplified, you lose out on equalizer & concert hall settings. Though with my Fiio E11, I find that these headphones become palatable. I do think that the sound quality is close / on par with some of my other over-ear cans, though I did not purchase these headphones to operate in that manner. If they sound "as good" as some of my other headphones, then why do I not just use those headphones? But, in a pinch, they can be used in this manner for short durations (at least until one of the batteries is recharged).
I have only had a few calls with these headphones, so I cannot comment too much. I can say that in those few calls, I could hear both myself and my contact clearly, and that they did not complain to me about surrounding noises (usually getting these calls while in an airport).
Personally, I feel that these headphones have a clean, streamlined look. Material quality is high, and durable. I have a pair of the "off-white" with Rose Gold, and after 8 months of near-continual usage, the white areas (exterior, headband, cushions) have not picked up any blemishes or marks. The "rose gold" accents pick up fingerprints, but can be wiped down easily. Speaker pads are still soft and comfortable. Joints, movement, flexibility still is holding up without signs of degradation. The headphones themselves are not overly heavy or fatiguing, I wear them for 6-8 hours in a day without comfort issue. The clamping ability of the headphones will keep them situated comfortably for 95% of the time. Rarely I forget that they are there, and lean back to finish off my Nalgene. It is then that they will slip (and fall if I am not fast enough to catch them). They do enclose my ears well, and while this helps to isolate outside noises, they can feel a bit warm occasionally (not unlike earmuffs). When in their hard case, these headphones have a decently small footprint, similar to Bose. They fit into my backpack easily.
TL;DR: these headphones are fantastic, and I do not regret the purchase. They have held up for 8 months, and I hope to continue to use them for years to come. I am very pleased with their operation and functionality.