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|
|Sold By||Available from these sellers||Amazon.com||Direct Distributor||Zorro Sounds||RightSpot Electronics||PlasmaBuddy|
|Color||Black||Black||Black leather-grain||Black overstitched||yellow||Black|
|Item Dimensions||10.2 x 14.4 x 8.7 in||6.69 x 3.1 x 7.08 in||7.95 x 6.89 x 1.55 in||7.95 x 6.89 x 1.55 in||9 x 3 x 7 in||2.8 x 8 x 8.1 in|
|Item Weight||—||0.52 lb||0.59 lb||0.59 lb||0.6 lb||1 ounces|
|Additional Features||android-phone-control, ios-phone-control||noise-cancellation, wireless||Noise Reducing||Noise Reducing||Stereo||Noise-Cancelling-Feature|
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.
1) while the cup functionality works very well and is very slick, there is no way to activate Siri without digging the phone out of your pocket and holding down the home button. Just to request a specific artist, album, etc., you have to do this, when it wouldn't be so hard (as other cheaper options have done) to implement a way to tap the ear cup to activate this feature.
2) One thing I never saw in other reviews before buying these headphones is something apparently common to all bluetooth headsets, but important to note for those who don't know it: when watching videos, Netflix, etc. on any device, computer, there is a noticeable lag in audio between the video and your ability to hear it through your bluetooth device.
Overall, I am very happy to have these.
First of all, these cans look fantastic. While eye catching with their artistic inspired style, they don't look too flashy to the point of gaudiness. The faux leather earpad covers are a good choice as they will keep your ears cooler than with real leather. The headband and earpads have just the right amount of padding, making sure that these will rarely if ever feel fatiguing after hours of use. The earcups are made of a very soft feeling plastic and feel solidly constructed.
The integrated touch controls on the earcups are a breeze to work with and function without a hiccup. If I were to have a point of criticism here, it would be that the controls are super sensitive and prone to activating while adjusting the headphones. Pairing is a breeze, whether you do it via NFC or just pressing the power button with bluetooth search enabled on your device.
The bluetooth connection functions real well and hassle free. It kinda pays to purchase the original Zik headphones this late in their lifespan as most of the connection kinks have been ironed out via firmware updates. The noise canceling works great as far as I could test, negating the sound of my bathroom fan while directly underneath it. Battery life is adequate for my uses throughout the day, averaging about 6-7 hours with most functions turned on. This could be a con for those looking to use these on international flights but in that case I recommend buying and charging a spare battery.
Before I get to sound quality, let me say a few things that were disappointing about the Parrot Zik headphones. For one, despite the $400 price, they only come with a cheap cloth carrying bag. For the price you pay, they should at least throw in a hard shell case. For another, the sound of these cans in passive mode is horrendous. It's like the life is drained out of the music. But this is improved if you connect them wired through a headphone amplifier. Lastly, the Lou Reed setting in the companion app doesn't really sound all that good, it seems like a waste.
So, sound quality. Perhaps the most important factor. I am happy to say that when running with the app and wirelessly, these cans sound fantastic. The app includes an equalizer that can adjust the sound signature to your tastes. The level of detail is awesome. For example, listening to one of my test tracks, Wish you were here by Pink Floyd, I could actually hear the static from the radio the guitar intro is recorded from. At first I thought there was something wrong with the bluetooth connection causing the static sound but it never occurred in any other song and only in the first 45 seconds of the test track.
Another thing about the sound quality, which I can't quite describe is that the sound brings the satisfaction of a warm sounding set of cans, without actually sounding "fuzzy". I guess "lush" is the term I'm looking for. The highs are bright without feeling fatiguing and the lows are deep with great bass extension yet it doesn't muddy up the upper frequencies. In all these headphones are incredibly pleasing to listen to no matter your frequency tastes, though the most picky of audiophiles might find the reliance on the equalizer to sound a little forced and unnatural.
For over a month, my fiancee and I shared these headphones and we both liked them so much, that we bought her a pair. In some ways, these are better than the Zik 2.0s (mainly in how the app works) and in other ways worse. So my advice? If you can find these new (or in lightly used condition) for under $300, snatch them up and skip the 2.0s because you found yourself a great bargain.