When people buy headphones they obviously look for two things – design and sound quality – before they look at the price. It’s one of those products that people feel such a connection with that they’re happy to pay for real quality.
That’s what Parrot is banking on with the Zik 2.0 Bluetooth headphones. They are well designed and sound amazing and are priced at $499.
They’re not your average pair of headphones with not only an interesting and standout design but also a number of built-in features that also distinguish it from the competition.
On the design side, Parrot has really gone to town with the Zik 2.0. The decision to partner with French designer Phillipe Starck was a smart one.
The combination of metal and leather adds a touch a luxury and a feel of quality.
The choice of colours is also equally bold – blue, yellow, brown, black, white and orange. Our review headphones were blue.
One of the first things you notice when you slip on the headphones is the soft leather on the ear cups. The headband is made of the same luxurious leather.
The other thing you notice is the passive noise cancellation as soon as you fit on your ears. There is also active noise cancellation on board as well.
Zik 2.0 has adjustable metal arms that curl around each of the ear cups and into each side of the headband.
They are a snug fit but that’s because I have a large head. Other headphones fit me a lot better than the Parrot so if you have a large noggin it would be best to try these on in the store before buying.
One the edge of each ear cup you’ll see different sized grills with an opening to attach an audio cable if needed.
The headphones connect via Bluetooth and also has built-in NFC technology so will pair on contact with a compatible smartphone.
Another handy feature is the smart touch panel on the outside of the right ear cup. Touch the centre to pause your music, slide your finger up and down to increase and decrease the volume and left or right to go back and forward through your tracks.
The Parrot Zik 2.0 can also be used to answer calls and that smart touch panel also comes into play to make and answer calls.
There is no cable which means you won’t find an in-line remote so the smart touch panel offers all of that control without making the device bulkier or uglier with more physical controls.
On the audio side the Zik 2.0 proves it’s not just about looks.
The sound quality is exceptional thanks to the built-in 32-bit DSP (Digital Sound Processor) and five band pro equaliser.
Parrot cleverly offers user easy control of the equaliser through the Parrot Zik 2.0 app.
Within the app, users can used a pre-defined equaliser setting or create their own as well as activate and deactivate active noise cancellation.
The smart audio tuning feature is also part of the free app and can automatically select the best presets for the music you’re listening to.
There’s also a new adaptive noise control that can adapt to your surroundings and adjust the degree of noise cancellation to suit.
One frustration with the Zik 2.0 headphones was the fact it wasn’t immediately obvious which was the left and right ear cup. We had a look at the way the headphones were being worn on Parrot’s website to work it out.
The onboard 830mAh battery, accessed from below the magnetically secured smart touch panel, will last for up to 18 hours on a full charge which can be achieved in 150 minutes.
The Parrot Zik 2.0 headphones are a standout product in design and audio quality with an excellent companion app that enhances the listener experience.
They are priced quite high at $499 and will appeal to those music lovers who are after the elusive combination of style, features and excellent audio quality.
Parrot Zik 2.0