Impressive sound quality, noise-cancellation option, useful iOS app
Expensive, battery life could be better
Parrot’s new Zik headphones are very much designed as companions for its Zikmu speakers. Like the Zikmu they boast a stylish design by Philippe Starck, they sound great – and cost a small fortune.
But, to be fair, they do work hard to justify the $499.95 price tag. The plush, padded earpieces are very comfortable to wear and are packed with techno-goodies, including a rechargeable battery, Bluetooth wireless streaming, touch-sensitive controls, and active noise-cancellation circuitry for when you’re travelling on trains or planes.
The noise-cancelling feature is controlled by the Zik app for iOS and Android devices, which also includes a battery meter and a 7-band graphic equalizer with a number of presets for pop, dance, and other types of music. The app also has a special ‘Concert Hall’ option that aims to simulate the acoustics of a variety of different venues, ranging from your front room to an intimate jazz club or a large concert hall.
The sound reproduction probably isn’t precise enough to satisfy audiophiles, but – from a more subjective point of view – the Zik does sound great. It combines a really firm bass sound with plenty of detail on higher frequencies, and the graphic equalizer makes it easy to tweak the sound just the way you like it.
Our only complaint is that the battery life could be better. Parrot merely says that the battery life is “upto 24 hours” – but our tests showed that using noise-cancellation and the Concert Hall option together can cut this down to about six hours. Thankfully, though, you can still use the Zik with an ordinary audio cable when the battery runs down.
Macworld Australia‘s buying advice
The price and noise-cancellation features obviously mean that the Zik headphones are primarily aimed at well-heeled executives who travel a lot. You’ll certainly enjoy the sound quality as you recline in the first-class cabin – though the battery may not last all the way across the Atlantic.