The headphone market now is a lot about fashion, to some it’s more about the name than the actual quality of the sound they produce. The best options for the users though are the headphones that manage to look good while providing the very best sound, as well as some other gimmicks that entice us to buy.
The Parrot Zik headphones are designed by Philippe Starck and with wireless Bluetooth and apps for your smart phone to control the headphones they could be something special. At a time though when the marketplace is full of top of the range options without the need for gimmicks will these be enough to catch your attention and actually provide the performance you need, or is it just another nice try?
As also mentioned the headphones are designed by Philippe Starck a French designer. It’s obvious that they will look very fashionable, but they also have a slick design that gives them a nice modernistic finish. The Parrot Zik headphones definitely fit the mark in the fashion criteria, now just to see what the functionality and performance is like.
One of the main features of the headphones are that they can be connected to your devices through Bluetooth. This is easily enough to do and you’ll be listening to your favourite tracks from your phone or media device in no time. The headphones also provide Near Field Communication (NFC) for swift pairing. Of course this is only of use if you have a media player that can use this too.
One surprising feature is the controls that are part of the right hand ear cup. This is a touch panel that allows you to stop and start your music, skip tracks and adjust the volume. This works surprisingly well and is one of the highlights of the headphones really, the innovative design of the touchpad and ease of use really make it something special.
Another nice addition is that the headphones themselves can sense when you take them off your head. They will stop the song you are listening to and resume when you put them back in. If you want this to activate while they are still on your head just remove the right ear cup from your head and it will have the same effect, very handy if people try to talk to you while you are listening to your favourite song.
Along with the headphones comes the Parrot Audio Suite app. This is available for both Google and iTunes. This app will monitor battery power for the headphones and give you access to the headphones noise cancellation technology. There is also an equalizer for you to either select pre-set options or fine tune your listening experience.
The headphones are battery operated of course and can be recharged using a laptop or USB charger. Testing has found that they last up to five hours on one charge which should be fairly adequate. There is also a cable included though if the battery runs out so you’ll be able to use them in a wired mode. You do lose some of the functionality with this though.
Personally my view would be that sound quality is the most important aspect of my experience with headphones. The good news with the Parrot Zik headphones is that the quality is very good. They are not the best out there, and for the high price may not be up to expectations. There are plenty of options in the apps to get the sound just to your liking and with the equalizer modes. With the Bluetooth technology on your phone it is also possible to make and receive hand free phone calls. The sound quality on the calls though isn’t perfect but I doubt this will be functionality that the headphones are mostly used for.
With all the added functionality and apps these headphones are quite unique and fun to play with. The sound quality is above average but at £349/$399 some may expect better sound quality for what they are paying. With all the innovative little design touches though and fashionable look this probably won’t be that much of an issue for most people.