Pros Wireless connectivity, build, sound, touch control, app, ANC
Cons Pricey, carrying case, battery life, losing awesome features without battery
Summary First of all, this beautiful product, IMHO is by far the most advanced in features than any other headphones out there as of April 2013. The sound it produces is superb which is the most important for me. The materials that was used aren't the cheapie-cheapie type.Edit:
The head rails are really made of alloy and not the plastic that looks like metal. Touch features, motion detection, simple pairing, hands free calling and auto noise cancellation (ANC) - all worked very well just as advertised. The wireless capability is the deal breaker for me. It was hard to look for all those features in one product.
The weight is just right and fits quite well. It adjust easily, my daughter (9yrs. old) can wear it without a problem.
The Zik app was easy to use. It gives you the ability to tweak the sounds. I found my perfect setting in a matter of minutes.
Now the sour part:
Battery - all those technically advanced features I mentioned above are useless unless you power up these pair and connect it to your device via Bluetooth. I wish it would last longer than what it is right now or it should've come with an extra battery. It should be able stand at least 8hrs of continuous use.
Wired connection - you can't use the Parrot app. I think you can still use ANC but the sound quality is degraded, in this setting you also lose touch controls.
Wired connection, passive (without battery) - you wil not be able use the app. No sound effects and ANC. Sound is now worst than it was. I guess It will do if you get bored without your music while traveling.
Protective case - made of cloth! The two aluminum head rails keeps bumping each other when I place it inside the bag that's suppose to protect it. It's fine if it's just in drawer or a shelf. Did they not think that these will be used in travel?! With around $400 price tag, you couldn't give your customers a good hard case? Why parrot, why?
All in all, the Parrot Zik is still an amazing product but it is not without flaws. However, they did not compromise on sound and build quality. The app is simple and easy to use, it also notifies you if there's firm update.
It did everything it said it will do. So, I'd still give 5 for innovation and unique design points.
* Before buying, I suggest to check for best price at: Headphoneschoose.blogspot.com/p/parrot-zik.html
I am happy with this purchase.
Updated on Dec 10, 2013
I suggest to check for best price at: Headphoneschoosing.wordpress.com/parrot-zik/
Pros * Excellent sound
* Superb noise cancellation
* Utmost comfort
* Innovative features
* Eye-catching looks
Cons * Flaky bluetooth (rock-solid reliable only with Apple products)
Summary Oh, another con... not waterproof, so I have to take them off to shower. Oh, well, I can shower when the battery is charging!
Headphones that are both wireless and noise cancelling are born with two strikes against them, as audiophiles state that each feature corrupts the purity of sound. Maybe, but...
I fear that I have become a headphone addict over the last 6 months. I purchased the Zik by Starck at Brookstone 4 days ago, where I could listen to them first. I have been following them with interest (lust?) since they won Best of CES last January.
I have diligently compared these Ziks to headphones purchased in the intervening 8 months:
* Sennheiser HD 598 over the ear corded ($230 at Amazon);
* Sennheiser PXC BT310i on the ear Bluetooth noise cancelling (also $230 at Amazon - won the HiFi best headphone last year);
* Klipsch s4i earbuds ($70);
* Apple In-ear headphones with remote and mic (the two-driver in each earpiece one, $70 from The Apple Store).
In short, I love the Ziks.
To compare, I used the first 90 sec of The Band of Heathens "You're Going to Miss Me When I'm Gone," with its deep drum (do you hear a distinctive twang or just the boom?), its brushed cymbal (do you hear individual bristles on the cymbal as well as the overall 'shuff'?), its similar-but-different vocalists on first and second verse, and its bass glissando on the third verse. Gentle reader, I spent an entire evening listening to this 90 sec of music on four headphones for you! But...
I fear I am not much of an audiophile. I could easily detect differences among each of the five headphones in each of these areas. I might be able, in a blind test, to guess which headphone was in use. I definitely could not determine a preference... like a succulent orange and perfect apple, each was good, and each was different, but none were preferable, despite my very best efforts to compare on each of the features of that song I used.
However, the Zik also caused me to hear nuances I had not heard with the others.
Furthermore, I could compare its noise cancellation with the Sennheiser PXC BT310i (Zik markedly better); its comfort with both the over-ear Sennheiser and the on-ear Sennheiser (Zik more comfortable), and its Bluetooth connect capabilities to the Sennheiser PXC (Sennheiser connects more easily with PCs and the Sennheiser Bluetooth dongles one needs to add Bluetooth to the iPod Classic and TVs; Zik connects well only to the iPod Touch, iPhone 4, and iPad 1 (and I asume the other iPads) and is very fussy, gets driver error messages, or does not connect at all to the others... Sennheiser connects to these Apple products easily as well).
I prefer the cloth bag that the Zik comes in to the hard case of the Bose, as the bag can be folded away to very small size when empty.
I much enjoy the iPhone App that controls the Zik (noise cancellation on/off, reverberance and sound stage width, and 7-band equalizer, as well as battery level). They are great diversions, though I am quite happy listening with all of these features off (no NC, no sound stage effect, flat equalization). The comfortably-padded headphones insulate nearly as much sound with NC off as the Sennheiser on-ear suppresses while on, and as much as the in-ear headphones.
Cost? A step up from those I have been comparing it to, but not that much more than the popular Beats Studio Over-Ear by Dr Dre ($300), which I have tried and found of similar sound, comfort, and noise-suppression quality, but with no Bluetooth or advanced features (touch, auto off when removed, phone use).
Looks? In the eye of the beholder. I find them Great! The flash of orange within the headband, the flat black, the weighty piece over the head, the smooth appearance are all appealing to me.
In short, headphones with both wireless operation and noise cancellation are few and far between, perhaps 5% of the headphone models. To my mind, of the one I had in hand and could compare directly, this is the better.
"Great headphones!"on by danwbeery
Pros Excellent sound, flawless bluetooth connectivity, work with a wire, intuitive touch controls, excellent build quality and attention to detail
Cons Battery life
Summary I am probably not like most users, but these cans are perfect for me. I have noise cancelling headphones (Bose, Audiotechnica, Jabra, sony, etc.) and found them all wanting.
The Ziks have amazing noise suppression (noticeably better than any set I have used) and have a number of benefits specifically for my use.
I recently used them on a trip from Florida to the UK and found them to offer excellent noise cancellation... putting them on, then switching on the cancellation with the Android app was shocking. I think it is better than the Bose and any other I have used. I used them on a train from Paris to Frankfurt, also stunning noise reduction... welcome to the cone of silence!
They have a very detailed and flat response by default. This is excellent for me because I use them off with a wire (no power) for recording in my home studio. When you are recording, this type of flat, studio response is ideal. If you want to enhance the audio, you can always use the provided app or any EQ or signal processing app to pump up the bass or treble to achieve the specific sound you are looking for.
The build quality is excellent. I am on my 3rd set of Bose which are cheap plastic and break easily if not carried in their case (my bad). They are heavy, and have a lot of sturdy metal in them... for me that is a plus.
The bluetooth connectivity is seamless and works perfectly even at 20 feet through walls. I have not tried longer distances.
The touch ear pad controls work exactly as you would want them to. Very responsive and with no tricks... just try it, it works as expected.
I used the NFC on my phone, but I couldn't get the paring to work. I was able to use NFC to trigger apps etc. I believe this to be an issue with my phone. No big deal though. When you turn them on they connect immediately.
The bag that they come with is cheap and I would never carry these headphones without a more substantial carrying case (like Bose). The are too big to fit in the Bose case, but I had an old Jabra case that they fit in perfectly.
As a BT headset for phone they work great. I can hear everything perfectly, but I have been told that my sound is not great. I have used them for long conference calls and other conversations without complaints about quality so I think they work fine but I won't give them a perfect score in this area. Since I bring them with me when I travel, they can be my travel headset and thus save me from bringing another device.
Yes they are pricey, but they are not that much more than the Bose, and provide a LOT more functionality and appear to be much more durable (time will tell).
This is one set of phones that meets all of my needs, for both travel and home (wired) use. The next step is to try to get them to work with my TV using a headset dongle.
Pros Fantastic design, very high quality, tremendous features and functionality. And everything works as advertised!!!
Cons At this time I have no cons about this product.
Summary These Bluetooth headphones are absolutely awesome! The overall design, quality, features and functionality have no equal on the market today. The sound quality is exquisite, noise cancellation excellent, ability to forward and reverse to next / previous song, control volume/mute, and the built in speakerphone functions by simply swiping or tapping the cover of the headphone is fantastic! And the smartphone software that controls all of the features and personalized setup, including upgrades directly from your phone is a HUGE plus. I highly recommend these headphones to anyone who is looking to untether themselves from wires! I can honestly say they have exceeded all expectations I had when making this purchase. They may be a little pricey but they are absolutely worth every single penny and more!
Pros Great looks, controls on side of phones well designed
Cons Plastic, all plastic, sound is poor for the price, a cord and $200 bucks will put these to shame.
Battery life, this is the main reason I sent them back. Two different flights, less than 3 hours with a full charge.
Summary Not ready for primetime