Parrot has been a major player in making drone technology affordable for everyone. With the Parrot ARdrone (2.0) being such a huge success, Parrot has been able to expand its business line to include a variety of item – including their new MiniDrones (we reviewed the Rolling Spider), smart watering monitors and they have also added wireless Bluetooth headphones to their lineup of products, starting with the Zik headphones.
Advertised as the world’s most advanced headphones has been their tagline since the original Zik, the Zik 2.0 picks up where that one left off – and certainly retains the title. Parrot has put endless amount of effort and detail into creating a set of headphones that not only sound great, but offer performance, features and even interaction with the artists you are listening to. The Zik 2.0 headphones are without a doubt the most unique set of headphones I’ve ever had the opportunity to experience.
The Zik 2.0 headphones are impressively made. The band is made of aluminum, which is both lightweight but very durable. The headband has memory foam in it, which prevents the headphones from slipping off your head surprisingly well. The ears feature memory foam over them to help create a solid ‘seal’ on your ears, and the foam is covered by a faux-leather which gives the headphones a solid warmth, even in the ridiculous cold of a Canadian winter. The only major issue I had with the construction was on the ears – I’m not sure if I have larger ears or something, but it sometimes felt a little too uncomfortable and I found myself needing to readjust them once or twice an hour.
The 830mAh battery removable battery is hidden underneath a magnetically held cover in the left ear. The right ear features the on-off button (with LED light), a 3.5mm socket (a high quality 3.5mm cable is also included) and the microUSB charging port. The headphones also feature a unique feature that recognizes when you take them off of your head and goes into a battery saving mode. In terms of noise cancelling, this is where I was ridiculously blown away – the Zik 2.0 can reduce 30dB of noise around you thanks to three noise cancelling microphones in each ear.
The battery offers two modes – a wired flight mode that should last for ~19 hours, and the wireless mode which lasts for about 6. Charging is a slow process, taking about 2.5 hours to achieve a full battery – so you might want to have a second battery for long journeys. In terms of the sound quality, I found that the Zik 2.0 headphones offer beautifully rich sound – good treble, good bass. This can be be customized with their app which allows you to change the levels to your own desires. The app allows allows for artists to custom tweak their sound, so you can enjoy the music based on how the original artist intended on it to sound. A unique way to offer some interactivity between the artist and the listener. All that said, I’d love if the bass was just a little bit stronger.
The headphones connect to any smartphone very easily – a simple pairing with NFC or via Bluetooth. Interestingly, there is no ‘pairing’ request – you simply connect to it openly. So far, no one has attempted to audio jack me with their smartphone, nor would I understand a reason why they would. Controls are also very unique – they are built into the headphones themselves. With swipe gestures in the right ear can, you can turn up or down the volume with a swipe up or down. A tap in the middle pauses/plays and a forward swipe skips to the next track, while a backwards swipe skips back a track.
Overall, the Parrot Zik 2.0 headphones are certainly the world’s most advanced headphones and there really isn’t a lot to rag on them for. The headphones are durable, feature unique features you cannot find anywhere else, offer great quality sound and offer gesture based touch controls unlike anything else on the market. The Zik 2.0 only feature two real drawbacks, and that’s the long charging time and a slight discomfort on the ears. Overall, Parrot has built a set of headphones deserving of their name.