Parrot Zik 3 Wireless Headphones
By KASEY McDONNELL
Listening to audio has got to be my biggest source of entertainment. I listen to podcasts on the bus, music while I’m walking, white noise when I’m studying. For me, great headphones feel great, work great and, most importantly, sound great. Parrot’s Zik 3 Wireless headphones are close to great, but have some downfalls that make them lose out compared to others in their price range.
The Zik 3 design is the definition of minimalist. When I first put on the Ziks, I was surprised that there wasn’t any way to adjust the size of the headphones to fit my head (which is admittedly a little large). One size fits all, and at first that was a strange sensation. They felt like they should have been too tight, but as I wore them they did end up working for me without need for adjustment.
Most of my criticisms of the feeling of these headphones comes down to my design preferences. Even though they don’t fit my design style, I still really liked the way they felt. I felt no discomfort while wearing them, unlike I do with some headphone brands. The headband is comfortable, and the tight fit meant that my ears didn’t feel weighted down from prolonged use.
The slogan for Zik headphones is ‘wireless everything’. The biggest feature of the Zik 3 is that they are wireless. I had never used wireless headphones before and was blown away by how much I liked wireless listening. With the Zik, I felt more freedom to move around and keep listening. It is simply awesome having wireless everything.
Parrot says the Ziks get six hours of wireless on a full charge, which was about what I got when I used them. This was enough for a day, but compared to other wireless headphones, the battery life isn’t as good. I didn’t mind charging them every night, but longer battery life would be a much loved feature.
Zik provides a companion app for the headphones. You can customise a lot of the audio, as well as monitor battery and play with some features. The customisation features in the app work for both novices to audio as well as audiophiles.
There are touch controls on the right ear cup for pausing, moving between tracks and adjusting volume without getting out your phone. Most of the time the headphones would recognise the actions I wanted, but there were a couple of hiccups on occasion.
The presence sensor was a feature that was disappointing. In theory, it was supposed to know when I put the headphones on my neck and automatically turn off my music. But I found that it would repeatedly pause my music at random. It would’ve been a great feature, but its failure to work was jarring and a bad experience.
Overall, the functionality of Parrot’s Zik 3 headphones is excellent. Going back to my regular wired headphones was a bit of a saddening experience.
The Zik 3s do well in the audio department. Everything I listened to was clear and crisp. The bass is punchy and there is a great separation of instruments. The soundstage is broad: when you are walking outside it feels like the music is playing from outside the headphones. In louder areas, the noise-cancelling technology works well. It was nice to be able to focus on my music with the outside world quiet.
The two equalisers in the app also enrich the sound experience. There is a simple equaliser, where you can shift the tone of the music, and a more complicated equaliser for pros. These equalisers were amazing and improved the music experience. The more complicated equalisers have a bit of a learning curve but it seems that audiophiles would appreciate being able to precisely tweak the sound.
In essence, I love the sound of these headphones. They’re not twice as good as my regular headphones, but the extra quality they do offer really enhances the experience of my music.
Should you buy them?
These headphones cost a lot; $629.00 to be exact. I didn’t pay for the review set, and I don’t know if I would be ready to pay that much. All of the features are great additions to a listening experience, but I’m not sure whether I would pay that much to get them compared to cheaper, wired headphones.
Compared to other headphones in this price range, the Zik 3s do not do so well. The Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones are $599.00 and are hailed as the best noise-cancelling headphones you can buy. They have 3 times the battery life and similar functionality for $30 cheaper. What distinguishes the Zik 3s from the QuietComforts is design, which Parrot has put more effort into. The Bose headphones are plain, whereas the Zik 3s are distinct. If you buy the Zik 3s, that is what you are paying for.
You will be disappointed by these headphones if six hours of battery isn’t enough for you. They are very close to great headphones and the way they sound and feel is fantastic. If you like the design and you’re willing to pay $629.00 for it, go for it, you’ll love these headphones. If you are looking for more battery life and you are more lenient on design, shop around before buying the Zik 3.SHARE THIS POST...