You might know Parrot for its drones. Car geeks, aficionados, admirers and fanatics are always interested in cool gadgets that move.
My first real interaction with Parrot, however, came with the release of their Zik headphones. Designed by famed French designer Philippe Starck, these over ear headphones added chic design, premium materials and incredible sound quality into one sleek package.
You paid for the quality—about $400—but it felt worth it.
Holding the latest iteration of these headphones, the Zik 3, I’m starting to experience déjà vu.
It feels like something old is new again. Parrot managed to create another stunning pair of headphones that are somehow more elegant than the previous versions.
New features carried through from Parrot Zik
For those who haven’t experienced Parrot Zik before, here’s a quick overview of some of the features that have carried through.
First, wireless everything. Connect these to any Bluetooth or NFC device and you’re set. I spent half the time with it connected to my phone and the other half to my laptop. When connected to my phone I was able to wirelessly listen to music and answer phone calls—no need to stop my music player, take off the headphones and pick up my phone. The built-in mic allows it to be an all-in-one set.
Capacitive command panel
Second, the “capacitive command panel.” The surface of the right earpiece is an unseen touch panel that gives you control over major functions. Swipe up or down to adjust the volume; swipe left or right to change tracks; tap the middle to play/pause and to answer incoming calls. Brilliant.
Third, premium materials. Soft leather covers the headphones, with sturdy metal arms that connect to each ear piece. It feels as if it will last forever. And, after use for several hours, my ears didn’t feel fatigued or worn down from use; it’s so comfortable.
Wireless Charging and other features
One of the newest additions to Zik 3 is wireless charging. Sadly, however, I did not get the Qi Standard Wireless Charger, which is sold separately, to test this feature. But, I have no reason to believe it wouldn’t work great.
The new Parrot Zik app gives you the ability to play with audio settings, active noise cancellation (which also works automatically if you prefer to just set it and forget it) and more.
This all leads to incredible sound quality. USB Audio is available and offers a Hi-Fi experience. Connect through Bluetooth to cut the cord and still receive superior sound. Or go old school with a regular ol’ aux cord—but, really, why would you want to with these headphones?
The quality of phone calls really caught my attention. Usually when I use headphones for phone calls I make sure to take one earbud or over ear piece off, so I don’t feel as if my voice is muffled or I’m too isolated.
Parrot took that into consideration and created an algorithm to re-inject a little bit of the surrounding noise and to remove the occlusion effect of closed headphones. This means I was able to speak on the phone with both earpieces on and it sounded completely normal. It sounds so simple but it is an impressive thing to experience firsthand.
Takeaway: are the Parrot Zik 3 headphones worth it?
The only downfall of these headphones come from my own movements. Sometimes I would accidentally hit the command panel and pause my music or disconnect a call. Also, when connected to my laptop it prioritizes iTunes.
This means when I tap the command panel it will automatically open iTunes—even if I’m listening to something on Spotify. That latter piece was the only point of discontentment with them.
The Parrot Zik 3 is a marvelous piece of technology and design—so premium and niche it feels as if it should come with every AMG or M model. With a MSRP of $516 it will likely only go to those who can afford such vehicles. But, if you’re willing to splurge no one would judge you.