Parrot Zik 2.0 & 3 Headphone – REVIEW & Comparison

Great wireless noise cancelling performance helps combat against difficult swipe controls. Oh, and Polly wants a cracker.

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For a good handful of people, the company Parrot is known for making remote control drones.  They’re actually one of the biggest names in the drone industry, but on the other hand and maybe a shock to some, they also make wireless headphones.  What I have here today is the Parrot Zik 2.0 priced at $350 retail, and the Zik 3 at $400, however, you can always go to Amazon or BHphoto and get them for much less.  I’ll place my links up above, that way you can check for updated prices.

Both Zik models are nearly identical offering the same look, the same dimensions, and both have the same build quality when stress testing these headphones.  The more expensive Zik 3 however, for the same price as my generic black ones here, you can purchase different colors and different patterns to suit your style.  I personally did order the stitched version, but oddly, they sent me the plain one, so apologies as they look identical in the video.  Nonetheless, the faux leather is absolutely the most supple I’ve ever felt on a pair of headphones, the solid aluminum arms going down the side feels ultra polished and smooth, if I could give an analogy, this feels like a very luxurious, top-of-the-line automobile.

The arms do offer a very stiff ratcheting system to extend out the headband, and the earcups do swivel 90 degrees to lay flat.  Unfortunately, these don’t fold in, so stowing these away in the supplied felt pouches will take up some room, but because of their minimal design, they’re not bad at all.  Moving to the earcups, the left side on both the Zik 2 and 3 are magnetically held on, and never did they fall off.  Behind them is where the battery is located, offering a removable battery which is always a HUGE plus for me, considering when batteries fade or die over time, you can easily replacement them.

The Zik 2.0 model claims 2 sets of numbers for battery performance.  ECO mode is with Active Noise Cancelling On, Bluetooth and enabling that concert hall effect, this mode gives up to 7 hours of use.  I personally tested this leaving this on until it died and was able to get 6 hours and 58 minutes of use, which compared to other wireless headphones is on the very low end.  The likes of other ANC wireless headphones, like the Sony ZX770BN, Sennheiser Momentum Wireless, or Samsung Level On’s, the Zik 2.0’s are indeed on the lower end in regards to battery performance.  But, keep in mind, you can always swap out batteries if you do buy that spare.  The other setting called Airplane mode claims up to 18 hours of use.  That’s using a wired connection and no spatial sound, the only thing that is on, is ANC.  I’m getting around 17 hours and 30 minutes which is still very good in general.  Although the Zik 3 is pricier, more feature packed, it’s getting very similar numbers in regards to battery performance as the Zik 2.0.  And for both, I’m getting 2.5 hours to recharge the batteries from dead.

Finishing up the layout of the earcups, the right side has your power button, below that is a 3.5mm input to connect these physically.  And the headphones still do work even if the battery dies, and last is a Micro-USB port for charging both sets.

The right earcup, and this is the same for both models, you do have gesture controls.  Swiping your finger forward and back skips and goes back on songs and music stations, and sliding up and down increases or decreases volume.  From my experience, the controls do work, but the Zik 2.0 model can be spotty at times.  Adjusting volume causes the music to stop, or volume adjustments simply doesn’t work.  Adjusting different pressure and ensuring it’s a slide versus a press still didn’t seem to help unfortunately.  The Zik 3 graciously was very smooth to operate with no issues whatsoever.  But going into other features that truly does make the Zik line of headphones the most advance pair of headphones on the market, there’s a sensor that will pause your music and turn off noise cancelling as soon as you take the headphones off, and music will automatically resume again once the headphones are back on.

Speaking of noise cancelling, there’s six noise-cancelling microphones included versus 4 from the last generation, being able to reduce ambient noise by 30 decibels versus 25, and from my tests, I gotta admit, these are very impressive for wireless headphones.  From my experience, these do beat the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless, the JBL Everest Elite in regards to being both wireless and specifically noise cancelling, but compared to the wired QC25, I feel the Bose slightly has an edge over, but nonetheless, for a wireless set, the Zik 2 and Zik 3 really shines in the noise cancelling department.  Sitting next to a dishwasher at home, to bringing this into the coffee shop, this blocks out majority of the outside city noises that you may encounter.  Just very impressive noise cancelling performance.  You also have a feature in the app that you can control how much noise to let in though, perfect for situations when you’re using this in the streets, and you need to hear your surroundings for safety.  Other simple features includes NFC for easy pairing, and with the supplied Parrot app, available for both Apple and Android, you have features like a battery indicator, the Active Noise Cancelling controller as I shown you earlier, an equalizer, the concert hall mode in attempt to recreate different sound stages and last are presets.

With the Zik 3, you’re paying for all of those features, plus, you get wireless charging, you get to use USB audio which allows you to playback higher-resolution audio files from your computer and as stated earlier, you do receive unique styling from designer, Philippe Starck

The weight is nearly identical with both models with just being a few grams off from each other.  They’re very light with subtle clamping pressure at the jaw line and minimal pressure at the crown of the head making these very easy to wear.  Usually anything under 300 grams are pretty comfortable to me, and the Zik’s are no different when wearing for extended periods of time.

So with all this being said, how is the audio?  Repeatedly playing different music and sliding off the headphones one after another really didn’t yield much difference.  The Zik 3 did seem ever so slightly louder and just ever so slightly more spacial in sound, but both honestly exhibited very similar characteristics.  For those who have experienced the flat and neutral sound signature of the ever popular Bose QC25’s, you’ll find here the Zik 2.0 and 3 offers more bass and these headphones can get much louder.  Now, these aren’t bass boosted and they don’t hit as hard as the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless and my recently reviewed Bang & Olufsen H6.  Bass on the other hand is a nice touch with being enough for most genres, then on bassy music, these do hit tight, clean, and accurate.  If I would attempt to give an illustration, this is in between flat and bass-boosted.  It’s a nice, yet suitable amount.

The mid-range isn’t pushed forward nor bright, but offers voices and singers clarity and definition.  Overall, it’s a balanced sound signature that compliments the rest of the audio characteristics well, from the low-frequencies to the highs, making these some of the easiest pair of headphones to listen to.  And regarding the high frequencies,  they’re very controlled with a bit of roll off at the top end to prevent any screeching or ear tinging on the Zik 2s.  However on the Zik 3, if you do listen to these on very high volume, talking about near max, there is slight distortion and the notes do jumble just a bit, but again, the volume has to be on a very very high setting.

Sound stage wise, these are quite impressive for a closed back system.  Pumping the volume on these, you can for sure get a feel of left and right audio channels, but you do sense music forward and slightly behind you, or when high-hats hit, they sound slightly in front but above you.  And last regarding sound leaking, blasting these, they do isolate sound very well preventing others nearby from listening to your music.

So overall, these are not 100% perfect, but the audio performance seriously makes up for the gesture control issue I had with the Zik 2’s, and not to mention, for a wireless pair of headphones, this has to be the best Active Noise Cancelling pair I’ve tested so far.  I hope this video helped you in some way, I’m Jimmy with Jim’s Review Room.  Remember to find me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.  You guys take care, and I’ll see you on the next one.

[table id=1 hide_columns=”all” show_columns=”a,b,k,n,o” /] Stats from manufacturer. If incorrect, please contact us.