Parrot Zik 3 headphones review

Application for Apple Watch, USB connection to a PC, updated material with an interesting texture, new features of the application - Zik 3 has not changed so much compared to 2.0 and still shows what the headphones of the future may look like…

Design, construction

If you haven't read the Parrot Zik and Zik 2.0 reviews, I recommend you do so. These headphones are one of the most advanced on the market, you can safely call Zik the headphones of the future - there are too many interesting solutions here.

I praised both the first model and the second, not only tested, but also owned the Zik, so there were a lot of impressions. But, one way or another, I expressed all my thoughts in the reviews, and speaking of the third generation model, I will often refer you to the Zik 2.0 review. The company created truly interesting headphones, and, apparently, it was not possible to come up with something radically new in a year. Therefore, the list of changes in Parrot Zik 3 compared to 2.0 is not so great. Here are the changes:

  • Updated design, before Zik had just smooth skin, now there is a pattern, it looks very good in life. There were only two colors of headphones at the exhibition, I really liked the black ones.
  • As far as I understand, the design of the headband has been slightly changed for greater convenience.
  • An app for Apple Watch has appeared, from the watch you can control the active noise cancellation system, activate equalizer presets, and change other headphone settings on the fly.
  • USB Audio support will allow you to connect the headphones to a computer, while it is stated that during the connection it will be possible to talk, listen to music, charge the headphones.
  • It takes two hours to charge, up from two and a half hours.

I'll start in order, with the design. Nothing has changed here, except for the material, now here is the skin “under the crocodile”. In addition to black, there are orange and green headphones, probably some more will appear.

The leather is of high quality, inside the cups have the usual texture, sensors and other things have not disappeared anywhere: they took off the headphones - playback stops. The basis of the headphones is metal, the metal sections turn on the fold, there are risks on the parts adjacent to them so that you can choose the right length. They hide inside the headband, finished with leather, on the upper part - the inscription Parrot. The assembly is excellent, there are no questions.

Philippe Starck was responsible for the design, in fact, this is his child, and you can see how reverently he treats him. All the features of the first model are here. Metal details - like mercury frozen in the air, thick leather and an unusual selection of colors, textures, embossing, orange inserts inside the headband. A work of art, and every time you pick up the headphones, you notice the details. Naturally, dealing with such a thing is very pleasant. And after Parrot Zik, other headphones may seem like some kind of condo, ugly. This thing seems to have arrived here in a time machine, while other similar accessories are in the past.

What has changed since the first Zik? The headphones have become a little smaller, the software is more stable, the program for smartphones / tablets has been rewritten, the Bluetooth 3.1 profile is used, the weight is 269 grams, a little lighter than the first ones. The effect of the concert hall appeared, but we will talk about this below. There is NFC, among the usual Bluetooth profiles, PBAP is declared, this profile allows you to synchronize contacts in your phone book with a headset, this is necessary for the notification system to work with an incoming call. That is, when a call rings, the headset says: "Incoming call, Ivan Ivanov." Well, in the Bluetooth settings, the “Synchronize” item appears, you can choose which groups and which contacts.

As a reminder, I have to repeat some details from the Zik 2.0 review because the headphones are similar.

On the right cup there is a microUSB connector for charging or for flashing the device, and a 3.5 mm jack for connecting an audio cable. The cables included are very beautiful, made in the corporate style. It is very comfortable to wear the headset, I have been doing this constantly for two weeks now. I watch movies, listen to music at work and in the evening, I go for a walk. The cups are plump, they cover the ears completely, the headband does not press. It is also comfortable to wear headphones around the neck.

Management

There is a touchpad on the right cup, somewhere in the center there is a multifunctional button, with its help you can stop or resume playback, answer a call. Names written in Russian are reproduced normally, the only problem is with accents. To control the volume, swipe up or down, swipe left or right to rewind. To activate voice dialing, press and hold your finger on the touchpad. There is only one physical button, with its help you can turn the headset on and off, the light indicator is made elegantly. You just need to press and release the button, no need to hold it. To reboot, you need to get the battery, it's simple.

Is it possible to get used to the sensor? Well, then you start looking for it on other headphones. What else is there to add - of course, you can. No need to look for small buttons.

Of the minuses, I will note only one thing, when you listen to music in bed and tilt your head, you can touch the sensor and do something. It would be nice to be able to disable touch controls.

Application

For normal operation of headphones with smartphones, it is worth installing the Parrot Zik application, there are few changes compared to the previous version, I suggest looking at the screenshots. Let me remind you that the update of the headphones takes place through the application, in the case of Zik 3, everything happened without a hitch, without a hitch. There are a lot of custom presets for different artists, let me remind you, if you listen to AC / DC, you can find a preset for them, download it - each user has the opportunity to download his own equalizer setting, share it with other Zik owners. Such a social thing captivates, makes use even more interesting.

Now let's talk about the program in more detail.

On the main page you can see the battery indicator, it's pretty accurate. Below are the on / off buttons for the noise reduction system, equalizers, and the “Concert Hall” effect. If you swipe from right to left, you will go to the next screen, here the noise level is displayed and how the noise reduction works is interesting to watch. Then the equalizer, kind of an amoeba, you can move the ball as you like, for example, set it somewhere between Punchy and Deep and see what happens. It always turns out interesting. Next, the “Concert Hall” setting, here you shift the position of the speakers and hear how the direction of the sound changes, a wonderful effect, you can indulge endlessly. If music is playing in the player, then the track name is displayed at the bottom of the screen, you can switch to music producer mode (well said!).Here you yourself drag the slider, changing the graph, the music changes in real time. You can then store the best value. A very interesting opportunity is to choose a preset already created by one or another performer, but there are not very many performers yet. Plus, this section of the program does not work very well, often when you try to select, a notification appears about exceeding the time limit for the request. Therefore, for now, it is better to use the usual equalizer and the “Concert Hall”. In principle, this is enough.

In the program settings, you can set the name of the headphones, disable or enable the presence sensor. When you take off the Zik, the music stops, when they are on the head, it continues to play again. The same function was in the first model. Automatic connection to your devices can be turned off, you can set the time for automatic shutdown - especially for those who like to listen to music before going to bed. Voice identification of the subscriber during a call is supported, there is a Russian language, you need to download it. The function is convenient, the transmission quality of the headphones is good, in a quiet room you can calmly communicate without raising your voice. You can also choose a theme for the application. The menu has a quick flight mode button for headphones, a news section, your presets created for different artists.

And just based on the capabilities of the application, it is rather difficult to talk about the sound quality - after all, you can achieve it with the help of any effect, if you wish. Many adjustments, and you can also play with the sound on your iPhone or Android smartphone.

Before use, it is proposed to create your Parrot account in order to use some of the functions of the application, change equalizer settings with friends. You can also log in using social networks.

Please note that a "noise" map has been added to the Zik 3 application, it displays the noisiest places in a particular place in the city. It's interesting how it's implemented. And yet, compared to last year, the number of user presets available for download has increased tenfold, I want to do this. And the music really sounds different!

Opening hours and methods of connection

The claimed operating time is 18 hours in music playback mode, if the headphones sit down, you can connect them to any equipment using the included audio cable. The great news is that the battery is easy to remove here, it is located under the left cup. After a couple of years of use, you can replace it yourself without any problems.

It now takes less time to charge, you can see it.

Let's see what Zik 3 has ways to connect to technology:

  • Bluetooth, the most important connection method and perhaps the most convenient
  • Using an audio cable, in this case you can only listen to music, all advanced features do not work
  • Zik 3 introduced the ability to use headphones with a PC by connecting them with a USB cable. Alas, I can’t say anything about the behavior of the headphones in this mode yet, I’ll add information a little later. They work, a fact, but I will also talk about control, work as a headset for a PC.

Apple Watch app

The application could not be installed on the watch, for some reason it constantly crashed - maybe the application will be fixed by the start of sales in Russia. Let me remind you that the Apple Watch app allows you to control the active noise cancellation system, activate equalizer presets and, of course, control playback in full. I think it will be very convenient for watch users, you don't need to take your smartphone out of your pocket.

Noise reduction

I can compare with Beats Studio 2.0, Bose QC15/QC25, the headset is closer to Bose products, that is, you can listen to music at medium volume and practically not hear what is happening around. I went down to the subway on purpose, the sound of the arriving train is heard medium, there is nothing left in the car except music.

Therefore, I can only say that the noise reduction system works great, I recommend using it.

Music

The design and features are amazing, what about the music? I recommend taking the time to set up the headset to have fun, but there are a few nuances. Firstly, it’s really worth creating your own preset for each artist, otherwise you will be surprised to listen to familiar music - in the equalizer, Pop and Club are different, like heaven and earth, and it’s better to spend a couple of seconds to move the ball. Secondly, oddities are also associated with this, in some tracks the sound is like from a bucket (deaf, breaks at the top), until you play with the settings. Thirdly, if you connect the headphones with a cable, then nothing interesting at all. Finally, with due skill, the Zik 3 has excellent sound quality for a wireless headset - I don’t understand those who take it upon themselves to scold this outstanding product. This is a wireless noise canceling headset. With very effective noise reduction, I must say. Something is wrong with the sound - open the program and do something. Don't be lazy. You will be rewarded handsomely, Zik 3 was created by talented people for lovers of unusual things.

Given the specifics, it is better to buy a headset if you have an iOS/Android device - just don't buy headphones for the player.

A little about the technical side of the issue:

  • 40mm neodymium loudspeakers
  • Built-in 192kHz - 24 bit digital audio converter
  • Powerful DSP algorithm
  • Frequency of the exit signal: 20Hz - 22kHz

Conclusions

Headphones will appear on sale in Russia in the winter of next year, in principle, some stores are already starting to quietly carry the Zik 3 and put it on the shelves before the New Year holidays. Therefore, I will not say anything about prices for now, for Zik 2.0 they ask about 20,000 rubles, the updated model will be a little more expensive. And I really like it, although it makes little sense to replace Hdmi Accessories & Supplies for Electronics in Nigeria from the second Zik to the third - unless you can not live without a clock program. Maybe they will make it for Zik 2.0?

Like the second Zik, the new version stands apart from all other models on the market. Design, sound, noise reduction - all this is just the tip of the iceberg. It's more fun to upload custom presets for different artists, share your own, that's where the class is. A smartly made application pushes for this, and I can’t even imagine what they will do in Zik 4. How much better?

If you suddenly haven't met Zik yet, love portable audio and are looking for a breath of fresh air - I strongly advise you to try it, connect it to your smartphone, listen. This is probably what you were missing. We are waiting for Zik 3.0 in Russia.

By the way, how do you like this skin texture? Please write in the comments.