Hey gang, Valkor here. And it has been a Bluetooth kind of month here at TOV; we were given the opportunity to play with some of iHome’s gear with the IBT84 color changing speaker, then Brookstone showed off all kinds of awesome with their Cat Ear headphones. And for the last of the Bluetooth tech (at least for this year), the folks over at Parrot is making a return visit with a follow-up of last year’s Zik 2 headphones – The Parrot Zik 3, which offers more of the same but with a few added bonuses.
Much of the design of the Parrot Zik 3 headphones remains the same as the Zik 2, which has the metal rod headband wrapped in leather, and earcups wrapped in the same leather, all cushioned with memory foam for maximum comfort. The right earcup takes point as it contains the power button, the microUSB port (for charging), as well as the 3.5mm port in case you’re looking to tether yourself to your device. I should point out that the microUSB does double duty, not only for charging, but it can also be used for listening to high-quality audio from your laptop or computer. This is something I’ve never experience, so I was really looking forward to trying this out. Thankfully, I have a ton of FLAC audio files to test out this feature. Going back to the right earcup, it also holds “presence sensors”, which will allow you to forward/reverse your music as well as play/pause and raise/lower the volume all with just a touch or slide of your fingertip. It’s a discreet function that I enjoyed with the Zik 2 and I’m glad it was carried over with the Zik 3. Finally, within the right cup, you have a wireless charging option. And the Zik 3 comes with a matching power pack, but it has to be plugged in, in order for it to function. You simply place the right cup on top and it’ll kick in on its own. It takes a little adjusting to find the sweet spot, but thankfully not much. The Zik 3 also comes with a removable battery that you can find behind the left earcup, which is great for easily swapping out the battery for a backup or in case it’s defective.
Just like the Zik 2, the Zik 3 also works with the associated “Parrot Zik” app (for iOS and Android), which includes loads of features such as custom and preset equalization, checks battery life and add effects to your audio to give it that broad or smaller sound. As much as I enjoy fine tuning my music to suit me, I get a kick out of the presets as some of them do a way better job of “hitting that spot” than I ever could. Props!
Lastly, and as soon as you turn on the headphones, you’re automatically absorbed into a world of quiet aka “noise cancellation”. And while I’m jumping the gun here, the Parrot Zik 3 is nothing short of amazing and my commute has never been more peaceful.
While the Parrot Zik 3 still looks like the Zik 2, it does offer up some differences. And it’s those differences that could decide whether you’d want to invest in such a product because it does come at a steep cost ($400). But by that gold logo at the top, I’ve already shown that the Zik 3 is worthy. And I’ll tell you why in the TOV Breakdown.
While the Parrot Zik 3 looks, feels, and practically sounds as good as the Zik 2, the Zik 3 offers up enough new features that will set it apart from its predecessor. First, let’s dip into the audio, which is nothing short of amazing. If you loved what the Zik 2 had to offer, then get ready to fall in love all over again with the Zik 3. We’re talking rich, crisp, robust sound with amazing clarity and a smooth bass that thumps to perfection! And what impressed me the most was listening to my music through the microUSB cable, which simply blew me away. Jamming to my FLAC files, I’m hearing all kinds of new background beats as well as vocals I don’t think I’ve ever heard before. And it’s super clear with zero distortion, even at the highest volumes. And while I've already sung the praise for the noise canceling, I gotta show some love to the included power bank and the wireless charging, which puts the Zik 3 above most wireless headphones I’ve had the pleasure to experience. Of course, I can plug directly through the headsets, but with the included wireless function, the Zik 3 can charge while resting on my desk and I can just grab and go when I’m at the ready, without dealing with plugs. Ultimately, with the Parrot Zik 3, you get great comfort, design, and amazing sound quality that even with the hefty price tag, makes this one a little hard to pass up.
So, with the Parrot Zik 2, my one issue I had with the headphones was that my music skipped like old school CD players would if you gave it a little bump. I assumed that with the Parrot Zik 3, the problem would get taken care of. However, it’s still there. It’s more of an annoyance than anything else because it doesn’t happen that often. But when it does, it can get on one's nerves. I noticed when I looked on my screen, that when it skipped, the music player shows pause/play, so I’m wondering if it has anything to do with the touchpad? Like maybe it’s that sensitive to movement? I haven’t had this experience with any other wireless headsets, so that might be the case with this one.
If you’re looking to treat yourself to a sweet pair of headphones that will improve your daily audio life, and you have the extra scratch to spare, then look to invest in a pair of Parrot Zik 3 Wireless headphones; they look good, sound great and it has a few new features that all but seals the deal. So out of TOV 5 stars, I’m giving the Parrot Zik 3 a bump up from the Zik 2 to 4.5 stars.