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107 of 109 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but in the long run miss out on being truly excellent
Adding a few updates as I've now been using these 2+ hours every day for a month. Sad news is the wires that connect to the jaw bone and on/off sensor embedded in the right ear pad have come loose inside the ear cup along with the black mesh that covers the driver. Marks lost for build quality.

If you look at these headphones as a complete package they are just...
Published 21 months ago by Greg

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Parrot Zik cancels out competitors with science, but succombs to Sennheisser in the sound dept!
I'm a gadget addict, so when my wife said she wanted her 4th set of headphones in 18 months because of wiring malfunction, I opted for bluetooth.

I search for the best on market bluetooth expecting it to be an updated version of the Sennheiser 450x I had owned for 2 years. To my surprised the Parrot zik and a logitech headset topped most reviews as best money...
Published 28 days ago by Augustin Lawrence


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107 of 109 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but in the long run miss out on being truly excellent, 1 Dec 2012
By 
Greg (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Parrot Zik by Philippe Starck Wireless Headphones - Black/Silver (Electronics)
Adding a few updates as I've now been using these 2+ hours every day for a month. Sad news is the wires that connect to the jaw bone and on/off sensor embedded in the right ear pad have come loose inside the ear cup along with the black mesh that covers the driver. Marks lost for build quality.

If you look at these headphones as a complete package they are just good - I can't say they are excellent. The amount of features on these and importantly the way this combination has been executed is certainly exciting but it is in no way flawless. There are a few flaws/nuances that may frustrate some people and I will touch on these.

Design - It's going to come down to a matter of taste but these headphones do really stand out, not so much headphones and more earmuffs, especially when used wirelessly. There is clearly a use of premium materials here, the earcups have a great smooth rubberised texture and the headband is all metal and leather (faux leather maybe?). They really do look and feel lovely, but if you want a headphone that screams "look at what celeb brand I listen to" (ie Beats, House of Marley, 50 Cent, Ludacris.....) these won't be for you.

Fit - The earcups are beautifully cushioned (best cushioning I've felt on headphones) and just about large enough to encompass the whole ear and form a decent seal. The headband however doesn't hold the ear cups very secure; even if you nod/shake your head gently or bend down slowly to pick something up they will likely slip. Moreover if you're lying down with them on they have a tendency to slip off the back of your head. They certainly aren't designed for running around or any kind of activity but will suffice for day to day walking, commuting and so forth. In addition I have found the headband to dig in to the top of my head a little with extended wear (1.5+ hours). To give a bit more information I'm not bald and have at a good guess averagely thick hair. The headband could definitely do with more tension and more padding, even the biggest of heads will experience some slippage. The size of the headband can be adjusted easily by pulling or pushing on the earcups.

Bluetooth connectivity/range - works really well with my iPhone and MacBook. I have tried the NFC with Samsung Galaxy S3 and couldn't get it to connect without manually selecting it from the Bluetooth menu, bit disappointing. In terms if switching between devices you have to disconnect from one before the other will connect. This would stop anyone being able to connect and play their music through your headphones in public. The range seems reasonable, up to 10m through a wall, further if you're in the open. I'll come on to sound quality/skipping through Bluetooth later.

Touch control - outstanding feature. Really easy to use and works exactly how Parrot say it does. However, the volume control seems to be independent of your device, as in turning the volume up on the headphones does not control the volume slider on the iPhone. This seems a little illogical as if you turn the volume all the way down on the headphones you will still hear music unless you turn the volume right down on the iPhone. Additionally, the touch volume doesn't really allow for fine adjustments of the volume, and of course you will never be able to tell how far off maximum volume you really are. Also, it would have been nice to have a lock function on the touch panel as it can easily be hit by accident and pause the music if you're adjusting the headphones. These are slight issues that just take a little getting used to.

Pause music/proximity sensor - the headphones will auto-pause the music if you remove them or put them round your neck. This actually works really well. It seems to be some form of pressure sensor built next to the jaw bone sensor on the right ear pad. There is maybe a second or two pause between the music stopping/starting and you removing/putting them back on. Really good feature though. After about a month's use however the wire that runs from this sensor in to the right ear cup itself has come loose and seemingly taken the mesh covering the driver with it.

Noise cancelling - works really well to block out low frequencies such as rumbling buses, trains, jet engines. Maybe not as good as Bose, but not far off and better than most other noise cancelling headphones. There is a very very slight "hiss" before music kicks in.

Sound - This is still the most important factor despite all the gadgetry. To give an objective review of how these headphones sound is difficult because of the sheer number of variables (Bluetooth vs wired, Noise cancelling vs non-noise cancelling, active vs passive, and then of course there is the Parrot app that let's you play around with the equaliser and room type and speaker angle). I myself found it difficult to choose my favourite everyday set up and almost wish Parrot had just tuned them up so I didn't have to choose. What I will say is that they don't sound very good until you start tweaking them, but the results you can get are dramatically improved from the factory defaults.

Comparing them with other headphones they are better than the Bose QC 15s and clearly better than what I've heard from Dr Dre's Beats range (Studio and Pro). I don't think they can stand up to the Sony MDR-1RNCs though which I believe are up there with the best sounding sets in this price bracket. The sound is full, responsive and definitely on the side of bass heavy but by no means distorted, but not the tightest bass I've heard. There does seem to be a lot of sound processing going on in these headphones in Active mode, which will not appeal to those looking for a pure audio experience.

Using them in Bluetooth mode you can notice a slight dip in quality compared to wired, especially when you go out of the room where the device is, and you do notice the quality return when you move back to within a couple of meters of your device. However, vs the wired mode there is very little difference and these headphones are certainly better when compared to most other Bluetooth headphones such as the slightly cheaper Harmon Kardon BT set and Beats offerings. The Sennheiser 550s might win out over the Parrots in terms of quality but the Parrots go significantly louder. I don't think the Parrots are as good as the Sony MDR-1RBT set but those don't have the noise cancelling of the Parrots which is very well executed.

Turning on the noise cancelling you notice the bass drop away slightly. I've heard people talk about an echo effect these have but I haven't noticed it with NC mode on or off. Using them in passive mode (without battery) is pointless, very poor sound but that's to be expected. If you're buying these you are buying for the wireless active mode.

Bluetooth reliability - there have been instances where the music has begun to skip, and I can't remediate this unless I go out of the album/playlist and restart the music app on the iPhone. I initially wasn't sure if it was the iPhone or the headphones but after a fair few hours playing around with different sources (Galaxy S3 and MacBook Pro) I am now sure the issue lies at the source and the headphones are perfectly capable as long as they are in range. What seems to happen with the iPhone 4S is that certain songs skip in certain places, I am not entirely sure why, as I have tried re-downloading but the skipping still occurs at certain moments. I have somewhat narrowed it down to quiet/rhythmic parts of songs where there is silence for a fraction of a second, this I think then causes the Bluetooth to drop out. The Parrot Ziks then certainly have a lot riding on the evolution/reliability of Bluetooth transmission. This could be a real spoiler for some people.

Battery life - not great, you will get about 5 hours as advertised with everything (Noise cancellation, Bluetooth and Concert Hall effects) turned on, more life with noise cancelling off, and more so up to about 15 or 20 hours with everything off, but still using Bluetooth. This could seriously be improved on and is a bit of an insult when other headphones (Sony MDR-1RBT) will get you 30 hours, but then again they don't have Noise Cancellation which is a real battery sucker. The Parrots come with a micro USB charging cable, would be nice to have its own plug or even dock, and at an RRP of £350 I don't think that's an unreasonable request.

Case - just a cloth pouch is provided, which is pretty lousy at this price point and for a set of headphones many consumers will use for travel. The box is quite nice though but that's a bit beside the point.......

Summary - will appeal to gadget lovers and those looking for something a bit different. Would I pay, or should anybody pay £350 for these - no, but I didn't. I got them for £252 which was ultimately the deciding factor for me, but even at that price point (still up there with Bose and so forth) I would expect a decent carrying case and maybe its own plug for charging. Interestingly £252 is close to what a set of Bowers and Wilkins P5s cost, and vs these the gadgetry of the Parrots win out vs any loss in audio quality. But to compare these two headphones is madness as they are two very different beasts.

If I were to break them down in terms of value attributed to their merits I would do so as follows. They sound like an £80-100 pair of headphones (once you get them tuned up with the app), add £50 for the Bluetooth, another £50 for the touch panel and on/off trick and another £50-75 for the design/use of premium materials. That comes in at a total of £230-275. Certainly less than £350 RRP.

If anyone is in a real dilemma go for the Parrots if you lean towards gadgets, can live without a case, aren't too fussed about a plug and can live with occasional issues Bluetooth may throw up - these are the major gripes, and as with anything don't pay full price for them.

I've given them 4 stars as I don't think there's anything out there quite like them and crammed full of tech that for the most part works well. In my ideal world I'd give them 3.8.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buyer remorse? - don't make me laugh!, 17 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Parrot Zik by Philippe Starck Wireless Headphones - Black/Silver (Electronics)
OK, so I'm a nerd. OK, so I must have more money than sense! Fact is, I did a lot of on-line research before shelling out that much for headphones. They are spectacular. Absolutely no buyer remorse. If you love quality, give these a try. The fullest report I studied said these were probably second or third out of 10 on sound quality. My ears tell me they're definitely good enough for me. I haven't tried them in a very noisy environment yet (e.g. a 'plane) and the noise cancellation is said to be slightly weaker than some other sets. My main use is for playing my music in the evenings after Mission Control has gone to bed - she is very sensitive to noise while trying to sleep. I wish my TV had bluetooth - I use a different set of headphones for that.

This item oozes quality, feels great, has a very high nerd score and sounds really good.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cut above the rest, 13 Nov 2012
By 
This review is from: Parrot Zik by Philippe Starck Wireless Headphones - Black/Silver (Electronics)
I purchased these lil' beauts when in Dubai from a HMV store (therefore this review is not of the seller). The HMV employee was plugging these when I went with the intention of buying a pair of Beats by Dr. Dre (surprise surprise). I stated how I was looking for a pair of noise cancelling headphones with no particular music genre in mind, and the gentlemen pointed me in this direction.
Boy these didn't disappoint. The base is truly amazing with the noise cancellation very impressive. In terms of the Bluetooth function, I was dubious as to whether I wanted to head down this route with the thought of me losing connection throughout songs probably the most annoying thing I could think of. However, through months of continuous usage, this hasn't happened once! Yipee. And JUST IN CASE, they do supply a cord if you do prefer.
Once you've connected the headset to your phone (iPhone in my case) it advises you to download the free APP which allows you to determine the way you want the headphones to function i.e turning the noise cancellation on/off. The APP also notifies when a free update is required (VERY QUICK).
If all that wasn't enough, you then have the touch function. Stroking your finger in an upwards motion on the right side of the headset causes the music to increase in volume, and obviously the opposite will turn it down. Swiping forward, skips to the next song, and the reverse will play the previous. When you place the headphones around your neck, the music will automatically pause.
The headphones also enable you to use while talking on the phone with the touch functions applying to answer or ignore a call with the built in mic being fantastic.
ALSO... .in terms of looks, sleek, mature, with the black matt finish robust and cosmetically nice.

Worth the money, and I hope you enjoy them as much as my self. Thank you for your time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Parrot Zik cancels out competitors with science, but succombs to Sennheisser in the sound dept!, 20 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm a gadget addict, so when my wife said she wanted her 4th set of headphones in 18 months because of wiring malfunction, I opted for bluetooth.

I search for the best on market bluetooth expecting it to be an updated version of the Sennheiser 450x I had owned for 2 years. To my surprised the Parrot zik and a logitech headset topped most reviews as best money can buy.

When I read the spec on the Zik, being the gadget freak I am it was the obvious winner based on pure functionality.

The build quality on the Zik and the the design is outstanding so I can't see my wife breaking these anytime soon.

Unfortunately I am also an audiophile and I can conclusively say, the pair of Sennheiser MM 450x I've had for 2 years embarrasses the Parrot in terms of sound quality when wired straight into my Bushmaster Dac headphone amp at home.

All the stereo separation and and atmosphere you loose when you go bluetooth can at least be regained when using the 450x (un-powered) and wired for home listening.

In this mode the parrot zik sounds like a curtain has been drawn across the speakers so all you get is unclear midrange, muffled undefined bass and highs that have gone to St Elsewhere! In powered mode I fiddled with settings for 4 hrs to try and simulate the 450x in un-powered mode.

Guess what...I also ended up in St Elsewhere, scratching my head as these over excited high hats and vocal siblings danced around my head like stars around Tom's head after Jerry and Rex whacked him!

In conclusion compared the beats headphones I once endured (for 3 mins) the parrot Zik is a definite step up in sound quality. The noise cancellation works way better on the Parrot Zik than my 450x and all the other gadgetry works great so far.

However If sound is your priority, your £250 would be better spent in St Elsewhere!!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I had to send these back for 2 reasons, 22 July 2014
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This review is from: Parrot Zik by Philippe Starck Wireless Headphones - Black/Silver (Electronics)
Firstly the battery life was very poor and would not last both directions of my 2hr each way commute meaning I would need to charge every day and every night which is not really practical.

Secondly and more importantly when walking every step would produce a loud thud from the right speaker/ear cup. I since found out from other reviews that this is due to the vibration messing up the noise cancelling system and made the headphones unusable for me as to use them without the noise cancelling would defeat the point.

The three stars are based on these issues only. Apart from this the headphones are very nicely made and work amazingly well so long as you are not walking or on a long journey. The touch functions and smart phone app were a really nice feature. I have had a couple of rival brands for Bluetooth+noise cancelling (of which there are surprisingly few) and these would be by far the best if the two issues were not present.

I would only recommend buying them if you are not going to use them on long journeys (unless buying an expensive spare battery) and not needing to be in motion while using the noise cancelling function.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best wireless headphones on the market, 29 May 2014
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This review is from: Parrot Zik by Philippe Starck Wireless Headphones - Black/Silver (Electronics)
I've got a pair of dr dre studio wireless headphones they are in the same price range as the parrot ziks so I will compare the both

Firstly the actual build quality on these headphones are amazing even apple would be impressed real good quality materials been used unlike the dre studios

Secondly the sound quality is awesome crystal clear on all types of music no distortion unlike the dre studios

Thirdly the noise cancelling is amazing you realise when you turn it off as the headphones work via a smartphone app unlike dre studios that just belief that distort loudness will compensate noise cancelling

Fourthly the range and Bluetooth interference is amazing on these can nearly walk around my whole gym without having my phone in my pocket and they never turn off when other Bluetooth devices are about unlike the dre studios

Only 2 downside is the dre studios battery life is slightly better than the ziks
And you have to buy the hardcase separate for £40 still in total £10 cheaper than the dre studios ziks costing £340 complete and dre studios costing £350 complete

Personally if your looking at wireless headphones like these or dr dre studios then obviously money's not a concern as they both are in £350 range
If you want to enjoy your music then it has to be the ziks all the way
But if your just a dr dre fan the no matter what i say you'll still buy the studios
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars definetely great, 26 May 2014
This review is from: Parrot Zik by Philippe Starck Wireless Headphones - Black/Silver (Electronics)
I have decided to write a review because of some comments I have seen. I bought the headphones over 9 months ago. I did my homework before buying them. At the time they were the best and I think there are still the best. Very easy to use, the quality of the sound is perfect. All the features are working perfectly.
For commuting, I enjoyed it. The noise cancelling is working well. For gym, I could not go without them. They are quite light and easy to run with.
I would recommend them to anyone. At the time I bought them it costs me 350£. There were quite new in the market. So it is a good price today.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Parrot Zik (A day in the life with Android), 3 Jan 2013
This review is from: Parrot Zik by Philippe Starck Wireless Headphones - Black/Silver (Electronics)
I am a technology freak and i spent a very long time researching this product. i have read each and every review of this product available online and also on amazon.com and apple user commentrary...and i must say after purchasing this from Selfridges £279 (this is an awesome tool)..the reason i brought from selfridges and not Amazon was on price and after sales service if i needed to take it back (also i missed the £252 price move on amazon)

Charger : I have a samusng galaxy S3 so the micro USB is perfect. in fact there was a universal agreement for all phones to be on Micro USB only apple have decided to not play fair for some obscure reason. Charging is a synch fast easy and effective.

Battery Life : people say 6 hours tops but i find that with work and commuting i am never that far away from a charger (i have purchased an additional battery for long haul flights) to be honest i dont need more then 6 hours so i am cool for now.

Bluetooth: the freedom of being able to control the volume the next track with the touch panel is amazing ...expecially when it is cold. perfect tool greatly done i love it.

Noise Cancelling : I have had the bose and this is on par and i am half minded to rate this above the bose...perhaps because of the sound quality

Phone Quality : Could be slightly louder but perfectlt adequate...doesnt need to be perfect all i need is to hear and be heard...also extra marks for the ease of answering and closing phone calls. it works thats all i need ..i like it (again the noise cancelling works very very well with phone calls)

Sound Quality : This is the apex...this is where the the headphones would live and die. but the sound quality is amazing ..(My good friend compared these to beats on the fly and was blown away by the quality). for me they are perfect i havent even played around with these to the extent that i can re sound adjustment and they are absolutely brilliant.

as the complete package they are unrivalled ...and in each individual catergory they are excellent. cant really knock them at all ....excellent gift.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Design over Function, 11 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Parrot Zik by Philippe Starck Wireless Headphones - Black/Silver (Electronics)
I never had the chance to back to back these with B&W but was swung on two counts, wireless and I have a great fondness for Philipe Starck.

On the design front they do not miss a beat and carry a number of Stark's signature trade marks and the quality of the materials used is of a high class nature. The soft plastic on the cans does not smear easily so someone has taken lot of thought and care in this area. The flip side to using quality materials can be weight but I do not find this as issue with the Zik.

Noise cancelation is good and I can happily listen to music/podcasts in most environments including mowing the lawn with an electric mower. The Android iOS app is neat and rather fun and hopefully we will see this develop further.

But design has somewhat led function here, yes the volume/next track controls on the touch sensitive headphone is good but why use Bluetooth version 1.2 when we are already at version 4 ?

Signal drop can be annoying from happening once every now and again or repeatedly requiring to restart the music source (I am still wondering if this is caused by radiation from other products etc and question this is down to version 1.2) and sound quality is not the best at this price bracket feeling a bit woolly and lack lustre in areas.

So Form over Function, yes, is it worth this price tag, questionable, do I like them, of course I do.

Many of Starks designs are flawed but remain beautiful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slick, 27 July 2013
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This review is from: Parrot Zik by Philippe Starck Wireless Headphones - Black/Silver (Electronics)
Best set of headphones I have ever had the pleasure of owning ,they are extremely comfortable and the sound is crisp and clear ,I would recommend purchasing a separate battery as if you do long trips as I do you will require one as the battery only lasts for 6 hours . However you are able to use the cable although the sound is not as punchy as it is using it over Bluetooth
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