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on 13 March 2014
I got given these for Christmas and loved the looks and sound from the start. The reason i'm writing a review now is that i've just used them on a plane for the first time, and had to share how great these are if you travel a lot.

Firstly, there is the clever feature that automatically pauses the music when you slip the headphones off (and starts it again when you put them back off). This is perfect for planes, as each time you need to stop the music - to put in a drink or foods order, or simply to use the bathroom - you only need slip the headphones down onto your neck. No fumbling around or missing your favourite track!

Secondly, these are really comfortable, while never getting hot like some padded headphones i've used before. I was able to easily fall asleep wearing these - not just because they're so soft, but because i used the accompanying app to make the audio particularly mellow!

Also, the ZIk has really good noise-cancelling, which not only cuts out noise of aircraft engine, but also of noisy fellow passengers.

Battery life was good on long-haul - helped by the fact that I used the cable to attach to the airplane movie system and wasn't on wireless the whole time. I've bought a spare battery (along with the Zik carry case), but didn't need it on an 8-hour flight, as I used mix of Bluetooth and wired.

Finally - and this was so cool! - if you want to stretch your legs and walk up/down the airplane cabin, you can leave your phone or iPad on your seat and just walk around with the Ziks on, wirelessly enjoying your music.
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on 6 April 2014
I am not a musician and the most expensive headset I used before this one is £30.

For me, it ticks all the boxes to some extent. Is it worth £200? I don't know.

Pros:
- Bluetooth wireless
- Active noise cancellation (not isolation)
- Advanced touch controls integrated into headset instead of cable
- Upgradable software. Apps for configuring audio tuning
- You can disable Noise cancellation independently to save battery life
- High quality non-tangling cables
- Auto power off to save battery time

Cons:
- Doesn't support aptX for high quality wireless audio
- A bit heavy for me
- No hard case for better protection. You can buy unofficial one for around £10
- Custom re-chargeable battery. Couple of years down the line it might be difficult to buy a replacement.

I observed some surprising features. I was using it with a cable to watch a TV program. It was already paired to iPad. During ads I played a program on BBC iPlayer and it switched to bluetooth. When the adverts finished and program started on TV, it switched to TV program. Does TV audio have some kind of cue like white rectangle in video?

To pause the program, all you have to do is take headset off. This works even when you send audio out of wired connection.

I wasn't very impressed with Active Noise Cancellation performance. But, then I never tried any other headset with that feature. So, I don't know how it compares to other headsets like Bose QuiteComfort.

Price is falling steadily. At least for Black/Silver. In fact, price went down after I ordered and before the item is dispatched. I got a refund of price difference. May be newer version will be released soon with higher price.
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on 13 June 2015
This pair of headphones are absolutely amazing. The sound quality that these can recreate via Bluetooth is unparalleled to anything else I have tried. It doesn't focus on the trebles, mids or bass but if you prefer it to then you can tweak the sound to focus on either of them.
The build quality of these headphones are fantastic. They feel more premium than the price, however, for the price you pay it would be nice to see these come with a hard case rather than the soft case that they come with. I'd definitely recommend buying a hard case for these though as I don't think many people will want to leave the protection of these headphones to chance. You can also use these as wired headphones to save battery for a long haul flight or something like that. That extends the battery life to around 18 hours. The wireless battery life isn't the best, however, I tend to get at least 6 hours with all functions on.
You can connect these headphones to your phone using NFC which is really handy. Just tap your phone against your left ear and they will automatically pair. The swipe controls on the right ear are fun and very practical too. I find that the best way to control your music, to produce the best sound quality and for ease, is to set your volume to max on your phone and then use the independent volume adjuster on the headphones (swipe up/down) to change the volume. This way you can change from minimum to maximum volume with the swipe of a finger.
There is an app that you can download from the App Store or the Play Store which allows you to really tweak the sound you get out of these. Without using the app the headphones sound a bit flat (but that may just be because they've raised my standards). However, if you spend a bit of time with the app and get to know what settings you like (Concert Hall Effect and EQ) then your audio will sound better than it ever has done.
I almost forgot to include my favourite feature... Active Noise Cancellation. The headphones have four microphones dotted around them (which don't detract from the aesthetics) which allow very good noise cancelling. I have to get the bus every morning and evening and even when I'm not listening to music I'll still use the ANC to drown out some of the noise of kids shouting up and down the bus.
Overall, a great pair of headphones that I highly recommend getting.
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on 10 April 2014
Firstly I would like to point out that I bought these from amazon for £209.99. I think this was a one day offer or something because the price rose the day after. £210 is an unbelivable price for these headphones and I cannot quite believe I managed it!

I own a pair of beyerdynamic DT990 Pro's for my audiophile listening and in my house there is also a set of the Bose Quiet Comfort 3's (just small form factor qc15's). The Parrots will be replacing my old Sennheiser PX360's which served me rather well but I just really wanted a wireless set!

So this review is mainly going to be a direct comparison between my parrots and the qc3's, the closest competition in my opinion in terms of quality and price. (although not wireless!)

Form Factor - QC3's. This one is dependent on how you like your headphones, personally I like them with a bit of weight and to be over-ear. But admittedly the smaller and on-ear cups of the QC'3 are fantastically comfortable and you barely notice you are wearing them.

Battery - QC3's. For me, this was really not a big deal. I already use an android device daily and so charging the parrot was no issue at all and I actually prefer it, whereas the QC3's, while they last longer (hence the win) , you have to use silly proprietary connectors and remove the battery from the headphones to charge them. I have heard some people complain that 6 hours of use before flat is just not enough, but for me, I picked up an Anker Battery pack (12000mah) for about £25 which i take everywhere pretty much, and I use this to keep all my devices juiced :) 6 Hours is plenty, and that is with all of the features enabled! You can use both sets of headphones passively too (over wire with no effects/noise cancelling) which is nice.

Price - Parrot's. At the time of writing the Bose QC15's are £259.99 and in my experience you pay a £20 ish premium for the QC3's, and the Parrots were £249.00 (although like i said I got mine for £209.99)

Noice Cancelling - Tie. In my short experience the noise cancelling effect was equally as good on both sets. Both struggle to protect from the higher pitch tones, and both cover the deeper tones easily and completely. Both sets gave the little "hiss" when there was no song playing, but you barely notice it on either.

Sound Quality - Parrot's. Yes, this was a close one. And from stock I would suggest that they are pretty much equal. But the feature rich Parrot application is where the Parrots gain the advantage, you can pretty much completely change the sound of the headphones when you play with the EQ or the Orchestral effects... Its stunning! In my opinion neither are quite as superb as the Beyer's, but in their small size I would not expect them to be. The beyers are solely designed for home-audiophile/recording use. You cant exactly wear them while walking through town or on a plane :P

Aesthetics - Parrot's. Philippe Starck is a genius, undoubtedly. These headphones are a work of art! Matches function and form perfectly.

Features - Parrot's. By a country mile. Let me just answer this with a pair of lists:
Bose: Active Noise Cancelling, Passive Listening option.
Parrot's: NFC pairing connection, Active Noise Cancelling, Touch sensitive right ear pad, microphones for phone calls, jawbone sensor, clever parrot app, WIRELESS! Auto-pause, Auto-Power off, Auto bluetooth reconnect. And did I mention Wireless?!

I cannot overstate enough about how much better a set of wireless headphones are. You feel so free! You can move your head freely and without any restriction, no more untangling of wires and no more damaged connectors. Its now a must for me in terms of headphones...

Once you go wireless, you likely wont go back!

In summary:

These are THE best, all around headphones for under £500, and to be honest I don't actually think there is anything better on the market! Sure, there are headphones with better quality sound, and a nicer form factor, and (debatably) better noise cancelling, but to get better, you have to go more expensive, and none of those more expensive options all come together in such a fantastic looking and superb value-for money product. Are they worth £250? Definitely. Are they worth £300? Yeah! Should you buy anything else? No!
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on 6 May 2014
I bought these as I was tired of paying £200+ for earphones only for them to become useless once the wires inevitably failed (crackles, etc).

Being wire-free is great BUT they really should have a better range and battery-life to take advantage of this.

Mine last about 4hrs. I knew the battery-life was short, having done my research, so I bought a spare battery but there's no charger in the pack so the only way to charge is with the headphones meaning that you can't use them.

The range, within a flat (i.e. intervening walls), is about 5 meters. This short range is not helped by the failure of the devices to then re-establish connection once you return within range. Perhaps it's my particular combination of hard and software but I find I need to re-start my player and locate the point in the track where I lost signal.

They're also not the most compact of things but little different from their peers in this respect, which I did physically view courtesy of Selfridges and John Lewis on Oxford Street. They certanily are the best looking of the current wire-free headphones).

As for sound, they are very good. The noise-cancelling certainly can't match the noise-excluding seal and ear-canal delivery of the Etymotic or Ortofon in-ear devices (which I have or had) but it's still good. The quality of reproduction is, to my ears, as good as the Etymotic, Ortofon or the top-end Sennheiser's I've got (all wired).

The touch-sensitive controls are very good - lovely to not have any buttons (other than on/off).

They are very comfortable, though I'd prefer them a little tighter.

All-in-all, I'm not 'in love' with these but I am enjoying the freedom from wires very much and certainly more than enough to compensate for the niggles. I'm also cautiously optimistic that the absence of failure-prone wires will mean that they'll last longer than previous purchases, so the long-term value-for-money also ought to compensate for the weaknesses.
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on 11 October 2012
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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on 18 July 2014
Have had Bose QC3s for the last 8 years and I wouldn't have expected to be swayed so easily. I've been eyeing the parrot ziks since they came out and when I started to look for a wireless alternative finally decided to go for these instead of the dre wireless. I'm surprised how clean the sound is as compared to other noise cancelling phones, without taking depth off the music. I love being able to tune the settings with the app - thank you Lou Reed- and the concert hall setting is great. like that I can also control my Zikmu speakers with the app. I've been listening to different music on different settings and love the clarity, depth and width (concert hall!!!). I'll see how it goes over the next few weeks.

The headphones feel very comfortable, I haven't figured out to adjust the fitting but it works for me anyway. I love the touch remote. Won me over instantly and I'm annoying myself by constantly changing tracks and volumes.

Downside - I think they are massive. Especially in the case I'm not sure it will fit into my handbag when I'm travelling - I usually don't even take the case for my Bose headphones because that's already big but the zik case is definitely too big. It looks protective but not much space for a liquids bag after this.

Oh and I love the Rose gold / grey- beautiful!
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on 8 May 2014
Noise cancelling is instant and very effective. I used them on a 9+hour flight. There was a USB to charge from but they did last practically all the way. I just topped them up before landing.

The app is a great addition. I always set up the app to suit what Im listening too. Plenty of bass and I cant hear them distort.

They are durable and very comfortable.

Can be used passive, via BT, either with NC or not.

On the down side.... they come with a sac and not a case? I can live with that.

Very pleased with delivery too.
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on 20 August 2014
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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on 3 October 2014
I have quite a few pairs of headphones. These are my first wireless ones. A very advanced piece of kit (although I see a new version has just been released) and very easy to use with the Parrot Audio Suite app installed. Picked up and paired with the iPhone 5S very quickly and remains paired very well. Touch controls are as intuitive as advertised although standing up on a very packed commuter train isn't recommended when jostling can switch the music off! The noise cancelling works very well. Call quality is excellent, the best of any of my suitably equipped headphones. In terms of pure sound quality, I have B&W P7's and Grado 325i's and both are slightly better (to my ears) but these are still very good and, of course much more versatile. Comfortable and not heavy, decent but not 'head in a vice' like grip, can get warm after a while. The concert hall and tuned by Lou Reed features certainly make a difference to the sound. Haven't decided which I prefer, probably depends on what i want to listen too. Great value at the price paid.
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