• 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Some amazing tech, good sound, poor battery

    • Written by from Wynnum

    I'd spent the good part of a year researching headphones and kept coming back to the Parrot Ziks; eventually my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to get these bad boys about six weeks ago, and I'm more than happy with this purchase.

    The headphones themselves are quite heavy (325g) -- you certainly know they are there, but it's an oddly comforting feeling and I stopped noticing this after about 20 minutes of use. Setup is intuitive, although you will need to install the Parrot Audio Suite software from the App Store to enable the full functionality of equaliser, noise cancelling and effects. The overall design is impressive -- dare I say Jony Ive-esque -- and the build quality doesn't let down.

    The sound is rich, although I think it's best suited to bass-heavy music (e.g. electronica, hip-hop, dance). Ceding this, the manufacturer has included a 'Tuned by Lou Reed' setting within the Audio Suite software for Rock music. The Concert Hall setting within the software also provides an interesting means to tweak your listening preferences.

    The drawcard for me was wireless (bluetooth for iOS, NFC is available for supported devices) connection and capacitive touch controls on the right hand side of the headphones.

    My only gripe with the wireless bluetooth is having to unpair the device every time I want to change listening source; not a deal-killer by any means, but I'm lazy and while I'm not fatigued after two clicks to unpair, it would have been nice to be able to just connect the device to a new source, without having to disconnect from the original first. You can use the headphones with the supplied 3.5mm cable, although you won't be able to use any of the settings in the Audio Suite software, including the noise cancelling.

    Now the piece de resistance -- the capacitive touch controls... Simply put, it's amazing. Very intuitive -- slide your finger up or down to increase or decrease volume, slide forward to skip to next track, backwards for previous track and tap once to pause and resume play. There are sensors built into the headphones themselves that will automatically pause what you are listening to or watching once the headphones are removed, and resume when the headphones are back on -- perfect for lazy folk like me! (You can adjust this behaviour via the supplied software.)

    My biggest issue with these is the poor battery life; switching off effects via the Audio Suite app prolongs life (there's also a battery indicator within the software itself), although I'm not usually willing to make that compromise. If you buy these, save yourself stress and pain, and purchase an additional battery -- or two. I'd say that I would get up to 5--7 hours of battery, depending on use. Recharging is via the supplied USB charging cable and I'm not aware of any dedicated chargers out there (such as the one that comes with the Bose QuietComfort 3).

    The headphones also offer hands free telephony, although my use of this feature twice in the past six weeks doesn't really qualify me to comment.

    Overall, I love these headphones. Yes, they are expensive, and yes, there are better sounding headphones out there (at lower price points), but for a lazy, non-audiophile who loves his doof-doof and geek cred, they're perfect.