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Crutchfield

Parrot Zik

Bluetooth® noise-canceling headphones

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  • Parrot Zik

    Front

  • Parrot Zik

    Right earcup with touch panel

  • Parrot Zik

    Adjustable headband

  • Parrot Zik

    Bottom view

  • Parrot Zik

    Front

  • Parrot Zik

    Inputs for wired listening and recharging

  • Parrot Zik

    Perfect for travel

  • Parrot Zik

    Sleek looks

  • Parrot Zik

    Touch panel provides easy control

  • Parrot Zik

    Wireless listening

  • Parrot Zik

    With included accessories

 

Our take on the Parrot Zik

by David Brown
Parrot

Smart 'phones for your smartphone

You may not be familiar with Parrot, a French company that has quickly become a leader in wireless technology for cars. Now they have used their Bluetooth expertise to create a uniquely powerful set of headphones that have us very excited. The Parrot Zik are as stylish as they are versatile, offering more features than just about any headphone we've seen.

Parrot Zik Bluetooth, noise-canceling headphones

The earcup is a touch panel

Naturally, the Zik offers wireless connection with your compatible Bluetooth phone for simple hands-free calls and music streaming. What makes the Zik unique is how you control those functions. The right earcup features a touch panel — no buttons, dials or knobs — so you can answer calls or skip tracks with the swipe of a finger. The touch panel offers the same functionality as an in-line remote, except with the same intuitive ease as your smartphone's touchscreen.

Sure, we'll take active noise-cancelation too

Bluetooth headphones need built-in microphones for phone calls. So why not use them to cancel out external noise as well? That's what Parrot does with the Zik, further enhancing the versatility of these smart headphones. Take them on the plane to minimize engine noise or to the office to block out your coworkers' conversations so you can focus on the job. You can use the noise-canceling and Bluetooth functions simultaneously, independently, or not at all. So if you're ever stuck with a drained battery, just plug in the supplied cable to enjoy passive listening, no battery required. Although, the included USB cable makes recharging a snap with any computer.

Get the sound just right with the Parrot Audio Suite

Sure these headphones perform a lot of tasks. But what about sound quality? The Zik leaves that up to you, with a host of options for customizing the sound to your own taste. Download the free Parrot Audio Suite app for Apple and Android™ and use it to tweak the Zik's configuration. You'll definitely want to try the Concert Hall Effect, which lets you control Parrot's digital sound processor to simulate various listening environments, the kind of technology usually reserved for A/V surround receivers. The app also includes graphic EQ, so you can bump up the bass or tone down the high frequencies.

Oh, there's one more thing…

Actually, there are several more interesting things about these headphones: touch pairing with NFC-compatible devices; a jawbone sensor for enhanced voice clarity; and a motion sensor that pauses your music or transfers calls to your mobile phone when you remove the headphones. With so many features and such sharp looks, the Parrot Zik might just be a bargain.

Parrot Zik Bluetooth, noise-cancling headphones

The Parrot Zik's right earcup features a touch panel for simple swipe and touch control of music and call functions.

Highlights:

  • Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity for wireless phone calls and music playback
  • streams audio via A2DP from compatible mobile phones and music players
  • touch panel on earcup for swipe control of music playback and call functions
  • built-in motion detector pauses music or switches call to your smartphone when you remove headphones
  • active noise-cancelation blocks out external noise
  • built-in microphones on earcups for clear phone conversations
  • built-in sensor captures jawbone vibration to enhance voice quality for phone calls
  • free Parrot Audio Suite for Apple and Android allows mobile device to adjust settings and customize sound (firmware update required)
  • battery life:
    • with all features activated: 6 hours
    • with active noise-canceling only: 18 hours
    • standby mode: 24 hours
  • passive listening available with included cable (Bluetooth, noise cancelation and touch panel functions require unit to be powered on)
  • frequency response: 10-20,000 Hz
  • sensitivity: 110 dB
  • impedance: 32 ohms
  • weight: 11.46 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Supplied Accessories:
  • 51" miniplug cable included for wired listening
  • rechargeable lithium-ion battery (removable)
  • micro USB cable included for charging battery and updating firmware
  • protective pouch
 

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
Fit Style
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Around-the-Ear
Earcup Type
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Closed
Noise-canceling
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Yes
Bluetooth
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Yes
Frequency Response
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10-20k Hz
Sensitivity
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110 dB
Impedance
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32 Ohms
Weight
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11.46 ounces
Cord Length
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51"
Airline Adapter Included
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No
iPod Control
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Yes
Volume Control
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Yes
Built-in Microphone
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Yes
Parts Warranty
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1 Year
Labor Warranty
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1 Year
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Bluetooth noise-canceling headphones
  • Lithium-Ion battery (3.7V/800mAh)
  • 51" Audio cable (with straight 3.5mm miniplug on one end and an angled 3.5mm miniplug on the other end)
  • 40" USB charging cable (with Type A USB on one end and a microUSB on the other end)
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Black cloth pouch

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Overview: The Parrot Zik headphones have built-in Bluetooth and noise-canceling technology. An advanced capacitive touch control panel on the outside of the earcups let you change music tracks, raise and lower volume, and answer and disconnect phone calls. The Zik comes with a rechargeable battery to power the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). A special Parrot app on your smartphone lets you fine tune the sound of your headphones. The headphones include an audio cable with a 3.5mm plug, as well as a microUSB charging cable. A plush cloth pouch lets you store your headphones and cables when not in use.

Bluetooth: The Parrot Zik is equipped with Bluetooth 2.1, allowing you to wirelessly carry on telephone conversations on your Bluetooth mobile phone as well as listen to music on Bluetooth audio players. The headphones have NFC (Near Field Communications) technology that allows you to quickly pair NFC-equipped smartphones by touching them to the left earcup. The Zik cannot pair more than one device simultaneously.

Touch Control: The outer surface of the right earcup contains an advanced capacitive touch sensitive panel with intuitive controls. To raise and lower the volume, you simply slide your finger vertically along the panel. To change the music track, just slide your finger forward (next track) or backward (previous track) along the panel. A similar side-to-side motion lets you switch between two active calls when in telephone mode. A simple tap of the panel lets you answer or hang up a call; touching and holding the panel rejects an incoming call. A built-in motion detector can also tell when you put on and take off the headphones, and can help control music playback. While listening to music, you can pause playback by simply taking the headphones off your ears. (Tapping the panel also pauses playback.) You can place the headphones back on your head to start the music playing again.

Active Noise Cancellation (ANC): Equipped with two internal, two external microphones, and a bone conduction sensor, the Parrot Zik's Active Noise Cancellation technology can reduce ambient noise by up to 25dB. ANC cancels out nearly all external noise so your calls and music are crystal clear.

Battery: The Parrot Zik is powered by a 3.7-volt, 800mAh Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery. The battery is charged via USB with the supplied microUSB cable. A fully-charged battery can give you approximately 6 hours of battery life with all features activated, 18 hours with ANC only, and about 24 hours of standby time. Even if the battery is exhausted, you can still listen to your music with the supplied 51" audio cable.

Design: The Zik headphones have an around-the-ear design, closed back, and soft, plush leatherette ear pads. The aluminum alloy head rails let the earcups swivel out to store flat. The strong neodymium drivers can provide plenty of power behind your music.

Parrot Audio Suite App: The Parrot Audio Suite is a free downloadable application for Android and iPhone/iPod, dedicated to the Parrot Zik. The app allows you to easily configure your music/phone interface with the following pages:

  • Active Noise Canceling: You can switch on or off the ANC directly through the Zik menu.
  • Parrot Concert Hall: The Concert Hall audio effect allows you to simulate a musical sound field. You can select one of four zones (Silent Room, Living Room, Jazz Club, Concert Hall) to configure the perceived depth of sound. You can also adjust the orientation of the virtual loudspeakers for different effects.
  • Equalizer: The app's 7-band parametric equalizer has 7 presets (Flat, Pop, Club, Punchy, Deep, Crystal, and User) so you can adjust the frequencies to the style of music you're listening to. You can adjust each band (60 Hz, 150 Hz, 400 Hz, 1 kHz, 2.4 kHz, 6 kHz, and 15 kHz) from -12dB to +12dB, and save it under the User preset.
  • System: The system page displays the current user name of the app, the device's current software version, any available firmware updates, and the application version.
  • Battery Level: You can quickly check the level of the Zik's battery, and whether or not it is charging.
  • Helpdesk: The helpdesk lets you troubleshoot the performance of the headphones, as well as direct you to a dedicated page on music playback, telephone performance, and instructions on the Parrot Audio Suite.

Specifications:

  • Frequency Response: 10Hz to 20kHz
  • Sound Pressure Level: 110dB
  • Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Dimensions: Earcups: Width=2.929", Height=3.7", Depth=1.655"
  • Weight: 11.46 ounces
 
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Parrot Zik Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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5 out of 5

Parrot Zik

Written By Anonymous, Belleville, NJ on Saturday, August 31, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Everything is Great!!!! You won't regret buying them...
Pros:
Best headphones ever
Cons:
Zero
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"Coolness Factor"
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4 out of 5

Fits the Bill (a pun, Parrot, Bill, get it?)

Written By AJ, VA on Sunday, June 23, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
3.5 stars for RX side noise reduction overall, five for low freq. As with most active NR the high freq noise reduction is not too great. I'd not use these on a flight line without more testing. Other "con" may be Bluetooth/Apple issue: dead spots or holes in audio occasionally, may also be related to the touchy "pause when removed" feature of the HS: when wearing these while mowing grass I can hear the mower, but all the low engine noise is gone, the higher freq stuff is reduced partially by the great around-the-ear/full earmuff design. But... I think the mower bouncing over ruts causes issues with the link/pause feature. I have the HS as tight on my head as I can get it.

While the Apple app based graphic eq is nice, it needs a couple more bands or something... I get over bright sound and still working on the perfect eq, even for a quiet room. Maybe two-three user/custom settings would be better than one, don't need five preprogrammed settings.

For phone use adding a better boom/noise cancelling mike would help. The existing mike(s) do work in a noisy telecom (fan noise) environment, I tried it!

Very comfortable fit! Great leather/leather-like headband cushion. ***** Bass sound is fantastic, overall sound great. **** Value added app **** features/control including right ear touchpad ***** RX side low/mid freq nr **** RX side high freq nr *** TX side nr ***

Pros:
see above
Cons:
see above
7 out of 8 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Parrot Zik

Written By Anonymous, Winsted ct on Monday, May 27, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
These things are simply awesome . I couldn't have hoped for more
Pros:
Fit on my ears is perfect
Cons:
None
7 out of 7 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Very Nice Headphones

Written By Lmwest, Charleston, SC on Thursday, May 09, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
These are very nice headphones that sound incredible. The software app for them really allows you to customize them as you like. I do like the freedom of them being Bluetooth. That said, you don't have a tremendous range away from the source. The swipe controls are great and work very well.
Pros:
Sound, flexibility due to app, functionality of controls, they fit very well and are not terribly heavy.
Cons:
Battery life. As many others have said, the battery does not last well. I need to buy an extra battery to have on hand for longer trips.
11 out of 11 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Great headphones with some iannoyance

Written By Timothy, Bremerton, wa on Sunday, April 07, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great sound, the build quality is top notch. Comfort is good but could have used a bit more ear room, and I have small ears. The tops of my ears would hurt after a couple of hours use. I did find the touch controls a bit to sensitive. When you go to adjust the phones on your head the headphones will pause the music/movie, I find this a constant irritant. You should be able to adjust the sensitivity to touch. Also a dedicated button to the noise reduction would be greatly apricitated. Over all I have few regrets in my selection of purchase.
Pros:
Build quality, coolness, sound, replaceable battery
Cons:
Touch sensitivity, hiss with noise reduction on. No hard case for storage.
11 out of 12 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Oh My God, Do not buy these headphones !!

Written By Opa, Kernersville NC on Sunday, March 10, 2013
 
Listen to me...!!! These things are Ear Crack!! Do not buy these if you do not have any self restraint! If you cannot restrict yourself to two hours of listening time DO NOT BUY THESE! If you are a grown mature man and you are at all adverse to weeping in front of your wife or in the public Do Not Buy These! If you are at all reticent to weeping in general Do Not Buy These!! You have been warned. 57 year old former Top Secret Hippie.
Pros:
The perfect compliment to a good buzz
Cons:
Makes you wish for your youth. Kernersville NC
5 out of 19 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Cool Headphones

Written By StevenB, PA on Friday, March 08, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I have been able to compare these to the Bose 15 which my wife has. The Parrot's have better sound, fuller, richer. The Bose have slightly better noise cancelling, and the Bose are much lighter, but the Parrots seem more durable and sturdier and just as comfortable as the Bose
Pros:
Style, Bluetooth freedom/wireless, sound quality, control app
Cons:
A little heavy, but not onjectionably so
16 out of 16 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Depends on where you use it

Written By Fabio F., Brooklyn, NY on Sunday, January 27, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I really wanted to like these headphones. They are absolutely stunning and very comfortable, the Bluetooth works well and so do the swiping controls. These would have been my first wireless headphones and not having a tether is really liberating. The sound is very good, as is the soundstage, and the audio controls (via a downloadable app) give you a lot of flexibility. As others have said, without power they sound mediocre at best but that was not a concern for me. For me the problem was with sound isolation. These headphones would primarily be used in the NYC subway, and while it can isolate most of the higher frequency white noise, a significant amount of the lower frequencies pass right through. On a $200 headset I wouldn't have faulted it, but for this price I expected close to perfection so I ended up returning them. Another thing that people reading this review may care about is sound leaking. These headphones do leak a bit. Not a lot but others would definitely notice in a library or other quiet setting.
Pros:
Design Comfort Sound
Cons:
Price Lackluster noise cancellation
22 out of 23 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

These are very good!

Written By u3rick, Orting WA on Wednesday, December 19, 2012
 
The whole experience has been great! I love the head phones!! Remember you get what you pay for, so don't let the price scare you!!
Pros:
Wireless, Comfortable, Well made, Very cool, Range from my phone is very good, The App is also very cool.
Cons:
Battery last 4 hours which is great.... but it could last longer .... its the only con I could find!
17 out of 17 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

My impression

Written By Ralph R., Vancouver, WA on Saturday, November 10, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I was looking for premium, active noise canceling, Bluetooth headphones and the Zik is just about the only unit on the market that fills all these requirements.

Ordering from Crutchfield is quick and painless. I got plenty of e-mail updates at each step of the process, even one letting me know that the item had been delivered (and was perhaps sitting on a doorstep at my house). 5 stars for service from Crutchfield.
Pros:
The Zik is extremely well made from quality materials. I have no doubts that this item will last many years. The stems are made from brushed metal, not plastic, and it takes a goodly amount of force to adjust them for your head size (a good thing). The battery is easily accessed and removed. They are very comfortable to wear for extended sessions and the sound is, as you would expect, superb. The touch sensitive right ear cup is great. The audio connector cord is cloth covered and should last
Cons:
The padding on the headpiece is adequate but being a little wider (more surface contact area) would be a nice improvement. As you would expect with active noise canceling the battery life is only a few hours so you will want an extra one. Not being a design expert I can still ask, "If you have one in the left cup why isn't there one in the right cup also?" The Zik would benefit GREATLY from having a simple way to unpair and to be able to pair up with several other things.
47 out of 48 people found this helpful
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"Coolness Factor"
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Parrot Zik, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_333ZIK/Parrot-Zik.html ).