Parrot Zik 2.0 Review

More than 2 weeks ago a shiny pair of Parrot Zik 2 was delivered to me as a review unit by Parrot. I was excited to try them out in every situation and let you guys know about the results.

Since Duuro Magazine is all about amazing games, tech gadgets and app developers, I tried them, well, with these three main topics in mind.

And as I was testing them, I was composing in my head all the nice parts that I was going to write about them. But then it hit me, there are thousands of reviews online about the Zik 2, since they were released more than 10 months ago. These reviews have done a great job in describing in detail the bass quality, and the treble, and the sound and every other sound related stuff. Well you get it, basically every technical stuff that you won’t even care at all, after 10 minutes of watching or reading the review. Still, for the sake of the “review“, I wrote down some points below.

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Must. Not. Lick

To keep it short, the Parrot Zik 2 truly deliver a sublime sound quality like a premium headphone set should and must. And as we speak, I don’t see any strong competitors to overthrow the Zik 2 from the podium.

But sound is not what makes them special, that is not what makes you feel like you are enjoying a nice gourmet dinner in the banks of the Seine. Sound alone is not what completely justifies their price tag.

In all the reviews I have seen or read about the Zik 2, nobody spoke about how you feel. Because everyone is focused about comparing them to some other cheaper, newer, louder headphone on the market.

To fully appreciate them you must understand the philosophy behind them. And the way French people envision and create products. Especially premium products. You can say they are overpriced or you can mention 100 other cheaper alternatives. But without any shadow of doubt, you have to acknowledge the passion, craftsmanship and care that goes into bringing these products to life. An amazing Monogram or a pair of red soled shoes or an exquisite bottle of Veuve Clicquot. And lately a 21st century pair of headphones. All of them reflex the essence of France.

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The devil is in the details…

I knew that the Zik 2 were a premium product, but I was pleasantly surprise to see that they belong to this collection of products that truly lighten up your existence. You can feel their quality from the outside, without touching them or opening the package. But after you take them in your hand, they talk to you, they want you to enjoy them. Suddenly, they get into your life and they never let you go.

The moment you take them in your hand, you know it is going to be awesome. You can feel it. You don’t need to turn the music on to understand that you will have the best possible sound experience. Their simplicity and beauty demands your love and attention. As like they want to say: – Just put me on and you will look and feel amazing.

Then you set the audio preset to “Rock”, start the music on your iPhone, and let the good life roll in. I was amazed by the clarity of Clapton’s guitar and I could hear “hidden” notes than other headphones or sound systems just can’t play. What’s amazing about the above mentioned products, is that they bring you everyday the joy of life, they make you feel like you are visiting Paris in a warm and sunny June day. They transmit you that feeling of relax, wonder, surprise, amusement, love. And you can’t put a price into that.

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Perfect combo…

What I am trying to say is that if you visited Paris at least once, you owe it to yourself to get a pair of Zik 2. They will make you revive those moments every single day.

Now, if you got bored of my poetic burst, just take a look at the “review”:

Hardware

Amazing design. Every detail well thought. I love the intuitive touch commands. What the Starck team and Parrot have designed is the most sublime form of headphones on the market. And this remark is coming from an Apple Fanboy which must, by obligation, put the Beats to the podium.

Sound is great without any enhancements from the app. But it transforms to epic with the different audio presets that the app offers. I have never experienced a richer sound experience on a pair of headphones. If you are a techie and/or a design addict, it is obligatory to own a pair of Zik 2. Just hold them in your hand only once, and all the other headsets will look like bulky, clunky Nokias 3310 in comparison to the first iPhone.

The weight is optimal, they feel robust and well made. I love the premium materials used on the Zik 2. If you are aluminum and metal obsessed, you want to touch them the entire day. And that is why the Parrot guys invented the touch controls, probably as an excuse to feel your Ziks every moment.

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WYSIWYG

The battery lasts up to 2 working days (16hours) when the bluetooth is off and the headset is connected via cable. I used them to call my contacts and they told me that they were hearing me loud and clear. And I was also hearing them crystal clear.

The noise cancelling is superb. I can finally listen to music in my room, without hearing the sound of the boring TV show which my family is watching. Not to mention that the TV is connected to a home cinema sound bar with a bass booster that makes our neighbours not so happy. So yeah, the Ziks can wipe out those noises. And I am grateful for that. I still need to use them in a plane to see how they behave against the monstrous sound of the airplane motor, but I have faith that the guys have done an amazing job.

The comfort is unquestionable once you get used to them. I am carrying glasses and it kind of hurted in the first 2 days as the ears where pushed against the glass temples. But after that I can carry them all day long.

The color was a surprise. It looks way better in the real life than on the head Conchita Wurst. Although I would have chosen the black one, now I am extremely happy to have the orange one. They are a powerful statement of the Zik headphones. The accessories (usb cable, 3.5mm cable) give you a first impression of premium quality with the fabric outer coating and the shiny aluminum like edges, but unfortunately they aren’t. The cables have not completely unwind even after days of usage. And because they were squeezed in the package, they took this zigzag form, which is reflecting also now.

The caring bag looks really cool, but I would love to see in the next version a smoother quality bag. Like the one you get with the Christian Louboutin shoes. @Parrot, come on guys, you know how amazing the red caring bag looks and feels. Packaging looks and feels that of a premium product, like a pair of designer shoes from France. It weighs and it is sturdy, so you know you have made an amazing purchase.

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Ughh…

Gaming feels immersive in the Zik 2. You get so deep in the Metal Gear Solid story that you don’t notice your house even if it gets robbed or burned down. The bullets and the soundtrack really perforate your heart with the rich bass and sound. As an avid gamer, I connected them via the 3.5mm jack with the controllers of my consoles. And these are the results:

  • On the PS4 you can hear the party chat audio along with the game audio, but unfortunately you can’t use your mic to chat with your buddies. And here is Sony the one to point the finger at.
  • On the Xbox you need to own an adapter to use 3.5mm headphones. Once you put you Ziks on, they deliver a great sound. The microphone is also available for you, but you need to turn the bluetooth on, so you can use the mic.

Software

I am testing them in an iPhone 6. And I develop apps for iOS myself. So this review will be a more technical one. To begin with, I find the idea of having a companion app, an amazing idea. You simply cannot tune your headphone sot to your custom needs without an app. And the most advanced headphones in the world must have an app. But…

Not a hybrid one. By this time, the guys at Parrot ought to have understood this. By hoping to save on costs and time by building hybrid apps, you kill the 5-star user experience that a premium product strives for. Basically they have the functionality you need, but they don’t behave natively. And that kills the mojo.

The app gets updated rarely. The most advanced headphones in the world should always embrace the latest OS in Android and iOS, and take advantage of the latest APIs. Too much swiping around. I don’t understand why the main screen of the app should be covered by mostly the battery percentage.

Also the news section has not been updated since 6 months before. Which either means that the people are not using it, or that the Parrot guys don’t have it on their priorities to update the news section.

app

However the app has a few tricks, good tricks that kinda redeem it’s shortcomings. What I loved the most are the audio presets for different music genres. They give a complete new dimension to the sound. Or you can just select “Auto” mode, which switches the audio preset automatically based on the audio genre and the end result is more than surprising.

Extremely good noise cancellation settings. You let the app listen the environment and it will suggest you the optimal noise cancellation. If you want do fade out more noise, then you just drag the circle around. Also the street mode was great. I am loving it every day, as it allows me not to get hit by a bus, no seriously.

A variety of customisable stuff. If you know your way around with equalisers and other musical settings, then this is for you. The design is really good, although on some places it kinda feels like it doesn’t belong there.

Now to sum it up, the Parrot Zik 2.0 is an amazing product. The hardware is truly revolutionary, sound quality is off the charts, the accessories need a little bit of quality refinement and the software needs a little work to keep up to the high quality bar the Zik 2.0 demands. I would definitely suggest them anytime, especially now that the orange version is on Amazon for as less as 270 Euros.

I can’t wait to see and test the new Zik 3. Although it’s hard to top this generation in quality, I am pretty confident about the guys at Parrot. And I can’t wait to see what the app on my Apple Watch will look like.

Keep on rocking guys!

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