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Parrot's Zik blyetooth headphones.

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  1. J.Pocalypse
    While I don't have high hopes for the SQ of these undoubtly sexy looking cans given their technology, I can't say I'm not looking forward to some impressions later in the year.

    http://m.engadget.com/default/article.do?artUrl=http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/10/parrot-reveals-starck-designed-zik-bluetooth-touch-enabled-heads/&category=classic&postPage=1

    Sorry for the mobile link. I found this while at work.
     
  2. daredevil_kk
    Will have to compare it with the Senn MM550 or MM450, but the NFC implementation is cool.
     
    KK
     
  3. grokit
    So the NFC is to make the bluetooth pairing easier?
     
  4. AnakChan Moderator
    It looks like the Parrot Zik will be available in July for approx Y39,000 (USD$500 or thereabouts).
     
    http://www.phileweb.com/news/audio/201205/23/12133.html
     
    Mind you though, having heard them at the Tokyo Fujiya Spring/May Headphone Festival a few weeks back, their SQ was mediocre at best. Pairing with iPhones was also a problem - even the sales girls admitted that. Having said that, they had 2xZiks so possibly one was interfering with the other. I told them to switch one of them off and pairing was easier.
     
    Aside form the SQ, isolation was semi-decent, and so is comfort. Could get hot during summer though. Naturally the coolest was the touch face on the right side cup (looks like wasn't designed for cack handers). Didn't get to try the bone conduction microphone for phone calls though.
     
  5. J.Pocalypse
    A shame. They look awesome, IMO. Too bad nothing else about them is good.
     
  6. Gofre
    For anybody who's interested in these headphones, Engadget have confirmed that they're launching next month for $399 (pre-tax). Not as high as I was expecting given the amount of features they've got packed into them, but a shame to hear about the audio quality. Hopefully changes have been made since AnakChan has a chance to demo them!
     
    http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/05/parrot-zik-launching-in-august-for-399-free-app-included-for-i/
     
  7. grokit
    I think that Bluetooth itself is a limiting factor with any of these kind of headphones, kind of like FM radio. From what I understand, kleer technology is the best for wireless.
     
  8. AnakChan Moderator
    Quote:
     
    What about apt-x lossless? Actually that's one thing I forgot to check if the Zik supports apt-x protocols over bluetooth.
     
  9. grokit
    Sounds promising, I don't know much about that protocol. But if it's going over bluetooth I would think that it would be subject to bluetooth's bandwidth limitations.
     
  10. zenpunk
    I was in Selfridges in London checking the Shure 1840 when a sale assistant came to me with one of those. Never heard about it before but thought they were sounding pretty good and noise cancelling was impressive. That was using bluetooth from an iPad. I only had a short listen but I am quite  intrigued. Might go back and have a proper listen with my Sony Z.
     
  11. dca
    I bought these headphones 2 days ago, and they are AMAZING.  I am in love.  Now, I'm not a legit audiophile by any means (more of a technophile), but they sound solid to me, even over bluetooth.  I'm coming from some Denon D2k's, and to me these sound as good (although my setup was just phone -> headphones or laptop -> soundmagic a10 amp -> headphones, so I was probably under-utilizing the d2k's).  Still, these things are just so cool.
     
    I have a Samsung Galaxy Nexus and have tested with Google Play Music and Pandora One, as well as with Pandora on my laptop.  Experience so far:
     
    Comfort: Feels like there's nothing on my head.  Even more comfortable than the d2k's (which are super comfortable already).
    Coolest tech features:
    1. NFC pairing-- when I first read about this feature I was underwhelmed, but in practice it's actually incredibly useful.  Instead of taking 10 seconds to pair, it takes 0.2 seconds-- always.  Works so well. 
    2. Touch panel-- also works pretty much seamlessly (for both Pandora and Google Music on my phone; on my laptop, only the volume works and not skipping, but it's probably a configuration issue with the laptop). 
    3. Removing the headphones to pause the music-- this feature is sick.  Unfortunately, for me it only works with Google Music so far.  Again, if I tinker with my laptop, I bet I could get it working, but not sure if I'll be able to get it working with the Pandora android app.
    Look and feel: also, awesome.  I love the look, they're much more manageable than the D2K's, and they feel rock solid.  Really a high quality product. 
    Phone calls: personally, I'm not used to making calls via a headset, but tested it and it worked perfectly. 
     
    I paid $360 + tax at J&R in NYC for these (I get a 10% discount there), but personally probably would have still been satisfied at $5-600.
     
    Had one minor tech issue when I accidentally tried paring the bluetooth to my laptop while it was already paired to my phone (music stopped playing)-- called customer support and the guy explained how to do a hard reset (remove battery for 5 mins and delete pairing from phone), and it's worked perfectly ever since.  Very positive experience with CS.
     
    Only other thing is the Parrot Music App-- it hasn't been released yet for Android (should be coming out in the next couple weeks), so I can't test the concert effect stuff or turn off the noise cancelling. 
     
    I'd imagine they optimized for the most popular native mobile music players, so they probably work most smoothly with Google Music and iTunes-- at least that's been my experience.  They might be more finicky if you use 3rd party music apps.
     
    If you like cool tech toys, you'll love these.  If you're a pure audiophile, probably not for you. 
     
    PS feel free to PM me if you're in the market for some second hand d2k's with a shortened stock cable haha
     
  12. AnakChan Moderator
    IMG_3517.jpg
     
    You've got it at a good price. In Japan it's selling for Y40,000 (approx USD$500). I had a listen to them today and needed to use bluetooth pairing, no NFC for iPhoners. Since you don't have the app on Android yet I don't know how much you've tried to it's "max capability" - so to speak.
     
    I've found with everything off, SQ-wise it's somewhat dull for my tastes. Although all the touch panel features, the auto pause when taken off the ears, etc. were all cool naturally. I also tested the noise cancellation for phone calls and my colleague on the other end of the phone said he still could hear background noise although somewhat more digital. My voice was clear. I'm desperately searching the web now to see if that bone conduction mic initially advertised is in the final production release or not. I have a feeling that there's no bone conduction mic and it's just standard ambient noise cancellation/suppression.
     
    IMG_3529.jpg
    IMG_3516.jpg
    IMG_3514.jpg
    IMG_3515.jpg
     
    Now a little more about the app. I think this is the big wow to get the most value out of the Zik. It enables/disables Noise Cancellation, Surround Sound with various presets, and EQ with some presets again. It also tells battery life, and in the settings is really more an "About". Nothing really there except informs you if there's a software upgrade available.
     
    IMG_3512.jpg
     
    The Noise Cancellation info :-
     
    IMG_3513.jpg
     
    And to me this is where I like about the Parrot Zik. You can change the soundstage by changing the virtual speaker position, then the depth too. The speaker position though is symmetrical regardless if you move the left or right speaker. You cannot have one in one angle, and the other in another angle.
     
    In combination of this soundstage customisation and EQ, the Parrot Zik actually starts to sound rather decent.
     
     
    IMG_3510.jpg
    IMG_3509.jpg
    IMG_3511.jpg
     
  13. dca
    Great pictures, and thanks a lot for the app preview-- can't wait for it to come out on Android!  And not sure about the bone conductor stuff-- don't know how you would test for that, and like I said phone calls are not a feature I've used much..
    Quote:
     
  14. dca
    Engadget review-- http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/02/parrot-zik-by-starck-review/ ..pretty much in line with everything that's been said here
     
  15. thedips
    interesting.. i was strolling thru the mall and noticed these in brookstone... couldnt really find much more information on them on headfi besides this thread and one other... was hoping for some other reviews from people. also kinda curious if there was some other type of technologically advanced headphone with all the bells and whistles that actually sound good?
     
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