Choosing the perfect pair of headphones is a tough decision. Do you want to impress people at the gym with celebrity endorsed cans, like Dr Dre’s Beats? Do you want the best sound quality possible? Or is noise cancellation, wireless control and over techie features top of your wishlist? Well, if you’re looking for headphones packing in all the latest headphones technology along with comfort and demure design, then the Parrot Philippe Starck Zik wireless headphones might be the cans for you.
The result of four years of design and engineering between the renowned French architect and product designer Philippe Starck and Henri Seydoux, Parrot’s CEO, these headphones aspire to be the pinnacle of wireless headphones technology. As you’d expect, their design is in indeed striking. But do they deliver sound performance to match the price tag?
As befitting the price tag, the Parrot Philippe Starck Zik wireless headphones are made from high end materials. Cheap plastic cans these are not. The headband is made from synthetic leather with an embossed Parrot logo while the metal head rails curve round elegantly onto the ear cups which can be flattened for ease of storage. The ear cups are very plush and exceptionally comfortable, with the memory foam providing soft and supple cushioning along with padding in front of the headphones’ powerful drivers.
As you’d expect for a pair of headphones that have emerged from Phillippe Starck’s drawing board, these headphones look high end and uber modern, and will certainly attract some admiring looks from other commuters. Their jealousy would no doubt go up a notch if they were also aware of the sound cancelling technology used in the Parrot Philippe Starck Zik headphones. And its in terms of its number of technology features where these headphones really shine:
Touch sensitive control – Swipe the right ear cup vertically to adjust the volume, horizontally to skip tracks. This functionality gets nods of approval from many reviewers for being responsive and one of these headphones’ outstanding features.
DSP (Digital Sound Processor) – this powerful drivers reconstruct the sound to create the ‘Parrot Concert Hall’ effect that’s designed to give the impression that music comes from in front of you.
Active Noise Control System – its claimed that these headphones can eliminate up to 98 percent of ambient sound. This is achieved through four microphones, instead of two, which analyse ambient noise and then cancel it out with opposing sound waves.
Double microphone – the Parrot Philippe Starck Zik are designed to be used in conjunction with a smartphone and enable calls to be taken with a standard microphone and a bone conduction sensor that detects and analyses the vibrations of the jaw to work out what you are saying.
Parrot smartphone app – The app for these headphones enables you to play around with the equalizer, the room type and the speaker angle to fine tune the audio performance to suit the music you’re listening to.
These features will delight gadget fans and commuters who like to block out the world around them. But what about the audiophiles out there?
The Parrot Philippe Starck Zik wireless headphones certainly pack in a lot of features, and their noise cancelling technology makes worthy of serious consideration by commuters and those that take a lot of flights. However, there’s often a payoff with noise cancelling technology in terms of the authenticity of the sound. These headphones have excellent performance that will delight anybody stepping up from a sub $100 pair of cans. The sound is responsive, crisp and bassy without sounding distorted. But existing owners of high end headphones, such as those by Sennheiser or Grado, might find the sound lacks the pure audio experience.
Active noise cancelling requires a lot of sound processing, which in turn leads to a not altogether natural sound. Adjusting the Concert Hall settings can also have a big effect on the sound performance. So you can do a lot to improve the sound through playing around with the Parrot app’s settings.
In conclusion, the Parrot Philippe Starck Zik headphones offer smart design, a wealth of features and great noise cancellation, making them a great choice for gadget fans and commuters. But the pay off in authentic sound quality from all the techie features may put off audiophiles looking for headphones that deliver as close to an authentic sound as is possible.