The Parrot Zik 3.0 arrived in our store just a few days ago – amidst fanfare and hoopla from our staff. With the box now prominently positioned on my desk, and the headphone securely sitting on my head, the time has come to see if Parrot finally got itself together and ironed out the kinks of their previous models. Currently, all signs point toward a resounding “Yes.”
The Parrot Zik 3.0 comes in a beefier box than the 2.0. It includes that same accessories – a battery, an audio cable, a USB cable (which, differing from the previous iteration, can both charge and play audio), an instruction manual, and a little pouch for carrying.
In terms of build, there are some aesthetic differences with the 3.0 – most evident among them the offering of different colors and textures on the earcups in the form of Croco (a faux-crocodile feel) and cross-stitched/quilted looks. The croco is available in all colors, while the cross-stitched is available in black and off-white. For those seeking something less bold, the original smooth leatherette finish is still available in solid black.
The headband has been made wider on the new version, and the extenders extend just a little bit lower – two much welcome upgrades according to many of the people who tried the 2.0 but found it missing something.
The battery packaged with the 3.0 is the same as that packaged with the 2.0, but Parrot no longer gives you the vague promise of 4-20 hours of playback. Instead, the 3.0 is now given a continuous battery life of 18 hours. Praise be to Parrot, because this was our Number One (and perhaps our only) issue with the last Zik.
Including an audio-capable USB cable is a nice touch, too. And while we don’t know how many audiophiles will be seeking out the Zik 3.0 for HiFi sound, the gesture is a kind one.
Sound-wise, the Zik 3.0 is about as flat and neutral sounding as the 2.0. There is still an app to adjust the sound if you want to – and this app can still be used to turn features on and off. There’s still some slight compression to the sound, not to the point of marring the audio, but enough that I could hear it through a little casual-listening.
With all this being said, the Zik 3.0 still sounds decent. It may approach the Sennheiser M2 Around-Ear in terms of detail, but lacking that signature v-shaped frequency response that recommends the M2 so well.
While charges of “Wireless Everything.” adorn the Zik 3.0’s packaging and internet press, the truth of the matter seems to be that the Zik 3.0 is as wireless as the Zik 2.0, but that it can also be charged wirelessly with an additional wireless charger (sold separately, of course).
Is it the best thing since sliced bread? Eh. If your definition of sliced bread resembles that of a rubbish bluetooth headphone, then yes. Otherwise, this headphone can be seen as an incremental upgrade to the more problematic Zik 2.0, with issues like the headband, extenders, and battery life fully ironed out. Is it worth the money? Our opinion is, yes, it is. At $399 it more than competes with over-ear bluetooth offerings from Sennheiser, while looking just as stylish. So, if you’re in the market for a wireless, noise-cancelling headphone that looks good (and also offers a sound that is at least a little customizable), this may be the bird to watch. Get yours here from Audio46.com and get free shipping and a free gift!