CNET First Look
Parrot Zik 2.0: One seriously high-tech Bluetooth headphoneParrot's second-gen premium wireless headphone also features active noise canceling, touch controls, and a companion app that lets you customize your sound.
I'm David Carney for CNET.com and this is the Parrot Zik 2.0 wireless Bluetooth headphone with active noise cancellation. It costs the same as the original Zik, $400. And Parrot, a French company, once again, worked with French designer, Philippe Stark. To create this new model which comes in a variety of colors. Most immediate difference you'll notice between the two models is a weight loss. Thanks to a move from iron to aluminum and some other design alterations. The headphone is now 70% lighter, going from 325 grams to 270 grams. The finish on the headphone has also been changed form a soft to the touch plastic, to a swanky faux leather finish. The original Zik was one of the most high tech headphones and so is the Zik 2.0. It has touch controls on the right ear piece that allow you to adjust volume, pause your music, answer calls and skip tracks forward and back with a swipe of your finger. and the companion app allows you to tweak you're EQ settings, import custom settings, and raise and lower the intensity of the noise cancellation, wich proved to be quite affective in my test in the New York City subway. The headphone is equipped with 8 microphones, and there's a bone conduction sensor in the right earpiece that's supposed to help pick up low frequencies of your voice better for phone calls. You also get NFC tap to pair technology. And a sensor in the right ear piece that detects when the headphones aren't on your head and automatically pauses the music when you rest them on your neck. At last, one of the things that hasn't improved is the battery life. It's still around six hours with both bluetooth and noise cancelling activated. Which just isn't all that good. On longer flights you can listen to the headphone in wired mode with the bluetooth off and noise canceling on and get up to 18 hours of battery life. If the battery dies you can also continue using the headphone as a wired headphone, though it will sound a little stunted. One big plus is the battery that powers the headphone is replaceable, though I haven't seen a replacement battery for sale anywhere yet. As far as sound goes it's quite good for a Bluetooth headphone an improvement over the original sound. But at the same time, competitors have also improved the sound quality of their Bluetooth headphones. I compared it to the Beats Studio 2.0 which costs slightly less and also features noise cancelling because you can tweak the sound of the Zik 2.0 it's very hard to compare it to another headphone that has a fixed sound profile. But what I did find was that the Zeep 2.0 sounded better with some tracks, while the Beats was superior with others. In the end, this is an impressively engineered, strikingly designed headphone that's loaded with features and is an improvement over the original Zeep both in terms of design and performance over as good as I think it is, I can also see how it might not appeal to everyone. Particularly those who want to keep things simple and not bother with an add on app and tweaking their EQ settings. I'm David Carway, that's the Parrot Zik 2.0, thanks for watching.