Parrot is better-known for its drones, but the company just announced brand new high-end headphones, the Zik 2.0. They are colorful, feature-packed and different. You can tweak sound settings for each and every different song so that they sound closer to the perfect sound for your ears. In other words, it’s a hipster’s dream.
Like its predecessor, the Zik 2.0 is a Bluetooth pair of headphones with active noise cancellation. This time, the Zik is a bit lighter and has more features.
On the right ear cup, you will be able to control your music with a swipe of a finger. Swipe right to skip to the next track, swipe up to raise the volume, etc. You can pair your phone with NFC, and plug an audio cable to get better battery life.
The rest happens on the phone. Thanks to a companion app, you can mess with the equalizer, control how much of the street noise you want to hear and create a concert hall effect, which recreates the acoustic of… a concert hall.
All of these settings can be tweaked and saved for individual songs. You could spend hours optimizing your settings for a long audio playlist.
That’s why I’m probably not the right customer for these headphones. When I’m looking for a good pair of headphones, I want something that sounds as much as possible like the original record. I don’t want to change the tone of the song to something completely different.
Listening to music is mostly a passive activity for me. I pick an album or playlist, hit play and move along to do something else. Having to fiddle with the settings all the time sounds tiring. The Zik 1 had good reviews when it comes to sounds quality, and I’m sure that this one will also perform well. But I don’t want to pay more for features I won’t use.
Yet, it’s interesting that Parrot is trying something different. When you can’t compete with well-established brands and come from a very different industry, you need to differentiate yourself. These features are the same reasons why some people still like to buy and use film cameras, vinyls and fixie bikes.
It takes time to get used to these objects and get the most out of them. It’s a tradeoff. You give up on convenience for an improved end result. Moreover, you enjoy the process of looking for this improved end result.
The Zik 2.0 will be available in November, and we will have a full review for the release. They will cost $399 — this hefty price tag is hard to swallow. But it doesn’t really matter if you’re in the market for these kind of headphones. It looks more like an experience than a product.