First introduced at CES 2012, the Parrot Zik by Starck over-ear headphones have caused a stir among computer audiophiles. Featuring superior noise-canceling technology, these headphones allow the user to not only listen to music wirelessly, but also make and receive phone calls with excellent clarity, thanks to the Jawbone Sensor mics built into the ear cup.
An embedded NFC chip enables the listener to pair a NFC capable smartphone like the Blackberry Curve or Nokia N9 with just a tap on the outside of the ear cup, and Bluetooth 2.1 technology makes it just as easy to pair other devices like the Apple iPhone or the Droid RAZR. Flipping through tracks or changing volume are as simple as a swipe of the finger on the right ear cup. One of the coolest features is the DSP (Digital Signal Processing) chip, which allows the listener to choose one of the standard EQ settings, like Parrot Concert Hall, or manually adjust the EQ using the companion iOS or Android app. Another great addition is the accelerometer, which automatically pauses or plays when the headset is removed or in use.
The unit houses 2 outer microphones (for noise canceling), 3 smaller interior mics, the Jawbone sensor, a micro-usb port, and a battery that provides between 5 – 20 hours of wireless listening, depending on usage. Once the battery runs out, you can switch it out for the optional back-up battery, or simply use a 3.5mm audio cable for passive listening. Some reviewers thought the headphones were a little heavy at first, just over 12 ounces, but felt that Philippe Starck’s sleek design handled the weight comfortably.
Available at the end of July, the Parrot Zik by Philippe Starck is certain to be on any mobile audiophile’s gadget wishlist.