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Reviewed on Mar 30, 2018 , Marc Henney

Parrot Zik 3.0
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches:

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
6.7
Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
6.6
Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
7.1
Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
6.8
Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
7.0
Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
5.8
TV
Score components:
5.6
Gaming
Score components:
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Parrot Zik 3.0 are decent headphones for most use cases with a stylish and well-engineered build quality. They feel solid and look premium. They also deliver a nice, exciting sound that's customizable with the Parrot app. They're decently comfortable and isolate well in loud environemnts thanks to their strong noise canceling. However, the touch controls are prone to mistakes and can get slightly frustrating and their battery life is considerably shorter than more recent wireless over-ears.

Test Results
Design 7.2
Sound 6.4
Isolation 7.6
Microphone not tested
Active Features 6.9
Connectivity 6.0
Pros
  • Great sturdy and durable design.
  • Feature packed.
  • Minimal self-noise generated by ANC.
Cons
  • Sensitive touch controls.
  • Poor treble audio reproduction.
Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

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7.2

Design

Score components:
Parrot Zik 3.0 Design Picture

The Parrot Zik 3.0 are amazingly well-built and decently comfortable headphones. The ear cups and headband are well padded and do not exert too much pressure on the head. The sturdy metal frame makes them feel durable and able to withstand moderate physical stress and the ear cups fit well around most ears although they're not as well-padded as the Bose QuietComfort 35 or the Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless. The touch controls are a nice addition but too sensitive at times, causing mistaken inputs.

Style
Parrot Zik 3.0 Design Picture 2

The Parrot Zik 3 are superbly well-crafted headphones. Their design looks and feels premium. They haven't changed much from the Zik 2.0, retaining the sleek modern look and two-tone color scheme of black for the padding and ear cups and the metallic silver for the frame and hinges. The 3.0 come in a variety of colors, some with a patterned finish on the ear cups and headband, for added flare and style.

7.0 Comfort
What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Parrot Zik 3.0 Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.62 lbs
Clamping Force
What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
0.94 lbs

The Parrot Zik 3.0 is a moderately comfortable set of headphones. The decently sized ear cups are well padded and fit around most ears quite well, although the ear cup opening is a little on the small side. They don't feel too heavy when on the head and don't exert too much pressure, so you won't get sore after longer listening sessions.

7.1 Controls
What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
Parrot Zik 3.0 Controls Picture
Ease of use : Mediocre
Feedback : Subpar
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : Adjustable
Talk-Through : Adjustable
Additional Buttons : No

The button layout and functionality is essentially the same as that of the previous model. The touch-sensitive track pad is a nice addition and gives you sufficient control over your audio. Unfortunately, the touch-sensitive controls are a little too prone to mistaken inputs and the delay can sometimes cause additional unnecessary inputs.

6.5 Breathability
What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
Parrot Zik 3.0 Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 5.6 C

The Zik 3.0, like most closed-back over-ear headphones, are not very breathable. The ear cups create a decent seal around the ears which prevents a lot of airflow and makes your ears fairly warm during extended listening sessions. They won't be the headphones for more intense sports since they will make you sweat more than average but they should be fine for more casual use cases.

6.2 Portability
What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
Parrot Zik 3.0 Portability Picture
L : 8.27 "
W : 6.69 "
H : 1.57 "
Volume : 87.11 Cu. Inches
Stand required : N/A

The Zik Parrot 3 are moderately portable. They are mid-sized over-ear headphones with relatively small ear cups that fold flat, to not take too much space. They will easily fit into a backpack, but sadly, they do not fold up into a more compact format, which may be too bulky for a handbag or pockets, even larger jacket pockets.

5.5 Case
What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Parrot Zik 3.0 Case Picture
Type : Pouch
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

Like the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, the Zik 3.0 come with a soft pouch that will protect the headphones from scratches and does not add bulk. However, it will not protect the headphones from hard falls, which is disappointing given the headphone's premium appeal.

8.5 Build Quality
What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Parrot Zik 3.0 Build Quality Picture

The Parrot Zik 3.0 are a remarkably well-built pair of headphones. The metal frame feels robust and sturdy, able to withstand physical stress without deforming or breaking. The ear cups also feel dense and solid, which overall makes for a very durable headphone that looks sleek and high-end thanks to the premium materials used.

7.0 Stability
What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Parrot Zik 3.0 Stability Picture

The Parrot Zik 3 are tight enough in your head, to not slip or fall, during casual listening sessions. Unfortunately, they are not meant for sports and won't be ideal for gym use. The weight of the earcups causes them to sway while running or jumping and they will eventually slip off your ears during high-intensity activities. On the upside, they can be used wirelessly, which removes the chances of the audio cable getting hooked on something and pulling the headphones off your head.

Cable
Parrot Zik 3.0 Cable Picture
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.06 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRRS

These headphones come with two cables; USB for charging and 1/8" TRRS-TRRS for connecting via wire.

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Headshots 1
Headshots 2
6.4

Sound

What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
Parrot Zik 3.0 Frequency Response

The Parrot Zik 3.0 is an average sounding pair of closed-back over-ear headphones. They have a consistent, deep, and thumpy bass, with just the right amount of body and punch. Their mid-range is also good and even, but lacks a bit of emphasis on vocals and lead instruments.

Their treble, however, lacks a significant amount of detail and brightness and sounds a bit honky, which will be specially noticed on vocals, leads, and cymbals. This makes the headphones rather versatile, but better suited for bass-heavy genres like EDM, dubstep, and hip-hop, and may not be best for vocal-centric genres like folk, indie, and rock. Additionally, they have a very good imaging, but like most other headphones, they don't have a large and speaker-like soundstage.

8.8 Bass
What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Parrot Zik 3.0 Bass
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.81 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.22 dB
Mid-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.7 dB
High-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.34 dB

The Parrot Zik 3 have a great bass. Their LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, and their sub-bass is hyped by about 3dB, which some may find pleasing. However, mid-bass and high-bass are quite even and flat, and within 1dB of our neutral target. Overall, the bass of the Parrot is deep, thumpy, and punchy, yet still well-balanced and not boomy or cluttered.

7.6 Mid
What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Parrot Zik 3.0 Mid
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.18 dB
Low-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.95 dB
Mid-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-2.64 dB
High-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.86 dB

The headphones have a good mid-range. Low-mid is even and flat, but underemphasized by about 2dB. This thins out the body of vocals and lead instruments slightly. Mid-mid is also recessed by about 3dB, which nudges vocals and lead instruments towards the back of the mix. The overemphasis in high-mid however, adds excess intensity and projection to vocals and leads and could make them sound a bit honky.

5.2 Treble
What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Parrot Zik 3.0 Treble
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
5.74 dB
Low-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-3.82 dB
Mid-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-2.54 dB
High-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.85 dB

The treble is sub-par. The overall response is rather uneven throughout the range, but relatively well-balanced except for the 15dB dip centered around 5KHz. This will have a noticeably negative effect on the detail and brightness, especially on vocals, lead instruments, and cymbals.

Raw Frequency Response
What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by RTINGS.com.
Score components:
8.2 Frequency Response Consistency
What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
Parrot Zik 3.0 Consistency L Parrot Zik 3.0 Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.36 dB

The frequency response consistency is great. In the bass range, the maximum deviation across our five human subjects is about 1dB, which is excellent. In the treble range, the maximum deviation below 10KHz is about 3dB, which is also very good. Overall, bass and treble delivery of the Parrot will be very consistent across multiple users and re-seats.

8.8 Imaging
What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
Parrot Zik 3.0 Group Delay Parrot Zik 3.0 Phase Response
Weighted Group Delay
What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.17
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.41
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.53
Weighted Phase Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
6.0

The imaging is very good. Their weighted group delay is at 0.17, which is very low. The GD graph also shows that the entire group delay response is below our audibility threshold. This indicates a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit showed very good amplitude and frequency matching, but the phase matching could use some improvement in the treble range. This won't have a significant effect on the localization and placement of objects (voices, instruments, and video game effects) in the stereo image, but could skew the perceived shape of it slightly.

2.1 Soundstage
What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
Parrot Zik 3.0 PRTF
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
8.83 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.14 dB
PRTF Distance
What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
-0.95 dB
Openness
What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
2.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
2.8
Correlated Crosstalk
What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.01 dB

The soundstage is poor. The PRTF graph shows that their response doesn't follow our reference at all. There is not a lot of pinna (outer ear) activation, the present activation has very little accuracy, and there is not "10KHz notch" present. This results in a soundstage that may be perceived as small, unnatural, and located inside the listener's head. Also, due to the closed-back design and high isolation, their soundstage won't sound as open as that of open-back headphones either.

6.6 Total Harmonic Distortion
What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Parrot Zik 3.0 Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
3.382
Weighted THD @ 100
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
24.711

The harmonic distortion performance of the Parrot Zik 3 is about average. The overall amount of THD is rather elevated throughout the range, but it is especially pronounced in the treble range around 5KHz. This could make the sound around those frequencies a bit harsh and fatiguing.

7.6

Isolation

Score components:

The Parrot Zik 3 provide great isolation in loud environments. The medium-sized ear cups create a decent seal around the ear for passive isolation, which combined with the great noise cancellation, will substantially reduce the ambient noise of a daily commute or an international flight. The active cancellation also barely generates any self-noise, which is a plus and the ear cups do not let a lot of sound escape which means you can listen to your music at higher than average volumes without the leakage being distracting to those around you.

7.6 Noise Isolation
What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Parrot Zik 3.0 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
What it is: The simulated noise isolation of the headphones, demonstrating how much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording. For headphones with ANC (active noise cancellation), the playback simulates the isolation with ANC enabled.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
:
Overall Attenuation
What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-20.59 dB
Bass
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-14.44 dB
Mid
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-15.18 dB
Treble
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-31.95 dB
Self-Noise
What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
17.11 dB

The (ANC) active noise isolation performance is great. In the bass range, occupied by the rumble of airplane and bus engines, the Parrot Zik 3 achieve 15dB of isolation, which is good. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they reduce outside noise by almost 20dB, which is excellent. In the treble range, occupied by sharp S and T sounds, the isolation is about 34dB, which is very good.

7.6 Leakage
What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Parrot Zik 3.0 Leakage
Leakage Audio
What it is: The simulated sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
36.38 dB

The leakage performance of the Zik 3.0 is good. The significant portion of their leakage is between 1KHz and 6KHz, which is a narrow range. This means that their leakage will mostly consist of sharp S and T sounds, especially from vocals and cymbals. Also, the overall level of leakage is not loud. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage peaks at 60dB at 1 foot away, which is just above the noise floor of most offices.

Microphone

What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
Integrated
What it is: The microphone integrated in the ear cup or ear bud of a wireless headphone.
When it matters: For calls, gaming and voice over IP software or for any other use of the microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
In-line
What it is: The microphone inside the in-line remote of audio cables for wired and wireless headsets.
When it matters: In-line microphone are usually better than integrated mics. If you need better recording quality and noise handling for calls, gaming and voice over IP software then use the audio cable of your wired or wireless headphone if it has an inline microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Boom
What it is: A typically better microphone, that's also adjustable and extends so that the mic is closer to your mouth.
When it matters: Much better recording quality and noise handling than in-line or integrated mics. Primarily used for gaming and voice over IP software.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Detachable Boom
What it is: A boom mic that is detachable from the headset.
When it matters: If you want to use your headphone outdoors without the bulk and hassle of the Boom mic.
:
No

The microphone of the Parrot Zik 3.0 was not tested, due to issues regarding connecting them to our test computer.

6.9

Active Features

What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

The Parrot Zik 3 have a relatively short battery life but have good power saving features and come with a great app. They only last about 5 hours when used continuously at moderate-to-high volumes and take up to 2 hours to charge which is below average compared to more recent headphones like the Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless. On the upside, they come with one of the most feature-packed apps we've tested. It's easy-to-use and offers great customization option for the sound profile and noise cancellation feature.

6.7 Battery
What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Battery Type
What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
5 hrs
Charge Time
What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
2 hrs
Power Saving Feature
What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
Yes
Audio while charging
What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when your relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
Yes
Passive Playback
What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
No

The Parrot Zik 3 have a faster charging time than the Zik 2.0 but run out of power quicker. They have a subpar battery life for a full-size over-ear model lasting only about 5 hours when all the active features were enabled. This means they won't be ideal for very long flights or road trips. However, they can charge while playing audio, which may be convenient if your traveling by train or plane and have access to a power source.

8.5 App Support
What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Parrot Zik 3.0 App Picture
App Name : Parrot Zik
iOS : Yes
Android : Yes
Mac OS : Yes
Windows : Yes
Equalizer
What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
Parametric + Presets
ANC control
What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
Adjustable
Mic Control : No
Room effects
What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
Yes
Playback control
What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
Yes
Button Mapping : No
Surround Sound : N/A

The Parrot Zik suite is one of the best headphones apps we've tested so far. It gives you access to a graphic and an advanced parametric equalizer with presets. It also allows you to control the amount of noise canceling provided. There's an auto-off timer, an in-app player, and a community feature, that allows members of the app to share presets and equalizers configurations.

Zik 3.0 Parametric Equalizer

Zik 3.0 ANC control

Zik 3.0 Community

6.0

Connectivity

What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: To know how compatible your Bluetooth device, console or PC will be with your wired or wireless headset.
Score components:
  • 10% Bluetooth
  • 33% Wired
  • 10% Base/Dock
  • 22% Wireless Range
  • 25% Latency

The Parrot Zik 3.0 are Bluetooth headphones with NFC support but cannot pair simultaneously with multiple devices. On the upside, they also come with a simple audio cable as a secondary connection option in case the battery runs out. They have a good wireless range but, like most Bluetooth headphones, they have a bit too much latency for watching a lot of video content wirelessly or for gaming.

8.0 Bluetooth
What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: To connect wirelessly to Bluetooth sources like your phone, tablet, console, PC and TV.
Score components:
  • 80% Multi-Device Pairing
  • 20% NFC
  • <1% PS4 Compatible
  • <1% Xbox One Compatible
Bluetooth Version : 3.0
Multi-Device Pairing
What it is: A Bluetooth profile that allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources, and have full call and media support on both/all devices they are connected to.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example, switching from your phone to your home or work PC and still have call and media support on both devices.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
No
NFC
What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your PS4.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your Xbox one.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No

These headphones have NFC support for easy pairing but cannot connect simultaneously to multiple devices. Pairing is also a bit difficult as you manually set the headphones into pairing mode. They're either connected to a device or always in pairing mode which is not ideal.

7.2 Wired
What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: For all devices with a regular audio jack (line-out) and also compatibility of the in-line remote/boom microphone with consoles and Personal computers.
Score components:
  • 13% Analog
  • 9% USB
  • 26% PS4 Compatible
  • 26% Xbox One Compatible
  • 26% PC Compatible
Cable Tested : Not OS specific
Analog
What it is: A regular 1/8" TRS audio jack or a 1/4 or 1/16 TRS with a 1/8 TRS adapter.
When it matters: For all devices with a line out.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
USB
What it is: A USB or USB adapter to connect to your devices for audio and microphone.
When it matters: A digital USB adapter usually offers a slight advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC, and amplifier module or software support and compatibility with PCs. However it may not be as compatible with consoles.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only
PC Compatible
What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only

These headphones come with a simple audio cable that does not have an in-line remote or microphone. This means they will only provide audio when connected to your Xbox or PS4 controller.

0 Base/Dock
What it is: The base station, dock or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a proprietary frequency range.
When it matters: Knowing the inputs and outputs of the base/dock/dongle as well as its compatibility with consoles and Personal Computers. Also whether the base supports dock charging to easily recharge the headphones without any cables.
Score components:
  • 5% Optical Input
  • 22% Line In
  • 5% Line Out
  • 22% USB Input
  • 4% RCA Input
  • 9% PS4 Compatible
  • 9% Xbox One Compatible
  • 9% PC Compatible
  • 2% Power Supply
  • 13% Dock Charging
Wireless Type
What it is: The type of wireless connection used by the base station/dock to communicate with the headphones.
When it matters: For latency and range. For example Radio frequency has low latency but mediocre range when obstructed and proprietary docks have their own 2.x GHz or 5 GHz frequency which varies in performance.
:
N/A
Optical Input
What it is: Optical input for audio.
When it matters: Optical can carry a bit more data at faster speeds than typical wired connection which allows for more high quality, lossless audio.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line In
What it is: The regular wired input via a 1/8" TRS audio jack.
When it matters: For any device that has a line out for audio transmission.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line Out
What it is: A regular 1/8TRS audio jack output.
When it matters: If you need to share the audio source with other devices. A line out lets you connect other headphones or speakers to the dock/base station.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB Input
What it is: A digital USB input instead of a typical 1/8 TRS line-in.
When it matters: A USB connection can provide both an audio input and power to the Dock or Base station.
:
N/A
RCA Input
What it is: Audio input using via an RCA connectors.
When it matters: Provides better stereo audio to the dock/base that's then transmitted to the headphones.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with your Personal Computer.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Power Supply
What it is: The connector type of the power source.
When it matters: The accessibility of the power source. For example a power supply with USB/USB-C connects to multiple devices, PC , PS4, Xbox One or even with your regular phone charger whereas a A/C adapter is less common.
Good value: USB/USB-C
:
N/A
Dock Charging
What it is: Charging the headphones via the dock/base station instead of a charging cable.
When it matters: It makes charging your headphones easier and gives you a sport to store your headphones when they are not in use.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A

These headphones do not have a base/dock. If you want a versatile headset with a base that you can also use wired, check out the Arctis 7 by SteelSeries.

7.7 Wireless Range
What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry.
Score components:
Obstructed Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
36 ft
Line of Sight Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
93 ft

The Zik 3.0 have decent wireless range. They perform slightly worse than the Zik 2.0 but still manage to achieve a range of 30+ ft without any audio loss, when the Bluetooth source is placed in another room. However, they won't be the most reliable for large offices or big homes with a lot of rooms and walls.

4.4 Latency
What it is: How long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen.
Score components:
Default Latency
What it is: The Base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos a high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
145 ms
aptX Latency
What it is: An audio coding algorithm (Codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if your often streaming music over Bluetooth. Also it slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos or gaming latency is a lot more noticeable than just listening to music.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5ms
:
N/A

The Zik 3.0 have a bit too much latency to be suitable for gaming or for watching a lot of video content. They perform a bit better than typical Bluetooth headset at 145ms of latency which won't be as noticeable but if you want the best experience when watching movies use them wired.

In the box

Parrot Zik 3.0 In the box Picture

  • Parrot Zik 3.0 Headphones
  • Carrying pouch
  • Audio cable
  • USB cable
  • Manual

Compared to other Headphones

Parrot Zik 3.0 Compare Picture

The Parrot Zik 3.0 are well-built headphones with a decent, slightly bass-heavy sound quality that's easily customizable with the Parrot Zik app. Their noise canceling is also efficient enough to block the ambient noise of most environments and most commutes. Unfortunately, the touch-sensitive control scheme can get a little frustrating and their battery life is a lot shorter than some of the more recent headphones we've tested.

Bose QuietComfort 35

The Bose QuietComfort 35 are a slightly better wireless headset than the Parrot Zik 3.0. The Bose QC35 are a lot more comfortable and lightweight when compared to the Parrot Zik 3.0. They're also easier to use with a better-balanced default sound and a much longer battery life. They also have a slightly stronger isolation performance, but you cannot control their level of isolation. This is where the Parrot Zik performs better than the Bose. They have a lot more customization options that you can edit and change with the Zik app. You can EQ their sound quality, noise cancellation and even room effects. You can also share presets with other Zik 3.0 owners. Lastly, the Zik 3.0 are much better built and look more premium than the Bose QC 35.

Parrot Zik 2.0

The Parrot Zik 3.0 are slightly better than the Zik 2.0 but not by much. The Zik 3.0 have a slightly more durable design with ear cup pads that will last longer than on the Zik 2.0. The Zik 3.0 are a bit more customizable and have fewer bugs in their software than the Zik 2.0. The 2.0, on the other hand, have a slightly stronger isolation profile that isn't as adaptive but cancels a bit more noise overall. 

Sony WH-1000XM2

The Sony WH-1000XM2 are a slightly better wireless headset than the Parrot Zik 3.0. The Sonys have a much better battery life and a more optimized and adaptive noise cancellation feature than the Zik 3.0. They're also easier to use with a better-balanced default sound and a much longer battery life. They also sound a little better than the Zik 3.0 out of the box and have a better wireless range. On the upside, the Parrot Zik have a slightly sleeker and more durable build quality. They also leak a bit less at higher volumes and have less latency for watching movies and playing video games. 

Bose QuietComfort 25

If you want a wired headset, then the Bose QuietComfort 25 are a better choice but if you prefer a wireless option for most of your use cases, then get the Parrot Zik 3.0 instead. The Zik 3.0 have a lot more features and also come with an audio cable to use wired. They have a sturdier more durable and premium looking design than the Bose. They also have a customizable sound since they are active headphones that come with a good app. The QuietComfort 25, on the other hand, have a much more comfortable over-ear fit that you can wear for hours without fatigue. They also have a slightly better sound quality and an easier-to-use design for most users.

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless

The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless are also well built and durable wireless headphones for every day casual use. They have a slightly darker sound than the Parrots but like the Zik 3, you can EQ them to sound a bit better. On the upside, they have a much longer battery life, and they're bit easier to use with a more tactile control scheme that's less prone to erroneous inputs. Unfortunately for their price, they do not perform as well as the Sennheiser PXC 550 wireless but are still a decent alternative to the Zik 3.0.

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Conclusion
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6.7Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
The Parrot Zik 3 make for decent everyday headphones. They have an above-average sound quality that's highly customizable. They also isolate enough for most environments and do not leak much. This makes them versatile enough for most use cases but their short battery life may be somewhat of a deal breaker for some listeners. Also although they perform much better than typical Bluetooth headphones, they still have a bit too much latency to be suitable for gaming and watching movies.
6.6Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Decent for critical listening. They have a have a moderately well-balanced sound with a lot of bass. However, they also have a slight bump in the high-mid that pushes instrument a bit too forward in the mix but isn't as detailed because the treble is a bit recessed. They also have a closed back design that prevents them from creating a spacious soundstage. But on the upside, you can always EQ them to sound a bit more the way you like, and although they won't be the best headphones for more critical listeners, their sound quality should be good enough for most.
7.1Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
Good for commuting. The Parrot 3 are comfortable and have a decent control scheme. They're well built but are not too cumbersome and additionally their great adaptive noise canceling works well in loud environments. They would fare well on a busy commute or noisy flight.
6.8Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
Decent for sports use. They're comfortable and wireless, with a good control scheme. However, their size and design are not be optimized for strenuous exercises. They will make your ears fairly warm and they are not the most stable headphones for more intense exercises.
7.0Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Suitable for office use. They don't leak much at regular volumes and isolate enough to prevent the ambient noise of a lively office from seeping into your audio.
5.8TV
Score components:
Below-average for home theater use. The Parrot Zik 3 have a decently comfortable design and a good wireless range. However, their latency is a bit too high for watching movies and a lot of video content. On the upside, they also come with a regular audio cable which solves the latency issue but it's short and you may need an extension cord for your home theater setup.
5.6Gaming
Score components:
Below-average for gaming. They have a decent sound with a lot of bass and a good wireless range. Unfortunately, they have a mediocre-at-best integrated mic and a lot of latency which is not really suitable for gaming.

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