Parrot Zik 3/Zik 3.0 Wireless Headphones Review

Updated Mar 30, 2018 at 03:42 pm
Parrot Zik 3/Zik 3.0 Wireless Picture
Usage Ratings - Version 1.3.1
6.8
Mixed Usage
6.5
Neutral Sound
7.2
Commute/Travel
7.0
Sports/Fitness
6.7
Office
5.3
Wireless Gaming
7.3
Wired Gaming
6.8
Phone Call
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.

Our Verdict

6.8 Mixed Usage

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.

6.5 Neutral Sound

Decent for neutral 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 neutral listeners, their sound quality should be good enough for most.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
7.2 Commute/Travel

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.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
7.0 Sports/Fitness

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.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
6.7 Office

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.

See our Office recommendations
5.3 Wireless Gaming

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.

See our Wireless Gaming recommendations
7.3 Wired Gaming
6.8 Phone Call
  • 6.8 Mixed Usage
  • 6.5 Neutral Sound
  • 7.2 Commute/Travel
  • 7.0 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.7 Office
  • 5.3 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.3 Wired Gaming
  • 6.8 Phone Call
Pros
  • Great sturdy and durable design.
  • Feature packed.
  • Minimal self-noise generated by ANC.
Cons
  • Sensitive touch controls.
  • Poor treble audio reproduction.
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  3. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  4. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

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
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.62 lbs
Clamping Force
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
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Mediocre
Feedback Subpar
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
N/A
Noise Cancelling 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
Design
Breathability
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
Design
Portability
L 8.27 "
W 6.69 "
H 1.57 "
Volume 87.11 Cu. Inches
Transmitter 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
Design
Case
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
Design
Build Quality

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
Design
Stability

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.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

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

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
1.45 db
Treble Amount
-0.64 db
8.2
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
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.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.7
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.81 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
3.22 dB
Mid-Bass
0.7 dB
High-Bass
-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
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.18 dB
Low-Mid
-1.95 dB
Mid-Mid
-2.64 dB
High-Mid
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
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
5.74 dB
Low-Treble
-3.82 dB
Mid-Treble
-2.54 dB
High-Treble
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.

5.9
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.55 db
Dips
3.08 db
8.8
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.17
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.41
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.53
Weighted Phase Mismatch
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.

1.9
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
8.83 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
2.14 dB
PRTF Distance
-0.95 dB
Openness
2.3
Acoustic Space Excitation
3.1

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.

7.5
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.277
WHD @ 100
0.160
Isolation
7.7
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-20.59 dB
Bass
-14.44 dB
Mid
-15.18 dB
Treble
-31.95 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.

7.5
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
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
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No

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

Active Features
6.2
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
5 hrs
Additional Charges
0
Total Battery Life
5 hrs
Charge Time
2 hrs
Power Saving Feature
Yes
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port micro-USB

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
Active Features
App Support
App Name Parrot Zik
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS Yes
Windows Yes
Equalizer
Parametric + Presets
ANC Control
Adjustable
Mic Control No
Room effects
Yes
Playback Control
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

Connectivity
7.5
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
3.0
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
Yes
Line of Sight Range
93 ft
Default Latency
145 ms
aptX Latency
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
N/A

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.

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.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable Yes
Length 4.06 ft
Connection 1/8" TRRS
Wired Latency
0 ms

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.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PC / PS4 Wired USB
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
N/A
USB Input
N/A
Line In
N/A
Line Out
N/A
Optical Input
N/A
RCA Input
N/A
Dock Charging
N/A
Power Supply
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.

Compared to other headphones

Comparison 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. See our recommendations for the best over-ear headphones, the best closed-back headphones, and the best wireless headphones.

Parrot Zik 2/Zik 2.0 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Parrot Zik 3.0 are slightly better than the Parrot Zik 2.0, but not by much. The Zik 3.0 have a slightly more durable design with earcup 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.

Bose QuietComfort 35/QC35 Wireless 2016
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Bose QuietComfort 35 are a slightly better wireless headset than the Parrot Zik 3.0. The Bose QC 35 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.

Sony WH-1000XM2 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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/QC25
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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.

Parrot Zik 3/Zik 3.0 Wireless Price

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