Parrot has revealed the Australian availability and pricing of its new wireless headphones – the ZIK. The headphones will be out in August with a hefty price tag, but unlike the Beats these might actually be worth it.
And not because it was designed by Phillipe Starck. I had the opportunity to have a little hands on with the headphones – sadly no video – and they do sound good.
The headphones are designed to be sturdy and comfortable based on the ear. It is entirely touch controlled with a capacitive panel on the left side, and wireless via Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity. It also features NFC support to allow for easy pairing between your device and the headphones. Another feature is “head detection” where, with sensor points, it will be able to determine if you are not wearing the headphones and stop the music accordingly.
The ZIK has noise cancellation with microphones outside to cancel surrounding noise, and two inside the cup to cancel residual noise. It is essentially, as one person told me, like being inside a bubble. The headphones also has the ability to make the sound of music surround you like being in a concert hall. And because it is meant to work with smartphones, you will also be able to use it for hands-free calling.
Parrot have also added a microUSB port for charging, and a line-in jack to allow it to work for non-Bluetooth devices – like the iPod nano, classic or this author’s Blackberry. If the battery runs out, it is still possible to use the headphones for sound, just without noise cancellation and other features.
For iOS and Android, there will also be an app available for download (the iPad app will be out soon, and the Android version by the time it launches in Australia). You will be able to control how the sound is ‘wrapped’ around you, change the equalizer and to turn on and off the active noise cancellation.
When asked about producing an app for Windows Phone and other platforms, a company spokeswoman said that there are currently no plans to do so. You will still be able to use it fully, but won’t be able to modify these settings and use the default.
The headphones will be out in August with a price tag of $499 through Apple stores before expanding to other retailers. We will have a review unit soon, so we’ll be able to test it out a bit more.
Gallery can be found below.