Parrot hosted a breakfast event at IFA this morning to introduce its high end Zik 3 headphones to the world. The latest version of the well-received Zik range will launch in Europe later this year and should hit Australian shores in 2016.
The most obvious change for Zik 3 is the introduction of some premium fashionable textures for the outer cups of the headphones. Where previously the Zik and Zik 2.0 offered smooth leather on its outward-facing panels, Parrot’s added three choices to the Zik 3 that give the headphones a distinct new personality – the shiny croc texture and overstitched details are available in a number of colours, while you can also get the classic leather grain in black if you’re more traditional.
The red and black models were on display at the booth this morning, so we took a bit of a closer look at them. As before, Parrot’s soft leather is lovely to hold in the hand.
The big change internally is that Zik 3 has Qi wireless charging built in, and can be fully charged in 2 hours. The Zik Wireless Charger is “a pillow for your headphones” – you just rest the left earpiece on the charger.
Parrot is also adding an Android Wear component, giving access to some of the audio adjustment features of the headphones like noise cancelling levels or the sound stage profile and equalizer without having to take out your phone to do so.
Zik 3’s noise cancelling technology is evolving. There are 7 microphones around the body of the headphones, 4 of which are used for acoustic noise cancelling. On previous models, you’d have to change the setting yourself but the Zik 3 will use its microphones to adjust the setting automatically and keep a consistent sound level in your ears.
You can also connect Zik 3 to a USB port for high quality lossless USB audio, a feature Parrot says it’s added in response to user feedback on Zik 2.0.
An interesting moon-shot feature that Parrot is talking about for Zik 3 is the ability to create a “world noise map”, plotting location (from your phone) against decibel level. They’re intending to create a Google Map experience to determine which areas are more likely to need higher noise cancellation and which areas are quiet, or the noisiest and quietest cities in the world. The data is collected by Parrot and has no personally identifiable information.
There’s no price set for Zik 3 yet – Parrot says they’re still deciding whether to include the wireless charger or not – but a premium product commands a premium price and we’re expecting a European launch price of at least €299. It’ll launch in some European markets by November, and should be available in Australia in early 2016.
Will you be looking to make Zik 3 your next headphones? Tell us in the comments!