By David Ponce
Headphones can be boring to write about. But when they’re designed by Philipe Stark and pack as much tech as these, they pique even our blasé minds. “Alongside the standard Bluetooth connectivity, Parrot’s new Zik headphones feature active noise cancellation technology, a touch panel on the right earpiece, a head detection sensor, bone conduction sensor, five microphones and, in a headphone first, integrated near field communication (NFC) technology.” The active noise cancellation senses outside noises and produces “opposite waves” to eliminate up to 25dB of ambient noise. The touch panel on the right ear cup lets you interact with your music: a left/right swipe changes songs, up/down toggles the volume, a single press answers a phone call and a two second press rejects it. The head detection sensor automatically pauses the music then you take them off your head. The bone conduction sensor keeps track of the vibrations in your head and jaw and allows it to better isolate your voice from the ambient noise, and make it easier for your interlocutor to hear you. And finally the NFC makes Bluetooth pairing easier: just tap a compatible device to the left ear cup.
Assuming the sound quality is on par with other headphones in this price range, Parrot may have a winner on its hands. It’s $400.