Gadget of the week: Muzik to the ears

The Parrot-Starck partnership has given us headphones that offer much more than just the joy of listening to tunes

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Tabloid on Saturday

What is it?

French wireless products company Parrot's association with product designer Phillipe Starck (remember the Zikmu speakers?) just got a whole lot better: Now presenting … the Parrot Zik wireless headphone.

 

What's special about it?

Besides the illustrious association with Starck, whose Zikmu speakers are now legendary in the design world, the Zik is one striking piece of a headphone. With everyone from Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga now developing their own, the headphone market has recently become a hot segment. But standing out in the crowd shouldn't be an issue with the Zik: Its retro-ish look blends luxurious-looking synthetic leather pads with some high-tech stuff such as the touch-sensitive controls on the exterior muffs. You can, for instance, slide your finger up and down for volume controls and forward to change tracks.

There's also a neat accelerometer included. This means the headphone understands when you take it off and pauses the music. It resumes once you put it on again. NFC (near field communication) has also been included. This means that if you tap your supporting device gently on the headphones, it will pair immediately.

 

All these nice features are fine. What about the sound?

Well, we will be able to give you better feedback once we get our hands on the Zik, but initial reviews have been glowing in terms of the sound quality. Remember this headphone was showcased at the CES earlier this year. Parrot says it has used its own patented noise cancelling technology which eliminates up to 25 decibels. Early reviewers have said even people right next to you are muted when you have the headphones on.

The Zik is not just a glorified headphone, it is also a headset, so you can answer calls wirelessly. There is also a 3.5mm jack for a cable if you'd rather go wired. Charging is via a mini-USB.

 

So when is it available and for how much?

The Parrot Zik will be available in the UAE from July. Although the company has not announced a price, early reviewers have suggested approximately Dh1,500.