PROS / An on-off sensor on the ear cup automatically pauses your music when you take the headphones off, which saves a lot of battery life.
CONS / These headphones do very little to block noise, and the ear cup design doesn’t lend itself well to sealing out noise either.
VERDICT / The Parrot Zik used to be cutting-edge Bluetooth headphones, but its basic design hasn’t kept up the pace with other leading brands. However, these headphones are still beautiful and connect via Bluetooth very easily.
The Parrot Zik 3 makes our list of the best noise-cancelling headphones because it's a classic hybrid of Bluetooth and ANC. The original Zik was among the first to combine noise cancellation with wireless headphones, and it still has one of the most stylish and attractive designs, but three iterations later, some features are lacking.
We categorize the Parrot Zik 3 as Bluetooth headphones primarily, its noise-cancelling function being a distant second. The difference between ANC on and ANC off is negligible at best, as we only experienced an average of 2-3 dB more sound canceled. In the overall cancellation test, while listening to music, our reviewers could hear sounds just 10 dB higher. For context, if you’re listening to music with the Zik 3, you’ll be able to hear your dishwasher running in the background.
Compared to the other best noise-cancelling wireless headphones, the Parrot Zik has a quiet, delicate sound. While this might protect your hearing, it just isn't exciting. The bass is disappointing and the overall soundscape very thin. As for noise cancelling, you can’t hear the ANC buzz in the background, which is a major bonus. However, when you turn ANC on, the volume level automatically decreases.
Battery life is also a bit lacking at under six hours with both ANC and Bluetooth on. During our full volume test, the Zik 3 only lasted four hours and 14 minutes, way less than the next shortest pair at 10 hours. Even wired, without Bluetooth and ANC, this set only lasts 18 hours, which is again hours short of all the other headphones we reviewed.
We ranked the best wireless noise-cancelling headphones with comfort in mind, as the best headphones shouldn’t give you migraines. Our team of reviewers found the Parrot Zik 3 has weirdly shaped ear cups that sit rigid and tight. These wireless noise-cancelling headphones also weigh nearly 10 ounces, so it feels like they’re clamping down on your head after just a few minutes. This set has an on-off sensor in the ear cup that pauses the music if you take the headphones off. However, drinking water, talking, chewing gum or other jaw-moving exercises randomly paused the music during our testing. Saving battery is great, but not at the cost of convenience.
In our noise-cancelling headphones review, the Parrot Zik 3 just didn’t perform as well as other headphones. It's still one of the most stylish, well-designed pairs out there, but comfort and noise cancelling are rather compromised.