Parrot Zik 3
The Parrot Zik 3 is similar in terms of pricing to the JBL Everest Elite 700, so not that much under the more expensive models of this test. The design is clearly one of the main points of this pair, with the way the earcups are attached to the strap and the accents here and there. These headphones sit fairly tightly on top of our heads, however it does not become a burden in our opinion. There aren't any buttons, however there is a micro USB connection that can be used to charge the built-in battery. It's worth noting that the battery is replaceable. You can connect the headphones to an audio source in three ways, a wireless one (Bluetooth), a wired one (3.5 mm audio jack) or using USB. This means that the headphones feature a built-in DAC.
The lack of buttons does not mean that you cannot control the device. The right earcup features a touch-sensitive layer, that you can use to adjust the volume, pick up phone calls, pause music, or skip/go back to a song. Only the volume controls work if you connect the headphones using a 3.5mm jack, all other features only work with if you've connected the headphones with one of the other two methods. Moreover, the device has a built-in sensor that registers when you remove the headphones from your head. It will then immediately pause your music. If you put them back on, it will continue where you left off. Parrot also has an app for the Zik 3. You can change the level of noise reduction and select from a couple of presets that have to do with music playback.
We don't have many bad things to say about the Zik 3's audio quality. The various frequency areas are well-balanced in general, although the lows are a bit overrepresented, especially with noise reduction enabled. This never becomes disturbing however. In terms of audio quality this is definitely one of the better ones from this test. The noise cancellation is also excellent and is not much worse than the noise cancellation of for example the Bose headphones. We did notice a directional problem however, as it did not block the same amount of noise from various angles.