A Review of the Parrot Zik 2.0s

Remember the Parrot Zik headphones that came out a few years back. They looked absolutely amazing and performed well too. Now, the company has released a second generation pair that is called the “Zik 2.0”. While the name isn’t particularly different, it signifies that there have been several changes without affecting the aesthetics that impressed all of us so much.

To be honest, I would go as far as saying that the 2.0 is better looking when compared to the previous version. I say this because the model is a bit lighter in weight, looks smaller and has small alterations to the design (in a good way).

The ear cups have been made smaller without negatively affecting the incredibly soft material that is used to cover the cups. In addition to this, the rest of the structure is made from aluminum and there’s no plastic at all.

Parrot Zik 2.0 headphones

The sound features are probably the most impressive as these headphones are very flexible. One way they do this is through the app that lets you control the noise cancelling strength and the equalization. This means that you can choose the preset according to the genre of music. I think this has a big impact on the quality of sound that will flow through your ears.

The Parrot Zik 2.0s aren’t exactly headphones that you use in a studio. However, they would resemble something along the lines of a portable studio due to the ability you’ll have to alter music according to your needs.

The Best Studio Headphones under $100

I have mentioned this before. If you are building a home studio then you will need the best studio headphones that you can afford. Regardless of whether you are a professional artist or just someone who’s looking to produce in their spare time, good headphones will be essential. Even if you’re just planning to visit one, you will still need a good quality pair of headphones.

When looking for studio headphones, a good price point to start with is 100 dollars. This is especially important if you are just starting out in recording your own music.

There are a lot of top studio headphones under $100 available these days. But, the biggest problem is that they are just being titled this way to target customers. Most of these wouldn’t be suitable for professional recording at all. This means that you need to buy headphones with great caution.

By far the best headphones that I have ever used is the AKG K240. Just behind the K240s though are the Sony’s MDR7506s and Audio-Technica’s M30x. Audio Technica make top quality headphones with the M50x providing the best value for money. However, this model costs under 200 bucks and might not fit the budget set by a beginner.

Top 3 Picks

The AKG K240 studio headphones are easily our favorite pick of the bunch. They simply sound superb.The AKG K240s are extremely comfortable over-ear studio headphones that will perfectly satisfy the demand for long hours of use. This model is available in an open-backed style, which would be quite useful in a studio environment. This is because this would allow the producer to determine what the final version of the music will sound like. The cheap/affordable price range is probably biggest advantage as this model will cost less than 100 bucks. This means that you’re looking at a high quality product that is commonly used by famous professionals but at a decent price.

Sony make some amazing headphones and the MDR7506 studio headphones are certainly no exception.These Sony MDR7506s have a large diaphragm that is directed for professional use. Firstly, the cable is very long and this has an added advantage of carrying the set around easily. The product has awesome sound reproduction with great clarity and good bass. It is actually a well known fact that these Sonys are very popular amongst sound engineers. It has quite a bright sound signature that makes it easy to use. However, in my opinion, these probably won’t be perfect for serious producers.

Audio-Technica M30x headphonesAudio-Technica M30x is a quality pair that is balanced in all the essential features. The product is extremely comfortable, is foldable for portability and looks great too. The best thing about it is that it costs less than 100 bucks so I would consider the M30x to be one of the most impressive affordable headphones when it comes to the overall quality. With the sound, there is a good distribution of frequency and no particular component has been overemphasized. The M30x would be a good choice if you are planning to mix and master. However, this won’t be perfect if you are doing this professionally.

Final Words

Looking at the above products, it’s clear that they have great quality in them. However, the AKG K240s are probably the best studio headphones out of all three options.

In general, you will already know that such a limited budget won’t provide you with a perfect product. But, the 3 products above will at least do the job for you!


Beyerdynamic Announces their Latest Premium Gadgets

Beyerdynamic is a famous brand of music accessories and targets it’s products towards audiophiles and serious music enthusiasts. In all honesty, Beyerdynamic products have never disappointed me, with their T90 headphones being my personal favorites.

For this reason, I have been very excited ever since Beyerdynamic announced their new headphones. It seems as if these CUSTOM STUDIOs will be special due to some of the features. There are some impressive structural features that will allow the user to take control of the music when using them to record music. Let’s talk about the sound sliders/bass reflex vents as an example. These are located on the ear cups and will allow the user to alter the properties of the sound to what they prefer.

I must admit that I don’t know too much about this model yet. However, one thing I can say is that these sound very impressive. They seem to have a question mark over them in the sense that not many people know how we will be able to use these. I for one cannot wait to test out their full range of functions.

I look forward to testing these out in my own home studio and seeing the difference between these and the final result produced by my existing ones. I hope they won’t be too expensive either!

For now though, here’s a video of the introduction at Musikmesse 2015. It’s in German but hey, all we care about is the headphones.

What are the Best Beats by Dre Products to Use for Mixing?

Beats headphones have slowly found their way into most households these days. But as a serious audio enthusiast, what do I think of them?

As stated by most serious listeners, Beats by Dre products aren’t that impressive. In fact, they’re probably not impressive at all. They are just expensive and certainly don’t deliver the quality I would expect from such a premium product.

When it comes to recording music, the Beats Studio Wireless headphones come into mind straight away. However, the real studio cans made by the company are the Beats Pros. If you read the description of this product, it will indicate that the Pros are used by famous professionals. I’m not sure what you believe but I highly doubt this is true. I actually doubt that even Dr Dre uses them while he’s producing his music. As a matter of fact, he’s been spotted wearing Audio-Technica’s famous M50s in the image below.

Beats headphones are so bad, even Dr Dre himself doesn't use them.

For anyone who’s looking into buying Beats, I have a word of advice for you. Go for it if you really want but know this, you’ll be buying these for one reason and one reason only – the brand name and premium image. If you’re genuinely looking to buy a quality pair of headphones, then you need to look elsewhere because Beats are terrible for this purpose.

A Quick Look at Pioneer’s New SE-MASTER1s

The Pioneer brand is already known to produce some high quality professional headphones with the DJ line being especially impressive. But, the company has now announced their latest multifunctional headphones – the SE-MASTER1. This model has been designed to meet several functions required from high quality cans. This means that the SE-MASTER1s would be ideal to use for mixing, mastering and recording music in a studio setting.

Having looked into the design, I must say that the product looks impressive. This is due to the superb build quality, a characteristic that is typical in Pioneer products. The fact that the product is handmade by specialized craftsmen in Japan also indicates the potential of this mode.

This Pioneer model has been built in such a way that the vibrations don’t interfere with the music quality. The design also has detachable pressure rods which can be adjusted to obtain the right fitting and comfort that is so ideal when used in a studio. This will also have a positive impact on the noise isolation and coupled with high comfort levels, this model would be perfect for use for a long time.

These Pioneer SE-Master1 studio headphones sound really good but are also quite expensive.

There are lots of other beneficial features associated with the SE-MASTER1s. The cords are detachable, which also adds to the convenience factor.

The product has 50mm drivers built in along with a diaphragm made from aluminum. Obviously, these features sound impressive but it is impossible to speak of their contribution without testing the product. However, Pioneer believes that the SE-MASTER1s are more than just any reference-grade headphones.