Philippe Starck Zikmu Parrot - Altavoz
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Descripción del producto
Zikmu es el resultado de la fusión perfecta entre el diseño y la acústica. Se trata de un objeto elegante y de calidad que se integra perfectamente en el interior del hogar. Esta nueva generación de altavoces nace tras cerca de tres años de investigaciones, gracias a la ayuda de los mejores especialistas en audio. Su concepto se basa en una combinación exclusiva de distintas tecnologías acústicas, posible gracias a tratamientos de señal (DSP) avanzados. El resultado es un sonido inmejorable que emana de un equipo con un diseño esmerado y discreto.
Opiniones de clientes
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After installing all the software updates, I was able to stream music from my Mac laptop to the speakers via Wi-Fi, but it was short lived. Every time I turned off the speakers and fired them back up, streaming music from my laptop via Wi-Fi would stop working. I've managed to get it functional again, but it was after performing a whole bunch of maneuvers, and I'm not sure which one specifically worked. I would unplug the speakers and plug them back in (there really should be a reset button), as the Wi-Fi button on the speakers would stop responding unless I did and upload all the software updates again....and then maybe it'll work.
Also once in a while, I wouldn't be able to turn on the speakers, either using the remote or the speaker's "On" button, and would have to unplug and plug the speakers back in.
But what's worse is the customer service which is non-existent. I have yet to get a response from them and it's been 2 months now.
If I'm going to pay that much for speakers, I expect it to work flawlessly and get better customer service if I have problems.
Don't buy these speakers. It's not worth the hassle!
The sound is not bad by any means, but it is not really top-quality either. For this price one would expect a more refined sound. Bass is quite powerful for the size, it is a bit flabby, but it makes music sound quite powerful and smooth. What really put me off was the treble which is pretty dull and undetailed out of the box. You can improve this with the built in EQ, but then treble can already start sounding a bit artificial. What's good is the broad sound dispersion. The speakers even emit to the rear and put up in the middle of the room, you really get a huge sound-stage without being limited to a narrow sweet-spot. I found placement to be really unproblematic. Putting them about half a meter from any wall enables them to fill a whole room with sound.
Wireless streaming possibilities are great. I didn't try bluetooth, as it compromises audio-quality. But streaming through Wifi should give you an uncompressed audio. After a bit of a hassle with the Wlan-router setup i finally got the speakers to work and was able to stream my music from the laptop directly to the speakers. You are not bound to Apple's Itunes or whatever like it's the case with Airplay. The Parrot Audio Suite works like a kind of audio-driver where you can choose if you want the internal speakers or the Zikmu to play your music. Whatever sound you play from your computer will automatically come through the Zikmu, so you are not limited to MP3, but can also stream FLAC, OGG, etc... The other way of streaming through Wifi is if using the speakers as Upnp Renderer. You can open an online interface with any internet-browser, and the zikmu should automatically find any Upnp mediaserver in your network. In my case i have an Iomega NAS with activated mediaserver, and i was able to select this through the Zikmu-interface and listen to all my stored music, even without my computer. You can manage the online-interface even through an Iphone or Ipod-Touch. The interface also enables you to set various EQ-presets besides defining your own. Here you can also swap between left/right speaker, do some room compensation adjustments, which seemed to brighten up the treble a bit more, when set to "dampened room".
Unfortunately wireless streaming was not without problems. Sometimes the stream just stopped for a couple of seconds but then continued again. Another problem was when streaming directly from a computer and using this computer for some heavy internet-browsing at the same time, the audio driver could get out of sync and create drop outs which resulted in some crackling and distorted sound. The only way to improve this was to disable streaming to the Zikmu and enabling it again. But if you continued with your browsing, it could get out of sync again. I already contacted European support and even got a response that they are aware of this problem, but they are still looking for a solution.
The most unproblematic way of listening to music with the Zikmu was with a docked Ipod or Iphone. A docked Ipod is also seen as Mediaserver within Zikmu's interface, so you can even remote control your Ipod through any internet browser to your liking.
The infrared remote control is really minimalistic. You can only jump to the next/previous track and control volume. There is also a source-button but it didn't seem to do anything in my case. Usually the speakers automatically change to the latest attached device. So if you have only an Ipod docked, you will not be able to select any other source.
Apart from all the streaming issues i even had some crashes where the speakers won't respond or output any sound. Although there are several ways to reset them, the easiest and quickest way was to pull the plug. Then they behaved as they should.
I really like the design and the streaming features of the Zikmu speakers. The white ones would even match our furniture perfectly. But because of the high price and rather buggy implementation i decided not to buy them and returned them to the dealer instead. If the sound was really high-end i would still consider them. But the sound just didn't wow me that much to justify the high price. I even prefer the output of a much cheaper Harman Kardon go+play boombox, although it won't create such a wide stereo-field of course and doesn't have any of the streaming-features.
The good: the product itself looks amazing and it feels great to have it in my room. It even appeared in the lady gaga bad romance MV! The design is typical minimalistic and phillipe starck and even the details such as the box and the packaging is top notch (they've even got a bag for the remote). At first I've got a few issues with changing the source of the input, from ipod to wifi via my computer to bluetooth...etc. But it won't take long to master it. The software it provided is quite user-friendly and convenient to use. The remote is great, I'm surprised I can use it with both speakers.
Now the not so good: I think the speakers got serious problems in wifi and bluetooth via the computer, the delay is ridiculous and I wouldn't use it to play movies/games with it. In addition, every time I powered it on, I need to manually re-connect it to my computer which quite troublesome. The sound quality is just mediocre, it's comparable to my other $150 harmon kardon soundstick II speaker (although it's pretty good already, you would expect more given the price)
The verdict: If you just want another piece of home decor item which looks good and also does play decent music and you've got some spare money, I would recommend buying it.
The speakers have an integrated Apple 30-pin connector, and if you have an iPhone/iPod with this connector, you can use the Zikmu as an iPhone dock that will even charge your phone. Note that the iPhone 5 uses a different connector, so you'll need an adapter to connect to the Zikmu...it still works, but not as cleanly. Likewise, if your music sits on an iPad, you can probably make the dock work, but it looks rather clumsy.
There are several wireless options supported, from DLNA and uPNP - both WiFi - to Bluetooth. For Android believers, NFC (Near-Field Communications) is also supported, but not having an NFC phone, I couldn't verify how well this works. Curiously missing is Apple's AirPlay standard, but honestly, there are more than enough alternatives that this shouldn't be a problem. Zikmus can also be controlled using the iPhone/iPad app, and this gives you a lot of fine-grained control over the sound settings.
Then there's the sound quality.
To be brief, if you're used to true high-end sound, you probably won't be too impressed with the Zikmu. The sound is "slow" and heavy, with muddy bass and little ability to seriously engage the listener. My B&O A9 has an open, airy and yet powerful sound...yes, it's close to twice the price, but the sound seems many, many times better. The Parrot Zikmu might be fine for background music while you're doing something else, but not so much for those times when you really want the topnotch sonic experience.
Also, although billed as "wireless", no device with an integrated 50W amp is truly wireless - at very least, it has to be plugged in to a power source. Given this, I'm not so sure I'd sacrifice sound quality just to be able to beam music directly from my mobile device. For instance, I can get much the same effect with any conventional AV receiver having built-in wireless. For about the same money, you can buy an inexpensive (but high quality) Denon, Yamaha or equivalent amp that comes with AirPlay, plus, say, a pair of Definitive Technology BP10 speakers...it's still wireless from your mobile device, and you still need the same number of wires going to each speaker - but the sound quality is night and day different.
In the end, I decided that for the price, I wasn't going to keep the Zikmu. Not to say it's a bad product - but there are better ways to skin the cat at this price point.