Bringing style with solidarity.
The Parrot Zikmu wireless Bluetooth speakers left quiet an impression on us when we first saw them, and indeed after listening to them they lived up to the hype. With the Zikmu Solo Parrot hopes to achieve the same magic, but for the more style conscious people who wouldn’t have space for two speakers in their rooms. Of course, asymmetrical interior design has a lot to do with it as well.
Now, one would think that having one speaker over two is actually a downgrade, but they’d be wrong. The Zikmu Solo has the exact same output as the Zikmu stereo speakers, totaling out to 100W RMS, even matching the frequency response of 50Hz – 20KHz. What makes the Zikmu Solo unique is the way it’s engineered to achieve a stereo experience from a single body.
So the Zikmu Solo has a 20W speaker on either side and a central speaker lower down. All three drivers have the same power output of 20W with a frequency response of 350Hz – 20KHz. The 6-inch subwoofer at the bottom resonates at 50Hz – 350Hz, outputting 40W of power. This is the basic structure of the Parrot Zikmu Solo, and depending on your positioning of the speaker within a room you will get a natural stereo experience.
Of course, the Zikmu Solo’s stereo experience is still not as fulfilling as those of the regular Zikmu stereo speakers, but this is an effect that can only be experience in a large rectangular room. A square room will not have this problem. The audio experience itself is very rich, with jazz and instrumental tracks sounding especially good. Bass gets more boomy when listening from the opposite end of the room, but otherwise the stereo experience is great, with vocal tracks sounding very natural.
Parrot is known for their wireless connectivity, and the Zikmu Solo certainly lives up to that heritage. First off is the direct Apple iOS devices connection plug on top which is simply plug & play. Next up you can use the Bluetooth button under the center speaker (accessible by removing the magnetic grill) to setup a BT audio connection with your smartphone or laptop. For NFC capable devices like the new Samsung Galaxy Note 2 you can simply put the phone near the top of the Zikmu Solo and you’ll get a notification to pair the devices.
As for WiFi, the Zikmu Solo can be paired with a single touch (button next to Bluetooth) with your WPS capable router. Obviously you can go with the traditional route of joining your existing WiFi network or even connecting to DLNA devices. For an extremely traditional approach there’s also a LAN port at the bottom, but that would defeat the purpose of having a Zikmu Solo, which is to have a simple (often single touch) wireless connection with your devices for easy listening.
Speaking of traditional, there’s a analog line-in as well as optical input for proper digital sound, should you want to connect your TV or console. Again, this will mean multiple wires plugged into the Zikmu Solo which shouldn’t have any other cable connected to it except for the power plug. Hopefully in the future we won’t even have that!
And now for the best news, the Parrot Zikmu Solo costs half of the regular Zikmu stereo speakers, while still maintaining the same level of power and audio clarity. More importantly there’s a bump in the wireless connectivity options taking advantage of the latest smartphones in the market. I honestly cannot find anything bad about the Parrot Zikmu Solo except that in a stretched out room you may not get a space filling sound, but then again sofas can always be moved around!