Parrot MINIKIT: The Review.

Design, Gadgets, Travel, Useful Things by Richard

Parrot is a company that’s been in the business of making great Bluetooth accessories, voice recognition and digital signal processing technology for over a decade. They sent me their MINIKIT recently: a relatively small, portable Bluetooth speakerphone with voice recognition. Its main function is to allow you to make complete phone calls without touching your cell phone, without having to wear a Bluetooth headset in the car. I’ve been trying it out for the past few days, and it is really awesome. Once you train it, you can hit its large green button, say the name of the person you’d like to call, then a location (home, work, cell phone, general), and it vocally confirms the location and dials! Call quality is surprisingly loud and clear on both sides. It can be paired with up to 5 phones, with a total of 150 contacts. The MINIKIT includes 2 Mini USB chargers… one for the house and one for the car. It’s got 10 hour talk time and over 275 hours of standby. You won’t have to plug it in very often at all if you don’t want to.

Once your phone is paired with the MINIKIT, you add contacts to it by sending them over Bluetooth. If the contact you’re sending only has one number associated with them, you can just say their name to dial, instead of name and location. It’s a little detail that saves time and shows that a good bit of thought went into this product. The voice training works excellently as well… I only had to repeat myself twice each time for the MINIKIT to learn my voice tags. It picked up my voice and dialed just fine even with a good bit of road noise while driving down the interstate. However, since you train it with your own voice, once it’s programmed the voice tags probably won’t work for anyone else. I got my girlfriend to try to call her cell phone with her voice, and it ended up dialing my dad’s phone instead. Of course, even if it won’t dial based on another driver’s voice, the speakerphone part will still pick up and work, no problem.

Bluetooth kits have been built into luxury automobiles for awhile, but a lot of them have problems with compatibility: they don’t work properly or even at all with some phones.. The MINIKIT is advertised as being 100% Bluetooth compatible, and will work with virtually every Bluetooth enabled phone you can throw at it. It had no problems at all with my Blackjack.

I never really watched Knight Rider while I was growing up… the but I loved the Transformers. Starting back then, I’ve always wanted to be able to talk to my car and have it talk back. Now it does. The best part? It only costs a little over $90.


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