Product Review (March 2007) Parrot
MINIKIT (Bluetooth Enabled)

By Kevin Nakano


Bluetooth products are an attractive accessory to cell phone users simply because they offer convenience while minimizing the exposure to the higher power RF (Radio Frequency) signals. Not that Bluetooth itself is not RF-based, it is. However, the devices have significantly less RF energy than what the cell phone uses to link to the ground-based towers. Bluetooth technology allows devices (portable and fixed) to communicate to each other from relatively short distances. These devices exchange data (encrypted for security) with the mobile phone. Many new cars feature Bluetooth devices built into the vehicle for hands-free cell phone operation.

Parrot has introduced the MINIKIT ($90), a small portable unit designed to sit on a desk or clip to a car's visor. It's one of my favorite Bluetooth products simply because I don't have to wear it on my head and it provides a link to my phone. It features user-defined voiceprints (a maximum of 150 per phone) that improves performance. The self contained unit has a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts up to 10 hours of talk time and over 200 hours of standby time. The unit fully charges in 3 hours.

MINIKIT Operation
The MINIKIT unit is about the size of a miniature radar detector. The unit includes two buttons with LED indicators on the top and a single button on the side. A visor clip is included along with AC and DC chargers. To power the unit on or off, simply hold down the side button and wait for the audible tone that sounds like bongos. As with all Bluetooth devices, initial pairing between the MINIKIT and the cell phone is required. Once active, the Red and Green LEDs blink around every 8 seconds to let the user know the unit is connected and operational. To initiate a call, the user simply presses the button with the green LED and in our case the connected Motorola RAZR asks for commands. The knob on the top of the unit controls the volume and there is plenty of extra audio headroom. If the Bluetooth link is broken, the unit will time-out and turn itself off to save the battery. If the unit reacquires the cell phone within a short period of time, the link will automatically be reestablished. My Motorola RAZR V3m automatically connects to the MINIKIT when I get into the car and turn the unit on. This is a great feature since I don't have to manually pair the device each and every time I get into the vehicle. If the time duration is significant the MINIKIT will automatically shut down to save the battery life.

Summary
Parrot's MINIKIT is one of the best performing products we have reviewed. The ergonomic design makes it simple to use and the features worked consistently. The audio quality on the MINIKIT is great whether you are using the unit or are on the other side of the conversation. Speech is intelligible although sometimes a slight echo can be heard on the other side of the call depending upon the acoustics of the vehicle.

As new cell phone laws come into effect, many users will be searching for handsfree cell phone products. California, where we are located, will soon ban motorists from holding cell phones while driving (July 2008). Many other states such as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and the District of Columbia, have already banned motorists from using handheld cell phones while driving. If the Bluetooth headsets do not look appealing or if you prefer a modular unit for the home or office, the MINIKIT is a great product with excellent performance.

- Kevin Nakano




OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray Player




Review System


Mobile Phone:
Motorola RAZR V3m


Review - At a glance


MINIKIT - Bluetooth Speakerphone


Features:

  • 3 button user interface
  • 2W Hi-Fi speaker
  • Omnidirectional microphone
  • Parrot DSP-2 signal processing algorithms
  • Built-in voice recognition software
  • Pairing: up to five phones
  • Mini USB Charger
  • Recharging time: three hours maximum
  • Talk time: 10 hours
  • Standby time: over 275 hours

Bluetooth Features:

  • Bluetooth
  • Bluetooth v1.2
  • Profiles supported: - Headset Profile HSP 1.1
    • Hands-free Profile HFP 1.0
    • Object Push Profile OPP
  • Maximum range: 10 meters
  • Phone pairing: by PIN code
  • Software updates by Bluetooth

Processor:

  • Parrot P4 + at 64MHz; Combo flash = 16Mbits; RAM = 2Mbits

Dimensions:

  • Parrot P4 + at 64MHz; Combo flash = 16Mbits; RAM = 2Mbits

Driver Headset Brochure: PDF File

MINIKIT Brochure: PDF File

 


Company Information
PARROT - North America Headquarters
9442 North Capital of Texas Highway
Arboretum Plaza One, Suite 500
Austin, Texas 78759
(512) 340-7351

Tech Support:
Email: usa_support@parrot.biz

Phone: 877-9-PARROT (toll-free) 9a.m. – 6 p.m. EST (877-972-7768)
Website: http://www.parrot.biz/usa

Source: Manufacturer Supplied
MSRP: $89.99
Weight: 3.5 ounces (104 grams)
Warranty: 1 year

Any comments or questions regarding the LAAF Web Site should be forwarded to webmaster@laaudiofile.com

Copyright © 1985-2007 L.A. Audio File.