Believe it or not, there are still some new cars on the market that do not come with built-in Bluetooth, and so you will not be able to make hands-free calls while driving. This is a bit of an issue in the UK because of the strict laws of using a phone while driving. It’s for this reason why many people opt for a Bluetooth Hands-free Kit for the car, and one of the more known brands is Parrot.
Our friends at Mobile Fun were kind enough to send us the Parrot MINIKIT Neo 2 HD to review, and even though we have been given this device, as always we will be honest and point out its good and bad points.
Before we get started, it’s worth pointing out that this is not a new model, although it’s still for sale on the Parrot website, and they speak very highly of their portable, voice-controlled HD Bluetooth hands-free kit – although they would do. We know that you could go for a more expensive model, although this would require a professional to come in and install it into your car, and drilling holes in the process. At least with this model we have reviewed, it’s a simple case of just sliding it onto your visor.
When removing the Parrot MINIKIT Neo 2 HD from its packaging we could tell right away that the plastic visor clip is now more substantial, and so making it stronger and more secure when placed onto your car’s sun visor. It’s also very flexible as well, as so no fears of it snapping if you remove and replace the speaker often.
The design is very pleasing on the eye with it being very flat, although does protrude out more where the control knob is. There are buttons either side for answer and end calls, along with green and red LEDs and also an on/off stitch and the charging port.
Before we get to the review itself, we thought you might like to know the battery life of this device is said to be 10 hours of talk-time, and six months of standby time, which is not too bad, and a long USB charging cable means it is able to reach your car’s charger socket.
Our Parrot MINIKIT Neo 2 HD Bluetooth review – This device makes use of Bluetooth v. 4.0 connection and paring with our iPhone 7 was very simple, and did not even need to enter any code, which is usually 0000. The moment the device was turned on and Bluetooth on our handset we were in business. We did have to make certain the speaker was fully charged which you are advised to do the first time you use it. You will be pleased to learn you are able to connect two devices at once, and so perfect if you have a passenger in the car as well, and they also wish to pair their handset.
We are told that you can download the Parrot MINIKIT Neo 2 app, which gives you a host of other functions, which we have to admit, we did not try. However, you can find details on this app on Google Play and iTunes for Android and iOS devices.
Placing the speaker on our car’s sun visor was very easy, and even though we had it in the wrong place at first, it was easy to remove and put in a better position. We used the Siri control on our handset to make a call, which then connected to the MINIKIT Neo 2 HD right away, and the moment the call was connected we could tell that its audio quality was very impressive, although we would advise to not use it to play music, as it’s more a high shirt than anything pleasant.
This is really better to just use as a Bluetooth speaker to make and receive calls, and answering calls was also an easy task, because you can just press the button on the left which is lit up in green. You can also use the central control knob to turn the sound up, which is needed when you have your windows down and driving at speed.
We did notice a slight crackle when turning the volume up, although it’s not too much of an issue. What was impressive was the caller on the other end said the sound was loud and crisp – in fact they found they had to turn the volume down because it was too loud and said to sound even better than when making a call with the phone itself and not using the MINIKIT Neo 2 HD.
Setting up the Parrot device to use Siri was far better than the voice control function built into this device, although you might want to install the companion app to gain access to features such as battery level, a host of different voice commands, and many other options.
Something that we did not expect was when walking away from the car its GPS location was tagged and we received a notification on our handset, which might come in handy for some of you.
- Main features:
- Make and receive calls safely in your car
- Multipoint technology for connecting to two phones at the same time
- Listen to your music or navigation commands through Bluetooth
- HD voice for superior audio quality
- Voice control
- Android and iOS free companion app
- Automatic phone contacts synchronisation
- Advance voice control dials and answers calls
- Up to 6 months standby time
- Simple to install and use
What we like – This device does give the driver a good choice of features in terms of control, and its the battery life is rather impressive’
What we did not like – The audio quality is not too bad, although we have heard better from Jabra.
Overall it’s a solid device that gives you hassle free calling features while driving, although some might say its £69.99 price direct from Parrot is a bit steep. However, Mobile Fun sell the Parrot MINIKIT Neo 2 HD Bluetooth Hands-free Kit for £55.00, and so would make an ideal Christmas gift.