Parrot flies in with hands-free stereo

Here at Stuff, we usually judge a piece of kit on its design, features and how well it performs. But sometimes, on very rare occasions, we’re swayed s

Here at Stuff, we usually judge a piece of kit on its design, features and how well it performs. But sometimes, on very rare occasions, we’re swayed simply on the grounds of shameless punning. The Parrot Rhythm n’Blue is a case in point.

Named for its twin prowess as a car stereo and a Bluetooth hands-free calling kit, the Rhythm is Parrot’s first foray from the dashboard and into the space where our head units live.

As well as saving you from the long, Inspector Gadget-like arm of the law, the hands-free side of things is fairly advanced. The unit can make and take voice calls, dial out using your phone’s preset voice recognition tags and mute music when a call starts.

Impressively, it’ll work with any Bluetooth mob – there’s no smartphone-only elitism here – and will copy and sync your address book to its memory so you can see who’s calling and hit the reject button where necessary. There’s even a mobile-style keypad on the front for dialing out.

The Rhythm’s big advantage over dash and sun visor-attached Bluetooth hands-frees – such as this week’s new Sony Eric HCB-100 – is that all the audio gets piped over your car’s speakers. For sound quality, that’s hard to beat.

The music side of the equation’s fairly Triassic by car stereo standards, featuring an AM/FM radio – what, no DAB? – and an MP3-compatible CD player.

It’s on sale now for a reasonable £180, though you’ll either need a bit of motoring know-how or the likes of Halford to get it fitted. Find out more at Parrot's site.

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