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Parrot CK3200 ls-Color Bluetooth In-Car Hands Free Kit Review

Colour Screen, Voice Recognition, Phone Book Synchronisation - A Great Buy, But Maybe Too Many Bells & Whistles?

Parrot CK3200Parrot make great Bluetooth hands free devices that are a joy to use. This ck3200 is the big brother to the ck3000 evolution, and it adds a great little colour screen so that you can see photos of who is calling you, scroll through your phone book, see missed calls, etc. Like its cheaper sibling the Parrot connects to the rear of your car stereo, enabling calls to be routed through the speakers, meaning that you never have to worry about volume levels. Your music is automatically muted and your caller comes through loud and clear. Your voice is passed through a small microphone that you can mount on the door pillar or visor of your car. Full duplex is supported, which means that both parties can talk and listen at the same time.

Phew! Sounds complicated, but really it isn't. The best solution is to buy one from a store where they will also install it. You should find the installed price to be around £200, maybe a little more if your car stereo has non-iso connectors, where an additional lead will have to be ordered.

In use the Parrot CK3200 couldn't be easier. Once paired the device automatically downloads your contacts from your phone and it's ready to make a call. If your phone already supports voiceprints, just press the green button and say the name of who you want to call, then press the red button to hang up.

For better voice recognition you can use the Parrot ck3200 ls color handsfree kit itself to record new voice-prints, and this opens up the possibility of multiple numbers for each contact, like home, mobile and work numbers. It takes a few minutes to train the system, but the results are more reliable than most cell phones built in systems.

If your phone supports photos or pictures of callers these will be displayed when people call, a useful way of avoiding those difficult phone-calls, but also gives me some concerns about the use of this kit.

The whole point of a mobile phone bluetooth hands free kit is that it enables you to keep your concentration on the road while receiving or making phone-calls. Forgive my ignorance, but I think that the colour screen, although cute and useful, is a definite distraction. It encourages the user to look away from the road and at the screen when they get an incoming call. Not ideal, and I think it puts into question the suitability of this kit in light of new UK legislation.

My conclusion would be that this is a great piece of technology, but the screen is too much of a distraction while driving and undermines the whole safety concept of a hands-free kit for your car.

Comments / Questions:

 

If you think this bit of kit is a distraction don't ever buy a Sat Nav or you might become a killing machine on the road! Phil.

I hear what you're saying, but a Sat Nav is sitting on the dash, and this kit is usually mounted a lot lower, and the idea is that when you recieve a call you look at the display (away from the road) to see the picture of who's calling. I just don't think this is a good idea. If the display is mounted on the dash, higher up, then that would be better.

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