Parrot + product = product with Bluetooth. That’s the raison d’etre of Parrot, pure and simple. Best known for its variety of Bluetooth headsets and hands free kits, the company has increasingly found ways to branch out into other areas such as photo viewers and speakers – all with Bluetooth, naturally.
These forays have borne mixed results so far, but that hasn’t stopped Parrot from trying again with its BOOMBOX – capitalised presumably for extra BOOM! The design is reminiscent of the Apple iPod Hi-Fi which we reviewed almost a year ago, though in reality there’s a good deal that separates them.
To begin with the Boombox is noticeably larger, with a far deeper casing while it lacks any kind of portable power option – making the ‘boombox’ title a tad misleading. There’s also no iPod dock, though there is an RCA auxiliary line-in and a 3.5mm to RCA cable for a wired connection to a player.
Of course the selling point is the Bluetooth connectivity, making it possible to use Bluetooth enabled phones, MP3 players and other devices to stream music to the Boombox wirelessly. It’s worth noting you can’t use any old Bluetooth device though, whatever you use must support the Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP); a list of A2DP compliant devices can be found here.
Measuring 430 x 225 x 150mm and weighing in at a meaty 5.6 kg, initially the Boombox looks fairly anonymous. On closer inspection, however, it’s easier to appreciate the clean lines, the lacquered wood casing and semi-matt finish that combine to create a stylish and understated look.
The front is protected by a magnetically attached guard, but removing it reveals the three drivers – two wideband, one sub – each surrounded by smart, shiny black plastic. With these in full view the Boombox looks considerably better looking, with the symmetry created proving quite pleasing to the eye.
On the back is the AC power and line-in connection, while on top are a small set of control buttons and a status light. There are two volume control buttons, a connection button for opening the Boombox to new Bluetooth connections and the status light glows or flashes blue according to the status of connection.