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Parrot MK600 Bluetooth car kit
Mobile phones have long since become ubiquitous, and it seems like we spend half our waking hours making calls, taking calls, or listening to someone else's call. For those that transport themselves by car, the ability to use the phone while driving has been cut right back by recent legislation, which made such operation illegal.
This has led to a rise in the number of people buying either a) Borg-style bluetooth headsets or b) dedicated in-car kits. The latter come in two varieties - wired, designed to plug straight into the phone, and Bluetooth, designed to operate wirelessly.
These can also come in variations - some plug into the car's electronics, muting the stereo and playing the call through the speakers, while some just plug into the cigarette lighter and have their own audio interface.
This latest kit from Parrot is one of the more advanced varieties. Not only does it install into the car's entertainment system, and not only does it support bluetooth connection to your mobile, but it also allows you to stream music via bluetooth through your stereo - after all, mobile phone music is where it's at, right?
So, with our MK6000 in its nice box, we headed down to our local in-car specialists, Nice Ice Entertainment, to get the kit installed in our test car - my nice new Fiesta ST. Much to my horror, this involved an hour's worth of ripping apart the lovely interior to plumb in the Parrot kit. While the company gives comprehensive instructions for fitting it yourself - and uses standard ISO plugs - making a good job of it will probably require someone with a little expertise. It took Lee, our engineer, a fair amount of time to run all the wires discreetly through the glove box and to remove the radio and hook up the various doohickeys.