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Parrot Minikit Slim Bluetooth Hands-Free Kit review




  • Recommended by TR

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Parrot Minikit Slim Bluetooth Hands-Free Kit
  • Parrot Minikit Slim Bluetooth Hands-Free Kit
  • Parrot Minikit Slim Bluetooth Hands-Free Kit
  • Parrot Minikit Slim Bluetooth Hands-Free Kit
  • Parrot Minikit Slim Bluetooth Hands-Free Kit


Our Score:


Bluetooth headsets and by extension Bluetooth hands-free devices in general are easily considerable as commodity items. Every now and again a Jawbone Noise Assassin comes along and redefines the benchmark to which its contemporaries should aspire, but for the most part they're all pretty much indistinguishable save for the brand stamped on the casing.

Just because all Bluetooth hands-free devices are created equal, though, doesn't mean that some aren't created more equal than others. Parrot's Minikit Slim is a perfect example of that. Parrot has taken the underlying 'must-have' features no Bluetooth hands-free kit can be without and added a lashing of spit and polish to come up with what might be the best example of its kind I've yet seen.

Aesthetically the Minikit Slim is relatively unremarkable and all the better for it. A matte black, slightly rubberised facia with a likewise understated silver surround hold the three interface buttons. At the rear is a sprung metal clip which partially betrays the Minikit Slim's intended placement - namely that it clips onto the driver's sun visor. While for the most part that's an absolutely great place for the device to sit, it does cause slight problems when driving into bright sunlight. When the visor is flipped down, the Minikit Slim is suddenly on the wrong side.

That quibble aside, there's precious little to dislike about the Parrot Minikit Slim. It would be good if the device was inconspicuous enough that it could be left in place when the car is parked, say, at a train station or supermarket, but other than that Parrot has done everything right.

Despite being some £20 less that the Jawbone, at around £55 it still looks as good, in its own way. And if you want a bit more of a design statement, there's a version called the Chic that's even more stylish, if a touch girly.

One interesting design feature is that the Minikit Slim doesn't actually sport a speaker, because the entire front surface is the speaker. Specifically, vibrating panel technology from a company called NZT is used and is what allows the Minikit Slim to live up to its name - this type of 'speaker' being inherently thinner than conventional types.

Build quality is as good as it looks, with both the buttons and control wheel providing a good feedback, which is obviously important as the device is meant to be used eyes-off. That's backed up by the most stand-out feature of the Parrot Minikit Slim; its built-in speech synthesis engine, which offers text-to-speech reading of contacts and menu items, and the ability to call contacts by speaking their names - without the need to record voice tags.

Mikko Lahti

August 23, 2008, 3:23 pm

I always keep my car's sunvisors "flipped over" the sun-blocking position, so that they're touching the windshield. Of course this depends a lot on the car, the windshield needs to be in a steep angle, which it isn't in older cars or any car with more "boxy" features. But I figure that this product was actually meant to be used like this in new cars, always on the "wrong side", at least for me that would be the best way in my car. Just my two cents ;)

Mikko Lahti

August 24, 2008, 11:25 pm

Ah let me correct myself, always on the RIGHT side, I meant of course.


August 30, 2008, 2:25 am

This could prove a good alternative for those of us who don't want too look 'secret service'in our cars and it has the advantage over in - built car systems in that you can upgrade your phone without needing to spend 𧷤 getting the car kit also into synch.

I like the idea that contacts are uploaded to the device and wonder if the reverse is possible, ie new phone and even different operating system, can you use it to transfer previously WM contact info straight to a Nokia/Symbian phone ?


One major problem still, is that Bluetooth (while on the go) is still rubbish, or in more technically restrained language, not there yet, something clearly not understood by THE LAW, I have been imformed that transgression now merits six points, but have not verified this.

Until call quality gets to "excellent" or they repeal the law, I will continue to ignore calls while I am driving and get back to people later, when there is more chance of an understood conversation, not a dangerously distracting and frustrating one.


April 16, 2009, 6:01 am

Having just shifted from a BMW 3 with built-in bluetooth to a Ford with no bluetooth option (shame on you Ford), I got one of these. It's ok, but doesn't really compare with a built-in system like the BMW. For starters, you have to remember to turn it on and turn it off. Secondly, it has to be charged up about once a week. Next, it doesn't auto-mute the stereo system when a call comes in. And lastly, the quality doesn't compare. It works and it is useable and it's better than a headset but just barely. Oh, one good thing: it is actually a pretty good speakerphone if you take it inside and put it on the table. Oh, and one more good thing: you can take it with you when you travel. One funny thing: I put it in my checked luggage on a recent flight and somehow it got powered on in my suitcase. When I got in the plane my iPhone indicated that I was connected to the speakerphone. It was reassuring to know that my luggage was on the plane ;-)

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