When I go away on a trip, I always take some music with me. An MP3 player jam-packed with quality tunes and a decent pair of headphones can make hours of tedious travel fly by.
But when I get to where I'm going I often just want to disconnect and listen to the music through a set of speakers. That goes double if I'm travelling with friends; on a group skiing trip, or staying in self-catering accommodation in the wet wilds of Wales it's nice to be able to have some of my own music to play in the background. Normally, I'd have to take two speakers, a charger or batteries, plus all the cables to connect them up to my MP3 player. However, that's where Parrot's Party speakers come in - which aim to do away with at least some of these hassles.
The first inconvenience consigned to the dustbin is the cables: Parrot is a Bluetooth specialist, so it's hardly surprising to find that this unit is Bluetooth enabled. So you'll have no wires trailing from your MP3 player, as long as it's Bluetooth enabled, of course. I did most of my testing using the Samsung YP-T9 Bluetooth player I tested earlier in the year, but you can also use any A2DP Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone or laptop as well, which is really handy since the majority of phones and smartphones still don't possess a standard 3.5mm headphone output.
Being a specialist in all things Bluetooth, it's not a shock to find that the Party works perfectly. To connect a new device, you just press the Bluetooth button on the top, go through the pairing process on your player, phone or laptop, and Bob's your uncle. The range is pretty good too - I managed to walk 10 metres away with my MP3 player without having the signal degrade, which is probably all the range you need from a device such as this. And even if your source doesn't have Bluetooth you can use the 3.5mm line-in socket on the back without having to flick a switch to enable it. The Party detects whichever source is 'live' and switches over to it automatically.