The second hassle done away with is that of having to carry around two speakers. The Parrot is a pair of stereo speakers in one ‘pod’, so there are no wires trailing between speakers and it makes it easier to dig out of a bag quickly. The unit itself is solidly built from thick, heavy white plastic, a bit like the iPod Hi-Fi, and it feels as if it would stand up to a fair bit of abuse. It’s trimmed with bright blue rubber around the front edge of two circular speaker drivers and this extends underneath the unit to form rubber feet so it doesn’t vibrate against your desk – or slide off whatever other precarious surfaces you fancy putting it on.
Light weight and compact dimensions add to the portability. The Party weighs just 620g and is 228mm long, which makes it small and light enough to stick in a small bag or rucksack. It also comes with a protective bag to keep it from grime and scratches.
Power comes from a rechargeable NiMH battery fitted under a flap at the bottom of the speakers – the sort that’s often used to power DECT wireless phones. This keeps the Party going for up to four hours; good enough for an evening’s entertaining or a long picnic lunch at the park.
So far so good, but how does it sound? You’d expect a device like this to have limitations. After all, there’s not much to it and the specifications – just six watts of power output – don’t look that impressive on paper. However, when it came to turning them on and playing a little music through them, I was pleasantly surprised, first of all with how loud the Party can go. Crank up the volume and it’ll fill most small spaces quite adequately. It won’t exactly rumble the floor and annoy the neighbours, but it’s loud enough to drown out the hubbub of casual conversation and they’re a world away from the quiet, tinny speakers built into your laptop.