PROS: The three-button interface is very intuitive.
CONS: The noise reduction is too inconsistent.
VERDICT: The Parrot MINIKIT + has an intuitive design with comprehensive voice prompts and commands that make it easy to use without taking your eyes off the road.
The design of the Parrot MINIKIT + is similar to most of Parrot’s other Bluetooth car kits. It has two buttons, green and red, and a rotary wheel. However, while the green and red buttons on the other models are large, these buttons are small and more difficult to locate without looking at the device, which takes your eyes off the road. The green button accepts calls and activates the voice recognition, and the red button ends calls and exits out of the audible menu of features, which you access with the rotary wheel.
The best feature of the Parrot MINIKIT + is the audible menu interface. When you combine the voice commands with the audible menu of features, you never have to take your eyes off the road. You can dictate text messages and listen to incoming text messages. You can reject or accept calls without touching anything. Incoming text messages are vocalized so that you don’t have to read them. You can call a friend simply by saying a name.
The call quality features HD voice, which produces a much more natural-sounding voice than the standard phone call. This makes it a lot easier to hear and understand your callers, because it sounds like they’re in the car with you. With the HD voice, you’ll want to take all of your calls in your car. The only downside to the call quality is the volume output isn’t as loud as the best Bluetooth car kits. It’s plenty loud for city driving, but it struggles to be loud enough on the freeway.
The single omnidirectional microphone is subpar compared to the multiple-microphone system the best Bluetooth car speakerphones use. Despite the MINIKIT + using the Advanced Parrot NR3, Parrot’s patented internal noise reduction system, your caller will often hear your voice cut in and out, especially if your voice isn’t at a consistent volume. This is the result of the noise reduction processor filtering out your voice because it mistakes it as background noise. Fortunately, the echo cancellation, which eliminates the feedback caused by the microphone picking up the audio from the speaker, is very effective.
Another flaw is the 12-hour talk time, which is among the lowest talk time available. However, since you can use it while it’s plugged into your car’s charging outlet, this short battery life is only a minor inconvenience.
The Parrot MINIKIT + has excellent call quality with HD voice, but it falls short with the single microphone and an overly aggressive noise reduction system. However, the audible menu interface is very intuitive and allows you to operate all the features, such as dictating a text message or calling someone from your contact list, without taking your focus off driving, which is one of the most important characteristics of a Bluetooth hands-free car kit.