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By Mike Joubert 13 January 2014

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How do you get the tunes on your smartphone to play properly in your car? We have tried different solutions with varying success, including three different types of hands-free kits, plus an FM-transmitter. In all cases decent audio quality was lacking. Parrot’s Asteroid Mini has provided the best solution by far*.

The Mini can be installed in any vehicle (an hour long process) and can be described as a Bluetooth multimedia system that comes with a 3.2” non-touch colour screen and a remote control.


The 3.2" screen is non-touch, making input difficult.

Taking calls, playing music

First and foremost the Mini is a wonderful hands-free kit, with voice dialling and answering also enabled. Two microphones are mounted above your rear-view mirror, in order for your passenger to also take part in the conversation. Because calls are streamed through your car’s stereo system, call quality is top-notch, and since installation we’ve yet to have someone complain that they cannot hear us properly. 

The Bluetooth music streaming of the Asteroid Mini means that music and podcasts in high quality is now no more than a few clicks away. It’s not only your phone that would be able to use the car stereo system, since an iPod/iPad/iPhone adapter is also provided (not the newer lightning connector), while an auxiliary-in can also be utilised, and USB and SD card inputs. 

Apps forgettable 

Parrot punts the Asteroid App market from which you can download apps for the Mini, but it was here that our experience turned slightly sour. We had trouble signing up for the service, with the app market also not well populated with apps for the Mini. Using the scroll wheel on your remote to sign in or enter any type of text on the device is an absolute pain. 


This little remote is where all input to the Asteroid Mini is controlled from. 

But still…

Parrot’s Asteroid Mini is certainly the best way to stream calls and music from your phone to your car stereo via Bluetooth. For these reasons alone it is worth its R3 400 price (installation is R500-R700). If you would like to make better use of the apps, our recommendation would be to rather go for the larger touch-based Asteroid Tablet or Smart. 

*Parrot Asteroid Mini received as a seeding unit

PROS
Great call quality; Bluetooth streaming of music off your phone; Loads of connectivity options
CONS
Limited numer of apps available for the Mini; No touchscreen; Typing a pain; Screen-size is small
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