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Parrot RK8200

  • Get connected to MP3 and Bluetooth technology
  • We test and rate seven headunits
  • Find the best and worst value units for your car
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Parrot RK8200
RRP: 189.99
Best of the web: 169.99 (avrmobiles.co.uk)

Overall
The Parrot is really clever, but let it's down by poor build quality.

See a larger photo of the Parrot RK8200 here

Performance
Easy to navigate, thanks to a 2.4-inch colour display and intuitive navigation system you turn the big aluminium knob on the front to scan through the menus and press it to make a selection. The Bluetooth handsfree function works seamlessly, too, and even downloads your contacts list from most phones. The only real negative was the tinny sound quality when using the radio.

Ease of installation/operation
A breeze to install, with no need to wire in a separate iPod controller or microphone they're both integrated within the headunit. If you're doing the installation yourself, all you do is whip out your old stereo, swap over the connections and slot in the Parrot in its place. Setting up Bluetooth is super-simple, too, because of the large display and instinctive menu system.

Buying
Shopping around online will cut the price considerably. The best web deal we found was a discount of 20 (at avrmobiles.co.uk), although postage and packing does bump up the price by another 7.

Quality
If the Parrot was better made it could have won this test. Unfortunately, the flimsy plastics seriously let down the RK8200. The removable fascia feels as though it might break every time you take it off, and the big aluminium navigation knob needs a real shove to make a selection. It's a shame, because the Parrot looks rather swanky.

Special features
This is where the Parrot puts the other headunits to shame. Remove the fascia and there's a cubbyhole for your MP3 player, with built-in USB and iPod connection leads pretty nifty. The 2.4-inch colour screen is also rather swish, and displays album art from your MP3 player. There's no CD player, but the Parrot plays SD cards and has an auxiliary input you can even play music remotely via the Bluetooth connection.