Parrot Party Bluetooth Speakers Review

by Reads (18,934)

by Sarah Meyer

It’s not easy to find a laptop with great built-in speakers. Even worse, it’s next to impossible to bring a great external speaker set with you when you travel. Of course, that was before Parrot released the Parrot Party Bluetooth Speakers. This wireless 2.0 speaker set promises to give you an amazing listening experience without the need for audio cables or AC power adapters. But is the Parrot Party really as good as it sounds? Let’s find out.

Parrot Party Specifications:

  • Stereo 2.0 audio wireless system
  • Power audio output: 6W maximum
  • Frequency response: 120 Hz – 18 KHz
  • Two wide-bands speakers
  • Class-D amplifier
  • Audio effects: Stereo Widening, Virtual Super Bass
  • Processor: Microprocessor Parrot 5 at 208MHz
  • Memory: RAM = 8 MB – Flash = 4 MB
  • Bluetooth: v2.0 + EDR; A2DP/AVRCP; range: 33 feet
  • Compatibility: Bluetooth Stereo (A2FP) mobile phones, computers, MP3 plates and any type of analog music devices
  • Line-In: Jack 3.5 mm
  • Power: Rechargeable 2100 mAh Ni-MH batteries, charger (100 to 240 V)
  • Dimensions: 9.0 in. (L) x 3.3 in. (D) x 3.0 in. (H)
  • Weight: 21 oz
  • Warranty: 1 year limited warranty
  • Included in the box: Parrot Party, Parrot Party carrying pouch, hand strap, user’s manual, jack cable, AC cable, Parrot Party software CD.


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Design and Build

The Parrot Party is designed to be a portable speaker system so it’s compact, light weight and easy to use.

Only 3" tall and 3.3" deep, it can fit almost anywhere without being a pain. It’s a Bluetooth device, so no cords/wires are necessary to play the Party. Just sync your device with your notebook (or cell phone/MP3 player) and you are ready to rock.

The Parrot Party is white with blue rubber trim to keep the speakers from sliding or moving. There are two black speakers with no protective grill, making them slightly vulnerable to puncture. It has a detachable hand strap so you can carry the Party on your wrist or store it in the black carrying case. At 21 oz (just over a pound), it’s easy to cart around.


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There are five controls on the top of the Parrot Party. When the LED back-lit button in the center is flashing blue/red, the device is syncing with Bluetooth. When it’s purple, it’s charging. When it’s blue it has a full charge/done charging and when it’s red, it’s about to die.


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The volume control is to the left of the LED light and the bass and stereo widening buttons are to the right. The power on/off switch is located on the back of the speaker system next to the AC power line in. There is also a separate line-in for the cable to attach the Parrot Party directly to the music device instead of using Bluetooth.

Audio Quality

The Parrot Party is a 2.0 stereo audio wireless system with great sound for such a small set of speakers. The maximum volume gives you good sound without distortion although it only gets up to 62 to 69 dB (I took readings from 5 ft and 10 ft away from the speakers).

There is no subwoofer so the Parrot Party lacks the room shaking bass but considering most notebooks have no bass to speak of, the Parrot Party definitely gives your music another dimension with the Virtual Super Bass.

For example, when standing 10 ft from the Parrot Party at maximum volume and with the Virtual Super Bass turned on, the dB levels jump from around 62 dB to 65 dB. At five feet, the dB levels are similar; from around 69 dB to 72 dB.

The same goes with the stereo widening feature. The speakers on the Parrot Party are wide-band to help spread the sound around the room, similar to surround sound. With the stereo widening and bass on, the Party jumps from 62 dB to 68 dB. At five feet, it jumps from 69 dB to 75 dB.

Don’t get me wrong, the stereo widening does not create surround sound effects, but it did increase the volume without distorting the music.

Bluetooth

To use the Parrot Party via Bluetooth, your computer needs to support the Bluetooth A2DP profile. I had a small problem getting the Parrot Party to sync with the Bluetooth on my Dell computer but I downloaded a Bluetooth driver, restarted my computer and had no other problems. The audio was fluid, and the range was great. I used my speakers in several different rooms in my house without moving the laptop from its stationary position in my living room.


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At work, I could get undisrupted sound from the Parrot Party even when my laptop is on the other side of the building (about 20 ft, and two averagely thick walls).

Battery Life

The Parrot Party comes with rechargeable 2100 mAh Ni-MH batteries + battery charger (100 to 240 V). When fully charged (it takes about 4 hours to fully charge the first time) the Parrot Party will pump out music for 4 to 5 ½ hours. When the Party is getting close to running out of juice, a red light pops on. Once that happens, you have about 15 minutes left of music. Once you plug the Parrot Party in to the charger, you can start playing music again immediately.


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The biggest problem I had with charging the Parrot Party is that it came with a UK electrical plug, so we had to order a US adapter. Not a huge issue, and on Parrot’s website you can buy items for the States, so maybe it would come with a US electrical plug.

Conclusion

The Parrot Party is a great addition to any notebook that is lacking in sound/speaker quality (which is almost every notebook). The unit is simple to use, doesn’t clutter up workspace and has great range. It’s super portable for those road warriors out there, and seems pretty durable.

They seem to be priced similar to other Bluetooth speakers on the market, although it seems to me to be an overpriced market. You can get better quality speakers for less if you’re willing to plug them in.

Pros:

  • One-piece, super portable unit
  • Little distortion even at maximum volume
  • Simple to use, no software needed
  • Plays for 4-5 ½ hours

Cons:

  • Speakers lack protective covering
  • No auxiliary ports for headphones
  • Sort of expensive

Pricing and Availability

The Parrot Party is available on Parrot’s website for $139.99.


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