Parrot Boombox

The Parrot Boombox is a Bluetooth-enabled wireless speaker that lets you hear music from your cell phone or any other Bluetooth source for up to thirty meters. It has provision for old-fashioned wires, though you need a dongle to use it with an iPod. It is elegantly designed in black and comes in its own wooden box. Since it has no battery backup, this limits its mobility, but gives clear transmission up to thirty feet. The single enclosure however limits sound separation that can be achieved with multiple speakers. It will cost you from $224 to $280, which is nothing for the sound quality it produces.

The Boombox is compatible with non-Bluetooth devices and has inbuilt amplifiers. It measures 16.9×8.9×5.9 and weighs a little over twelve pounds. The two-way speakers give 60 watts of power at a bandwidth of 50-20000Hz. They are covered with magnetically fixed, removable grills. The speaker uses 2 x Tweeter driver and a single Woofer driver. The Boombox has a single audio line in and runs on 120/230volts power supply.

The Parrot Boombox comes with Bluetooth 2.0 that includes EDR and A2DP, essential for high quality sound. It comes with its own software that can be upgraded to ensure compatibility with newer devices. However, you need a Bluetooth /A2DP dongle to ensure compatibility with the iPod. You can check the Parrot website for a complete list of compatible dongles and phones. The older cell phone models with low quality monaural sound also need to be programmed for use with the Boombox, and there is no recognition for the iPhone. Some phone models may need manual programming and that too for every use. In this sense the Boombox is a little temperamental in remembering phone model pairings.

The Boombox is well matched with streaming Bluetooth from most personal computers and Macs. You again need to use a Bluetooth enabled USB dongle in case your computer lacks this technology. After connecting the phone or computer you can adjust the tracks and the volume without moving an inch from your comfort zone. Secondly, the audio quality is better for a smaller room, since it provides a smaller range for signal reflectivity that results in a sharper sound.

Boombox speakers deliver better sound quality than more expensive iPod speakers and even highlight some flaws in the music. However some music gets lost due to signal compression and this is avoided by upgrading to a higher version of Bluetooth software. The wireless sound quality is equally good, though not enough for music connoisseurs. One drawback of switching between wireless and wired modes is that you have to do this manually.

With just a little tweaking on the software and making provisions for the popular iPods, the Parrot Boombox is a sleek piece of equipment to own.