In our world, wireless connectivity and mobility are required from every business person and taking or making calls while driving is something that happens all the time. Even though not proven fact, driving and holding your phone is if not dangerous, at least very distracting if you are not using a suitable handsfree kit. That's why Parrot, who are a leader in Bluetooth solutions like car kits, have created the Parrot Driver Headset kit a headset with suitable car charger/holder which is designed for in-car use only. While it is not very comfortable that you have to put it on your head every time you want to use it, like a normal headset and not as a car kit, it's nice that you may keep your conversation (or at least the incoming voice) private, as the kit doesn't use any speakerphone but transfers the voice over the ear-bud.
The Parrot Driver Headset consists of two parts: headset, and a car charger that must be plugged into the lighter to use the vehicle as a power source. They are both made of black plastic with glossy elements, which look stylish at the beginning but just love fingerprints and get dirty really fast we'd prefer some mat material used instead. The charger is inserted in the car lighter via a fixed shoulder, which may cause troubles in some cars as you may not be able to install the kit in a way which won't disturb you while shifting gears for example (in our case we experienced some problems when putting the car in Reverse). It would have been much better if you were able to rotate the upper part, as it's the largest one of the car kit, housing the cradle for the headset itself.
There are no service lights for either indication or for illuminating the place where you should insert the headset in the dark, and you are supposed to guess where to put it or to use the car's interior lightning we'd like some discreet white light in the cradle's nest when the headset is not in it.
The latter may be inserted upside down and we did it the first few times we used the kit. In this case it sits pretty still and you don't have an idea that it is actually not charging. The right way is, to insert it with the ear bud facing the upper site, and once you do that the LED on the headset changes from Blue (indicating it is ON) to solid Red that indicates it is charging. Once the charging is complete, you don't get solid Green to show this but just back to flashing Blue, and you can't know if it is fully charged or disconnected by a mistake.
The headset itself has common prolonged design with about average size and weight. The ear-bud is inserted into the ear-canal and that is how the whole headset stays on your head. This allows it to be put on very easily with one hand, since it is expected that you are using the other one to steer the car's wheel.
|Manufacturer/Model||Parrot Driver Headset||Logitech Mobile Traveller||Gennum nXZEN PLUS 5500||Cardo Scala 500||Jabra BT800||Jabra BT250|
|Weight in Grams||14 grams||14.2 grams||17 grams||16.7 grams||22.7 grams||22.7 grams|
|Weight in Ounces||0.49 oz.||0.5 oz.||0.54 oz.||0.58 oz.||0.8 oz.||0.8 oz.|
The Driver Headset passed very well our vigorous head shake test and did not wobble or fell down. The only small problem is that after having it on for a while, the microphone instead of pointing to your mouth, slightly twirls and starts to point at your neck.
Our expectation was that the in-ear-canal design would create discomfort after a short usage, but we were wrong even after an hour we hardly felt anything.
It has three buttons a couple of volume keys on the bottom and top and a power key on the front side it's relatively easy to use the volume keys as you hold the headset to press them, but pressing the power key pushes the whole device into your ear-canal, which after prologned used might create discomform.