Hands Free Car Kits FAQ Information

How do bluetooth hands free car kits work?
Why do some hands free car kit installations require additional costs?
I have 2 phones can I pair both with the hands free car kit?
Is the hands free kit compatible with my phone?
Is the kit compatible with my car?
How do I know my Parrot hands free car kit is a UK product and not a grey import? And does it matter?
Can the hands free car kit be integrated into the steering wheel controls on my car?
Can I upgrade my phone without changing to a new kit?

See our new information page on how to pair bluetooth car kits to 3 different mobile phones, with a video and printable pdf guide on each.

How do bluetooth hands free car kits work?

After your kit is installed into your car, the device needs to be 'paired' with your mobile phone. This means that the hands free car kit sends out a bluetooth signal and your phone is set to scan for signals, you accept the signal from the kit on your phone to complete the pairing process.

Now everytime you get into the car the devices will automatically connect without further user input. There is no need to even take the phone out of your pocket or handbag, as the only buttons to push are the ones on the hands free car kit.

You speak freely and your voice is captured through a microphone placed in the head lining or your car, sound is usually heard through the car speakers. With some kits calls can be made and received purely via voice control.

Why do some hands free car kit installations require additional costs?

* Additional Costs (your car will fit into ONE of these 4 categories)

1. No extra cables or wiring required,
No Charge
2. Additional car connection loom required,
£20 +VAT
3. CAN bus driven vehicle requiring additional car connection loom,
£30 +VAT
4. Amplified stereo systems (may be located in the car boot e.g. Bose® system).
£45 to £85 +VAT

2 & 3. Up until about 6 years ago most car manufacturers standardised the car stereo interface so that the connection lead was the same for most makes of cars (the ISO connection). But since then manufacturers have moved away from this standard connection, each using different connection looms and sometimes differences occur even within the same car range. Hands free car kits assume an ISO standard connection and if you have any other connector then an adapter lead will be required.

4. Some high value cars are now given quality stereos, speakers and amps at the time of manufacture. This makes fitting an aftermarket hands fee kit considerably more costly (connection looms alone can cost up to £50). On top of this, amplifiers are usually located in the boot and require extra work to run cables from the back to the front of the car. For this reason we charge £85 +VAT to cover extra labour and parts needed.

From our experience approximately 25% of cars fall into category 1, about 5% are category 4 with 70% of cars falling into either category 2 or 3. This is likely to change as most new cars are now built with the CANbus integrated wiring system.

I have 2 phones can I pair both with the hands free car kit?

 

Generally Yes. But you can only use one phone at one time. This makes sense because if you are communicating on one phone then you cannot accept calls on the second.

The new nokia CK-200, released May 2010, has a 'multipoint' connection meaning you can connect simultaneously with two phones at the same time. It has a dedicated switch button on the remote control, allowing users to answer calls from both, for example from a buisness and personal mobile phone.

Is the hands free kit compatible with my phone?

Most phones are compatible, and with Parrot kits you can look up a particular phone for a particular kit on the Parrot hands free car kit website. Motorola, Bury and Nokia also give compatibility lists for individual car kits with current mobile phone types, on their websites.

However we have noticed currently problems occur with the HTC brand of phone resulting in it being difficult to hear sound and to be heard. There used to be a similar problem with Blackberry phones, but now they integrate like any other brand. Hopefully this will soon be the case with HTC phones.

Is the kit compatible with my car?

Parrot have an excellent website. For your particular hands free car kit you can find out if your car is compatible and whether you need a car connection adapter.

You need to go to the page that shows your chosen hands free kit and then click the link 'Car Compatibility' and then input your information.

From our point or view this look up table lets customers know what information we need about the stereo in their car, as there can be half a dozen possibilities for one make and model of car.

Please note this look up table is not 100% accurate, and in some cases can be difficult to read.

How do I know my Parrot hands free car kit is a UK product and not a grey import? And does it matter?

All products destined for the UK have '55' in the serial code and the words:

'Genuine PARROT UK Product intended for sale in the UK only'

Non UK products are not supported. Click on these words above to see a PDF picture of what this looks like in practice.

Realistically this means that the hands free kit may not work perfectly with all phones manufactured for the UK English speaking market. If you are in any doubt or you think a kit is too cheap then ask to see the box.

At Dragon Car Audio & Security we only supply genuine UK Parrot hands free car kits.

Can the hands free car kit be integrated into the steering wheel controls on my car?

Parrot provide a solution for this problem with three different types of kit available, and the steering wheel integration is achieved either using a Multican, Multicomm or UNIKA device.

Basic kit with no button or screen - Parrot CK3000 Evolution + Multican/Multicomm
Kit with small 2-line screen - Parrot CK3100 LCD + Multican/Multicomm
The MKi range e.g. - Parrot MKi9200 + UNIKA

Please note these devices may not be compatible with all makes and model of cars.

Can I upgrade my phone without changing to a new kit?

All bluetooth hands free car kits will provide no problem as you simply pair the new phone with the kit (see question No1 on this page).

However, a cradle hands free kit will have a phone specific cradle and if you upgrade with this device then you need a new holder for the new phone. If you have a thb Bury system 8 then you simply buy a new phone specific cradle which is swapped over without the need for new wiring.

If you have a genuine Nokia or other phone specific kit, you will generally need a new hands free car kit. These systems are not supported any more and were only sold as a phone specific product. All the major car kit manufacturers now use bluetooth, for connection, allowing customers to change mobile phones when necessary.

Charging and non charging cradles are still available for customers with a Nokia bluetooth kit and a Nokia branded phone.

 


182 Laburnum Grove, North End, Portsmouth, PO2 0EU, United Kingdom. Tel: 023 9236 8235