About a month ago I was rear ended by a guy who, in the police report, said that he, “took a larger dose of heroin that normal,” which would explain why he plowed into the back of me as I driving at about 35 MPH. Luckily no one was hurt but my poor 2005 Nissan Altima endured more than she could bear. I spend a few minutes wallowing in a cold puddle of sadness before realizing the obvious bright side of this unfortunate incident; a new car.
I purchased a replacement car last week and immediately made plans to replace the factory stereo with an aftermarket unit that incorporated two very important features; Bluetooth hands-free and iPod integration. My plan was to install the stereo from my previous vehicle which had both of these features but because the dash has a slight incline, installing an aftermarket stereo would ruin the aesthetics of my lovely new interior. I spent the next few days researching different products that could integrate Bluetooth and iPod /USB to my factory stereo and decided on the Parrot MKi9100.
To be honest, I went with the Mki9100 because I found the unit marked down at my local Best Buy because the box was damaged and now I’m very glad I did. I just installed the unit today and I’m extremely satisfied with it. I purchased a wiring harness made specifically for my car so the installation was very simple and required no wire splicing. In regards to skill required for installation, If you’ve ever installed a car stereo, you should be able to install this yourself. The Bluetooth phone works great, both for me and the person I’m speaking with. For playing music, the MKi9100 has iPod, USB, auxiliary and Bluetooth streaming audio capabilities and they all sound great.
The one small thing I dislike about this unit is that it’s not controlled by the car stereo, but rather a small remote and display. The MKi9100 does connect to the car stereo but a more accurate description would be that it integrates with the car’s speaker system. When the MKi9100 is in use the care stereo is muted. In fact, the stereo doesn’t even need to be turned on to use the unit. The good thing about this setup is that the remote can be attached to the steering wheel for easy and safe access and the display can be mounted anywhere in the car. I’m sure I’ll get used to not using the stereo buttons very soon.
While it’s not perfect, I would recommend the Parrot MKi9100 if you’re looking for a way to add Bluetooth hands-free and iPod integration to your factory car stereo. In regards to price, functionality, ease of installation and ease of use, this unit is a great choice. There are plenty demonstration videos on YouTube if you want to see it in action. If you do decide to purchase this unit, I encourage you to purchase a harness for your particular make and model. It will cut your installation time down dramatically.