Audio/Visual | Technopolis

Parrot Asteroid

A brilliant way to listen to a world’s worth of channels in your car

Parrot Asteroid

Image: Hugh Threlfall

February 06 2012
Jonathan Margolis

One of the ironies of internet radio is that once you can get 11,000 stations from around the world, you discover you don’t really want any of them – except the ones you listen to on a “normal” radio. Even expats, in my experience, shun the chance to listen to some familiar wireless from home, happy just to know that they could if they wanted to.

I might, again, be speaking for myself alone but when I’m in the car, I find it’s oddly different. Maybe it’s just because you can’t get internet radio in the car, but I have a longstanding desire to be able to drive around in LA or Sydney listening to Radio 4, or around London listening to Radio Nottingham, to which I have an attachment going back to when I lived there.

This superb French car radio gets internet radio. It does so – and very, very well indeed – via either your own 3G dongle or by tethering wirelessly to your phone. Surprisingly, it doesn’t suck up huge amounts of data. It is a tad lightweight and plasticky but has exceptionally good functionality all round – and also gets AM/FM radio, along with a host of superb ancillary functions from Bluetooth speakerphone to satnav. Quite brilliant.

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Parrot