PARROT RKI8400 Review and Discussions


Standard Member
Well there was a thread on when ETC but its now out so i thought a new thread would be useful.

I bought mine and have had it for 2 days and first impressions are.....

Very functional and easy to use
SDHC and USB with no capacity limit. It takes any large mass storage device so you can run a HDD if you choose too. (Size max to be tested....)
Ipod connectivity
Top Quality Bluetooth handsfree. Very clear and easy to use. built in Voice Recognision or use of the Phone's if it has it. Both working well. Also up to 10 phones can be synced with there contacts making it useful if a shared car.
Radio has a good reception and picks up weaker signals.
Super clear screen
Good build quality and nice rubberised feel.

Compartment fan noisy...
Firmware upgrade crashes at the moment.
Few skips on the first song played on turn on.
Quite retro looking (I like it but would not fit in with all cars.
Quite a thick chunky front panel.
long first read of Mass storage.

Will report more once i have used it a bit more.



Established Member

Any more thoughts with a bit more use?

I'm considering one so any opinions useful!



Standard Member

After some more use im finding it quite easy to use. If using the USB or SD card do not skimp as you will find it take ages to open up and changing track is not instant.

Im now using a Extreme 3 4GB SD over a 512 Kingston card and its is lightningly faster.

The latest update has stopped the device hanging at times and also reduced the frequency the player might be interupted when your phone connects in via the bluetooth.

The handsfree is top quality and works fine at motorway speeds. People are shocked when i tell them im driving.

Also the amp on the parrot is really good and has no issue powering the speakers with more than enough punch.


Established Member
Hi there

was thinking about getting one of these as it seems to fulfil absolutely everything i want in a head unit at long last

One quick question, though

If you plug an ipod into the connector, does it play in shuffle mode?

I thought I had cracked it recently when I bought a kenwood set-up for my wife's car that had bluetooth and ipod connectivity and control for the head unit, but try as I might, it only plays the music in order, no matter whether you're in an album, a playlist or you've just set the ipod to shuffle songs before you plug it in.

Most of my listening is done that way and it drives me nuts not being able to just stick it on random and sit back and drive.

Is the rki8400 the answer to my prayers???



Established Member

Sorry to open this thread up again, but was wondering what people think of the Parrot Rki8400 now that (not sure how many people have bought it) they've had it for a couple of months or so. It's just then I love the idea of it, and like the look of it too, but I've been to a couple of Car HiFi Shops and most of them suggest an Alpine, Kenwood or Pioneer Head Units, one guy even said he wouldn't touch it with a Barge Pole, but his shop had Alpine etc plastered all over the windows so presume he'd push that sort of equipment anyways.

Many thanks in advance for any replies



Standard Member

I'm currently using a iPhone 3GS 32GB. Does anyone know if with the Parrot RKi8400, do you have to plug in the phone to use all the functions or could i for example leave the phone in by bag and via Bluetooth, it will auto sync/connect to play all my music and answer my phone etc instead of docking it inside the head unit everytime?


Established Member
I know this is an old thread now, but since it's still a current product, I thought it worth posting about my experience in the hope it will save others from the grief I have experienced with this dud of a car stereo. Lest anyone thinks I am a disgruntled consumer with an isolated problem, check Parrot's own forum for this product which is awash with rants from similarly dissatisfied customers.

I first bought this unit from an online store in November last year, to use with my then iPhone 3G. Every time I made a call whilst playing music (thus letting the stereo mute itself to start the phone call) instead of hearing a phone call I heard a screeching noise. I reproduced this problem with two other iPhones including an original generation iPhone. Parrot wouldn't acknowledge it has a hardware or software design fault, so I sent the unit back for repair and was sent a brand new one. It did the same thing, so I sent it back for a refund. Some time later, Parrot acknowledged the problem as a software fault, and fixed it in a firmware update. I bought a third RKi8400, this time from a local shop, and the problem was indeed fixed - for a while. Gradually the problem returned and now it's permanent again, suggesting an interplay between hardware and software design faults since pure software bugs don't get progressively worse over time. Parrot now have the nerve to blame this long standing fault on the newly released iOS 4 which they don't yet support.

This is far from the only problem with this unit. My one randomly shuts itself down and reboots about every two hours or so whilst in use when I'm not touching it or doing anything with it except playing music. It also sometimes mutes itself irreversibly, also without touching it, and requires a removal and reinsertion of the face to recover. And those are just the things that happen which aren't supposed to, and just the ones that happen to me. Parrot's forums are chock full of other similar problems experienced by other users. The unit has many more flaws "designed" into it.

Among many flaws in the design of the firmware, here are the most annoying for me:

- There is no clock - at all - anywhere on the UI. My car doesn't have a clock because the factory fitted radio had one, so I have no clock at all in my car any more.

- The unit has a good quality screen that can display album artwork at high resolution, but the artwork feature is unusable for two reasons: 1) it takes 5 seconds or so to load the artwork as it starts playing each track, and it locks the "next track" and "previous track" operations whilst loading the artwork. This means if you have album artwork displayed, you have to wait 5 seconds or more between each skip operation, so skipping 12 tracks in a playlist takes a full minute with arm outstretched. 2) The track name, album name and artist name are overlaid directly onto the album artwork without a background fill behind them - depending on how busy the artwork image is behind the text, the text on many tracks becomes unreadable.

- The unit has a "quick dial" feature to dial frequent numbers, but it is anything but quick to use. You have to switch from music to the phone channel (two button presses and a short delay between them) then press one of the keypad buttons for a couple of seconds to dial a number, then switch back to music after the call - another two button presses with a short delay between). It's quicker to browse the phone book, and that isn't exactly quick.

I bought a Parrot head unit because I had previously owned to Alpine units and the phone mic/speaker quality was unusable on both. Parrot have a reputation for phone audio quality which is deserved. Sadly they do not know how to write firmware for a car stereo. The software on this unit is appallingly poor quality and their support department has a tendency towards blaming problems on anything but their own software.

My strong advice is that everyone avoids this stereo at all costs. I don't know what the perfect solution is for a car stereo that does iPhone music and phone calls, but I know this isn't it. There are so many iPhone owners now, you have to figure that one of these days, some manufacturer somewhere is going to make a car stereo that works well with it.

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