Parrot in the US this week showed off its new RKi8400 car audio unit, specifically designed for Apple’s iPhone and iPod. The front panel of the RKi8400 is removable, with a space behind it to stow away your iPod or iPhone, or you could chose to connect up a USB flash drive or SD card for your music playback.

The integration of the RKi8400 head unit into the car’s audio system means you’re using the car speakers to hear calls, with the noise-cancelling microphone picking up your voice loud and clear for the caller on the other end of the line.

On the first occasion you pair up your iPhone to the system, all of the phone’s contacts are copied, so caller details will either show up on the 2.4 inch colour screen, as well as system menu items, and music information, such as playlist, album covers, etc. If enabled, you can make a phone call using the voice recognition function. The RKi8400 can hold details of up to 1,000 contacts. Answering or ending calls is handled by pressing the green and red buttons on the unit itself.

Price and availability

Strike Australia, the Australian distributors of Parrot, do have a test unit of the RKi8400, but have not at the time of writing decided on whether or not they will import it.

Overseas the RKi8400 will sell for US$399.99.