Monster Clarity HD OneRating:
A typical portable audio speaker is generally a standard piece of kit. Plug your iPod or other MP3 player in and you’re up and running.
Nothing unusual about that, sound quality will vary depending on the quality of the speaker and additional features. To generalise most speaker systems would be used in a bedroom, kitchen or outside when we have the occasional bit of good weather.
Look and feel
Looking at the Clarity HD at first glance this is no typical iPod dock and on face value and in size not obviously portable. Pulling dual set of speakers from the box, I was surprised by how light the speakers were considering their size. And once plugged in delivers some heavyweight sound.
All inputs to the device are housed within the right hand speaker (two ¼” TRS connections (L/R), a stereo ?” headphone plug and stereo RCA connections). Connection to the left hand speaker requires the provided DIN cable, which is approximately 1.5 metre in length, and is very robust.
To boost the sound output each speaker contains a 6.5 inch woofer and 1” silk dome tweeter outfitted with active crossovers and bi-amplified with digital amp.
The iPod dock sits on top right hand speaker allowing quick and easy access via the remote control and also charges the iPod or iPhone. Monster also provide an ACC and apt-x compliant Bluetooth adapter that plugs into the back of the Clarity HD to allow audio streaming from Bluetooth enabled devices.
Unlike a traditional portable audio speaker, the Clarity HD will mix and multiply a number of inputs simultaneously. Potentially allowing you to connect up to 3 musical instruments (DJ decks, bass guitar and laptop for example). Thus making impromptu band practices really straight forward. Considering each speaker weighs less than 10lbs, makes them a great alternative to lugging around a 100W Fender amp.
Whilst I had my hands on the Clarity HD I used it to boost the sound of my 32” LCD TV. Set up was very straight forward. Power adapter into the back, connect speakers to each other via the DIN cable and speaker to TV via headphone adaptor to RCA (red and white) AUX audio cable into the TVs headphone socket (not provided by Monster).
The bass levels hit you immediately, very deep and with next to no distortion. This was apparent whilst playing Skyrim environmental noises felt natural and deeper, sound effects were enhanced and allowed me to submerge myself further into an already addictive game.
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- Great Sound Quality
- Multiple Inputs (especially for musicians
- Lacks HDMI connectivity
On the whole the Clarity HD is a fantastic bit of kit and gets lots of brownie points for its versatility. The sample version didn’t include the remote so it was difficult to test the full range of audio options. And it’s unclear if the Bluetooth add on comes in the box.The speakers lack a HDMI connection to provide more options for connecting to a latptop, TV and Blu Ray player.
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