Monster ClarityHD Micro Review

The Clarity HD Micro is a member of Monster’s Clarity speaker line, along with the Precision Micro, SuperStar and the Model One. It features voice command and control, interchangeable speaker grilles and has a built-in speakerphone function. It retails for Php 11,500.00.

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Out of the Box

When you get one of these, you get a wall charger with a set of adapters, a hand strap and a drawstring felt carrying pouch. It’s available in black or white, and for our review we got a white model. Alternative speaker grilles are also available in pink, blue or green, which retail for Php 1,000.00 each. The unit weighs at 13.8 ounces and measures 3.125″ x 7.125″ x 1.5″. It’s a rectangle that’s rounded at the sides and tilts slightly backward when you set it down. It looks like something you would use on your desk really, but it’s light enough to be carried around. It has a rubberised bottom to give it grip on smooth surfaces or when you push any of the top buttons, which are the Bluetooth and the volume buttons. At the back you will find the on/off slide switch, reset pin-hole, the microUSB for charging, and the line-in jack if you want to connect a non-Bluetooth device.

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On Use

I’ve got to use this for about a month and I’d say that it does what its name says, it’s a very decent speaker. It supports the AptX codec, which promises cleaner sound over Bluetooth. It makes it great to use for phone calls, and I’ve had plenty of opportunity to use that in my meetings when I work  from home. That clarity also shows when you play music through it as you can hear the mids better and the highs are not as hissy. It’s not as bassy as Bose’s SoundLink Mini though, but it’s not a deal breaker as the SoundLink Mini is much more expensive.

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The voice command and control is a useful feature; you can check the battery status, pair with another device and a few more features. Through it you can prompt your device’s own voice
assistant (for this review I used it with Siri). To do so, you’ll have to say “œHello Monster Micro”, then your desired command. In my opinion the trigger is a little to long (six syllables), maybe they can come up with something shorter in another update.

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As I was using the Clarity HD Micro throughout the review, I would have instances when the audio would just stop when I was playing MP3s from my iPhone or iPad. In the whole month that I used  this, it occurred four times.

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Based on the product site, you can update the firmware on the Clarity HD Micro, when available, when you connect it to your computer. The battery clocked in at about 10.5 hours of use, which included answering calls with it and playing audio at 50% – 70% volume.

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Conclusion

I actually liked this speaker; it provides clear audio and has great battery life; but I have to admit that it’s pricey when you compare it to what’s out there at the moment, but you can get a better deal when you can buy it through Amazon and have it brought by your balikbayan friends.

Pros
“¢ Moderately light
“¢ Interchangeable grilles
“¢ Voice command
“¢ Pouch and strap included

Cons
“¢ Sound is not as full as Bose’s SoundLink Mini
“¢ Latency issues when using Bluetooth
“¢ Audio gets cut off on some occasions
“¢ SRP is pricey, but you can get better deals on Amazon or Ebay

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