Review: Monster Delivers Room Trembling Sound With Clarity

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$270 More info from brand

Written by Tony Ibrahim     11/01/2013 | 02:41 | Category name i.e.REAL HI FI

What is it about Monster's voluminous Clarity HDs that makes us think twice about buying them?

Style

"Dignified" would not be a word used to describe the Clarity HDs styling. Although they adopt the trapezoidal shape common to monitors, look-at-me hues of red or yellow quickly undermine their serious side.


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It's the kind of styling people into hydraulically-propped-lowriders would appreciate.

Inside the speakers are a mature 6.5 inch bass driver and a concave one inch tweeter, which rest beneath an impressionable black grille.

Connections

Bristling across the spine of the right speaker is a High Frequency Level knob (which can be set to -2db, 0db and +2db) and a series of connections, including: RCA inputs for TVs or stereo component outputs; 1/4-inch inputs for mixers or pro audio gear; an auxiliary (3.5mm) input for use with Android smartphones, mp3 players or computers; a port for Monster's separately-sold wireless module; and an 8-pin DIN port complete with a long cable for that wide stereo image.


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Other trinkets found on the right speaker include a volume knob, the 30-point-pin used to dock Apple devices, an on button and a glowing red LED light which awakens when the monitors are powered.

 

 

 
Sound

To test the sound, we set the Monster Clarity HDs in a large, baron 3-walled-room which opens up into our offices.

Popping an iPhone on the dock and hitting play causes sound to enthusiastically bellow to levels beyond comfort. You'll never be left wanting volume with the Clarity HDs, that's for sure. And yet even at full volume, about ten seconds after the windows rattle, children cry and the neighbours move out, they continue to sound layered and rhythmically balanced. The amount of control these speakers have is certainly impressive.


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Typically we expect anything from Monster to manipulate low end frequencies-such as bass-but the Clarity HDs were refreshingly honest throughout the range. Complex melodies are dissected with surgical precision and sound layered rather than cluttered. As a result, songs like The Pretender by the Foo Fighters and Welcome to the black parade by My Chemical Romance sound fantastic as the contrast between solitary vocals and pacey action is handled skilfully.

These speakers don't just handle rock effortlessly; we threw R&B, House, Trance, Rap, Reggae and even Michael Bubl? at them, only to find ourselves hypnotised by their unflinching enthusiasm.

 

 

The Fall 

Although Monster's Clarity HDs look great and sound incredible, we're left wanting a little more connectivity from these speakers. Their one-thousand dollar price tag merits more support for non-Apple devices-seriously we'd settle for a USB port, DLNA or WiFi Direct-because in reality, Apple loyalists only make up a minority.

Having said that, if you're an Apple user after a pair of monitors, Monster's Clarity HDs deserve a listen.


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Pros & Cons

Pros:

Incredible sound; Great styling;

Cons:

Limited connectivity considering the price; Requires Lightening adaptor for new Apple devices;