A few weeks ago, we got ourselves an in-ear headphone set from Monster. They are called Monster Clarity HD High Definition In-Ear Headphones and their manufacturer promises that they are built to last, that they are comfortable and that the audio experience delivered is top notch. However, even if the manufacturer praises his product, you can't always trust it. And the best way to know if a device is good enough to meet your expectations is to test it. That's why, if you plan on buying this headphones set, you should first read our review in order to find if it's good for you or not.
Unboxing The Monster Clarity HD High Definition In-Ear Headphones
The Monster Clarity HD High Definition In-Ear Headphones come in a partially transparent, rectangular box. This design choice lets you see the headphones inside, without opening the actual package.
Inside the package, you will find the headphones, a booklet containing the manual and the warranty, and two different size sets of earbuds (in addition to the ones already mounted on the headphones).
Up until now, the Monster Clarity HD High Definition In-Ear Headphones look like a product of good quality, delivered in a carefully designed package.
Monster doesn't list the exact hardware specifications on their website. And, unfortunately, we couldn't find them anywhere else on the Internet.
However, the official website lists some information about these headphones. Among others, Monster tells us that the Clarity HD High Definition In-Ear Headphones have reinforced stress points that make the product more resistant to tearing, they are built to isolate noises and they include Universal ControlTalk controls.
We did our own measuring, and found that the cable of the Monster Clarity HD High Definition In-Ear Headphones is 1.20 meter (3.93 feet) long, which is a rather standard length when it comes to in-ear headphones.
Other things worthy of mentioning in terms of hardware specs are the fact that these headphones feature a low profile right angle 3.5mm connector and the cables are flat so, at least theoretically, they should be a bit more difficult to entangle than classic ones.
Unfortunately, we can't say much about the hardware specs of the Clarity HD In-Ear headphones, as Monster doesn't provide any on their official website.
Using The Monster Clarity HD High Definition In-Ear Headphones
Immediately after unpacking the Clarity HD In-Ear headphones, we loved their design. The silverish inserts look really nice on the black matte color of the model we've tested. Another nice touch is the minimalistic Monster logo printed on the ControlTalk button and on the in-ear speakers.
We mentioned earlier that the Monster Clarity HD High Definition In-Ear Headphones come with three different sized earbuds. That is a good thing, as that means you can use a pair that fits you, regardless if you have large or very small ears.
At first, we tried out the headphones without plugging them into any device. We did that to see (or better said: hear) if the headphones really do offer any noise isolation. We were pleased to find that the earbuds work quite well for this: most of the external noise was instantly reduced. Now don't think that no sound was reaching our ears, but we would say that the headphones block somewhere around 50 percents of the external sounds.
Then, we wanted to check how the headphones sound when listening to music. We plugged the Monster Clarity HD High Definition In-Ear Headphones into a few different devices and listened to a few different types of music. We used the headphones on a Nokia Lumia 930, a Kindle Fire HDX and an older smartphone - a Samsung Galaxy S. On each of these devices, we played tracks from Mozart, Pink Floyd, Skrillex and Iggy Azalea.
We must admit that the music quality is really good. Regardless of the music genre you play, Monster Clarity HD High Definition In-Ear Headphones deliver good results: deep bass, clear voices and accurate high tones. The only possible downside we noticed is the fact that sometimes the bass seems to be a little too prominent, even in audio tracks that don't have so much low levels.
Another thing we consider important when assessing an audio device is the sound quality when playing videos. To test that, we watched a movie using the Monster Clarity HD High Definition In-Ear Headphones. We're happy to say that these headphones deserve their Clarity HD name: acting voices are clear and easy to understand.
Then, we checked how these headphones fare in phone conversations. We used them to make phone calls on a Nokia Lumia 930 connected to a 4G cellular network. The phone experience was really good, on both ends of the line. The people we talked to heard us very clearly, proving that the microphone mounted on the headphones' cable is of good quality.
Finally, we need to talk a bit about the Universal ControlTalk feature offered by the Monster Clarity HD High Definition In-Ear Headphones. This is a set of smartphone functions that allow you to control things like answering or ending a phone call, declining a phone call, play or pause music or videos, skip to the next or previous track or launch voice control. All these actions are initiated with one or more presses on the headphones' button, in various sequences.
The problem is that not all of these work on every device. For example, on our Lumia 930, we couldn't skip to the previous track from our music playlist. However, we could perform all the other actions we listed above. We especially liked the voice control function, which really means launching Cortana (if you're on Windows Phone), Siri (if you're using an iPhone) or Google Now (if you're an Android user).
Another downside we must mention is the fact that Monster doesn't provide any kind of documentation about the Universal ControlTalk feature. We checked the manual from cover to cover, but no - there's nothing. If you want to find more about it, you should check the How does the ControlTalk work? section from this webpage: Headphones - Frequently Asked Questions.
After using them in various situations, like listening to music, watching videos or having phone calls, we are more than satisfied with the sound quality offered by the Monster Clarity HD High Definition In-Ear Headphones. However, there are a few things we consider to be downsides: the bass is sometimes too prominent, even when it should not be, and the Universal ControlTalk feature is undocumented, even if it's marketed as a strong point of this headset.
We liked the sound quality offered by the Monster Clarity HD High Definition In-Ear Headphones. The audio resolution is good regardless of what you listen to, be it a music track or a movie. Phone conversations are clear, for both you and the person you speak with. And the ControlTalk is a feature that can really ease your life when using the headphones on the go, like when you get on your bike. On the other side, we didn't like the unwanted bass sounds in some songs where they shouldn't have been present. And we also didn't appreciate the total lack of documentation for the ControlTalk feature. Even if it has its flaws, considering all the positive aspects and its price range, we recommend the Monster Clarity HD High Definition In-Ear Headphones for everyone.