Review: Monster ClarityHD Micro Bluetooth Portable Speaker
November 26, 2012 by Bill Palmer
by Bill Palmer
What happens when Monster thinks small? You end up with the ClarityHD Micro, a $199 bluetooth speaker which aims to capture the spirit of the company’s much larger stereo systems. The battery powered unit, which is about eight inches wide and barely an inch deep, is part of a growing trend of portable speaker units which can be paired up wirelessly with nearly any mobile device so you can keep your device usable in your hands while its audio emanates from the nearby speaker.
For its size the Micro offers a commanding level of audio clarity across all ranges, with the mid and upper ranges particularly resonant. Unlike similarly sized units half its price, you can crank the Micro to any volume you like without losing audio quality.
The most notable feature may be that the Micro can be operated by voice interaction. When it’s looking for a device to pair with, it’ll tell you as much, in those words. Users will either find this feature helpful or distracting. Perhaps more importantly you can talk to the unit, telling it to pair up, asking for it to recite the current battery level, and other commands. In my tests these commands worked with no trouble at all.
Perhaps the only caveat with this product is that its battery life is only about five hours. That’s about on par with what I’ve found from sub-$100 bluetooth portable speakers, but ones in this price range tend to offer at least a few hours more. Whether that’s a determining factor for you will depend on how long you plan to use it between charges. The silver lining is that it comes with the ability to recharge the unit via either an electrical outlet or your computer’s USB port, whereas most competing products come with only option or the other.
The Monster ClarityHD Micro comes in either black or white, but you can diversify yours with optional front and black plates in various colors.
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 • Price: $199 • monstercable.com