Monster Clarity BT Designer Headphones review
By Alison Blackman and Anthony Sabatini
The new Clarity BT Designer Series High Definition Wireless Headphones (MSRP: $199.95) were officially launched at the 18th Annual Latin Grammy Awards. We have learned to greatly appreciate headphones From Monster. Their products continue to excite and inspire us with technology and stellar design.
Clarity headphones aren’t just beautiful with great sound quality, they allow you to connect three different ways: wireless, wired, and with what Monster is calling “Digital Direct.”
Clarity Digital Direct:
Digital Direct is a unique feature in these headphones that allows you to plug the headphones into your computer and charge them (using a USB connection), at the same time as your computer supplies the audio you are listening to. This also provides for better sound by keeping it as digital all the way to the headphones.
You might not think you need this feature. However, for example, if you are working in an office it’s useful to be able to listen to audio without disturbing anyone else.
Monster Clarity headphones are lovely to look at, available in Matte Black, Silver, Rose Gold, and Gold. They’re on the ear and not “over the ear. This means the cans are smaller–much smaller for example than the wonderful over the ear Monster Elements we reviewed a few months ago.
Although over the ear style styles offer better sound isolation, on the ear headphones allow some external noise such as street sounds through. This makes them a safer bet for commuting, and outdoor use.
You’ll find only one actual button on the Clarity BT Designer Series headphones. That button turns them on and off and pairs the Bluetooth. The other functions are accessed from the side of the right-hand earcup. Swipe up or down for volume, side to side for other controls.There’s also a low battery warning tone and light.
It is great not to have to fiddle with buttons, but until you get used to it, you may find yourself pausing music instead of giving your headphones other instructions. Once you work it properly, it’s very liberating.
The headphones have excellent audio prompting, but there is very little visual confirmation of their use (such as when pairing). It’s not obvious that you need to be wearing the headphones to hear audio prompts before pressing the single button on Clarity to turn them on, turn them off, or to pair them.
Monster excels at great audio and we haven’t been disappointed in sound quality in any of their headphones. However, when you are using on the ear headphones as opposed to over the ear headphones, you may find that the sound is missing some of the low, bass tones. This is because you cannot couple the base tones into the ear as you can with an over the ear headphones.
The isolation of the over the ear provides a more open sound stage (sounds like it is all around you as opposed to emanating from within the headphone itself). Since these headphones are open air you do have to play them a bit louder than you would with an over the ear headphone because of sound loss and external noise.
If you want to know more about how we judge audio, read: How We Test Sound
We usually don’t test our headphones for phone calls, but on Clarity, there is a high intelligibility microphone to ensure you get great sound when you’re making phone calls as well as when you are listening to audio.
With few exceptions, the Monster Clarity BT Designer Headphones sound every bit as good as the more expensive over the ear Monster Headphones (above the level of the low bass tones).
Other benefits include a whopping 24 hours of operation time on a full charge (4 hours at ample level, 30 hours talk time, 20 days standby ). We verified this!
If you’re wearing them for long periods of time you’ll like the comfortable headband and nicely padded earcups. The headband adjusts to a wide variety of head sizes, and it has a silicon padding that keeps the headphones from slipping off your head.
The headphones also fold for travel and storage (in the included cloth bag). A soft pouch is a Monster signature, but we would have liked a more protective case.
Monster describes the Clarity Bt Designer Series Headphones as: Serious Audio. Simply Stated.
We say that for anyone who wants to enjoy great sound, these headphones offer a wonderfully satisfying listening experience!
For more information visit https://www.monsterproducts.com/