With the Monster brand name, people have two things in mind: great quality and great (as in, not really) price. And the Clarity HD Model One speakers certainly live up to that legacy.
As the name suggests, the Clarity HD Model One were designed for clear sound reproduction across all spectrums, with the idea to make any genre sound good. Apart from great acoustics, though, Monster also designed the Clarity HD Model One to have easy connectivity with a myriad of personal and professional audio devices, as well as ease of use.
So let’s start things off with the packaging and see what we get inside the box. Apart from the two speakers, there are two power cables with different socket pins. The power brick is built inside the right speaker itself, so all you need is one thin wire plugged into an electrical outlet. The left speaker draws power and audio source from the right one, so there’s a thick DIN cable that’s roughly 15 feet long.
Then there are 5 iPod, iPod Touch and iPhone compatible brackets that allow you to connect your choice of iOS device easily on top of the right speaker. Finally we have the miniscule remote control which is mostly useful for just powering on/off the Model One, apart from volume control. The playback controls only come into effect when you have an iOS device connected to it, though.
The bookshelf sized Model One measures 16 x 9 inches, and weighs about 5 kgs each. However, the speakers actually felt lighter than that, thanks to the perfectly placed inlay handles on top. Apart from just requiring two cables, the handles make the Clarity HD Model One the most portable bookshelf speakers on the market.
Now as far as connectivity and controls go, the Model One have it all covered. As mentioned earlier, the top of the right speaker has the Apple connector dock, which is used to connect any iPod and iPhone for music playback. The power and main volume control are just in front of the Apple dock.
Behind the right speaker we find the majority of connection ports. There’s a standard 3.5mm input jack, a pair of stereo RCA inputs, and finally ¼” TRS connectors to directly plug in your musical instruments.
Move to the top and you’ll see the port for the optional Streamcast Bluetooth adapter, which has a built-in AAC decoder and is aptX compliant as well. While not available for sale right now, the Streamcast Bluetooth adapter will allow superior Bluetooth audio playback from devices up to 30ft away.
Just above the wireless adapter is the High Frequency dial which allows us to switch the 1-inch dome tweeters’ response from -2db to neutral to +2db. For the most part I was happy with just the neutral setup, but for movie watching I would recommend -2db as the high frequencies don’t interfere with vocal tracks.