Monster has just expanded their line of iPod related offerings with their Clarity HD Model One powered speakers with integrated iPod dock. The Clarity HD Model One was designed to be easy to use with a variety of sources while providing high quality sound that would fill a decent sized room with what I would call listening volume music rather than a lower background volume. These substantial, bookshelf sized loudspeakers retail for $749.95 a pair and feature an attractive contemporary design with "automotive grade" gloss finishes. My review sample came in yellow though red is also available with more colors to follow soon. The speakers are equipped with digital bi-amplification that allows their attractive industrial design to be exploited in a room without being compromised by a stack of audio gear.
• Read more bookshelf speaker reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com's staff.
• Explore sources in our Source Component Review section.
The speakers themselves have a triangular cross section, tapering down to a narrow back which reduces internal standing waves. The driver complement consists of six and a half inch woofers with four-layer voice coils and concave one inch soft dome tweeters. The rear panels are left with sufficient room for RCA, quarter inch TRS and 3.5mm headphone inputs, a high frequency adjustment control, a wireless module port (more on this below) and power cord port. All connections are made to the right speaker, which is connected to the left speaker through a lengthy and substantial eight pin DIN cable. The wireless module port allows for the addition of Monster's soon to be released Streamcast module which allows streaming directly form a Bluetooth equipped source. The speakers have flush handles molded into their tops and the right speaker has an iPod dock power button and volume knob. A small credit card sized remote controls power, volume and basic iPod transport functions.
• The simplicity and ease of setup and operation allow the user to go from box to listening in less than five minutes.
• The design of the Clarity HD Model One allows for an iPod to be docked in the top or the wireless streaming of music, eliminating the visual clutter of boxes of gear, leaving only a pair of contemporary styled speakers visible.
• The capabilities of this portable system allow it to expand beyond the low volume, background music levels that are typical for this type of system.
Read about the low points of and competition for the Clairty HD Model One on Page 2.