• The speaker lacks a subwoofer output. While the speakers have better than expected bass extension I would like the option of being to augment the low end extension, particularly when used in larger rooms.
• While self contained, the Clarity HDs do need to placed close to a standard wall outlet seeing as how they are a powered design. Also, you'll be using interconnects versus speaker cables when connecting these loudspeakers. This may or may not bode well for some of you in terms of their ultimate flexibility in terms of placement within your living space.
• The sound quality is above average but is not as refined as some other similarly priced products.
Competition and Comparisons
If you're looking for a more lifestyle friendly, iPod or iPhone compatible loudspeaker there are more than a few options to choose from -many of which are less expensive than Monster's Clarity HD speakers. One option that immediately jumps to mind is Bowers & Wilkins' MM-1 desktop loudspeaker at $499.95. Another option, one that is a bit more than the Clarity HD loudspeaker is Audio Pro's LV2 wireless active digital loudspeakers at $1,000 per pair.
For more on these fine loudspeakers as well as others please check out Home Theater Review's bookshelf loudspeaker page.
The Clarity HD Model One powered speaker system is a convenient and attractive way of getting an iPod sourced system in place. Unlike many of the other iPod sourced powered systems the Clarity system is capable to providing satisfying sound at levels well beyond their capabilities. If this was my main stereo system I would wish for more resolution and in the upper regions, more refinement. However, I do not think most potential purchasers are looking for an audiophile rig to audition new music with. This system is for providing music for relaxation and enjoyment and it delivers that. If you are seeking more audiophile type refinement with similar capacity levels for playback levels and range you could compile a system with better sound quality (i.e. an integrated amplifier and a pair of mini-monitors) but you would lose the style and utter simplicity of this system.
The bottom line is that the Clarity HD Model One speaker system is a stylish, easy to use system that can fill a good-sized room with music rather than audio gear clutter.
• Read more bookshelf speaker reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com's staff.
• Explore sources in our Source Component Review section.