We got our hands on a pair of Monster headphones from their Clarity HD line to check out. While they might promise high definition quality, we ran the Monster Clarity HD In-Ear Headphones through a series of tests to find out just how good they are.
The packaging isn’t usually very important when it comes to the quality of headphones, but good packaging can go a long way. Especially when you’re trying to get customers to pick your product up off of the shelf. More people might shop online these days, but that doesn’t mean good packaging isn’t nice to have.
The Monster Clarity HD In-Ear Headphones come in a very subtle package with the headphones on display in the front. One could argue that the box looks a little plain, which makes it harder to grab someone’s attention, but since it doesn’t affect the product that isn’t really important. What is important, though, is the information.
The box proudly displays the words “Better Built, Better Fit, Better Sound” on the front with a small mention of Monster’s ControlTalk Universal technology. That’s actually pretty important, but I’ll get to that later. On the back you have a picture of the headphones with some information about their design. It’s not super impressive, but these headphones aren’t exactly a flashy product.
Once you get them out of the packaging, there are several sizes of tips for different ears. Before I got to reviewing mine, I checked out Amazon to see what people were saying. A big complaint seemed to be that the tips didn’t fit, but I didn’t have that problem since it does come with three different sizes.
After I got my Monster Clarity In-Ear Headphones out of the box, I got to work testing them. I listen to a lot of music, so the first test that I had was listening to music. While the sound isn’t anything extraordinary, the quality is pretty good for the $30 price that you can find them at. I don’t typically use earbuds, so I can’t make any comparisons for that price range, but if you’re looking for something relatively cheap to listen to music with on the go, these should do the trick.
The only complaint that I do have is that the bass seems a little low for my taste. How that affects you depends on the type of music you listen to, but it’s more noticeable when listening to rock music. I tested the Monster HD Clarity In-Ear Headphones with the iHeartRadio app as well as with my own personal collection of music, and your typical pop music plays fine. When it comes to rock music though, it can seem a little tinny. However, since these seem to hover around $30, that’s probably not a big deal.
If you’re planning on using these for mobile gaming, the sound is great. I played One Piece: Treasure Cruise, AlphaBear, and Puzzles & Dragons, and everything came through perfectly clear. These games don’t usually have a lot of bass incorporated into their music, so that might have something to do with it, but I found the headphones to work pretty well for that purpose regardless.
One of the things I noticed during my review is that the manual that comes with the headphones doesn’t really tell you anything about the ControlTalk features. After finding a mysterious button and doing some digging I found out. The button activates the ControlTalk features for the headphones that let you control your music and phone calls with the press of a button. It’s actually pretty cool, but it would have been nice to see something about it in the manual, because it’s actually kind of complex.
The button works with phone calls and with local media players. Unfortunately it didn’t seem to work with the iHeartRadio app, but it did work with Google Music. Pressing once pauses or plays, or answers a phone call. Two times skips the song, and three times skips back. When it works, it works well.
The only problem that I have is that the headphones don’t seem to contain their own built in volume control, at least as far as I can see. The website does say that a plus and minus control the audio levels, but this particular model doesn’t seem to have that feature. Kind of disappointing, but you are looking at a $30 price.
I also tested the noise reduction of the headphones. How well do Monster HD Clarity In-Ear Headphones reduce the noise outside of your music? Pretty well, actually. This is probably dependent on how well they fit your ear, but I didn’t have a problem with the set of three tips that were provided, or the noise reduction accordingly. With these things on, I can’t hear people or the television.
So are the Monster Clarity HD In-Ear Headphones worth the $30 price tag you’ll probably find them for? For me, definitely. If you want a relatively cheap pair of earbuds with some interesting mobile features and good sound reduction, these should do the trick. Most people probably won’t mind them, but if you’re a serious audiophile, you might be better off with some of their higher end models.