It's a Hummer: A Monster Clarity HD Black Micro Bluetooth Speaker Review
Apr 25, 2013
The Monster ClarityHD micro Bluetooth speaker, made in China, is a high powered wireless speaker and speakerphone with voice command and control, advanced Bluetooth featuring AAX and apt-X, and interchangeable grilles (sold separately). The package contains the micro Bluetooth speaker, protective bag, carrying strap, charging cable with various outlet adapters, and an instruction manual.
As a speaker, the Monster ClarityHD micro Bluetooth speaker has a good range and sound. Unfortunately, I've experienced a background hum or interference of some sort frequently without being able to determine why this occurs or how to prevent it from happening. It's quite annoying and ruins the listening experience when it occurs. Otherwise the Monster ClarityHD micro Bluetooth speaker is highly portable and pleasing to listen to.
I was greatly disappointed with the Monster ClarityHD micro Bluetooth speaker when used as a speakerphone. I was on a call using my iPhone when a ding indicating I received a text came through which turned off the speakerphone. Other alerts and dings did the same thing. Fortunately, a firmware update resolved this annoying issue. Even so, when using the speakerphone in certain situations, the person on the other end has indicated difficulties hearing me speak.
Activating voice commands requires being turned on by pressing the up and down volume buttons simultaneously. Then to issue a voice command, one must say in a clear normal tone "Hello Monster Micro" to prevent accidental commands and wait for the Monster ClarityHD micro Bluetooth speaker to respond with "Say a command". Ask "What can I say?" and Mr. Micro will recite the list of programmed commands. Audio must not be playing and one must say hello appropriately or commands will be ignored. The voice commands can be turned off in the same manner in which they were turned on or by powering down the device. Voice acknowledgements will continue to occur for certain functions.
The Monster ClarityHD micro Bluetooth speaker firmware is updateable. Monster offers an update program on their website to upgrade firmware as needed. Once terms are accepted and the program is installed, one simply turns off the speaker, presses the volume up and down button simultaneously, and plugs in the USB cable from the computer to the speaker. A red light turns on indicating the update process is activated. Continue to the next screen and the upgrade starts to process. The screen will eventually indicate the firmware has been upgraded and the red light will turn off. The updated speaker is now ready to use.
The Monster ClarityHD micro Bluetooth speaker has a well thought out design and is feature rich. However, the occasional background hum problematic. Overall, I prefer to use the more economically priced Jabra Soulmate even though the Monster ClarityHD micro Bluetooth speaker is smaller and lighter. If you're looking for a portable speaker/speakerphone the Monster ClarityHD micro Bluetooth speaker may work for you and is worth comparing to the alternatives.
PROS: Preprogrammed voice commands Incredibly powerful dynamic range Connect wirelessly to any Bluetooth enabled device 1 year limited warranty
CONS: Frequent interference/background hum Speakerphone can be difficult to hear on the other end
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