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Published on October 4th, 2012 | by Kira


Bluetooth! Monster’s Voice Activated Bluetooth Speaker

Blue­tooth has come a long way. The com­pe­ti­tion for wire­less tech­nolo­gies has cer­tain­ly heat­ed up- wit­ness the suc­cess of Sonos and Ap­ple’s Air­play- but the Blue­tooth mar­ket con­tin­ues to ex­pand, as new man­u­fac­tur­ers join, sup­port­ing new fea­tures and de­vices. We’ve had the chance to check out lots of Blue­tooth gear, from docks to clocks. And to­day we’ve got a pair of very dif­fer­ent de­vices that each have some­thing to of­fer. As we ap­proach the hol­i­day sea­son, it’s time to start think­ing of what gifts might be a good fit for the gad­get-lover in your life- like the re­cent­ly-re­viewed tuneLink Home.

Or per­haps you’re look­ing for some­thing more portable? Mon­ster re­cent­ly came out with an lightweight, slick up­grade to their line of Blue­tooth speak­ers that can fit in a hand, purse, or most bags: the Clar­i­ty HD Mi­cro Portable Blue­tooth Speak­er. This speak­er comes with a wrist strap and you can switch out the front grill be­tween black, white, blue, green, and pink, for whichev­er fits your style.

These speak­ers eas­i­ly sync up with any Blue­tooth de­vice, but works best with smart­phones like the iPhone or HTC One X. We used our new iPhone5 and found it con­nect­ed with­in five sec­onds all through voice ac­ti­va­tion! Speak­ing of which, the coolest part about this speak­er is that it can be voice ac­ti­vat­ed. You just say “Hel­lo Mon­ster Mi­cro” and the speak­er is ready for 24 dif­fer­ent com­mands, not lim­it­ed to “check bat­tery,” “pair mode,” “what can I say,” and “set­tings menu.” The speak­er seems to han­dle voice com­mands very well, but it un­for­tu­nate­ly has to pause the mu­sic for it to work. How­ev­er, this fea­ture does mean that you can al­so use the speak­er as a speak­er phone, which we found was pret­ty clear, per­fect for con­fer­ence calls.

The over­all sound of the Clar­i­ty HD Mi­cro Portable Blue­tooth Speak­er was ac­cept­able. It had some trou­ble when we test­ed the high­er vol­umes and did not go quite as loud as we would have liked. In ad­di­tion, we found chang­ing the vol­ume a lit­tle an­noy­ing. The app that is used on your de­vice has it so chang­ing a track and the vol­ume is the same +/- con­trols, it is just a mat­ter if you tap the but­ton (for a track change) or hold it down (for vol­ume). We found that in­stead of just turn­ing up the song it would some­times switch to the next track, which can quick­ly be­come very an­noy­ing.

The bat­tery life is pret­ty good though (and recharge­able, rather than re­quir­ing dis­pos­ables). It will last around five to six hours de­pend­ing on how loud you have it, which is plen­ty for most peo­ple, and com­pet­i­tive with oth­er sim­i­lar de­vices. The Blue­tooth sig­nal range is stan­dard- you are look­ing at about 30 feet or a lit­tle less if it has to trav­el through walls.

For a high­er-end speak­er, the Clar­i­ty HD Mi­cro Portable Blue­tooth Speak­er looks slick and feels well-built, It comes with some cool fea­tures, but for the price tag of $190, we ex­pect­ed a bit more. It cer­tain­ly of­fers su­pe­ri­or sound than, say the HMDX Jam Blue­tooth Speak­er which we re­cent­ly re­viewed, but is sig­nif­i­cant­ly more ex­pen­sive. A good part of the val­ue is in the voice com­mands and speak­er­phone func­tion­al­i­ty, and so we rec­om­mend tak­ing a care­ful look at this one if you’re in the mar­ket for a full-fea­tured portable wire­less speak­er and speak­er­phone.

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About the Author

Former neuroscientist, and now fashion photographer, Kira is a perfect fit for TrulyNet. She has a great understanding of what is hot, loves the new geeky toys, and has the academic background to be opinionated on it. Kira is well traveled, has lived in Australia and Canada for school. Loves the outdoors, biking, all types of art, and is completely obsessed with fashion and photographing it. She presently can be found in New York City at an art event, art gallery, museum, science talk, one of the NYC parks, a vegetarian friendly restaurant, a comic book store, or out getting bubble tea. She is a little obsessed with bubble tea.

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