There are many earphones like the ClarityOne earbuds out there. They look good, have the talk to suggest they'll sound great, but - coming from Puresound Technologies - don't have the big reliable brand name to give you confidence that they'll supply the goods. We've gone ears-on with these buds to see if ClarityOne deserves a spot on the trusted list.
However, the bodies are a little on the large side and are plated with shiny aluminium, for a glossy look and strong feel. The metal doesn't add a great deal of weight, but they are a little tricky to fit. Sticking out of your ears more than most and using tips that sit by the entrance to your ear canal rather than diving right into it, they are prone to falling out occasionally - and need to be fiddled with in order to get a good fit.
Three sets of translucent rubber tips are included, in the standard small, medium and large sizes. A little zip case is included too, with a Carabiner for extra gripping power.
To go hand-in-hand with the metallic finish of the buds, the cable has a clear coating, letting you see the metal core of the cable inside. It looks fancy enough, but it feels a little cheap next to something like the Phonak PFE 012. Using a plastic rather than rubbery finish is meant to cut down on tangles, but it doesn't always lead to a robust-feeling cable.
To worsen these concerns, the cable shielding started coming away from a join junction down its length during testing - without any bad treatment involved. This cable is non-removable, so if the cable fails you'll either have to have a go at a repair job - which is not easy at this size - or buy a new pair of earphones.
Someone call a doctor...
As build quality is otherwise quite good, we hope this will be an isolated incident, but these earphones do seem less robust than something like the Shure SE215 - with its chunky, removable cable. Noise isolation is also unremarkable. It's enough to make using them on public transport manageable, but they do struggle with the London Tube at its worst. This is in part due to the less invasive fit.
Around 15cm down from the left earbud is a very simple handsfree housing. There are no visible buttons - rather the whole thing is a single button that takes calls and acts as a play/pause button for iPhones when playing music.
But how do they sound?