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ClarityOne Earbuds - Sound Quality, Value and Verdict

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

6

So far, the ClarityOne Earbuds' performance seems a bit patchy. Comfort and build quality that are not up there with the best don't do these earphones any favours. However, they do have something that, at the least, sounds unique. They use what ClarityOne calls a PureSound Processor, described as a circuit that provides "pure, clean, undistorted sound." It may sound good, but does it actually produce good sound?

The ClarityOne Earbuds use 7.5mm neodymium drivers, just the one in each bud, of 8ohm impedance, which is lower than most earphones. Low impedance and high sensitivity of 110db means a simple MP3 player is more than capable of driving these earphones to high volume levels. A headphone amp is certainly not required.

ClarityOne Earbuds

What's bigger news is the patented PureSound processor. You can't see it, but we're going to assume there's at least something going on behind that aluminium armour. But does it supply the "brighter mids & highs, clean deep bass" that ClarityOne claims?

Yes and no. Bass performance is great, with plenty of punch and volume that's commendably well-handled. There's wallop, but none of the muddiness that you'll often hear in bassy earphones.

The promised brightness is there too, without producing too much of a scooped "v-shaped" sound. However, we'll go as far as to say we don't like the top-end.

ClarityOne Earbuds 6

It's fizzy, harsh and not particularly natural-sounding. There's more to "clarity" than just cranking up the treble response. "Ess" sounds often become uncomfortably sibilant, spoiling what is otherwise a dynamic, fun sound. At this price, such a serious slip-up is hard to forgive.

If you're after the clarity the ClarityOne name might suggest, you're much better off with the Ultimate Ears 700 earphones. They offer much less problematic treble performance, a dual-driver design and better comfort.

Verdict

£100 can buy you a lot of headphone, and the £100-odd ClarityOne Earbuds don't come with the sound quality and design to match the best out there. An aluminium coating is nice, as is the great bass performance. But comfort issues and fizzy, harsh treble mean they fall short of expectations.

Overall Score

6

Scores In Detail

  • Design & Features 6
  • Sound Quality 6
  • Value 6

higherma

February 26, 2013, 7:23 pm

Nice
headphones, but you had better hope they don't break during the first 12 months
as ClarityOne does not seem to want to honour their own warranty. Been trying
for two weeks to get a response. Very Poor show ClarityOne. :-(

Sean William Wallace Morison

March 12, 2013, 4:13 pm

I have had no breakages so far, but these headphone are simply the best headphones I have ever listened to. They have the cleanest, most accurate sound in any headphones. Yes, they do have a harsh fizzy treble...until they burn in. Who ever reviewed these simply used them like Beats or something, which are such horrible headphones that they don't need to develop their sound, they just have the muffled booming bass. These are not Beats, they don't have the booming bass and that should not be a negative against it. These phones just need a good burn in period and the sound will come out.

Stephen

June 8, 2013, 9:39 pm

I have these headphones and love them. The only complaint I have is there is no volume control. The sound is better then my previous earbuds which were Beats. I have been seeing so much hype online over these recently with this celebrity and that celebrity, but these really also have the balls to bak up the fluff. Vey happy with my purchase.

Tim

August 3, 2013, 4:16 am

I purchased a warrantied model that has been previously repaired by the manufacturer for $60. I got the exact same problem in this review, being that the outer shielding came out at the exact same spot on the junction. My solution was to put a generous amount of epoxy on all the areas where the shielding goes into the plastic junction, make sure it's in a decent shape, then let it set. That way it's pretty much indestructible, and after I stretched some black heat shrink tubing over the jack and heat it over the entire junction.

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