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.
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.
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.
£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.