British manufacturer Rock Jaw is known for its mid-range headphones and earphones, and the Clarito are the cheapest it’s launched so far. Rock Jaw markets them as replacements for the earphones that come bundled with your smartphone, which is a fair place to start when you’re talking about a pair of £23 earphones.
The Clarito buds look more expensive than they are, with a dark grey aluminium coating giving them a classier feel than your average brightly coloured plastic buds. They're bullet-shaped, so it does mean they protrude slightly out from your ears when worn.
The cable terminates in a 3.5mm jack of the right-angle variety, with a rubber cable protector to prevent damage from awkward bends. The cable itself is rubber; there’s none of the fancy braiding found on previous Rock Jaw headphones, such as the Alfa Genus.
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Rock Jaw supplies a cable clip, which can be attached to your clothes to prevent that annoying booming sound that you get when your headphone cables move around as you’re walking. It’s a nice touch, but as the clip's removable I was always a little concerned that I’d end up losing it.
Despite supposedly being replacements for your smartphone headphones, there’s no in-line remote control for answering calls or pausing music, and there’s no microphone for hands-free speaking, which might immediately rule them out for you as suitable replacements.
You get three sets of silicone ear buds in the box, in three different sizes. Rock Jaw also provides a little drawstring bag for your Clarito earphones.
I found the medium-sized buds were the best fit for me. The earphones are comfortable and light and never proved an irritation, especially thanks to the cable clip.
The Clarito use 8mm dynamic drivers – smaller than you’ll get in more expensive headphones, but fine at this price point.
Bass is very strong when the buds are pushed securely into your ears, and at mid-volume music is reasonably well balanced.
At high volumes, though, there’s a great deal of hissing and sibilance. Guitars and percussion tend to suffer the most from this, but at very high volumes vocals also tend to succumb, too. I wouldn’t recommend dialling things up to 11 unless you want a fairly uncomfortable experience.
The mid-range also gets a little bit short-changed due to the focus on bass, so you’re not getting a huge amount of detail. Still, at just over £20, you can’t ask for much more.
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If you’re unwilling to spend much more than £20 on earphones, the Clarito are a good choice. I do wish there was at the very least a physical play-pause button and mic, but at this price every penny counts. If you’re not bothered about making calls on your earphones and are happy with keeping your music to a reasonable volume, the Clarito will serve you well.
For around £20, there’s very little to complain about aside from the lack of an in-line remote.