The back has a simple on/off power switch, a Mini-USB port for charging the rechargeable battery, and a 3.5mm audio-in jack to hard-connect your non-Bluetooth music players. Finally, the top of the iClarityHD features a large reflective surface that looks like a large button, but is actually just for aesthetics and attracts fingerprints as badly as a mirror.
Connecting the Monster iClarityHD via Bluetooth is a simple process; it took us less than 5 minutes to pair it with an Apple iPhone. Once the device is switched to "on" on the back, hold down the power button to put it in pairing mode and select the device in the corresponding music player's Bluetooth settings.
Once paired, you have the flexibility of either listening to a stream of wireless music or using it for hands-free calling with the built-in microphone. In our anecdotal tests, the iClarityHD's noise-canceling feature adequately filtered out ambient background noise while picking up voices from several feel away, and callers on the other end reported clear audio with no fuzz.
We assume that most of the time you'll use the iClarityHD to listen to music, and though you won't likely be disappointed with its fidelity, we aren't as excited about it as the Soundmatters FoxL v2 speaker. Granted, the iClarityHD delivers adequately deep bass thumps at low to midrange volumes, but the FoxL benefits from an additional bass boost thanks to its BassBattery and Twoofer designs that wrap the battery in rubber for increased low-end vibration that you can actually feel.
Cranking the sound up on the iClarityHD results in a lot of fuzz and distortion, especially with tracks featuring heavy bass and low-end. For example, we listened to the entire TR-808-filled album "808s & Heartbreak" by Kanye West using the iClarityHD, and the little guy struggled to keep up with the constant bass hits--similar to what you'd hear in a car's stock speaker system at full blast. That said, as is the case with most Bluetooth speakers, don't expect the iClarityHD to power your next house party with its limited volume levels and sound representations--it's more suitable for smaller indoor events.