Clearaudio Aurum Beta Mk II review

There's much to like about this Clearaudio cartridge, but it could do with a touch more verve to liven up its performance Tested at £350

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A must for fans of detailing, this Clearaudio just needs a touch of verve to make it really shine


  • +

    Lashings of detail

  • +

    transparent sound

  • +

    smooth treble


  • -

    Lacks punch when it's needed

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As with other Clearaudio cartridges, this design has an attractive wooden shell.

It tracks at between 2g and 5g; we set it to 2.2g on our reference turntable and, opting for the supplied plastic screws, we found it easy to set up.

And in action, the Clearaudio delivers a transparent sound that picks out every nuance in vocals. There’s an air of intimacy with music, together with lashings of detail and delicacy.

Smooth but lacks true grit
Tonally, the smooth treble sits neatly with a revealing midrange although the bass is lean. Despite its delicacy, though, this Clearaudio needs more thrust. Give it anything dynamic and it lacks real punch.

There’s no denying that this is an accomplished cartridge, but it needs to get a sense of dynamism before it gets the full five stars.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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