Cleer Audio has been building a name for itself over the past few years, namely with releases like the Cleer Flow over-ear headphones. Now, the company is expanding its product lineup — thanks to new products like the Cleer Ally true wireless earbuds.
At $150, the Cleer Ally true wireless headphones are necessarily cheap. But are they worth the cash? We put them to the test to find out.
Cleer Audio has made efforts to ensure that the Cleer Ally headphones have a relatively unique design. As far as shape goes, the headphones are circular, with three wingtip sizes in the box. They’re a little thicker than some might like, a design choice that was clearly made to improve the battery life of the headphones. The headphones are available in two colors — black, or red. We’re reviewing the red version and they look nice, though we prefer the sleek look of the black headphones.
At first glance, there’s no real way to control the Cleer Ally headphones, but in reality the cap of each of the earbuds is touch sensitive — so once you learn the controls, you’ll be able to easily control the headphones. We like the fact that they’re touch-sensitive — usually, buttons involve having to push earbuds deep into your ears, which can get uncomfortable. Unfortunately, however, the touch controls don’t allow for volume control — so you’ll have to adjust volume at the source.
The charging case is decently designed, and not too big. One major downside to the case is that it has a MicroUSB port instead of a USB-C port. It’s 2019, and no one should be using MicroUSB anymore.
In the box, you’ll get all the accessories you’ll need. For starters, there’s the charging case, along with a total of five sets of ear tips and three sets of ear wings. There’s also a small carry bag and a charging cable, which is nice.
The Cleer Ally earbuds are a little large — however they’re still relatively comfortable. The earbuds fit decently, thanks largely to the number of ear tips and fit wings included in the box.
One of the biggest issues we had with the headphones was that while they weren’t uncomfortable, they weren’t the best at staying in the ears — these definitely aren’t the right headphones for those looking for something for running or sports, as they’ll fall out. That said, they’re not bad for day to day use — as long as you don’t move your head a ton they should stay in the ears just fine.
At $150, the Cleer Ally headphones need to have a decent sound quality — and thankfully, they’re not terrible. In fact, we quite liked the sound quality on offer.
The bass is easily the most pronounced frequency range here. Even on songs with less bass, the headphones bring out the bass quite a bit. Some will love that — others will hate it. But it is something to be aware of before buying.
The midrange on offer is decently tuned. Low mids are super warm and present — which is carried over a little from the extra bass. The high mids seem to have a bit of a dip in them, but it’s not over the top.
The high end could be a little more pronounced. The high-end extension isn’t amazing, taking out some of the sizzle in cymbals and sibilant on vocals. The result is a slightly less exciting frequency response.
One of the best things about the Cleer Ally true wireless headphones is their performance. The headphones connect through Bluetooth 5.0, and we found that they generally retained a good connection without skipping or jumping too much.
The headphones are able to last a whopping 10 hours on a single charge, which is one of the longest battery lives we’ve seen on a pair of true wireless headphones. The charging case also offers an extra two charges, giving users a total of 30 hours.
The Cleer Ally true wireless headphones have a lot to offer — but there are some downsides to the headphones too. While they’re decently-designed and relatively comfortable, their sound leaves a little to be desired.
So what should you buy instead? Well, at $150, you could get the JLab Audio Epic Air Elite headphones, which are among our favorite true wireless headphones to date. They’ll sound a little better, and should be much better at staying in your ears.
Still, thanks to their good performance and nice design, we’ve awarded the Cleer Ally headphones the Headphone Review Bronze Medal.