Cleer has been making relatively good headphones at affordable prices for some time now — like the original Cleer Flow headphones, which we argued offered a lot for their price. Now, however, Cleer is here with a follow-up — the new Cleer Flow II headphones.
Do the headphones really build on the originals, or simply offer more on the same? And, at $250, are the worth buying — or are there better options? We put the Cleer Flow II headphones to the test to find out.
The first thing to notice about the Cleer Flow II headphones is their design, and they’re very similar to the original Cleer Flow headphones. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — the original headphones looked pretty good, but a little refinement would have been nice here.
The headphones come in a two different colors, including Gunmetal and Metallic. A bit more variety in colors would have been nice, but the Metallic pair that we’re reviewing still looks nice.
On the left ear cup, you’ll get a few different controls — including a power button, a noise-cancellation button, and a Google Assistant button. The rest of the controls are touch-based on the left ear cup, and they’re still a little tough to use. You have to ensure that you always tap the exact correct spot on the ear cup in order to use them, and that can be tough when you’re wearing the headphones.
On the right ear cup, there’s a USB-C port — and we’re happy to see it. Any company still using MicroUSB is behind the times, so it’s nice that Cleer has adopted the newer standard.
In the box, there’s a good selection of accessories. You’ll get a nice hard case for taking the headphones on the road, along with
The headphones are a little bulky, but they feature plenty of padding, making for a relatively comfortable experience. In particular, there’s a good amount of padding in the head band, which is important when the headphones are a little heavier, as these are.
Still, we were able to wear the headphones for a few hours without any major issues. They should serve well for those who want a pair of headphones for long-haul travel.
Of course, the most important thing to consider is sound quality — and that’s an area where Cleer excelled with the original Flow headphones. The Cleer Flow IIs are no different — offering a good amount of clarity in the high-end, and a generally well-tuned frequency response.
The bass response isn’t necessarily as deep as some might like, but it’s still deep and responsive, offering a good amount of punch for kick drums and a smooth bass guitar tone. The bass extension isn’t ultra low, as we would have liked, but most will be perfectly happy with what’s on offer here.
The mid range is pretty well-tuned, offering warm low mids and a good amount of cut in the high mids. This helps vocals and guitars nicely cut through a mix.
Perhaps the best thing about these headphones is how the detail and clarity shines through in the high end. That’s not always the case in headphones in this price range.
The noise cancellation on these headphones is pretty good too. Sure, it’s probably not of the same standard as the likes of Sony and Bose, but it’s still good at cutting out the majority of outside noise.
The Cleer Flow II headphones offer a battery life of around 20 hours, with noise cancellation enabled — and that’s pretty good. That means that the headphones should easily get you through a full day of travel.
The headphones also connect through Bluetooth 5.0, and thanks to the built-in Qualcomm Bluetooth chip, they’ll retain a good connection throughout. We never experienced much skipping while listening to these headphones.
The Cleer Flow II headphones have a lot to offer. They’re relatively well-designed, offer a comfortable fit, and sound pretty good. They’re not a huge improvement over the original Cleer Flow headphones, but if you’re in the market for a great pair of noise-cancelling headphones in the sub-$250 price range, these are a solid option.
But are they the best option? Well, it depends. The best noise-cancelling headphones out there are still the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones, but they’re also $100 more. Another major contender is the Audio Technica ATH-WS990BT headphones, which offer a slightly sleeker build and a better battery life.
Still, because of their excellent sound-quality and nice design, we’re awarding the Cleer Flow II headphones the Headphone Review Silver Medal.
|Frequency response||20Hz – 40kHz||Active noise cancellation||Yes|
|Driver size||DRIVER SIZE||Noise attenuation||Unknown|
|Driver type||Dynamic||On-ear controls||Yes|
|Rated impedance||Unknown||Magnet material||Unknown|
|Total harmonic distortion||Unknown||Water resistance||No|
|Rated input power||Unknown||Battery life||20 Hours|
|Maximum input power||Unknown||Wireless distance||10m (33ft)|
|Wireless connection||Bluetooth 5.0||Cable length||1.2m (4ft)|
|Wired connection||Yes||Case type||Hard Case|