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The Cleer Enduro ANC are an affordable alternative with obvious omissions
The Enduro ANC are an affordable alternative with obvious omissions.
With long battery life and decent active noise cancelling, the Cleer Enduro ANC do a good job of selling themselves as an affordable proxy for the big names in wireless over-ear audio. They're not without weaknesses, but they're reasonably priced and surprisingly nice on the ears in more ways than one.
Next to smartphones, headphones are one of the most important gadgets in the mix. However, like an iPhone or Android, their actual worth varies widely from person to person. To some, the idea of spending more than $300 on their next set of headphones is as ludicrous and luxury-grade as something like spending $2499 on a foldable smartphone.
Within that wider context, the Cleer Enduro ANC sell themselves a safe and affordable stand-in for those looking to spend a little bit less on a new set of headphones. They're not quite the bottom of the barrel, but they are budget-friendly - which can count for a lot if that's your biggest constraint.
Within Cleer's current roster, the Enduro ANC sit towards the top end of things. However, when it comes to embodying the brand's overall appeal to consumers, they're unrivalled in purity.
What you're getting here isn't the nicest or priciest entry on the roster, but it does have two key features that are sure to make it tempting for those who balk at the idea of spending the $500 that Sony and Bose's latest demands.
If the only things you want or care about are long battery life and active noise cancelling on a budget, the Cleer Enduro ANC are here to give you exactly that.
How much does Cleer Enduro ANC cost in Australia?
In Australia, the Cleer Enduro ANC over-ear wireless headphones have an RRP of $299.
That's fairly middle of the pack when it comes to the prices commanded by other players in the noise-cancelling headphones niche. It's more than you'll pay for a budget-friendly set of Sony noise-cans, but significantly cheaper than high-end options like the Sennheiser Momentum 4.
Still, it can pay to shop around. Check out the table below for a round-up of Australian pricing for the Cleer Enduro ANC.
Cleer Enduro ANC - Design and features
The Cleer Enduro ANC are conventional but clean. The worst thing I can say about them is that they're nicer to look at on a web page than to behold in person. The best is probably that their target audience probably won't care too much about the differential. The build quality here is a step above budget, but far from the flourish-laden designs that more premium brands like Sony, Bose and Sennheiser bring to the table.
Where the right earcup on the Cleer Enduro ANC is clean and featureless, the left is pocked by a set of familiar inputs. The over-ear wireless headphones offer up a single USB Type-C for charging, which is surrounded by physical controls that handle volume, playback, pairing and audio transparency for the over-ear headphones.
The Cleer Enduro ANC are bundled with a flight adapter, charging cable and a slip-case that can be used to store the headphones between use. The headband adopts the same kind of snappy collapsible design that premium vendors have departed from in recent years, which does make it a little more compact than it would be otherwise.
In terms of how they felt to wear, the Cleer Enduro ANC often seemed a little small for my head. I wish the headband had a little more range to accommodate for that. Still, they proved more-or-less comfortable to wear over long periods. Even if the ear-cushioning here can't rival that of category leaders, I didn't experience any of the aches or pains that are often associated with a bad set of budget earbuds.
There's definitely something to appreciate about this streamlined approach, but it's not without its downsides. What's here is pretty light on bells and whistles. While they do support Hi-Res audio and offer an ambient mode, the Enduro ANC don't really have any sort of smart assistant functionality nor do they support more niche formats like spatial audio.
Cleer Enduro ANC - Performance and battery life
For a set of noise-cancelling headphones, the Enduro ANC let a lot fly.
If nothing else, they're a timely reminder that not all noise-cancelling is created equal. The 40mm "Ironless" drivers inside the Cleer Enduro ANC do sound surprisingly crisp in the right conditions, their performance was all too often coloured for the worse by a level of sonic bleed that's hard to overlook.
While the natural ergonomics of Enduro ANC themselves (plus the baseline impact of the active noise cancelling tech involved) did work to soften some of the ambience around me, it feels like a stretch to call it cancelled. Regardless of whether I was listening to podcasts, music or audiobooks through these headphones, my listening was often punctuated by noises as small as the typing of my keyboard, the meowing of my cat or the rumble of a nearby train.
As part of our over-ear testing process, we put the Cleer Enduro ANC to the test with a playlist designed to tease out the limits and strengths of both the drivers and design found here. You can click the button below to listen for yourself.
Our testing process found that the Cleer Enduro ANC sometimes struggled with the wider soundscapes of The Weeknd's "Blinding Lights" and "Sometimes Numb" by Pink Floyd. In contrast, the "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" by The Beatles and the riotous rhythms and bedlam of "The National Anthem" by Radiohead fared relatively well.
On the whole, music sounded decent when heard through the earcups of the Cleer Enduro ANC. It just rarely sounded as immersive you'd expect from a set of modern noise-cancelling headphones..
Like most modern over-ear headphones, the Cleer Enduro ANC also comes kitted out with a built-in microphone. While this inclusion doesn't come accompanied by the accoutrements that a Jabra headset might, I found that worked well enough in a pinch. The story here is much the same as the noise-cancelling side of things.
The microphone on the Cleer Enduro ANC doesn't sound terrible, but it doesn't sound particularly good either. If call quality matters to you more than most, it might be worth seeking out something with a dedicated stick microphone. On the other hand, if having a built-in microphone matters more than having one that sounds good, then the Enduro ANC will fit the brief without too much trouble.
How long do the Cleer Enduro ANC last?
One of the biggest claims to fame for the Enduro ANC is the promise of sixty hours of battery life. That's a significant feat even compared to heavy-hitters like the Sony WH-1000XM5 noise-cancelling wireless headphones. In the two weeks I've used the Enduro ANC as my go-to set of noise cans, I've only had to charge them back up once.
The Enduro ANC also boast fast charging to the sum of 2 hours of playback in just ten minutes. This isn't quite as fast as the 3 hours for 3 minutes offered by the aforementioned WH-1000XM5s, but it's pretty respectable for half the price. In practice, the fact that I rarely had to charge these up did make a big difference in terms of the larger conveniences they delivered.
Is the Cleer Enduro ANC worth buying?
The Cleer Enduro are a decent option for those who prefer more battery life to better noise-cancelling. Those who are used to the creature comforts and fancy features of more expensive options are more likely to the seams and shortcomings here, but if you're looking for bang for your buck, it's not all that hard to find it.
There's always going to be a bigger fish when it comes to headphones, but if you're looking at spending $300 on your next set of noise cans, the Cleer Enduro ANC give you plenty to chew on.
How does the Cleer Enduro ANC compare?
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How we review over-ear headphones
If you're on this page, you might be wondering what goes into a Reviews.org over-ear headphones review. There's a short answer and a long answer to this question.
Let's start with the former. When we review earbuds, broadly speaking, we tend to look at five main considerations:
- Sound: Obviously. Do they sound good?
- Comfort & Design: Are they nice to wear?
- Features: Is the battery good? Is the connectivity reliable? What's the noise-cancelling like?
- Vibe: What's the overall experience like?
- Value: Are they good for the money?
While audio products can be quite subjective for many reasons, we have standardised testing procedures across the team designed to help us look at the category in a consistent way. You can read more about how we review over ear headphones here.