Cleer Audio ALPHA

6 months ago 112

The Cleer Audio ALPHA headphones are a thoroughly worthwhile alternate to the evident choices astatine this benignant of money, offering a convincing and enjoyable dependable alongside a agelong artillery life.

For

  • Long artillery life
  • Well made and comfortable
  • Big, convincing and enjoyable sound

Against

  • Lack marque cachet
  • Noise cancellation is ‘good’ alternatively than ‘great’

The Cleer Audio ALPHA headphones are a thoroughly worthwhile alternate to the evident choices astatine this benignant of money, offering a convincing and enjoyable dependable alongside a agelong artillery life.

Pros

  • +

    Long artillery life

  • +

    Well made and comfortable

  • +

    Big, convincing and enjoyable sound

Cons

  • -

    Lack marque cachet

  • -

    Noise cancellation is ‘good’ alternatively than ‘great’

No 1 ever made a mistake buying Sony over-ear noise-cancelling headphones. But not everyone is funny successful pursuing the herd - and if it’s an alternate to ubiquity you’re after, the Cleer Audio ALPHA could beryllium conscionable the ticket.

They’re good made. They’re robust. They’re comfy. They're extensively specified successful each respect, and they person artillery beingness that volition comfortably outlast adjacent your longest listening sessions. And successful Dirac Virtuo, they person the astir subtle, and consequently the astir effective, spatial audio algorithm around. No substance what you’re listening to, the ALPHA dependable convincing, coherent and afloat entertaining.

No, they don’t cancel sound arsenic efficaciously arsenic the champion rivals - but they’re hardly a catastrophe successful this regard. And no, the marque doesn’t presently get the kudos it’s apt to successful the future. But arsenic acold arsenic compelling options that don’t accidental ‘Sony’ oregon ‘Bose’ connected their earcups go, the Cleer Audio ALPHA merit an audition. 

a closeup of the cleer audio alpha headphones

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Cleer Audio ALPHA terms and merchandise date

  • Available now
  • $249 / £249 / AU$450

The Cleer Audio ALPHA are connected merchantability present for $249 / £249. Customers successful Australia should expect to manus implicit AU$450 oregon truthful - that’s based purely connected speech rates, caput you, due to the fact that the ALPHA haven’t made it onto the company’s Australian website conscionable yet.

You don’t request to person a blackbelt successful headphone cognition to recognize however extended your prime of over-ear progressive noise-cancelling headphones astatine this benignant of wealth is. The evident front-runners are Sony’s exemplary WH-1000XM4 (lately disposable successful this terms range), but you should besides see alternatives from Bose, JBL, Sennheiser and immoderate fig of the different accustomed suspects. Basically, Cleer Audio has pitched the ALPHA into the heavy of the action.   

a closeup of the earcups connected  the cleer audio alpha headphones

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Design and features

  • Comfortable fit
  • Adaptive noise-cancelling
  • Bluetooth aptX Adaptive 

Anyone who breaks the over-ear headphones plan template is either brave, oregon foolish, oregon both. There’s nary accidental of Cleer Audio falling into those categories, though - truthful the ALPHA look precisely arsenic you’d expect. 

By prevailing standards they’re reasonably compact, and don’t permission that acre of abstraction betwixt the broadside of the wearer’s caput and the headband that immoderate other, much ostentatious designs do. 

The prime of the plastics is good, the nicely padded ear-cups are comfy and defy absorbing excessively overmuch of your ear-heat excessively quickly. Headband padding is decent, and contempt their reasonably important 330g weight, the ALPHA enactment comfy for hours connected end.

a closeup of the cleer audio alpha headphones

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Which is conscionable arsenic well, due to the fact that with a precise acceptable artillery beingness of 35 hours (with noise-cancelling switched on) the ALPHA are acceptable to outlast the longest listening sessions. 

Should the worst happen, the headphones tin spell from ‘flat’ to ‘full’ successful a mates of hours, portion conscionable 10 minutes connected the mains should beryllium bully for 4 hours of playback. When they’re not successful use, the ALPHA fold usefully small, and are supplied with a decently compact carry-case that should support the nicely tactile plastics scratch-free. 

Wireless connectivity is via Bluetooth 5.1 (which is undoubtedly a large contributor to that awesome artillery life), with enactment for SBC, AAC and aptX Adaptive codecs - truthful synchronization betwixt audio and video should beryllium smooth. Once beamed aboard, audio accusation is delivered to the wearer’s ears by a mates of 40mm full-range drivers that usage Cleer Audio’s multiple-magnet ‘ironless’ statement successful a quest for distortion-free sound. 

the cleer audio app

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The ALPHA tin beryllium operated utilizing the fewer carnal controls, the capacitive touch-surface connected the extracurricular of the close ear-cup, oregon the ‘Cleer+’ power app (free for iOS and Android). In summation to the touch-controls covering ‘play/pause’, skip forwards/backwards’, ‘volume up/down’, ‘answer/end/reject call’ and ‘conversation mode’ (which lowers playback measurement briefly), the close ear-cup besides has a fastener for ‘power on/off/pairing’ and a 3.5mm analogue socket for carnal transportation to a source. 

On the left-hand side, meanwhile, there’s a USB-C input for charging and an ‘action’ fastener that cycles done your noise-cancelling options (‘on’, ‘off’ and ‘ambient sound control’), switches the Dirac Virtuo spatial audio effect connected oregon off, oregon summons your dependable assistant. Once you’ve learned the required fig and magnitude of presses the enactment fastener requires, it’s rather an intuitive mode of getting what you privation from your headphones.  

The Cleer+ power app is arsenic utile (and gratifyingly unchangeable portion it’s astatine it). As good arsenic duplicating a batch of the power options disposable elsewhere, the app besides has five-band EQ accommodation (as agelong arsenic the Dirac Virtuo is switched off) and allows you to set the magnitude of outer dependable you perceive erstwhile ‘ambient sound control’ is selected. 

It’s arsenic implicit a specification arsenic this price-point demands, and - connected paper, astatine slightest - makes the ALPHA afloat competitive. Even the prime of finishes (the ‘midnight blue’ of this reappraisal illustration oregon ‘stone’ are available) are a bully saltation connected those offered by higher-profile rivals.

the cleer audio alpha headphones

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Audio performance

  • Full-bodied, good organized sound
  • Nicely subtle spatial audio effect 
  • Half-decent sound cancellation  

There are 2 chiseled Cleer Audio ALPHA sounds - the dependable erstwhile Dirac Virtuo is engaged, and the dependable erstwhile it’s switched off. We person to commencement somewhere, of course, truthful let’s speech astir the mode the ALPHA execute erstwhile Dirac is not engaged and the EQ levels are near flat.

With a chunky hi-res record of Thom Yorke’s Traffic playing, the ALPHA are a muscular, controlled and beauteous engaging listen. The higher frequencies are nicely shaped, with plentifulness of item regarding texture disposable and existent power to the onslaught and decay of treble sounds. 

In the midrange, wherever the endless litany of this tune’s vocal complaints exist, there’s a due sensation of separation and isolation to the dependable - adjacent arsenic it’s integrated rather smoothly into the wide presentation. Again, it’s live with good item of method and timbre. And astatine the bottommost of the frequence scope (which has the benignant of extent to marque Cleer Audio’s assertion of hold down to 20Hz look reasonable) there’s important assemblage and substance - but, arsenic with the remainder of the frequence range, it’s good controlled and carries decent momentum adjacent arsenic the tune attempts to slur successful and retired of idiosyncratic notes. 

the cleer audio alpha headphones successful  their case

(Image credit: TechRadar)

This wide consciousness of alacrity is carried implicit to a perceive of the rattling indie-pop of Standard Fare’s Fifteen. There’s a pleasant consciousness of unity to the ALPHA sound, bully integration of the frequence scope and a soundstage that’s good defined if not the astir expansive.

Switch Dirac Virtuo on, though, and ‘expansive’ is simply a overmuch much applicable word. There’s a large woody much abstraction to the sound, a flimsy but definite content of a ‘dome’ of dependable alternatively than the ‘left and close gathering successful the center’ of the regular stereo presentation. 

It’s rather a subtle effect, which - to us, astatine slightest - is preferable to the alternatively ostentatious Sony 360 Reality Audio oregon Dolby Atmos spatial alternatives. The information the Dirac algorithm doesn’t interaction the ALPHA sonic signature, their power oregon their rapidity, doesn’t bash immoderate harm either. And erstwhile listening to a primitive stereo signaling similar The Beatles’ I Saw Her Standing There there’s (of course) greater cohesion and unity to the sound.

The Cleer Audio clasp capable item successful each condition to overgarment a implicit picture, and they person capable dynamic quality to marque the smallest harmonic variations obvious. Big dynamic shifts are inhibited conscionable a little, but not truthful overmuch that ‘quiet’ isn’t rather a region from ‘loud’. And there’s a pleasantly earthy and convincing installation with rhythmic look present too.

Call prime is good, and the ALPHA person nary problems interacting with dependable assistants oregon boosting outer sounds successful ‘ambient’ mode. And up to a point, the adaptive noise-cancelling is awesome excessively - surely the ALPHA permission nary proposition of lack oregon counter-signal erstwhile suppressing outer sounds. 

Compared to their champion rivals, though, the Cleer Audio can’t permission you rather arsenic isolated from the extracurricular satellite arsenic you mightiness necessitate - the drone of a train, oregon the drone of its passengers, volition ever beryllium conscionable somewhat evident.

Should I bargain the Cleer Audio ALPHA?

the cleer audio alpha headphones successful  their case

(Image credit: TechRadar)

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Simon Lucas

Simon Lucas is simply a Senior editorial nonrecreational with heavy acquisition of print/digital publishing and the user electronics landscape. 

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