Cleer Audio ALPHA

No one ever made a mistake purchasing Sony over-ear noise-cancelling headphones. However now not everyone seems to be concerned with following the herd – and if it’s a substitute for ubiquity you’re after, the Cleer Audio ALPHA may well be simply the price ticket.

They’re neatly made. They’re powerful. They’re comfortable. They are broadly laid out in each and every appreciate, and they have got battery existence that may conveniently live longer than even your longest listening classes. And in Dirac Virtuo, they have got essentially the most delicate, and as a result among the best, spatial audio set of rules round. It doesn’t matter what you’re taking note of, the ALPHA sound convincing, coherent and completely entertaining.

No, they don’t cancel noise as successfully as the most efficient competitors – however they’re rarely a crisis on this regard. And no, the logo doesn’t lately get the kudos it’s prone to one day. However so far as compelling choices that don’t say ‘Sony’ or ‘Bose’ on their earcups move, the Cleer Audio ALPHA deserve an audition. 

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Cleer Audio ALPHA fee and free up date

  • To be had now
  • $249 / £249 / AU$450

The Cleer Audio ALPHA are on sale now for $249 / £249. Consumers in Australia must be expecting handy over AU$450 or so – that’s based totally purely on alternate charges, thoughts you, since the ALPHA haven’t made it onto the corporate’s Australian website online simply but.

You don’t want to have a blackbelt in headphone wisdom to know the way intensive your collection of over-ear lively noise-cancelling headphones at this kind of cash is. The most obvious front-runners are Sony’s exemplary WH-1000XM4 (in recent times to be had on this fee differ), however you must additionally imagine possible choices from Bose, JBL, Sennheiser and any collection of the opposite same old suspects. Mainly, Cleer Audio has pitched the ALPHA into the thick of the motion.   

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Design and contours

  • Comfy are compatible
  • Adaptive noise-cancelling
  • Bluetooth aptX Adaptive 

Somebody who breaks the over-ear headphones design template is both courageous, or silly, or each. There’s no likelihood of Cleer Audio falling into the ones classes, although – so the ALPHA glance precisely as you’d be expecting. 

By way of prevailing requirements they’re rather compact, and don’t depart that acre of area between the facet of the wearer’s head and the headscarf that every other, extra ostentatious designs do. 

The standard of the plastics is just right, the effectively padded ear-cups are at ease and face up to soaking up an excessive amount of of your ear-heat too briefly. Scarf padding is first rate, and regardless of their rather important 330g weight, the ALPHA keep at ease for hours on finish.

a closeup of the cleer audio alpha headphones

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Which is simply as neatly, as a result of with an excessively applicable battery lifetime of 35 hours (with noise-cancelling switched on) the ALPHA are able to live longer than the longest listening classes. 

Will have to the worst occur, the headphones can move from ‘flat’ to ‘complete’ in a few hours, whilst simply ten mins at the mains must be just right for four hours of playback. Once they’re now not in use, the ALPHA fold usefully small, and are provided with a decently compact carry-case that are supposed to stay the effectively tactile plastics scratch-free. 

Wi-fi connectivity is by the use of Bluetooth 5.1 (which is without a doubt a large contributor to that spectacular battery existence), with make stronger for SBC, AAC and aptX Adaptive formats – so synchronization between audio and video must be clean. As soon as beamed aboard, audio knowledge is dropped at the wearer’s ears by way of a few 40mm full-range drivers that use Cleer Audio’s multiple-magnet ‘ironless’ association in a quest for distortion-free sound. 

the cleer audio app

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The ALPHA can also be operated the usage of the few bodily controls, the capacitive touch-surface at the out of doors of the proper ear-cup, or the ‘Cleer+’ keep watch over app (unfastened for iOS and Android). Along with the touch-controls protecting ‘play/pause’, skip forwards/backwards’, ‘quantity up/down’, ‘resolution/finish/reject name’ and ‘dialog mode’ (which lowers playback quantity in short), the proper ear-cup additionally has a button for ‘energy on/off/pairing’ and a 3.5mm analogue socket for bodily connection to a supply. 

At the left-hand facet, in the meantime, there’s a USB-C enter for charging and an ‘motion’ button that cycles via your noise-cancelling choices (‘on’, ‘off’ and ‘ambient noise keep watch over’), switches the Dirac Virtuo spatial audio impact on or off, or summons your voice assistant. While you’ve discovered the desired quantity and period of presses the motion button calls for, it’s fairly an intuitive method of having what you need out of your headphones.  

The Cleer+ keep watch over app is similarly helpful (and gratifyingly strong whilst it’s at it). In addition to duplicating a large number of the keep watch over choices to be had somewhere else, the app additionally has five-band EQ adjustment (so long as the Dirac Virtuo is switched off) and lets you alter the volume of exterior sound you listen when ‘ambient noise keep watch over’ is chosen. 

It’s as whole a specification as this price-point calls for, and – on paper, no less than – makes the ALPHA totally aggressive. Even the collection of finishes (the ‘middle of the night blue’ of this overview pattern or ‘stone’ are to be had) are a pleasing variation on the ones introduced by way of higher-profile competitors.

the cleer audio alpha headphones

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Audio efficiency

  • Complete-bodied, neatly arranged sound
  • Properly delicate spatial audio impact 
  • Part-decent noise cancellation  

There are two distinct Cleer Audio ALPHA sounds – the sound when Dirac Virtuo is engaged, and the sound when it’s switched off. We need to get started someplace, in fact, so let’s discuss the best way the ALPHA carry out when Dirac isn’t engaged and the EQ ranges are left flat.

With a corpulent hi-res document of Thom Yorke’s Site visitors enjoying, the ALPHA are a muscular, managed and lovely enticing concentrate. The upper frequencies are effectively formed, with a variety of element referring to texture to be had and actual keep watch over to the assault and rot of treble sounds. 

Within the midrange, the place the never-ending litany of this track’s vocal lawsuits exist, there’s a correct sensation of separation and isolation to the voice – even because it’s built-in fairly easily into the entire presentation. Once more, it’s alive with advantageous element of method and timbre. And on the backside of the frequency differ (which has this type of intensity to make Cleer Audio’s declare of extension all the way down to 20Hz appear affordable) there’s important frame and substance – however, as with the remainder of the frequency differ, it’s neatly managed and carries first rate momentum even because the track makes an attempt to slur out and in of particular person notes. 

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This total sense of alacrity is carried over to a concentrate of the damn indie-pop of Same old Fare’s Fifteen. There’s a nice sense of solidarity to the ALPHA sound, just right integration of the frequency differ and a soundstage that’s neatly outlined if now not essentially the most expansive.

Transfer Dirac Virtuo on, although, and ‘expansive’ is a a lot more appropriate phrase. There’s a really perfect deal extra space to the sound, a slight however particular affect of a ‘dome’ of sound relatively than the ‘left and proper assembly within the middle’ of the common stereo presentation. 

It’s fairly a delicate impact, which – to us, no less than – is preferable to the relatively ostentatious Sony 360 Truth Audio or Dolby Atmos spatial possible choices. The reality the Dirac set of rules doesn’t affect the ALPHA sonic signature, their keep watch over or their rapidity, doesn’t do any hurt both. And when taking note of a primitive stereo recording like The Beatles’ I Noticed Her Status There there’s (in fact) better brotherly love and solidarity to the sound.

The Cleer Audio retain sufficient element in each and every circumstance to color an entire image, and they have got enough dynamic talent to make the smallest harmonic permutations obtrusive. Giant dynamic shifts are inhibited just a bit, however now not such a lot that ‘quiet’ isn’t fairly a distance from ‘loud’. And there’s a pleasantly herbal and convincing facility with rhythmic expression right here too.

Name high quality is just right, and the ALPHA don’t have any issues interacting with voice assistants or boosting exterior sounds in ‘ambient’ mode. And up to some degree, the adaptive noise-cancelling is spectacular too – unquestionably the ALPHA depart no recommendation of absence or counter-signal when suppressing exterior sounds. 

In comparison to their very best competitors, although, the Cleer Audio can’t depart you fairly as remoted from the out of doors international as chances are you’ll require – the drone of a teach, or the drone of its passengers, will at all times be simply moderately glaring.

Will have to I purchase the Cleer Audio ALPHA?

the cleer audio alpha headphones in their case

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Purchase it if…

Do not purchase them if…

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