Available for £149.99 via Harrods
It’s coming. The end of the 3.5mm headphone jack is nigh and there’s nothing you can do about it except buy a decent pair of Bluetooth earphones. Luckily I was given such a pair in the form of the Cleer Ally, but is it a clear choice for your ears?
The sound quality is good but only under great conditions. I found listening to music and podcasts to be difficult on the London Underground, which I do five days a week, two to three times a day. I also found it almost impossible to make a phone call, nine out of 10 times I would have to surrender and use my phone the old fashion way, utilising my rotator cuff and raising my phone my face in defeat. This was quite disappointing as it’s such a desired feature from earphones/earbuds. Again, perfect conditions were needed to make a phone call and even then, it didn’t work sometimes.
There’s a clear need for noise cancellation in the Cleer Ally and that will come in a future iteration called the Ally Plus which should be out this month (August) at the time of writing. Basically, if you intend to use these in noisy situations such as the tube then you might want to wait or buy a pair that already incorporates noise-cancelling technology.
However, these earbuds are great at the gym, enough volume and bass to drown out the horrible generic pop and house music blaring through the speakers.
Cleer has advertised the Cleer Ally for active people and it does suit those who love going to the gym or a run. The box includes many ear bud sizes to find your best fit and it has IPX5 water-resistance which bounces off sweat (not swimming water) with ease.
The design is great, it’s not too bulky or heavy, and suits any wardrobe combination. The charging case is small enough to fit any pocket proving not to be cumbersome at all. There were many times where I caught myself thinking when was the last time I charged the case. The Cleer Ally gives a massive 10 hours’ battery life and 20 hours in the case, adding up to a massive 30 hours. This is incredibly generous, for comparison the Sony WF-1000XM3 True Wireless Earbuds can play for six hours (but it has noise cancelling tech) and the Apple Airpods last only five hours.
You can pause music by tapping the earbuds and stop it completely by taking them out. The music will the resume when you put them back in which saves the hassle of pulling out your phone and hitting play.
If you love the design of this earphone (that I do) I would wait for the noise cancelling Ally Plus to come out this month. If that proves comfortable with a high battery capacity like the Ally, I think it will be worth a buy. But let’s hope Cleer sorts out the phone calling feature and that the noise cancelling technology will stand strong against its rivals.
Available for £149.99 from Harrods