Face-Off: Noise-Canceling True Wireless Earbuds Cleer Ally Plus

Cleer Ally Plus
($199) cleeraudio.com


The most annoying aspect of true wireless buds is limited battery life compared with their over-the-ear Bluetooth compatriots. You need to check to make sure the buds are fully charged before leaving the house, and if you do forget, your listening pleasure is likely to be interrupted right in the middle of your jaunt.


The Cleer Ally Plus solves this particular annoyance by supplying 10 hours of battery life with noise-canceling off and a generous 7.5 hours with noise-canceling on, with the case supplying an extra 20 hours. None of the other models reviewed in this test can touch those battery life specs.


The Cleer's digital noise-canceling ranks just a notch below the 1More and Sony's, and its ambient sound mode just a notch below that of the 1More, Audio-Technica, and Jabra. With music, the Ally Plus produced deep, booming bass that I found overwhelmed the mid-range and treble, though fans with more boisterous musical tastes than mine should be fine with that.

You control the Ally Plus via taps on either bud. Conveniently, you slide up/down to adjust volume and double-tap to pause/play, but there's no skip/repeat track control. Cleer helps assure a sealed fit by generously supplying six different-sized silicone ear tips, and the buds themselves barely stretch out much beyond your lobes. Unfortunately, there is no corresponding Ally app to customize EQ, ambient sound/noise-canceling, or tap-control settings. But with their tight, flush fit, IPX4 water-resistance, and aggressive bass, the Ally Plus is an excellent option for exercise.

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