I hadn’t heard of Cleer until I was offered a review sample of it. Looking at the product catalogue on its site, it looked like a pretty high-end brand to me. When I finally got my hands on the Cleer Ally Plus True Wireless ANC Earbuds, I was sure about the company’s products being top-quality. The Ally Plus exudes sophistication; the kind of meticulous execution other high-end brands such as M&D incorporates in their products.
A Lovely Presentation
I have never received earbud accessories as carefully and thoughtfully put together as I did in this package. The Ally Plus sports a nice dark theme that gives off a highly unique vibe setting it apart from your average earbuds. It comes with a USB A to USB C charging cable, a ridiculously soft carrying pouch, a box of four additional eartip sizes, a quick start guide and a warranty card. The pouch wasn’t the fanciest one I’ve come across but even the fact that it came with a pouch was worth appreciating. For most True Wireless Earbuds, only a carry case is the default.
Similarly, I’ve always received extra eartip sizes sealed in small plastic packets. Cleer, of course, had to take an alternate route by beautifully planting all the sizes in a box with labeled sockets. There was thought and effort put into every single aspect of the Ally Plus.
Slightly Unergonomic Design
I felt as if the ergonomics of both the Ally Plus and their carry case were a bit lacking. The earbuds, exactly like M&D’s MW07 Plus, are not as streamlined as other earbuds these days. They were also a little too big on me and not tight enough for me to be moving around wearing them. The carry case, like the earbuds, is also slightly bulky. It formed a big bulge when I put it in my pocket and wasn’t the most comfortable to do so. I’d rather put it in my purse. I appreciated the glass lid the carry case features that allows the LED light revealing the charge status to be visible at all times.
Easy Controls with a Little Room for Improvement
The Ally Plus announced ‘power on’ as soon as I took them out of their box without requiring me to turn them on. They also started searching for Bluetooth right away and on their own requiring absolutely no assistance from me in the entire pairing process.
Navigating controls on some earbuds is a nuisance. The Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Earbuds, for instance, have pretty complicating controls that I couldn’t master even after taking a tutorial on them. The Ally Plus, thankfully, have three basic controls for the most used options. To raise or lower the volume, you slide up or down on the earbud, to switch ambient or noise cancellation mode on/off, you single tap and to play/pause, you double tap. All three of these are quite intuitive especially the volume one and I found myself pretty comfortable with them within a matter of minutes.
The only gripe I had with the controls was its functions of what the single and double tap does. I believe that playing/pausing is a control that you’d need to use more commonly than changing between ANC and Ambient mode. Consequently, the former should’ve been a single tap away while the double tap should’ve been for the latter. A little more thought could have definitely made the controls perfect.
Superb Audio Quality
The ANC on Ally Plus was nothing less than astonishing. My sister and I spent a good 15 minutes taking turns to put the earbuds on just playing between the modes because that’s how insane they were. The ANC mode muted, quite literally, everything in the background. And when the ambient mode came on, it was like being introduced to a new world. There are no other earbuds I’d recommend over the Ally Plus for noisy commutes. If these won’t work, I don’t know what will.
Even though the Ally Plus hosts just 10mm drivers, it came through with that clarity, depth and loudness. Every part of the orchestra had its own defined place in the soundstage and no two instruments were clustered together. The sound was well-rounded and sounded full. The commentary during games was clear and loud and the high-frequency explosions were not exaggerated at all. More often than not, the sound of bullets and blasts are magnified to such an extent that they turn out muddy. The Ally Plus steered clear of this issue. While the sound of explosions had that loudness and clarity, they also delivered that low-frequency thump. All in all, the soundstage was spacious and executed fairly well.
Other Impressive Features
The Ally Plus comes with audio codec support for SBC, AAC and aptX along with sporting a Bluetooth 5.0. It also delivered an overall impressive battery life. A five-minute charge for a one-hour playback was what was advertised. After listening at the maximum possible volume, the Ally Plus gave me just a little less than an hour on a five-minute charge. The volume definitely affected the performance but the claim wasn’t a lie or exaggeration by any means.
Across the Board
All in all, the Ally Plus impressed me. They lacked a little thought put into their fit and controls but delivered super audio, insane ANC and an impressive battery life. The effort behind their accessories, packaging and execution is also pretty praise-worthy.
Is it Hardcore?
The Ally Plus are a stunning pair of earbuds that provide first-rate ANC along with a great battery life and superb sound. Considering their inexpensive price, I’d highly recommend.