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Cleer Scene review: Scene it all before?

Our Rating :
£99.00 from
Price when reviewed : £99
inc VAT

It may not pull up any trees, but the Cleer Scene is a stylish speaker offering quality audio and speakerphone capabilities for under £100


  • Seriously loud
  • Attractive design
  • Speakerphone works well


  • Some audio niggles
  • Average battery life
  • No equaliser support

Cleer may not be a household name this side of the pond just yet, but the San Diego-based manufacturer is hoping that its new Bluetooth speaker – the Cleer Scene – can change that.

Founded in 2012, Cleer has gained decent traction internationally over the past couple of years, garnering a reputation for novel product design with releases like its Crescent smart speaker, and picking up Red Dot Design Awards along the way.

Its claim that the Cleer Scene sets a new standard for portable speaker quality may be overblown, but there’s no denying that this is a capable waterproof speaker available for a competitive price. It looks great and sounds good too, but fails to bring anything truly disruptive to an already crowded market.

Cleer Scene review: What do you get for the money?

Launched in December 2022, the Cleer Scene has an RRP of £99 – a popular price point for portable Bluetooth speakers. It’s a price that positions the Scene above the swathe of cheap options from no-name Chinese manufacturers, while undercutting key competitors such as the JBL Flip 6 and Sonos Roam.

It houses dual 48mm neodymium dynamic drivers and you’ll find a passive radiator on each end of the speaker to help enhance the Scene’s bass response, with Cleer stating a frequency range of 20Hz – 20KHz. The Scene is primarily designed to be used wirelessly over Bluetooth 5.0 but can be connected to your source physically via a 3.5mm port located under a rubber flap on the rear of the speaker. Bluetooth codec support is limited to SBC and AAC, which is par for the course for speakers at this price point.

Less common for under £100 is the Scene’s focus on ensuring it ably doubles as a speakerphone. It uses a built-in echo and noise-cancelling microphone that, paired with its sturdy, rubber base, allows it to perform the role of a tabletop communication hub very capably.

That base is part of a rather novel design, which blends the Toblerone-esque styling of the Sonos Roam with the more common cylindrical shape of other portable speakers. Mesh fabric is wrapped around the majority of the body, clicky rubber buttons for audio and microphone control are found on the crest of the speaker, while the Cleer logo sits proudly on the front of the speaker grille, a couple of centimeters above a thin LED light.

Power and pairing buttons are located either side of the bung that protects the 3.5mm input and USB-C charging port should you decide to test out the Scene’s IPX7 rating and submerge it in water. You’ll need to use that charging port once every 12 hours or so depending on how loud you’re listening, which is about average for a speaker of this size.

All-in-all, you’re looking at a portable speaker that measures 220 x 74 x 90mm (WDH) and requires minimal effort to carry around at a weight of 742g. There’s a choice of two finishes available: the two-tone grey reviewed here and a more arresting red.

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Cleer Scene review: What do we like about it?

On the whole, the Cleer Scene produces engaging and – dare I say – clear audio for its price. The acoustic guitar strums on “Children of the Empire” by Weyes Blood, for instance, were impressively separated from other instruments and vocals on the piano-led, crescendo-riddled ballad.

Pleasingly, bass isn’t neglected either, with ample punch supplied to Overmono’s “Diamond Cut” without an overemphasis of those lows, which wasn’t the case when I tested the similarly sized JBL Flip Essential 2. The Scene’s sheer sonic power might be its most impressive audio trait, however, with the speaker easily filling a small room at just 50% volume.

Its speakerphone capabilities are also very impressive. The noise-cancelling microphone worked well, allowing for speech free from ambient noise across Zoom and Google Meets platforms. The microphone button is particularly useful and works independently of such software, alerting you as to whether you’re turning the mic on or off with a handy audio cue.

The overall design of the Cleer Scene will appeal to a lot of people, too. It looks very smart in both colourways and is a fair bit sleeker than many of the rough and ready options on the market. The section on which the LED light is located is in danger of picking up scratches but adds to the attractive aesthetic, with the light strip itself providing welcome illumination if you’re using the speaker in darker conditions.

Cleer Scene review: What could be improved?

Despite producing impressive audio overall, I did notice a slight rattle and crackle coming from the speaker’s body during some tracks – even ambient songs like “Esprit SE” by DJ Lostboi. This wasn’t a regular occurrence, but distortion at volume levels above 80% was more frequent than I’d have liked. At this price point, such distortion isn’t uncommon, and the Scene is loud enough to not require you to push the volume up too high a lot of the time anyway.

More of an issue is the lack of any customisation options. Cleer’s headphones can be tweaked using a five-band EQ in the Cleer+ companion app but this does not support the Scene, so you’re stuck with how it sounds out of the box. Given competitors like the JBL Flip 6 and Huawei Sound Joy offer EQ presets, the Scene feels comparatively restrictive.

Another thing worth noting is that the Scene suffers a loss of clarity outside its drivers’ line of fire. It’s very much a directional speaker and this is compounded by its unique design. The sturdy base is a smart choice in listening environments where the speaker is likely to remain stationary for extended periods, though should you want to regularly turn the speaker around and invite others for a closer listen, it is limited in how you can position it. Compared to ‘party’ Bluetooth speakers that provide something closer to 360-degree audio, the Scene’s sonic dispersal is pretty narrow.

Cleer Scene review: Should you buy one?

With no shortage of high-quality speakers hovering around the £100 mark, the Cleer Scene has its work cut out to convince you to buy it over an option from a more established brand.

It certainly makes a strong case in terms of aesthetics: its design is its most distinctive aspect, with the compact, well-built frame and supportive base sure to appeal to many. It also produces impressively loud audio for its size and price, delivers hearty low-end reproduction and demonstrates decent clarity further up the frequency spectrum.

However, it falls behind ‘take-anywhere’ party picks like the JBL Flip 6 and Flip Essential 2 in terms of portability, can’t compete with the 26-hour battery life of the Huawei Sound Joy, and those wanting something affordable and very loud will be better served by the Tronsmart Bang, assuming they don’t mind a much larger speaker.

This leaves the Scene best suited to those wanting a stylish speaker that’s going to see most use sat on a desk or table indoors, particularly when you consider its prowess as a speakerphone for calls and meetings. If that’s you, the Cleer Scene will prove money well spent.

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