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Cleer Enduro ANC review: Endurance beasts

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £149
inc. VAT

The Cleer Enduro are a cut above the competition when it comes to battery life but are otherwise pretty unremarkable


  • Humongous battery life
  • Solid sound
  • Effective audio customisation


  • Disappointing build quality
  • Average ANC

The Cleer Enduro ANC are relatively affordable over-ear headphones that, as their name suggests, deliver enduring battery life likely to please any punter.

With energetic and customisable audio to boot, they manage to live up to their mid-range price tag, though a creaky build and average active noise cancellation pose questions as to whether they’ll stand the test of time.

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Cleer Enduro ANC review: What do you get for the money?

The Cleer Enduro ANC will set you back £149 and support the SBC, AAC and aptX Adaptive codecs over Bluetooth 5.0. Multipoint pairing with two devices is also supported. The headphones weigh an insubstantial 280g and house 40mm dynamic drivers with a stated frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz.

That’s pretty standard stuff, but the Enduro’s battery life is far from ordinary. They should last you around 60 hours at 75% volume with ANC turned on, and although that figure is dwarfed by their stablemates the Enduro 100, which can keep going for up to 100 hours, it’s well clear of most similarly priced over-ear options. Just ten minutes on charge will bag you two hours of listening, with a three-hour charge topping the Enduro up to full.

Charging is handled by a USB-C port on the base of the left earcup that sits alongside two microphones and physical controls for volume, ANC mode and power. A USB-A to USB-C charging cable is included in the box, as are a USB-C to 3.5mm cable for wired listening, an aeroplane adapter plug and a soft pouch to put everything into.

The Enduro are compatible with the Cleer+ app, and there you’ll find various options including eight EQ presets and a graphic equaliser than can be used to create two of your own sound profiles.

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Cleer Enduro ANC review: What do we like about them?

The Enduro’s biggest draw is their enormous battery life. I fell short of the stated 60 hours during testing, but was able to get around 45 hours out of them while frequently using the microphones and listening to audio over aptX, both of which hasten battery drain. Only the Urbanista Los Angles, which offer near-infinite battery life thanks to a solar-charging panel in their headband, have the Enduro beaten for stamina in this price bracket.

Like the Cleer Scene portable speaker, the Enduro ANC are an aesthetic triumph. The brown/blue pairing on our review sample is elegant and distinctive, while the grey and blue options are equally attractive. Their housing is prone to picking up fingerprints and smudges, but in an era where over-ear headphones are very much a fashion accessory, Cleer has created a sleek-looking product. The design is also a functional one. Unlike the Urbanista Miami, the Enduro can be folded into a compact package thanks to an adjustable headband and earcups that twist and pivot.

Despite the earcups being a little on the small side for over-ear headphones – anyone with larger-than-average ears might consider them on-ear – the fit is pretty comfortable. Distinctive physical buttons on the earcups allow for hassle-free mode changing and playback control and are more consistent than touch controls.

The microphones located next to the buttons are quite sensitive and delivered decent call quality that didn’t require me to raise my voice, though a fair amount of background noise did make its way into calls. Ambient sound mode worked well enough too, with ten levels of sensitivity selectable from within the Cleer+ app providing a welcome level of customisation.

Sound, as with the Cleer Scene speaker, is a satisfying blend of detail and control with a healthy helping of energy. There’s decent uplift in bass, specifically sub-bass, compared to a neutral pair of cans and the Enduro bring alive the groovy bass line of tracks like The Sugarhill Gang’s ‘Rapper’s Delight’. These low frequencies never feel overblown compared to the rest of the mix though, even if vocals can sound slightly recessed by comparison, and are well-supported by a sizzle of high-end sparkle to form the Enduro’s V-shaped sound signature.

The emphasis on bass, and to a lesser extent treble, does mean the Enduro shine brightest when handling bouncy, upbeat genres of dance music or beat-driven and instrumental tunes. They have little difficulty tackling other genres, however, and don’t become fatiguing when listened to for extended periods, which is an admirable quality.

To ensure the Enduro thrive across your preferred musical domains, you can change their default sound fairly substantially by using the Cleer+ app. There you’ll find eight equaliser presets to choose from including ‘Jazz’, ‘Rock’ and ‘Classical’, as well as two slots to create your own EQ using a five-band graphic equaliser between 64Hz and 8kHz.

While the graphic equaliser is an aesthetically pleasing visualiser reminiscent of topographic contour lines, the lack of any y-axis labelling means you are left guessing how many decibels you are raising or lowering for each band. And the frequency range those bands alter in isn’t as wide-reaching as other equalisers we’ve tested. Yet, both the EQ presets and graphic equaliser adapt the sound to different genres effectively and can be used to give vocals more prominence when necessary.

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Cleer Enduro ANC review: What could be improved?

I do still have some reservations about the sound, however. Stereo separation is handled well but the soundstage is relatively compressed and this meant instrument separation on tracks like ‘Knives Out’ by Radiohead was a little disappointing. Pumping up the volume increased the sense of space but I found anything above 70% volume too loud for prolonged listening.

While the design appeals to the eye, and their ability to fold is functional, the Enduro’s build doesn’t feel particularly premium. For £149, you’d expect a decently durable device, but the Enduro’s plastic frame creaked every couple of steps during a brisk walk in the park. This wasn’t particularly prominent with music playing but became jarring over longer periods of use when listening to more sedate content.

Taking the headphones off and putting them on again doesn’t incite confidence either, with the overly flexible plastic headband clicking with every small movement. The earpad cushions may be cosy and create a tight seal, but the rest of the build is less plush than you’d expect for the price.

Active noise cancellation is also nothing to shout about. It’s capable of reducing the impact of low-level environmental noise but comes unstuck in louder locales such as the London Underground, where I found myself struggling to make out key elements of my favourite songs. The Edifier WH950NB offer much better attenuation for just £30 more.

Finally, switching between sources when connected via Bluetooth multipoint could be a lot smoother. There’s no automatic switching based on which device is playing audio, so you need to physically pause content on one device before proceeding to enjoy content on another. This isn’t a major problem by any means, but those seeking a seamless transition across connected devices may find it frustrating.

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Cleer Enduro ANC review: Should you buy them?

The use-case for the Cleer Enduro ANC is written into their name: endurance. Dwarfing the hours of playback possible with most other wireless over-ear headphones, the Enduro’s staggering battery life stands out as their main attraction. Factor in an enjoyable sound profile that can be adjusted to your tastes and they make for a solid mid-range buy.

But epic battery life comes at the cost of below-average ANC performance and questionable build quality. That may be a sacrifice worth making if you don’t spend a lot of time in noisy, built-up areas, but for those that do, the Edifier WH950NB’s superior noise cancellation, sturdier build and support for LDAC make them a better choice for similar money.

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