Not too long ago I took a look at one of Cleer Audio’s top ANC headphones, the ALPHA. It was one of the best I’ve heard for the price and came with a ton of great features. If that price is still a bit too steep for you, Cleer has another ANC headphone that is also worth checking out, the Enduro. This is another over-ear wireless headphone, but it costs considerably less than the ALPHA at only $149, with discounts down to $129. Is the Enduro just a lesser version of the ALPHA, or does it stand on its own?
What You Get
- ENDURO ANC Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphone
- Soft Pouch
- Quick Start Guide
- USB-A To USB-C Charging Cable
- USB-C to 3.5mm Audio Cable
- Airplane Adapter
Look and Feel
The main build of the Enduro ANC is mostly your standard plastic fare, with some thin aluminum materials to hold it all together. It’s a flexible headphone that has ear cups that rotate so you can lay them flat. Like the ALPHA, the Enduro is extremely comfortable to wear and comes equipped with soft earpads that off isolation and support. I used the light grey color variation, but there’s also a navy blue version that looks even more stylish.
Design and Functionality
Packed inside of the Enduro ANC is a 40mm ironless driver with a 20Hz-20kHz frequency response over Bluetooth. It uses traditional buttons for its actions rather than touch gestures on the ear cups. This makes interacting with the Enduro’s features simple and responsive, always being reliable even when it doesn’t seem modern. These features can be seen within Cleer’s companion smartphone app that I praised in my review for the ALPHA. The Enduro doesn’t have as many features as the ALPHA, but the app still contains adjustable noise-canceling and an EQ. As for the noise-canceling itself, its ability isn’t as strong as the ALPHA but is still considered good for the price. The slider for the ANC and environmental mode is a great idea that’s executed nicely too.
Bluetooth 5.0 is supported here, along with AAC, SBC, and aptX Adaptive CODECs. Multipoint connection is also featured here, which gives the Enduro a great leg up over a lot of wireless headphones in its price range.
The Enduro is advertised to deliver a whopping 60 hours of playback off of a single charge. 10 minutes of charge can grant you 2 hours of listening time.
When reviewing the ALPHA, I was impressed with how natural the soundstage came across, and I was looking forward to what the Enduro had in store. It’s okay that it’s not up to the same level, being a lower-priced model, but I was still satisfied by the Enduro’s capabilities. Spatially, the imaging is a lot more congealed but still shows a respectful amount of width for a wireless headphone. It properly communicates pan movements from the left and right channels in a clear way but doesn’t offer a ton of separation. The layering is stacked on top of each other but the Enduro still keeps things controlled and evenly displays its image with big sounds.
The bass serves as the main course for the Enduro, gifting its listener with chunky tones and hefty impact. It has an undeniable thickness that permeates most of its timbre and helps the sound signature gain an absorbing texture. There’s a consistency to it that brings its form to a large number of instruments and effects. This can be mistaken for bleed, but I think that the frequency response is controlled enough for the bass to come through clearly. It’s a fun and engaging response that keeps the sound signature alive without deriding itself into boominess.
Although the bass doesn’t bleed too much into the mids, there’s still some notable recession here that keeps this frequency range from feeling as energetic. They don’t offer a ton of gain here, relegating some instrumentals and vocal performances to the background of the mix. It will be a smooth response to listen to, but the timbre doesn’t retain much fidelity. However, the mids aren’t completely squandered here, as some of the upper mids start showing some pleasant liveliness, particularly with female vocals. There’s clarity here that doesn’t resonant throughout some of the fundamental bands but appears quite clear in the upper range.
There’s a lot more consistent clarity here than in most of the midrange, keeping the tonality smooth but still resolving. You get a good amount of high-end detail to bite on without the timbre venturing into the bright territory. It keeps the bass evenly distributed as its main draw without sacrificing or rolling off the treble, feating a good balance between the low and top end of the frequency spectrum.
The Enduro ANC has a lot to offer for its price, with a thick bass performance, good ANC, and a comfy fit. There’s not a lot that the Enduro does wrong, but it still lives in the shadow of Cleer’s ALPHA. With that being said, it would be hard to find anything much better for the price, aside from maybe the Strauss and Wagner BT501. Cleer Audio has really shown what they can do with a wireless headphones with the Enduro and the ALPHA, and I can’t wait to see how they develop their technology further.
The Cleer Audio Enduro is available from their website here.