Cleer Enduro ANC Review aptX Adaptive ANC Headphones With 80+ Hours Battery Life!

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Le Mans is the pinnacle of motorsport endurance racing where drivers battle it out on the tarmac for hours on end. Le Mans endurance racing is a grueling sport that lasts a long of time, up to 24 hours to be exact. Anyone putting that many hours on the road needs technology that can match extended periods and that would include headphones. The Cleer Enduro ANC headphones are a perfect match with technological endurance up to 84 hours runtime from a single pit stop!

The Enduro ANC headphones uses a Bluetooth 5.0 chip that supports Multipoint pairing, absolute Bluetooth volume, NFC, AAC codec and aptX Adaptive codec, which has the advantage of variable bitrate (279kbps - 420kbs) and 80ms latency, which is lower than SBC and AAC (~200ms latency), although not as low as the now obsolete aptX Low Latency, which Qualcomm retired a few years ago.

AptX Adaptive has a stable bluetooth connection and automatically optimizes the latency when you're gaming, doing it seamlessly and without audio drop outs. That said, AptX Adaptive low latency isn't as low as aptX LL (40ms), which means using a cable is going to be better than bluetooth when using the Enduro ANc headphones. One drawback of aptX Adaptive is that it isn't entirely compatible with low latency devices, which means when pairing the Enduro ANC headphones to a Low Latency device it will revert to regular aptX. Also, for aptX Adaptive to work it requires that the connecting device also supports aptX HD.

Overall, aptX Adaptive is more efficient than all the mentioned codecs, which is why Enduro ANC has such long battery life. The Enduro ANC headphones charge via the dual function USB-C port, which handles charging and audio. There is quick charge support too so, from a 10 minute recharge, you can get 2 hours of playtime. Full charging time is 3 hours and provides a cool 60 hours of playback at medium-high volume (75%) and with ANC turned on. With ANC turned off and 75% volume, the Enduro ANC headphones have an impressive runtime of 82 hours.

The Enduro ANC headphones have an over-ear design with an oval-shaped inner hole that measures 6 cm high and 4cm wide. The depth to the drivers is 2cm and, they are covered with a thin layer of spandex fabric material. The outer ring of the earpads measures 8cm high and 7cm wide and, it's nicely padded with 1.5cm thick foam padding. 
The Enduro ANC 40mm drivers have 92dB sensitivity with 16-Ohms impedance and, they're made using magnesium alloy; hence they are ironless drivers, which is unconventional moving speaker drivers are usually made of iron. According to the spec sheet, the ironless drivers are designed to flatten and maintain low noise distortion (below 0.3% THD) across the audio spectrum. As far as the sound signature, the higher tones are more pronounced over the bass. With ANC turned on, the bass becomes more in balanced with the higher frequencies.

Enduro ANC uses the Qualcomm 5100 Series chipset; hence Enduro ANC supports hybrid ANC (feedforward/feedback), as well as ambient sound, which means you can block out the outside world or hear everything going on around you. The level of ambient sound can be adjusted via the Cleer+ app. As far as active noise cancellation performance, it blocks about 80% of sound. The Enduro ANC headphones cannot be used while charging but, you can listen to audio in wired mode when the internal battery is empty. ANC won't work though, if the battery is flat.

The Cleer Enduro ANC headphones have an interesting headband yoke design, which is different to the standard u-shaped yoke. The Enduro ANC has a pivoting circular yoke encircling the earcups, allowing them to tilt up and down. Compared to other headphones yokes, the Enduro ANC earcup vertical tilt is somewhat limited though, up to 5 degrees either way. 
As well as tilt, the headphones can be folded and can swivel, one way, up to 90 degrees so, you can lay the earpads flat against a desk or chest for transportation. The swivel/ folding mechanism is built-in to a dual motion hinge that operates the swivel and folding of the earcups smoothly. The folding motion has a smooth resistance to it (no clicks) that keeps the headband securely extended.

The Enduro ANC headphones weigh 305 grams and are comfortable to wear, thanks to being made mostly of quality, non-creaky plastic, including the headband yoke, earcups and buttons. The ring around the outside of the earcup is made of metal, as well as the inner ratchet band. The headband frame is made of plastic and measures 2.5cm wide.

There are a total of 4 physical buttons, a single button (ANC) on the far side and a cluster of three buttons. The buttons make an audible click actuation, although the middle button (multi-functional button) makes a louder click than the other buttons. The buttons are easily distinguishable without looking. The power button has a raised square shape, while the ANC button has a tiny ridge on top of it. Next to the ANC button, there is the USB-C port, a pinhole microphone and a status led, which blinks during audio playback.

The Enduro ANC headphones have dedicated volume buttons. Track skipping, power and calls are controlled via the middle button. There is also a dedicated button for operating the ANC and lets you turn on/off ANC and ambient mode. 
The Enduro ANC headphones have software support via the Cleer+ mobile app, which contains a 5-band equalizer with eight sound presets and two custom options for creating the sound signature you want. From the app, you can also disable automatic power off and change it from 5 minutes to 60 minutes. One thing the Cleer+ app doesn't include is the ability to remap the buttons.

Aside from the usual phone permissions (e.g. location, etc), the Cleer+ mobile app does not require an account registration and, you don't have to keep the app running in the background. New settings get saved automatically onto the headphones. The bluetooth connection does disconnect when plugging in the audio cable, although once paired, it will automatically re-connect instantaneously, which is convenient when quickly switching from wireless to wired mode and viceversa.

The Enduro ANC headphones come packaged inside a lightweight cardboard box with a foam insert cutout for the headphones. There is no hardshell carry case, although you do get a nice dual string soft pouch to store the headphones. The pouch is not padded but the outershell is made of coarse water resistant canvas, which is lined with soft fabric material. The pouch is Cleer-branded and weighs 47 grams and measures 23cm high and 18cm wide.

Other accessories included are a Cleer-branded plane adapter, as well as a set of quality Cleer-branded rubberized cables for charging the headphones and for listening to audio via cable. Most headphones include a male to male 3.5mm audio cable; however, the audio cable included with the Enduro ANC has a USB-C to 3.5mm connector and that is because the Enduro ANC doesn't have a 3.5mm auxiliary jack. The included charging cable measures 1.5 meters long, while the audio cable measures 1.7 meters long and weighs 14 grams. You can buy the Cleer Enduro ANC from amazon. Check out the review of the Cleer Edge Pulse sports earphones.

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