22nd January 2023 – Written by Nick Rowe @ Technuovo.com
It’s the New Year and after taking some time off, we’re back at it, products are arriving at the office and It’s time to get back into the swing of things. First up this year is the new Cleer Scene Bluetooth Speaker.
The Cleer Scene is a $100 Bluetooth speaker, it comes in two colours, grey (what we’ve got) or red. It’s IPX7 water resistant, it’s got dual 48mm drivers, a built in microphone for calls and a 12hour battery life via a 2600mAh battery
Opening the box for the first time, I can see there has been some thought and care in the packaging and the speaker comes well-protected and present in a thick cardboard box, lined with foam. In the box, you get the speaker, instructions and a USB cable for charging.
The speaker itself is pretty heavy, which is generally a good sign in terms of quality construction and components but it still can be held in one hand and moved around. It’s a modern look, cylindrical with a sweeping front. Plastic construction, with mesh fabric around the majority of it, plus a large rubber base to help provide a sturdy grip on your surface. Buttons to the top include play/pause, volume/track control and microphone. To the rear, power on and Bluetooth buttons, plus the USB port and aux-in behind a thick rubber cover. All the buttons are push buttons and easy to use. As for speakers, or drivers I should say, there are two 48mm dynamic drivers to the front of the speaker, behind the mesh, plus associated passive radiators at either end.
Set up was very easy, charge it and away you go. This has Bluetooth 5.0, so you can connect straight to your smart device or if you have something that requires a wired connection, you can do so via the 3.5mm input to the rear.
Audio performance was very good, as expected at this price point and very enjoyable indeed. Volume is good, it can get very loud which you may want to do when outside but otherwise, don’t push it. When I pushed it to max volume, it did struggle with something and the quality did drop off. However, low, great, mid, great and even high volumes, are surprisingly good, just don’t max it out. High volume was more than enough to fill a busy room, with people chatting and thanks to the rubber mat or foot underneath, it heald the bass really well.
There is no EQ with the speaker, and no app you can pair with it which is a shame but the default sound profile is ok and generally caters to most genres of music. I listened to rock, country, Radio 1, and even some Central Cee popped up and was actually quite enjoyable. The bass was really good, this is a well-built speaker.
Battery life quoted at 12hours, ‘a whole day’s worth’ but In testing I didn’t quite achieve that, instead it was about 10 hours. I would have liked a longer battery life, maybe two days’ worth of usage for me on average but then I’ll be out of juice and likely forget to charge it.
As mentioned earlier, this is IPX7 rated, which means it is fully waterproof IF the rating is indeed correct and I say that as the Cleer website says waterproof and water resistant which are quite different. If we refer to the IP rating chart, X7 means it’s fully waterproof and can be submerged in water upto 1m in depth, for 30 minutes. Did I test it, yes, but not for 30 minutes. I submerged the speaker in water, left it for a couple of minutes and all was fine. Would I recommend doing it, no, the sound quality sucks, so is there really a need to? This is purely protection against accidents and splashing if you’re around a pool on a sunny day. Ensuring the rubber flap at the back is key as if that is open, water will find its way in.
This does have a microphone built-in, so you can use it for making calls, personal or perhaps conferences for work. When I made calls, it worked well, quality was great on my end and had no complaints on the other end. If on a table, with me about 1m away, it picked up my voice just fine.
Overall, I’m impressed with this little speaker and enjoying it a lot. It looks somewhat different from what else is on the market, it’s well built, with quality components and it generally sounds great. Grey is the right colour I think, the red is a little less sophisticated in my mind. Don’t forget to charge this too as the battery could be better.
At £99, I don’t think it’s overpriced but there are many other speakers on the market between £50 and £100 which may entice you but when you hear this and compare it to others, you’ll appreciate the price isn’t that bad.
To find out more and to purchase, head over to the official Cleer website.