Bluetooth speakers have become less of a mainstay as mobile device speakers become better each generation. There’s still a place for them though. Top-tier devices like wireless Sonos devices are usually wall mounted, connected to a house-wide system, and aren’t meant to be portable. That’s where devices like the Cleer Scene come in. Portable, sleek, and powerful; you can take this anywhere. It’s a crowded space though, so can the Cleer Scene stand out?
- Extremely loud
- Good all-round audio
- Decent battery life
- No stereo pairing available
- No companion app/EQ tweaking
Cleer Audio is becoming more of a household name over in the UK, whilst already established in the US. Their combination of mobile audio products and disruptive pricing is a compelling option. There are so many similar products available through various etailers; how do you sort the chaff from the diamonds? Well, Cleer Audio have been dropping products since 2012 and is continuing to grow its market presence.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating though, and there have been way more hits than misses from its releases.
The Cleer Scene is their latest portable Bluetooth speaker aimed at the budget-conscious consumer. It has a cylindrical design primarily constructed from premium-looking and feeling plastic with a mesh pattern. That pattern not only looks good but it provides some grip for carrying. On the left and right sides of the device sit the dual 48mm dynamic drivers, covered by a brushed plastic finish.
Atop the device sit the basic rubberised function buttons, whilst up front there’s a LED bar. On the rear sits the power and Bluetooth pairing buttons, along with a water-resistant cover over a Type-C USB charging port and a 3.5mm AUX jack.
The Cleer Scene is available in a grey finish as well as a bold red colour.
- Drivers: Dual 48mm, dual passive radiators
- Dimensions: 220 x 74 x 90 mm weighing 1.5 lbs / 742g
- Battery life (up to): 12 hours
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
- Aux-in: Yes
- Charger port: USB-C
- Microphone: Yes
- Waterproof rating: IPX7
In The Box
- Cleer Scene speaker
- Type-A to Type-C USB charging cable
- Quick Start Guide
Audio & Use
The first thing I do with all speakers is fire it up, pair it, and put on a Hip-Hop playlist. I like to test the bass reproduction, distortion at higher volumes, as well as interference that can be heard during silence. It’s a trio of tests that have stood the test of time and usually points to whether a device is going to have the cajones to rock my own personal musical taste whilst being versatile.
The Cleer Scene sprung into life with Busta Rhymes’ “Break Ya Neck” blasting from the device. I had the Scene paired to a Galaxy Z Flip 4 at 30% volume, and I still had to turn it down (on the device). Working through my test playlist I found that the Cleer Scene managed the lowest low-end the best. It kept the bass on Drake’s “Marvins Room” tightly controlled whilst also giving a deep rumble. This was replicated on a number of other tracks too most notably Ye’s “Hurricane”, which showcases the ability to separate the high-end too.
Where I found the Cleer Scene struggled most was in more complicated mid to high-end percussion-based tracks such as Dub and DnB. Once the flow of a track starts to jump between mid and higher frequencies speedily, the Cleer Scene sometimes struggles to maintain separation. This is especially notable the higher the volume goes. That said, this accounted for probably 10% of my playback experience.
Overall there’s a punchy crisp sound coming from the Cleer Scene in most genres (and audiobooks). The volume is enough to fill a room, and the frequency reproduction is acceptable to good in almost all scenarios.
But What Else?
Battery life is quoted as up to 12 hours but is entirely dependent on a number of factors, not least the volume you listen at. Thankfully, I didn’t need to raise the volume higher than 70% throughout testing (that was for Audiobooks), so I’d imagine that 50% volume would suffice for most. During my testing, I would say it hits that quoted figure. I tested for a straight week with around 90-mins of music playback daily, and it was still going at the end of the week. I know there are better battery life options out there, but frankly, I think this is more than enough.
In terms of additional features, we’re quite light here. There’s no stereo pairing, wireless charging, no memory card input or companion app for EQ tinkering. The latter is the only one I really missed, just to see what I could get out of this speaker.
Finally, the only area that actively annoyed me was some of the controls. Raising the volume is as easy as pressing the ‘-‘ or ‘+’ buttons. However, a track skip requires a long press that takes around 3 seconds to fire. Could we not have implemented double taps here?
The Cleer Scene has a difficult job of stepping out from the crowd. Bluetooth speakers are everywhere and at all prices, normally with little or no distinctive qualities. Cleer has obviously put their faith in pure audio quality here with the Scene sparse of other features that you might expect.
The flipside is that this is a simple-to-use device, with very little to worry about other than ensuring it’s charged. 1) Pair, 2) Play, 3) Enjoy; that seems to be what Cleer has gone for. They’ve largely hit the target too. Audio quality is good, battery life is fine, but there are a few areas that could be improved on.
Whilst the Cleer Scene packs in IPX7 water-resistance, the overall package could be improved by a companion app, as well as perhaps a carry case or carry loop considering this is a portable product.
If you’re looking for something to sit on a desk, spit out loud, good, audio to fill a single room, give the Cleer Scene a look.