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Cleer ARC II Sport Open Earbuds – No Contact, Full Impact

Cleer ARC II Sport Open Earbuds – No Contact, Full Impact

Cleer ARC II Sport is a $169 USD pair of Open Earbuds, designed for sport, with IPX5 Water and Sweat Resistance, up to 35 Hours of battery life, and a huge 16.2mm dynamic driver. 



Cleer Audio has been making a lot of interesting products recently, the new ARC II Sport being a unique one, made for running, jogging and gym, as open earbuds are generally an oddball in the audio world. This being said, Cleer is a strong company with a clean track record, they made fun to use and reliable products so far, and it is one of the companies I can recommend without fearing that you will have a poor experience. You can purchase their products from Amazon, which is the best place I can recommend, for getting the best price, as even now they are on sale, for a slightly better price than the official MSRP. As an Amazon influencer, I earn from qualifying purchases. 

I’d like to thank Jackrabit and Cleer for providing the sample for this review, in exchange for my honest opinion. We are not receiving any incentive for this review and Audiophile-Heaven has no affiliation with Cleer or Jackrabbit beyond this review. 


Product Link

You can grab one from www.amazon.com here: https://amzn.to/47fhw9z

If you’re in the UK, you can grab one from www.amazon.co.uk here: https://amzn.to/46Q8Bvo

And if you’re from Europe, you can grab one from www.amazon.de here: https://amzn.to/3MshQtL


Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit/Comfort

As with most Open Earbuds, the whole idea is for them to not have contact with your ear canal, to avoid silicone tips, as those can irritate the ear, and can lead to problems, especially if you’re wearing sealed IEMs during high-intensity training when you sweat a lot, and the humidity inside the ear canal can be very high. This means than an Open Bud like ARC II Sport comes with IPX5 water and sweat resistance, which helps them stay frosty even if you’ll manage to wet them a bit. The fitting is passively, and they feel like you always have something clipped to your ears. 

This means that there is no seal to speak about, so they leak everything you’re listening to around you, and you will hear a lot of noise from outside while wearing them. They also have a 6-Axis motion sensor which basically will detect head movement so that you can answer calls, change song or volume without touching them. 

The sound is helped by a large 16.2mm dynamic driver, with multipoint connectivity, so you can listen to music from a source different from your smartphone. The battery life is very good, with the IEMs having about 7 hours of battery life, and the case sporting around 4 extra charges. The case even has a UV light that kills bacteria from the IEMs while they’re charging. 

You can use the Cleer+ App to EQ them if you want to get a better sound, and the app will show you how much battery each earbud has left, and other options as well. Overall, using them is good, they stay clipped in place neatly, and whether you’ll like this kind of design, will be up to you. I can say that for most of the time, the fit is more comfortable than with most IEMs, since I don’t feel anything touching the ear canal. 


Sound Quality

Although I mention that the comfort of wearing them is generally better than with IEMs, there are limitations to the open earbud design. Those aren’t quite RAAL Headphones, which are ear speakers, so the driver has to put in a lot of extra effort to play correctly, since a lot of the sound is lost in the transport between the driver and the ear. The design is also made in such a way that the earbuds have only a little opening on the driver, so there’s even more loss in the process. This leads to a sonic signature that is mid and treble centric, which has good detail, a wide soundstage, and a clean presentation. You can always hear a bit of background noise from the amplifiers, as those are TWS in design, so each earbud has its own DAC and its own amplifier. 

The bass of the ARC II is clean, rounded and deep, but with the bass extending only as low as about 70 Hz. It sounds like the driver itself does reproduce bass lower, down to about 45 Hz, but the bass is lost in the transfer, and you don’t really hear it, rap and edm music sounding like the bottom part is missing. On the other hand, the sound is clear, the bass is controlled and a bit warm, but it will distort at maximum volume if the song has a lot of bass, so the best way to enjoy the Cleer ARC II Sport and to protect your hearing will be to enjoy them at low and medium volumes. 

The midrange is clean, crisp, and clear, with excellent detail, and a wide soundstage. This being said, once again due to the design, the sound tends to scatter a bit, so instruments are combined together rather than well separated, and voices will come forward in the mix, all instruments competing for deciding which gets to your ears the first and which you’ll actually be listening to. 

The treble is clean, crisp and quite well extended, without being too sharp or fatiguing. It is good to notice that the treble has good resolution without being exaggerated, it has a good amount of resolution, air and detail. All in all, the sound of ARC II Sport is enjoyable, clean and clear, but does not have a lot of bass, so for a brighter, lighter tuning, it should be just right. Mosr Open Bud designs have a similar tuning, although most of them have lower clarity and resolution. 


Value and Conclusion

With a price tag that’s usually for the midrange IEM Realm, you would expect the Cleer ARC II to have poor value, but to date they are some of the best sounding Open Buds, so they get a full thumbs up from me in terms of value. Naturally, they are not as versatile and Clean Cut as IEMs, but for those doing any kind of sport and for those who need to keep their ears clear, they are just perfect. 

At the end of the day, if you’re looking for a pair of Open Buds, which will keep your ears clear from trouble, and which will give you a clean, detailed sound, Cleer ARC II Sport is currently the best sounding open bud I heard, and a fully recommended one. 


Product Link

You can grab one from www.amazon.com here: https://amzn.to/47fhw9z

If you’re in the UK, you can grab one from www.amazon.co.uk here: https://amzn.to/46Q8Bvo

And if you’re from Europe, you can grab one from www.amazon.de here: https://amzn.to/3MshQtL

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Full Playlist used for this review

We listened to more songs than those named in this playlist, but those are excellent for identifying a sonic signature.  I recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you’re searching for new music! The playlists are different for Spotify, Tidal and Youtube, and based on the songs I enjoy and are available on each!




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