UNBOXED: Reviewing the Cleer Edge Pulse In-Ear Headphones
The headphone market is such a crowded market with so many manufacturers developing so many different products for so many consumers who have so many different tastes. That’s a very roundabout way of saying that, if any consumer tech segment should be allowed to be crowded, it’s the headphone market. But the struggle, then, for headphone manufacturers becomes differentiating themselves from the other feature-rich or low-budget models that are out there.
For Cleer, a company that we’ve come across before on UNBOXED, their schtick with the Edge Pulse headphones revolves around health and wellness and the traditional bass-heavy sound profile that Cleer users have come to know and appreciate (myself included).
The Edge Pulse headphones, which will begin shipping this spring for $149.99, are a comfortable pair of in-ear headphones that use an adjustable ear loop that is lightweight and provides a secure fit for the product. The in-ear portion of the Edge Pulse headphones comes with three different silicone tip options (small, medium, and large), and finding the perfect fit—probably medium—will give the user an isolated audio experience that stays comfortable for long stretches.
What Cleer pushes with the Edge Pulse headphones is their health-conscious feature of integrated heart rate monitoring. Through a tiny infrared sensor baked into the back of the left earpiece, the Cleer Edge Pulse headphones can read the user’s heart rate. I imagine it has something to do with pressure points or being able to tap into some near-the-surface vein—but I’m not about to pretend to be a health expert. That said, I did compare the reading of the Cleer headphones to what my Apple Watch was telling me my heart rate was, in both an active and resting state, and the headphones and watch were only ever off by about one to three beats per minute, which I’d say is incredibly accurate for the health wearable space.
Beyond just giving a heart rate reading, the Edge Pulse headphones can connect to a number of different workout apps and add that information to whatever else it is those particular apps track. Some, like Under Armour’s MapMyRun app, require a premium account (i.e. a paid subscription) in order to unlock a longer list of features, including integrating heart rate monitoring into the app.
Being workout headphones, Cleer designed the Edge Pulse to be IPX5 water-resistant, which means its a shockproof product and can withstand a normal amount of sweat and other water contact. IN an untraditional sense in the sport headphone market, Cleer created a product that is powerful from a sound perspective. The 5.8mm neodymium drivers deliver rich, booming audio that we’ve come to expect from Cleer. It’s not so bass-heavy that it muddies the rest of the audio, but it may be a little much for some consumers who prefer a more even keel kind of soundtrack.
Other features of note include quick charging, which can provide an additional hour of battery life in just five minutes; 6-hour playback with heart monitoring enabled; and other standard wireless headphone features like phone calls, Bluetooth 4.2, and voice guidance.
The only complaints I had in reviewing the Cleer Edge Pulse headphones was the somewhat wide design of the ear pieces (which stuck out pretty far when you look at the wearer head on), and the awkward placement of the controls—something that’s really unavoidable with any wireless in-ear headphone.
Consumers would be wise to give the Cleer Edge Pulse headphones a look. They mold together the world of high performance audio and fitness wearable in a smart, enjoyable way.