CES 2020: Cleer Audio to launch first loudspeaker in September

CES 2020: Cleer Audio to launch first loudspeaker in September
(Image credit: Future)

Cleer has hit CES 2020 with a second wave of audio products including its first loudspeaker, the Cleer Crescent.

Designed with a spot in the living room in mind, the Crescent is a wireless smart speaker that takes its cues more from the B&W Zeppelin than it does an Amazon Echo.

It's fitted with an impressive array of drive units which perform a series of psychoacoustic tricks to create different soundstages for three distinct listening modes.

Stereo Widening is the standard hi-fi setting and, from what we could hear on a noisy show floor, it did an excellent job of delivering a good, clear sound with an impressively broad image to where we were sitting, plumb in front of it.

Room Fill mode maximizes that sweet spot, attempting to spread it around for multiple listeners to enjoy, but it was less easy to appreciate with the background of the Convention Center.

(Image credit: Future)

There's no HDMI connection on the Crescent but Cleer is certainly interested in customers using it as a soundbar and have included both an optical input an interesting 3D listening mode too. The idea is to surround the user in a three-dimensional bubble of sound.

Trying out some live tracks showed 3D off at its best. It puts the listener right in the centre of the action with the musicians onstage and the claps and cheers of the audience popping up all around. It could be very effective for watching live music on TV, sports events or even for gaming too. Just a pity it won't be out in time for Wimbledon, the World Cup or Glastonbury.

At present, the 3D bubble isn't big enough to be more than a one-user experience but Cleer is still tinkering with the engineering to find the best size and distance of projection for it.

(Image credit: Future)

Performing the tricky is a spread of 8 x 40mm full range drivers at the front of the unit, two rear-facing 84mm woofers and two back-firing bass ports as well. Cleer has used a glass substructure and geometrically vaulted design inside to help reduce resonance as much as possible.

The Crescent will arrive in the shops in the UK and US in September 2020 priced at around £499/$599. There's no word on which voice assistant it will carry but it will include support for music streaming services and hi-res file formats.


Dan Sung

Dan is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi? and his job is with product reviews as well as news, feature and advice articles too. He works across both the hi-fi and AV parts of the site and magazine and has a particular interest in home cinema. Dan joined What Hi-Fi? in 2019 and has worked in tech journalism for over a decade, writing for Tech Digest, Pocket-lint, MSN Tech and Wareable as well as freelancing for T3, Metro and the Independent. Dan has a keen interest in playing and watching football. He has also written about it for the Observer and FourFourTwo and ghost authored John Toshack's autobiography, Toshack's Way.