First, it was the Bose Sport Open Earbuds. Then the Sony LinkBuds took the idea on a step. And now the Cleer Audio Arc are the latest wireless earbuds with an 'open' design to make you more aware of your surroundings.
Instead of an ear tip burrowing into your ear, they have open-ear units that sit above the ear canal, channeling audio directly into your shell-likes while also letting in background noise.
The theory is that being more aware of what's going on around you will keep you safe while wearing them.
They're meant to be worn during exercise – running and biking can be hazardous if you are shut off from your surroundings – hence their IPX4 rating (that's resistance to water splashing). Their design echoes that of the Bose Sport Open Earbuds, complete with ear hooks, but they have a flexible hinge that lets you adjust each earbud, improving comfort.
Battery life is seven hours from the buds themselves, which is one more than the Sony LinkBuds S, though Cleer Audio hasn't said how many hours of run time you get from the carry case.
Audio comes courtesy of custom-tuned 16.2mm graphene neodymium drivers.
Like most wireless earbuds, they have on-bud controls to play/pause and skip tracks, and a companion app that lets you adjust the equaliser. Bluetooth 5.0 gives them a greater wireless range than lesser earbuds, as well as support for the aptX codec for lower latency.
At £130 ($130, around AU$190), they're much cheaper than the Bose Sport Open Earbuds and recently announced Sony LinkBuds S. Let's hope they perform as well.
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