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Cleer Goal Review

Sporty wireless earbuds score an own goal

Verdict

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The Cleer Goal are affordably priced true wireless earbuds built for exercise, but the troubling fit when you pick up the pace make them difficult to recommend

Pros

  • Solid sound for the price
  • Unique look
  • Sweat-proof design

Cons

  • Troubling fit for running and more energetic exercise
  • Battery life isn't class-leading

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £99
  • IPX4 sweat-proof design
  • Custom 14mm dynamic driver
  • 20 hours' battery life
  • USB-C charging

The Cleer Goal are true wireless headphones squarely aimed at active people who need a music (or podcast) boost when running or sweating it out in the gym.

Cutting the cable, these buds, like most other sporty in-ears, promise a secure fit, bassy and powerful sound, and sufficient battery to get you through a good few workout sessions before you have to reach for that charging case.

There are a lot of true wireless headphones that promise to be the complete workout partner, so are the Cleer Goal the ones you should opt for?

Cleer Goal price and availability

The Cleer Goal went on sale in 2020 and are available to buy for £99 / $99.

Cleer Goal design – A troubling fit

  • IPX4 sweat-proof design
  • Twist-fit sleeves to offer more secure fit
  • Unique red on black look

Most true wireless earbuds are a much of muchness in terms of looks, but there’s something quite likeable about the Cleer Goal and their red and black design. They’re not the smallest of buds, so if you’re hoping for something discreet to slot into your ears, these aren’t them. They’re bigger than models such as the Jabra Elite Active 75t and sporty buds such as the Jaybird Vista.

Cleer Goal headphones in case

Since these are geared towards active folk, the Cleer Goal are both sweat-proof and water-resistant, which isn’t a given even in more pricey sports models. Carrying an IPX4 rating, they should hold up well to sweat and light rain – and I can confirm that my own experience of getting sweaty with them hasn’t resulted in any issues.

Look around the buds and you’ll spot a small notification light, which indicates when they buds are paired, or their charging status when they’re dropped into the accompanying charging case. While it might not be immediately obvious, there are some onboard controls here too.

The key to any good pair of sports headphones – cabled or wireless – is a good, reliably secure fit. The Cleer Goal use what the company calls its floating freebit c-skirts – or sleeves, as we prefer to call them. They wrap around the outer casing of the buds and are then twisted to lock into the ear. They come in small, medium and large sizes – although, based on my experience, they might need to add some more sizes.

Cleer Goal freebits/c-skirts/sleeves

The overall feeling of this fit is similar to what you may get from Sony’s WF-SP800N true wireless sports headphones, or the first-generation Bose Soundsport Free Wireless earbuds. While they’re designed to take pressure away from the ear canal, you’re in constant fear that they might fall out.

The problem with the Cleer buds compared to Sony and Bose’s models is that they did fall out. Often. Particularly whilst running. I tried all the sleeve sizes included with the buds and couldn’t get any of them to work. Indoors on an exercise bike or on a rowing machine, the buds felt as if they were hanging out, but they did stay put. As soon I headed out with them, they fell off in seconds. That’s not good.

Cleer Goal features – Keeping things simple

  • Pocket-friendly charging case
  • Touch-sensitive controls
  • Works with phone smart assistants

When they’re not in use, the Cleer Goal sits inside the charging case. It sports a pocket-friendly form and magnetically clips the buds in place, so they remain in position while charging.

Charging is via USB-C, with the port around the back and a notification light up-front to let you know when the buds are powered up. They’ll give you six hours of play time before you need to drop them in the charger, which itself when fully charged provides a further 14 hours.

Cleer Goal earbuds on couch

Touch-sensitive controls built into the earbuds let you tap and swipe to adjust volume, skip songs, play/pause and launch your phone’s smart assistant. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of this type of control on headphones designed for exercise – and, beyond skipping tracks, they can be fiddly to use if you’re on the move.

Cleer also makes room for dual microphones for those occasions you don’t want to pull out your phone, instead handling calls through the buds. Call quality is decent, with the Cleer goal offering good clarity.

Cleer Goal performance – Solid sound for workouts

  • Emphasis on clarity
  • No equalizer to adjust sound profile
  • Lacks rich, bassy sound

Keeping in mind the price and your choice of music, these buds offer good enough sound quality – but bass lovers might be a tad disappointed.

The Cleer Goal are home to custom0tuned 14mm dynamic drivers, designed to deliver clear, bassy audio; but we’d say the emphasis is on clarity here.

For drum and bass and house tracks, there’s more loudness than there is rich bassy sound. The sound profile is clearly more weighted towards clarity, and that’s the overriding feeling when you listen to something high tempo through these buds.

However, switch to something more instrument-based, or with more vocals or an audiobook or podcast, and these earbuds sound best. Outside of this, the balance just isn’t quite right in my experience, and there’s no equalizer or companion app to remedy this to better cater for something a bit livelier.

Not surprisingly, there’s no active noise cancellation on board here; it’s the passive isolating design, which does an okay job of keeping out some exterior noise. It’s the kind that will work best when you’re exercising solo or in small groups.

Cleer Goal conclusion

At this price, the Jabra Elite Sport offer a much richer, bassy sound, while still offering respectable clarity and detail. It’s a similar story with Creative’s Outlier Air V2, which are slightly cheaper but present a more balanced sound profile.

You should buy the Cleer Goal if…

  • You’re after good, clear sound
    While these buds certainly aren’t the best-sounding sports headphones you can buy, they offer good clear audio that will satisfy many.
  • You want a different look
    The Cleer Goal design definitely puts something more unique-looking in your ears, and they come with a nice-sized charging case
  • You want something sweat-proof
    The sweat-resistance rating offers good protection against the rigours of  a tough workout.

You shouldn’t buy the Cleer Goal if…

  • You want buds for running
    It might have been a unique problem to us, but we simply couldn’t get a secure enough fit to keep the Cleer Goal in our ears during runs.
  • You want the best battery life available
    There are other sporty true wireless headphones that offer more battery life and support fast-charging, too, for a quick top-up.
  • You want the best-sounding sports headphones at this price
    Jabra and Creative’s similarly priced buds are just two that will give you a more well-rounded sound for a greater breadth of musical genres.

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