Cleer Flow II Reviews Summary | Muse Development

Hello everyone! If you have been following the development of Project Muse you’ll remember that Eve sent out some samples of the Cleer Flow II to some select testers to see what we can use from the Flow II on the Muse. The testers were required to write a review of the headphones and everyone did an amazing job at it, but the reviews are very long one it would take quite a while to read them, therefore I sent a poll to the testers so I can make a summary of the reviewers’ opinions which will be quick and easy to understand.

Comfort and Build Quality

One of the main complaints with the Flow II was that they aren’t very comfortable. On the poll, on a scale from 1 to 10, the average rating was 6.

45% of the testers complained about feeling pain while wearing the headphones, and only 27% felt that their ears got uncomfortably warm. Another 27% of the users felt that the headphones were uncomfortably heavy. The most likely cause of this discomfort was the relatively high clamping force, which on a scale from 1 to 10, users rated it at an average of 6.5, 1 being the most uncomfortable.

The design could use some improvement. The average rating of the design for storage and storage was 6.5, which should definitely be higher once we make Muse. The build quality was decent, rated at an average of 7, but the votes on the looks of the design were split 50/50.

Overall, IMO we should not reuse the design of the Cleer since it isn’t comfortable and many users don’t like the look of the design.

Sound Quality

The sound quality was decent but it could definitely use improvement. The average rating for the wireless sound quality was 5.9 and it improved quite a bit when using it wired, with a rating of 7 when using it wired.

The testers determined that the sound range was low on the lows and mids, which from some testing I found out could be fixed with EQ, but the EQ only worked when wired, although Spotify has an integrated EQ which works on wireless mode. Almost all users found that the sound quality increased when using them wired, which is likely caused because of a better DAC and Amp on the output device.

The microphone definitely needs improvement, the users gave an average rating of 5.

Extra Features

The ANC was rated at 7.2, and several users mentioned that the pressure from the ANC was uncomfortable at first, but they got used to it after some use.

The ambient passthrough mode was rated at 7.1, but it was unusable if you have a fan beside you or if there is a lot of wind since the mics pic the noise up and it sounds very loud and annoying.

The Google Assistant button worked with 70% of the users’ devices, but devices that did not have Google Assistant implemented natively did not work with it. It would be great if Muse replaces that with a button that summons whatever assistant you are using on your device.

The touch controls need a lot of work. The testers gave it an average rating of 4.3, and several found that they were almost completely unresponsive most of the time.

It was very easy to connect the headphones to a device. Testers gave it an average rating of 8.8.

Battery and Charging

The battery was very good on the Flow II. I ran some exhaustive tests on the battery life and found that at peak performance it lasted a bit more than 25 hours with full charge, and a bit more than 3 hours with just 10 minutes of charge. After several months of use the battery has degraded very little with the original number varying by just around 30 minutes compared to the original measurements.

All of the testers felt that the batter lasted enough, and the average battery lifetime was 22 hours per charge. The charging was also quite fast and all users felt that it charged fast enough.

Summary

Overall, the design of the Flow II shouldn’t be reused for Muse since it has too many flaws, but the drivers can be reused as long as we add a better amp/dac and add some EQ. The touch controls definitely need to be replaced, but the batter was excellent.

I’ll be working on improving this post, possibly adding pictures of the polls.

10 Likes

Great summary! The muse is the project I’m most looking forward to seeing the final product. Nice to see some progress being made here! Hope that some more focus will be put on the muse project in the near future.

Excellent job!

1 Like

I feel like this statement right here is counter to your final statement about using the drivers but with a better dac/amp. Wouldn’t an average of 7 be considered pretty low for sound a quality?

2 Likes

Yes, it isn’t bad compared to some commercial headphones but when you compare the audio quality to some high-end headphones it really could be much better.

2 Likes

Missed out on answering the survey (thanks email spam!) but I would have definitely contributed to the complains that they’re heavy, uncomfortable (even hurt), and clamp too hard. That and the bass, or relative lack thereof.

Curious to see what the next step will be!

1 Like

Have you guys seen this?https://www.gsmarena.com/meizu_hd60_anc_headphones_have_noise_cancellation_powered_by_sony_are_hires_certified-news-43102.php

Thats the thing compared to most consumer headphones this thing sounded great.

I think you cannot judge an ANC wireless headphone vs high-end wired headphones. The question is what should this thing be priced at? The most important thing in wireless headphones is not necessarily the driver its the integrated DAC/amp.

ANC is also hard to make sound good. There is a reason that the best sounding wireless headphones have no ANC. So not sure who you want to please at the end. For pure audio fidelity you would need to reach at least something like the Beyerdynamic Lagoon ANC with a comfort of a Bose/Sony to have appeal.

People who really value sound in a wireless over everything will rather buy a Drop THX Panda or Hifiman Deva without ANC for that sound quality gain.

I guess in order for Muse to succeed it needs to sound better than the average consumer ANC but also combine it with great comfort. I personally would love to see a planar magnetic ANC since thats a very unique take. I believe only Audeze with their Audeze LCD 1 Closed is competing in that field.

I would still buy a Muse if it is on the audio fidelity of a Beyerdynamic Lagoon with the comfort of a Bose QC35/Sony.

This product sits in a tricky space though - Sony and Bose are improving their sound year after year and serious audiophiles still go wired at home or go wireless without ANC.

So maybe two modes is a solution. One high quality mode without ANC one with.

1 Like