Big Thief is a band that sounds like all of their amps are plugged into hell: guttural and multi-dimensional, probably overheating and with a touch a menace. I know this because I’ve been testing out a pair of Bluetooth headphones called the Cleer Flow II that cost $280 and make just about any song come alive, including the ones from the netherworld.
On one particular solo about halfway through, there’s a mental breakdown on guitar, a rattling cacophony on the left channel with frantic, anxious drums in the other. I love that you can hear this so clearly, and that’s what makes the Flow II set worth considering. There are a few interesting perks too, but if you’re like me, you mainly want to know if music (and maybe a movie streaming from your iPad or laptop) will sound pristine.
Passing that test, I also liked how the headphones can connect by Bluetooth. I tested them with a laptop, an iPhone 11 Pro, and an Apple iPad 10.2. To use Google Assistant, I had to start the Assistant app on the iPhone 11 Pro and sync, but then I was able to press one of the side buttons on the left headphone to activate the voice bot. I asked about the weather and not only heard the report but saw a forecast on my phone.
The Flow II uses noise-canceling to help you tune out the world and tune into your music. I snapped my fingers inches away from the headphones and couldn’t hear a thing. A colleague talked to me in the same office and I could only see their lips moving. It’s a huge bonus if you need to concentrate. The Flow II also connect using the included 3.5mm wired cable and comes with a handy carrying case and adapters.
The headphones last about 20 hours per change. Other than the voice bot, the multiple connection options, the great sound quality, and the battery life, I was also impressed by the design -- mine are silver but they come in light blue. Also, this neat perk: when you take the headphones off, your audio playback pauses. Put them back on and the song resumes. That’s unusual and beats any earbuds by a mile -- in more ways than one. | Get it on Amazon >
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