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CES 2020 News: Cleer Audio reveals Crescent smart speaker

Cleer and Cresent danger

by Andy Bassett
Hi-Fi News

1

CES 2020 News: Cleer Audio reveals Crescent smart speaker

Cleer Audio has hinted at design flourishes for its speakers before and its newly revealed Crescent smart speaker runs with the concept of a lifestyle audio device for the modern home.

There are plenty of smart speakers hitting the market from both new and established audio companies but noticeable straight from the off is the unusual look to Cleer Audio’s Cresent speaker. Coming across like a slice of audio melon, the company joins the likes of Bowers & Wilkins in trying to win consumers eyes as well as their ears.

Contained within the arresting housing, which is reinforced with glass fibre ribs for reduced vibrations and sonic resonance, is a linear array of eight custom 40mm full-range drivers and two 3.3” rear-firing subwoofers.
The Crescent also houses an optimized mic array with noise-rejection technology for superior far-field voice recognition for use with its Voice Assistant. It also supports Hi-Res audio and will handle formats such as AAC, FLAC, WMA and Apple Lossless. It can stream from sources such as Spotify Connect, Apple AirPlay 2 and Chromecast. External hardware sources are also catered for via Wi-Fi, a 3.5mm Aux, an RJ25 and an optical input.

The Crescent is designed to be used with the company’s Cleer+ app which enables users to customise their EQ settings or choose a variety of scenario appropriate presets. These range from Wide Stereo Mode which replicates a concert hall ambience through to the party supporting Room Filling Mode where audio disperses throughout the environment, and finally 3D Immersive Mode. This last preset uses beamforming technology to create a sweet spot where audio can be placed anywhere around the listener.


Cleer Audio’s press release is quoted below:



San Diego, Calif. (December 2019) – Upstart Cleer Audio is stepping away from the monotonous design that has dominated the form factor of the modern smart speaker landscape, instead creating a device that compliments and blends into your home interior design, serving as an accent piece as well as a sound system. The sleek and considerate shape are an interior designer’s dream and make this speaker something worth hearing and seeing. With a linear array of eight custom 40mm full-range drivers and two 3.3” subwoofers, the Crescent is emblematic of the premiere audio experience that Cleer is making their name on. Its use of Dysonics’ (a member of the Intel Capital portfolio of companies) SoundShaping™ software marries exceptional industrial design and engineering with the latest technology for a customizable listening experience.

We knew we wanted to challenge the prevailing notion that home speakers should be clunky towers or boxy soundbars,” says Patrick Huang, CEO of Cleer Audio. “Music is such an integral part to the warmth of our home, we wanted the aesthetics of our smart speaker to provide the same emotion when you look at it that we get when we put on a favourite album.”

For many years, speakers in the home wouldn’t blend into their environment and would stick out in a non-attractive way.” Said Alex Arie, Vice President of Design at Cleer Inc. “Because consumers shouldn’t have to settle for basic looking audio, we designed this speaker to not only optimize the listening experience but the aesthetics of the home. Crescent is an emotional expression of our love of both design and music.”

Designed to work with the new Cleer + App to allow users to fully customize their EQ, the Crescent’s sound technology can also be personalized using custom audio modes for specific listening scenarios. For an immersive listening experience, Wide Stereo Mode mimics a the sonic ambiance of a large orchestral performance, creating a soundstage from the stereo for far field and near field listening, like sitting in a room with hi-fi audio setup; Room Filling Mode evenly disperses sound throughout a room, perfect for a party situation; and most intimately, 3D Immersive Mode, uses cutting edge beamforming technology from Dysonics to focus the sound toward a single location, creating the ultimate sweet spot and allowing for the best possible sound experience, like being in the movie or gaming scene.

Perry Teevens, CEO of Dysonics added, “Dysonics spatial audio involves the virtual placement of sound sources anywhere in three-dimensional space, including behind, above or below the listener. Now sounds can come from every direction, greatly enhancing the listener experience. It’s a truly remarkable and exhilarating experience that we call SoundShaping™. We are pleased at how Cleer’s engineering team has been able to capitalize on our technology with their linear speaker array and special driver housing to create a next generation home speaker.”

Equipped with a Voice Assistant, the Crescent incorporates an optimized mic array with noise-rejection technology for superior far-field voice recognition. The Crescent also supports Hi-Res digital audio formats and streaming from Spotify Connect, Apple AirPlay 2, AAC, FLAC, WMA and Apple Lossless, and Chromecast . With Wifi, a 3.5mm Aux, RJ25 and optical inputs, it also easily supports additional audio sources.

Its truly showstopping design was intended to harmonize with its surroundings, whether it is placed in a non-traditional or traditional spot in the home. A speaker grille with an acoustic constructed structure and a reinforced speaker cabinet with glass fiber ribs for reduced vibrations and sonic resonance.



Crescent will be available for $599.99 (UK around £599.99, TBC) in August 2020 at cleeraudio.com, authorised retailers as well as Amazon.com.

How does Cleer’s Crescent speaker look to you? Assuming the audio credentials are in place, is this something you’d like in your home? Why not start a chat in the discussion thread and see what others think?

Source: Press release
Image Source: Cleer Audio
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