The Cleer Next are soft yet detailed with controlled bass and an honest midrange, the treble does lack some bite though.
Fit and Comfort
The Next are a very well made headphone with a mainly aluminium and leather finish, the arms have good adjustment to fit various head sizes and the earcups are deep enough for most ears. The fit is firm and secure but they don't clamp overly hard.
Comfort wise I feel the headband could be a little more padded, but the earpads are spacious and soft. They are also a little on the heavier side in terms of weight, which does restrict listening sessions somewhat. Again everyone's tolerance is different so most probably won't have too much of an issue with these.
The Next are surprisingly easy to drive for a full size headphone, whilst I wouldn't recommend you run them out of a portable device, you definitely can. They do however scale up with more powerful amps and pair well with most solid state desktop amps, having a more detailed and controlled sound. The Next are an open back headphone, more suited to private listening than portable use.
Bass: The Next have a good amount of body down low, but the impact is always controlled and without any bloat. There's a bit of a peak in the sub-bass and the mid-bass misses out on a little bit of impact, which renders some kicks a little dry sounding but nevertheless the lows are well controlled and enjoyable. They come out when needed but never overwhelm the overall sound. The lows can handle anything you throw at them, they have excellent timing and never get bogged down with complex mixes.
Midrange: Detailed and open the midrange portrays vocals with great timbre and accuracy, layers are finely separated yet presented as a coherent whole. They are not warmed by any bleeding from the bass, and these give and honest yet detailed portrayal of the midrange. Guitars really do sound great and are really well separated from the vocals, it doesn't matter what you play through them, this quality remains. Female vocals work well having excellent clarity and detail without any sharpness to them.
Treble: The treble of the Next is notably subdued in the upper regions, compared to the bass and midrange the top end is just a bit flat, there is little energy or sparkle up top leaving them sound a little boring and uninspiring. Snares are snappy, but high-hats don't have any energy and cymbal crashes get pushed to the background. EQ definitely helps here, and they would suit people who are treble sensitive, but for those used to a brighter or more neutral sound may find the Next a little too polite.
Genres and Soundstaging
The slight dip up top means the Next are fairly versatile but lack a bit of bite during more energetic tracks, they suit genres like acoustic and country well.
Soundstage wise though they are pretty impressive with a well focussed centre image and great layering and space between the rest of the instruments. It's quite easy to tell where they are placed within the soundstage.
ConclusionThe Next are snappy and controlled yet they are also a little rolled off in the treble which means they sound a little soft and dull at times. They are not lacking detail, and true to the brands name they sound very clear. Overall they are enjoyable for the treble sensitive listeners but those looking for a bit more energy should look elsewhere.
- Value: 7/10
- Comfort: 7/10
- Sound: 7/10
- Overall: 7/10