What is Kleer Wireless Technology and Where Is it Now?

The logo for Kleer/KleerNet wireless technology


There are several wireless technologies that are commonly used for audio and device connectivity, each with their own set of pros and cons. One in particular – Kleer – has been flying under the consumer radar while gradually making its way into more products. Given how Bluetooth has largely taken the wireless speaker and headphone market by storm, it can be easy to miss new releases featuring Kleer technology. But if you happen to appreciate wireless audio that doesn't compromise (i.e. music that is lossless and uncompressed), then you'll definitely want to start paying more attention to Kleer.

Kleer (also recognized as KleerNet) is a proprietary wireless technology that operates in the 2.4 GHz, 5.2 GHz, and 5.8 GHz ranges, and is capable of streaming 16-bit / 44.1 kHz audio. Compared to standard Bluetooth, users can enjoy CD/DVD quality audio up to ranges of 328 ft (100 m) with added perks. However, it's worth noting that Bluetooth with aptX support can deliver "CD-like quality," Also, newer Bluetooth audio devices (e.g. Ultimate Ears UE Roll 2 speaker, Master & Dynamic MW60 headphones, Plantronics Backbeat Pro/Sense headphones) are able to maintain wireless distances up to 100 f (30 m).

Kleer Versus Bluetooth

Despite Bluetooth's more recent improvements, Kleer still maintains a technological advantage with its low bandwidth use, low latency of sound, high resistance to wireless interference, ultra-low power consumption (i.e. better battery life by 8-10 times more, reportedly), and ability to support up to four Kleer-enabled devices through a sole transmitter. That last feature is particularly ideal for those interested in creating robust, brand-agnostic home theater systems and/or whole-home audio without the hassle of wires. Multiple listeners can enjoy the same movie through Kleer headphones, or different rooms can have Kleer speakers streaming from one single music source. And since products using the Kleer technology are compatible and interoperable with each other, users aren't captive to a brand's ecosystem (e.g. ​Sonos).

Although quite powerful in its own right, Kleer remains more of an unknown outside of audiophile, enthusiast, or home theater circles. Unlike the ubiquitous Bluetooth, which permeates personal audio and mobile markets, using Kleer quite often requires a compatible transmitter/adapter. Smartphones and tablets are prized for their portability, so the average consumer is less inclined to deal with a dangling dongle in order to stream CD-quality music to a set of Kleer headphones. As such, the options for purchasing Kleer-enabled headphones, speakers, or systems pale in comparison to that of Bluetooth. This may change if and when manufacturers choose to integrate Kleer technology into hardware as has been done with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Those who wish to delve into and experience the world of wireless-streaming Hi-Fi audio through Kleer do have some options. Products are available from a list of reputable companies such as (but not limited to): Sennheiser, TDK (we've previously reviewed the TDK WR-700 Wireless Headphones), AKG, RCA, Focal, Sleek Audio, DigiFi, and SMS Audio.