Audio manufacturer Cleer has named Aaron Levine as its new marketing VP.
Levine, whose history includes positions at Sound United, Sony Electronics and Pioneer Electronics, joined Cleer earlier this month, just prior to the start of CES 2019. TWICE caught up with him in a phone interview on Thursday.
How was CES?
It was amazing. It was very different [because] my first day with Cleer was three days before the show opened. It was jumping in and trying to drink from the fire hose.
Even though I understood the direction of the organization, seeing how the team I was joining was able to execute the brand persona in our small footprint was impressive. … It’s a lot of fun for me at this point in my career — just being able to take a brand into all sorts of fun directions and grow with them is exciting.
You’ve spent the majority of your career in consumer tech audio. What do you think has been the most exciting recent development in the category, say within the last five years?
There’s so much. Between voice assistants and artificial intelligence, there’s also the improvement of longtime technology, like noise canceling or speaker driver technology for instance. These technologies have been around for a while, but to see the advancements is pretty remarkable.
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Even the maturity in the voice assistant space; it’s only been around for a few years, but the saturation and proliferation of products are pretty significant.
What can we expect from Cleer in 2019?
You’re going to see more performance audio headphones in the true wireless and more traditional spaces. We’re looking at long battery life implementation, [with models] supporting 100 hours of playback on Bluetooth. Ear buds will be on average about 10 hours on a single charge.
In the smart display category, [we have] voice assistants built into the Mirage, which is one of the world’s first smart assistants with an AMOLED flexible display.
What should consumer tech retailers and distributors know about Cleer?
We’re a young, hungry performance audio brand, and we’re looking to define ourselves in the marketplace.
Do you intend to grow your distribution channels this year?
Yes. Part of the fun of being a young company is making sure we carve out the appropriate path for ourselves, and our dealer relationships are critically important. For us right now, the right partnerships are purposefully in front of us as a goal in every relationship that I have.