Head-Fi.org › Head Gear › Headphones › Over-Ear › Creative Aurvana Live! Headphones

Creative Aurvana Live! Headphones

Posted

Pros: Genuinely impressive sound quality for under $100, Cozy comfy, Lightweight & secure fit, Nice looks, Includes accessories

Cons: Earpads would benefit from being more spacious, Build quality could be improved, Isolation is similar to Denon D2000

 

A legendary value performer

 

The Creative Aurvana Live! (CAL! for short) has a strong reputation for being an excellent choice for beginning headphone hobbyists and an amazingly good sounding headphone for under $100. I found myself with some spare cash, and was after some new headphones after selling my Denon D2000, and thought it would be fun to try the CALs, since they are a reincarnation of the Denon D1000. People have described them as a little brother of the D2000, and I think they are to some extent. Certainly for the better in the sound department, for the worse in other areas. So, I bought a pair directly from Creative, and 4 days later they arrived (Quick shipping seeing as it came from Singapore). Here was my experience:

 

Well you guys are certainly right about one thing

 

And that is that these headphones sound excellent, especially for under $100. I really want to talk about this first, because it's where the CAL! is just amazing. Honestly, these headphones are an audiophile's wet-dream to use in arguments against Beats users when you want examples of headphones at less than half the price that blow the doctor away. This is the area where they really do sound like a smaller, cheaper Denon D2000. It's definitely less refined all around, but it does a very similar thing, and at a stupendous level of quality for under a big green note. 

 

The bass on the CAL! is less pronounced than the Denon, placing it very slightly north of neutral, but close enough that I think you could call it well balanced, but slightly warm. The roll off begins much earlier than on the D2000, but the extension is very respectable, but again, not as much. It's certainly controlled well, staying in it's place with very minimal encroachment on the midrange. Definitely a mud-free presentation. Definition is good, and authority isn't lacking when called upon. The bass is a great reason it's great sounding for beginners, it will teach them that you don't need grossly overblown, bloated, unnatural bass for music (including 'bass culture' music) to be enjoyable and properly represented. Neutral-to-warm is where the real cool kids are at! I've read about the bass being a tad loose, but it sounds fairly tight to me. Overall, a commendable bass response from the CAL!, definitely a sign of it's Denon lineage. 

 

Much as with the D2000, the CAL! doesn't put you in a chokehold and demand you swear allegiance to either bass or midrange, you get both! I must say, that vocals struck me very quickly as being very, very good on the CAL!. I think this is a result of not only placement and separation (They seem very distinctly separated from everything else) but just how realistically three dimensional they sound. If you've ever experienced a headphone that seems to swallow vocals up in the sound, and you want something better, then these will do it. I find the midrange to be well detailed and resolving, bringing out the texture of the sound more than you might expect

 

The treble on the CAL! really fits the part for these cans. To my tastes I couldn't quite call it dark or bright, it's fairly neutral sounding to me, which I think is beneficial for a slightly warm headphone. If you have warmth (or an outright bassy response) coupled with bright treble then you get a V shaped signature, which I don't have high levels of tolerance for (depending on extreme the V is). A left out midrange is no fun. These headphones definitely avoid harshness and sibilance, but I would say they're actually quite energetic and "active" sounding in the treble, but without any sense of being artificially boosted or forward. I really think they sound very surprisingly clean up high for a cheap, sealed can like this. 

 

Imaging is also really good (for a headphone of it's type and class)! Much like the big sister D2000, the CAL! seems to benefit most noticeably from it's poor isolation with the trait the open headphones are best known for: soundstaging. To compare these to the HFI-580 (a sealed circumaural that can go for twice the price of the CAL!), I'd say these knocked their socks off in the imaging department (Well, I find the CAL! much more enjoyable as a whole, too). The Ultrasone is supposed to have S-Logic to help it out, but it sounds downright unnatural and cramped compared to the CAL!. Layering is great on this headphone, with pretty respectable instrument separation. It is, of course, bested by the D2000 but I'd say the imagine was about 80% as good. Really impressive!

 

In short, the worst thing I can say about the sound of the CAL! is that it will be outdone by headphones in the $200+ range, but I think not only do they kick ass and take names under $100, but they continue to be super competitive up around $150 and approaching the $200 mark. These are some of the best value for performance out there!

 

Looks & Build

 

I think that for the money, the CAL! are decent in their presentation and their build, though I wouldn't say that they were outstanding in any way.

 

Compared to the Denon D1000, the CAL! wins my preference in aesthetics due to it's colour scheme. I quite like the dark, black finish on the headband arms, as well as the contrast between the chrome and reflective black finish of the the cups. The creative logo is in raised plastic with chrome finish, which I really like. I also appreciate the size of the logo, it's not too uncommon for logos to be placed and designed to be as attention seeking as possible. It's good to see visual design that appreciates subtlety. 

 

In the build department, I find that the CAL! could be a bit better, though I want to make it clear that these headphones are not poorly built. I would say they are overall superior to the Sennheiser HD448 which lacked metal in it's internal structure. The CAL! uses prominently plastic in it's build, from the cups through to the headband shell. I think the cups feel pretty solid, but I think the arms of the headband are a bit less convincing of that solid feeling you want from a headphone. The gimbals are slightly cheap looking in their plastic design, and if you apply pressure to the inner plastic of the arms, there's a little bit of give and a small creaking sound. Compare that to the Sennheiser PX100ii, and no such feeling or noise is present, they feel solid as a rock. That headphone also has more visible metal in it's construction, and just feels better finished and re-enforced than the CAL!. This is one of the big reasons I think the CAL! could be more impressive in the build department. Both headphones are the same price, and despite the PX100ii being much smaller and seemingly flimsier in physical size, it's just more solid feeling and I wouldn't hesitate to put more faith in it standing up to abuse than the CAL!, or at the very least it feels a little more premium. 

 

One thing I must say the CAL! does possess that impresses me is good quality pleather. Most headphones under $100 have quite poor imitation leather indeed, though the CAL! went all out and opted for the good stuff. The earpads are extremely soft, more-so than any other headphone I've personally experienced. I was genuinely surprised when I first felt them, and I think this property really contributes to the comfort factor of these headphones. 

 

With everything taken into account, I would say that the CAL! is a decently build headphone which you shouldn't worry about it falling apart on you, though don't expect it last through the ages or give you any sense of getting more than what you paid for.

 

Comfort

 

This is an area that the headphones seem to be almost equally famous for along side their sound, and I have to be honest, I don't think that's really justified. I do not think these are uncomfortable headphones, but a number of people seem to find their comfort more impressive than their sound quality, which is a mildly baffling idea to me. I've also seen one reviewer here on Head-Fi describe the comfort as being 'unbeatable'. Whilst I would normally say that comfort (much like sound) is a very subjective element of the headphone hobby, I can only think that if you consider the CAL! to possess the best comfort out there, you probably haven't experienced a great deal of headphones. They're comfy enough, but they simply are not a headphone that you can wear all day without irritation, and they're no where near the best.

 

When I first got the CAL! I found them quite uncomfortable. Luckily this changed, but I still do have some remaining bones to pick with the comfort. My first issue was that the headband padding felt quite stiff, to the point of being an under-padded feeling headband. This isn't a big problem now, the CAL! is very light so the headband doesn't need to provide a high level of support in the first place, but I found that the padding of the headband softened up noticeably after a day or two of use. I have noticed that I have to wear it quite forward on my head for it to feel right, and I'm not sure why. Normally it's the opposite for me. I like the headband of this headphone, though I would say that optimally, a wider and even softer headband would be preferable. 

 

The real issue of the CAL!'s comfort is the ear-pads. As mentioned, the ear-pads are very soft. However, considering it's a supposedly circumaural headphone, the amount of space given for your ear is rather conservative. There is just over 2 inches of height, and about 1.75 inches of width (at the widest point). My ears are fairly average, so I imagine those with large ears will note rather quickly that there is an insufficient amount of space. I don't find that the depth is a problem for me, but these are also not the deepest earpads around. This lack of space will irritate some people's ears due to the touch alone, but the other issue is that such a confined space that is encased in non-breathing pleather leads to a bit of extra heat. This is pretty unbearable for me if it's a hot day, it just feels disgusting. 

 

As a rule of thumb, I would say that if you don't have large ears and don't live in a hot area, you should be OK. Don't expect game changing comfort, but it should be cosy. The fit is quite secure and lightweight, though, which goes a long way in my books.

 

Not bad, but I think it gets way more credit than it deserves. 

 

Conclusion

 

I must say, despite having issues with it at first, I've really grown to love this headphone! For under $100, this is a must-have for beginners, it's such a good introduction as to what good sound is. Some people are going to take issue with it's comfort, but I'd say for a lot of people this will indeed be comfy. Just don't expect DT880 levels or anything. 

 

Great for home use for anyone looking to get into quality headphones!

Posted

Pros: Nicely detailed, laid back, broad and even frequency bandwidth

Cons: Deep bass is slightly unprecise, some classic orchestra can be a bit squishy

BEST VALUE FOR MONEY
Finally I can send my Superlux 668B where they belong - into the trashcan. Due to a discount at the german Creative store website, I was able to order the Aurvana Live for 49€ (equals ~62$).

Optics/Haptics
Lots of plastic, but seems durable and well crafted, also nice to look at. Dueto the little weight and the well adjustable headband, they're superbly comfortable, even for guys with bull shaped skulls (like me^^).

Sound : The good
The Aurvana Live! has no real weakness. The sound is very nicely detailed and staged, it can reach quite low and has no breakaways -up or down- anywhere the frequency range. Voices are soft and detailed as well, very slightly taken back though, "S" and "F" sounds stay where they belong, no mentionworthy sizzling or hissing, even with harshly mastered stuff like George Michael's "Precious Box".

Sound: The bad
The deep bass section is slightly washy, but in a close limit. Listening to several classical test songs, I recognised that with some situations, the sound stage became rather "promiscous", I wasn't able to tell apart the different instruments anymore, it all sounded squishy - but that happened very selectively, so I can't tell if it was the particular recorded material or the headphones - but it should be mentioned anyway.

Value for money - Outstanding.
Yes, lots of plastic is involved, but that's not really a surprise in the below-50€ market here in Europe, is it? The sound makes up for it. Detailed, laid back, no real weaknesses. Very well done, but the same of course goes for it's older brother, the Denon 1001.

My Advice - If you're unhappy with budget "tips" like the Superluxes, go for the Aurvana! They are WAY MORE FUN!
smily_headphones1.gif

Posted

Pros: comfort, sq, bass

Cons: bass, build quality, isolation

These are wonderful hidden gems of headphone world. Using the same guts as the renowned D1001k they produce a bass driven warm sound without any bass bleed to midrange. Midrange is also well-done, male vocals especially. Treble is nice and has the occasional spark when needed. Presentation is adequate for closed headphones. Overall, the sound signature is quite fun for most genres, the only problem I had with them is the extra messy and fast metal pieces. The reason is that bass is not well controlled. I sense that -though I am no expert-, these are not technically most proficient headphones even in their price range.

 

Comfort is probably unbeatable. Build is decent but a bit flimsy. And lastly look elsewhere for isolation.

 

I can't believe that  someone can get them for 70 bucks new and much less second hand. Such a great value!

Posted

Pros: Great detail, V-shaped sound works for much of popular music

Cons: Very very V-shaped, feels like a part of the spectrum is missing, literally the cheapest most breakable plastic.

These are hard to review especially at the 50 dollar price point. At that price it's probably going to be one of the best headphones you can get in terms of pure sound detail. 

 

But I would be remiss to not mention that it is very very V-shaped. I miss the mids. I would even trade some of that clarity for semi-decent mids. Only thing worse than a headphone with bloated bass is a headphone with buried mids. 

 

The pads are very comfortable at first but like any around ear they tend to get hot over time. 

 

In general ATH-M50 is better(although also suffering from recessed mids) with better detail through the spectrum where the CAL! has greatly detailed highs but the bass isn't on par. 

Posted

Pros: overall good sound quality, lightweight, sit good on the head

Cons: deepest bass, not super comfortable but ok, sound isolation

i can only compare these to my sony mdr cd 770 and my dad's beyerdynamic dt 990 premium as well as some koss porta pros.

 

i haven't had them for that long yet but i like the construction and that they're light. they clamp pretty tight on the head and are comfortable enough to wear for longer periods. i will try running/working out with these and i think they'll do the job.

 

about the sound: the bass is slightly boomy but goes pretty deep, the treble is slightly more detailed and emphasized i feel than the dt 990 since the sound signature of these cans is flatter and less v-shaped, the highs are decent. overall the sound is very good and there's not much to complain about except the details in the deepest bass, but i think that's a physical limit due to the size of the driver. the soundstage is good enough for my liking and the separation between the channels is very good. they sound somewhere between the cd 770 that are very flat and extremely detailed and the dt 990 (that i totally adore) that have a more v-shaped sound signature and less detail in the treble. i feel that these cans are best for electronic music (not drum and bass) and aren't very picky about the quality of the source. i expect them to get a little better after burning in so i might update this review but so far i'm content with them.

 

i think that the dt 990 premium are better in every way especially for rock, metal and dnb but they cost 4-5 times more and aren't nearly as portable.

Posted

Pros: good clean sound, balanced presentation with warmth. Great comfort.

Cons: Poor isolation.

The Creative Aurvana Live! is a closed headphone that I recently had the opportunity to try and I believe that it is definitely one of the best ” value for money” purchase as well as an excellent headphone at the sub 100 cost.The Creative Aurvana Live! is an offering from the Aurvana range of products that Creative offers (as we’ll have it for my typing comfort sake!) is a deceptively simple looking pair of headphones. The glossy earcups are the first thing that will strike you out of the box, that also means that it is going to be a fingerprint magnet. The headphone does not boast a great build but my “guess” is that it actually is tough enough to survive as a carry-around portable or travel headphone for everyday use. The whole frame is made of plastic with a metal band bringing up the clamping area of the headphone. The box comes with a carrying bag, 6.3mm stereo adapter and a 1.5m extension cable. A special mention to Creative’s frustration free packaging, I still remember how I had to fight with the Sennheiser HD448 blister packaging! The Creative Aurvana Live! feels really light in the hands and has this ” aura of coziness” about it. The 40mm “bio-cellulose” diaphragm is held in plastic earcups covered with soft leatherette material (great for winter days). As a headphone designed for use with portable music players the CAL! has an impedance of 32 Ohms and is driven well by all almost all portable music players.

 

The CAL! reaches a level of comfort that I have not experienced even from headphone models costing 5 to 6 times its cost. The clamping force is almost non-existent and is very  similar to the HD448. I even wonder how Creative manages to keep the little isolation that it provides with such paltry clamping force (guess the leatherette earpads do that job!). The headphones disappear once the music starts playing and that’s how I like it. The upper part that sits on the head has little foam cover, but that does not deviate from the overall comfort the CAL! provides. The 1.2 meter cable is fine for my 5’10 stature but if you’re taller than the provided extension cable is a nice touch. The CAL! is really light (210 grams) and just disappears once I hang it around my neck like any portable headphone should. The earcups envelop my ears (circumaural) but I can easily see that they might not for users with larger ears (becoming supraural) resulting in even less noise isolation.

 

Lovely, warm and very musical. Driven straight out of my iPod Classic the CAL! does a beautiful job of most types of music that I throw at it. The vocals are slightly recessed (or it’s just the highs creating the feeling!), clear sharp treble with decent extension, lovely midbass – bass is present, not so much sub bass and rumble, but clear tight lows. The soundstage  feels as good as the HD448s and the musicality of this headphone definitely bests both the Superlux HD661 and the Sennheiser HD448. I’m a proponent of uncompressed music and prefer using lossless files whenever possible and would recommend that music lovers need to experiment with the same. My personal experience is that the headphone or IEM that one uses can greatly affect the clarity or resolution of these lossless files and believe is one of the reasons that people often don’t notice the difference compared to an mp3 file. The Creative Aurvana Live is a headphone that will definitely help appreciate lossless and higher resolution music be it on a computer or a portable music player.

 

The Creative Aurvana Live! is a crowd-pleaser with its warm and mid-bass bumped detailed presentation. The sub 100 buck headphone market is one of the hottest and the Aurvana Live is a capable entry, though not a popular one. Newer arrivals like the Sennheiser HD449 face some stiff competition from the CAL! considering the price and quality delivered, lets not forget the Superlux HD661 as well with its unbelievable price point.

 

Read the full review on my blog.

Posted

Pros: Clean sound with decent bass and a good soundstage. Lightweight and comfortable. Inexpensive and rather low-key in a good way.

Cons: The cord does not inspire confidence.

The Creative Aurvana Live! solved a major problem for me—how to listen to good audio while walking the dog at night. I live near a commercial and bar district in Center City, Philadelphia and I'm not interested in attracting attention with my headphones. Enter the CALs. Nothing about them says "hey, here's $300 on this guy's head." And yet, that's what they feel like, and that's what they sound like. OK, they are not as good as a great pair of $300 headphones—but I can think of a few models that cost that much that are bested by the CALs.

 

The comfort factor is huge, and Creative hits a home-run for an over-the-ear, sub $75 headphone. The faux leather earpads are genuinely soft and as a result these cans are uncommonly comfortable. They are an absolute necessity for standing in line at the bank. Noise isolation is not world-class, and they can leak a bit of sound but overall they behave well. There's nothing cheap about the CALs performance.

 

Clamping pressure is relatively light for the seal the headphones achieve. Since they are closed cans, there is a sense of confinement to the sound, but by no means is the sound field restricted to an "inside the head" experience. If the recording sounds expansive, the Aurvana's deliver—it's just that I also have a pair of AKG K-701s that I keep comparing them to, and of course they are no match in that department. The only category where the CALs beat the K701s was bass (of course). But that's the thing, the bass on the CALs is "just right," it really is. They can't dig as deep as a Sennheiser HD380, but they can hang with considerably pricier headphones in terms of precision and dynamics.

 

The key the the Aurvana is its price. Any flaws disappear with the mental knowledge that they are practically disposable, and that new ear pads for the AKG K701 cost as much as the entire Creative headset. They perform way about their price point, in more ways than one. The CAL is the headphone that ruined—as in replaced—the Grado SR60 and SR80, in terms of an everyday walk-around headphone. The relative comfort factor seals the deal. Since the CALs are sealed cans, I'm sure the folks at the bank are quite thankful as well.

Posted

Pros: sound quality, comfort, lightweight, price

Cons: isolation, break-in needed

So so good headphones for the price, same as Denon D1001 which was 2/3 times more expensive.

Needs to break in to sound at its best.Will give you a flavor of Denon D2000 sounds.

Unbelievable value; Highly recommanded 

Posted

Pros: detail, comfort, rounded low end

Cons: earpads could be larger

I've owned quite a few cans and ended up really digging the sound of Denon headphones. With a pair of AHD-2000's at home, I wanted something just as fun at work. I've auditioned the Audio-Technica M50, Koss DJ-100, AKG 240S, AKG 44, and Triple.Fi Pro's connected to a uDAC for work. The DJ-100's were good, albeit a bit dark. The sibilance in the AKG's were too fatiguing and the AKG 44, though incredibly inexpensive with the Guitar Center deal under $20, lacked body. The M50's, though excellent at their price point, weren't as detailed as I liked. Triple.Fi's are great but I realized I wanted a pair of cans at work. Ultimately I wanted a fun, detailed pair of headphones under $100. 

 

I looked at picking up a pair of the 1100's, but after some research I decided that I wanted try the CAL! since they shared the same drivers as the Denon 1001's. They are just what I was looking for: sub $100 cans that were as fun as my D2000's. Next step: pair it with a Fiio E6. 

Creative Aurvana Live! Headphones
Description:

Lightweight in design and ergonomically fitting, Aurvana Live! is perfect for music on the move or enjoying your entertainment at home. The cutting edge bio-cellulose driver technology and acoustic tuning deliver accurate, high-definition audio. Sharp transients and dynamic passages are handled with effortless fi nesse. The premium soft leatherette earpads and headband allow you to immerse comfortably into your music for prolonged periods. With Aurvana Live! you will experience music so realistic, you’ll think it has to be Live!

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandCreative Labs
ColorBlack
EAN0054651145467
FeatureOxygen-Free Copper (OFC) cable and gold-plated plug deliver pristine performance
Height10 inches
Length7.48 inches
Weight1.54 pounds
Width4.02 inches
LabelCreative Labs
List Price$99.99
ManufacturerCreative Labs
Material TypePlastic
Material Type Set ElementPlastic
ModelEF0060
MPNEF0060
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
PublisherCreative Labs
StudioCreative Labs
TitleCreative Aurvana Live! Headphones
UPC054651145467
Is Autographed0
Is Memorabilia0
Warranty1 year warranty
LanguagesEnglish
LanguagesFrench
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
Head-Fi.org › Head Gear › Headphones › Over-Ear › Creative Aurvana Live! Headphones