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.