Creative Aurvana Live! 2 Headset with 40mm Drivers and In-Line Mic

General Information

Immerse yourself in true-to-life music and tighter bass tones in unmatched comfort with the Creative Aurvana Live!2. With cutting-edge Bio-Cellulose driver technology and meticulous acoustic tuning, it delivers a natural and faithful audio presentation. It also sports a detachable audio cable with an inline microphone and volume adjustment for you to communicate on smartphones. The Aurvana Live!2 truly fulfills your entertainment and communication needs. Compatible with the latest smartphones and tablets supporting 3.5mm 4-pole connector (CTIA standard). Functions may vary among devices. It is not recommended to use on a device with regular stereo or 3-pole socket.

Latest reviews

Hark01

New Head-Fier
Pros: -price
-comfort
-weight
-detachable cable
-microphone
-bass impact
Cons: -tuning
-QC
Bought it locally for a reasonable price. It's nice looking, solidly build, surprisingly comfortable and lightweight headphone. Pleather pads are comfortable and tolerable even in the hot summer months. It comes with detachable cable with microphone, stop/start button and analog volume slider. Nice. The sound. Well, this one's famous for it's Foster biodyna drivers. Bass impact is best in class. However, tuning on this model is far from balanced. Think something along the V-Moda M-100 line. Fun, but overwhelming bassy sound. Can be fun for EDM / modern pop but gets quickly fatiguing for music in general. When EQ'd it became a solid headphone. Somewhat dark tilt remains, however. Mids stay somewhat recessed. Soundstage gets wider and is solid for a closed back. Solid smooth sound, maybe missing detail a little because of the dark tonal bent.

However, there was a problem, the connection on the 2.5 mm jack was cutting. I've returned it to the store, where they fixed the issue. But beware of the bad QC. However, it made me appreciate Foster biodyna drivers.
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Lewis Tham

New Head-Fier
Pros: Bass is perfect, General sound quality is nice
Cons: Build quality
Got this during a sale at only $100 SGD, felt extremely satisfied with my purchase as sound quality sounded extremely good with a nice, punchy bass and great soundstage. Made me start loving post-grunge again. However, after around 4 months of reckless treatment of the headphones, its left earcup snapped off. I tried salvaging it with superglue but failed.
I think this has to be the greatest weakness of this headset; its build. Although it looks pretty good, I don't think its aesthetics was worth the sacrifice of its durability. The cable provided with the headphones were mediocre at best, and the headphones by itself felt so flimsy that I foresaw its death the day I first bought it. Planning to swap its drivers into a pair of JLab Bomboras sometime in the future.

earfonia

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Natural, balanced, and pleasing sounding; Comfortable; Flat-fold earcups.
Cons: No plain cable without volume control for better quality sound.
I would like to thank Creative Singapore for the loan of Creative Aurvana Live 2 demo sample!

http://sg.creative.com/p/headphones-headsets/creative-aurvana-live2
 
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Launched in 2013, Creative Aurvana Live! 2 is a matured model that is still going strong competing with other models in this price category. There are around 10 reviews here in Head-Fi, so Aurvana Live! 2 that often called as CAL2 needs no more introduction, and I will try to write this review short and concise.
 
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Summary:
Estimated Sound Quality: 4/5 Very Good
Estimated Value (SQ/Price): 5/5 Excellent
Build Quality: 4/5 Very Good
Noise Isolation: 3/5 Good
 
Perceived level of:
Naturalness: 5/5 Excellent
Clarity: 4/5 Very Good
Detail & Separation: 4/5 Very Good
Holographic Imaging & Spaciousness: 4/5 Very Good
Dynamic & Transient: 3/5 Good
Treble level in comparison to midrange: 0
Bass level in comparison to midrange: 0
Relax (-) to Analytical (+) balance: -1
 
 
Score
5 - Excellent
4 - Very Good
3 - Good
2 - Acceptable
1 - Poor

 
Balanced Level:
+/- 1 : Mild - Still within acceptable range for most recordings.
+/- 2 : Moderate - Generally acceptable, but may start to sound a little too much on some recordings.
+/- 3 : Strong - Generally sounds unnatural and too strong for most recordings.

 
 
Suggestions for improvements:
To include higher quality cable without microphone & volume control.
 

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Sound Quality
CAL2 has a very pleasing, intimate, and smooth sound character that goes well with almost any kind of recording, especially modern genres. Tonality is balanced with no significant emphasize on any area of the frequency response, slightly south of neutral, so not on the analytical side. Probably very mild emphasize around bass area to create the sensation of warm and full sounding, but just a mild emphasize. If I need to choose a few words to describe CAL2 sound signature, it would be: Smooth, balanced, pleasing, musical, and fun. No detected annoying peaks and dips across the frequency spectrum.
 
Bass is mildly emphasized. Slight emphasize around bass to mid bass area, good and punchy bass with good low bass extension. Low bass rumble is good but not emphasized. Meaning, low bass rumble is not very strong for realistic cinematic experience, but it is there, and not lacking. Bass speed and tightness are decent, not boomy, but not the fast hard hitting type. In my opinion, it would be better if bass dynamic can be improved further.
 
Midrange is natural sounding with a touch of warmness. Vocal is clear with minimum coloration. Good detail and clarity without any over emphasized in clarity. Vocal sounds smooth and pleasing with good clarity.
 
Treble is smooth and extended, and very pleasing for long period of listening. Treble has good extension and transparent enough for classical, but overall tuning is probably more suitable for modern genres. This is a safe headphone for people that are sensitive to bright treble but doesn't want to sacrifice clarity.
 
Stereo imaging is good, about average in size and depth, not congested and not particularly spacious. Instrument separation is clear enough and doesn't sound cluttered.
 
Dynamic is decent, not the most realistic dynamic, but lively enough, and definitely not sloppy or lazy. At this price point dynamic performance is pretty good, though if improved further it could be a giant killer.
 
IMHO CAL2 is more suitable for modern music, Pop, EDM, and other modern genre recordings with close miking. Though CAL2 performs quite well on classical and audiophile binaural recordings as well, but to my ears those natural distant miking recordings are not its forte. I prefer headphones with higher level of transparency and airiness, a little more analytical, for those natural recordings.
 
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Comparisons
 
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Comparison with ATH-MSR7LTD
ATH-MSR7LTD is clarity king, therefore MSR7LTD has higher perceived clarity and detail. Tonality wise MSR7LTD is relatively a bright headphone, therefore might not be suitable for treble sensitive user. MSR7LTD has more emphasize on treble and has more upper treble extension. Dynamic is also better on MSR7LTD, bass is tighter and punchier. Holographic imaging is wider and more spacious on MSR7LTD. MSR7LTD wins on technicalities, but not necessary more musically pleasing especially for long session. Using MSR7LTD for long period will be more tiring than CAL2. MSR7LTD also known to have stronger headband clamping force. CAL2 headband clamping force is just nice, not as strong as on MRS7LTD. MSR7LTD sound quality wise, in my opinion is more suitable to be positioned as professional monitoring headphone. Technically excellent for critical listening, but can be a little tiring for long session. CAL2 is a smooth and pleasing sounding headphone, with a friendlier sound signature for long period of use, more suitable for casual listening, with better listening comfort.
 
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Comparison with ATH-M50
ATH-M50 has slightly higher perceived clarity with slightly less bass. CAL2 sounds a little warmer when compared to M50. M50 has slightly more emphasize on upper midrange, and more forward in presentation. While CAL2 midrange is a little more laid back and more relax than M50. Treble quality and extension is more or less the same. Both have smooth treble and are safe for treble sensitive users. Bass is a little punchier and more powerful on M50, slightly better bass dynamic, though bass balance in comparison to the midrange is about the same. So bass level is approximately the same, but M50 bass has better dynamic. Stereo imaging quality is approximately the same. Users prefer a more dynamic sound will probably like the M50 better, while those looking for smooth and relax kind of sound signature will prefer CAL2.
 
 
 
 
Features, Build Quality, & Comfort
Rated at 32 ohms, CAL2 is easy to drive; my old smartphone Galaxy S4 is powerful enough to drive it up to my normal listening loudness with good sound quality. I know some people might prefer to listen louder, for that a good DAP or an amp will be necessary. Comparing the sound quality between driving CAL2 using Galaxy S4 and ifi micro iDSD, though there is some improvement, but not a night and day kind of improvement. Meaning, CAL2 is quite user friendly, designed for daily use with practically any devices, and doesn't demand dedicated high-end equipment to drives it. 
 
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Fostex 40mm driver with composite Bio-Cellulose diaphragm
 
 
Overall build quality is good, pretty stylish, though a bit plasticky. CAL2 earcups can be swiveled and stored flat. This is a very useful feature, especially for traveling. 
 
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The cable is detachable, and the interesting part is the cable 2.5mm TRRS connection to the headphone's drivers. Creative knows it is important to separate the ground wire between the left and right driver to minimize crosstalk, therefore they use TRRS connection instead of TRS. Beside minimizing crosstalk, since the ground wire for left and right drivers are already separated, it is easier to make a DIY cable for balanced connection, to connect CAL2 to balanced output such as balanced headphone amplifier or balanced DAP like some models of the AK players.
 
 
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Microphone quality is on the average, clear enough for phone call, but I actually expect something better. Beside that, there is a volume adjustment on the cable that though practical, technically it is not preferable for sonic purity. For purely music listening, I would suggest to Creative to consider to include a better cable without mic and volume adjustment. I believe when using a better quality cable without the volume control on the cable, the dynamic can be improved further.
 
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I have no issue with comfort, earpads are large enough, and headband pressure is just nice, not hard. At 255 grams CAL2 is pretty light. CAL2 performs very well in comfort department. 
 
 
 

In summary, CAL2 is an enjoyable and friendly sounding headphone that is both comfortable and easy to drive. An enjoyable companion for everyone, an excellent offering from Creative Technologies!
 
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Specification:
Size: Over-the-Ear
Weight: 255g (9oz)
Main Features: Inline Control, Volume Control
Driver Size: 40mm (1.57 inches) Neodymium magnet with composite Bio-Cellulose diaphragm
Impedance: 32 ohms
Frequency Response: 10Hz ~ 30KHz
Cable Length: 1.2m / 3.9ft, Detachable cable
Microphone: Yes
Color: Black & Red-Black
 
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Equipment used in this review:
 
Headphones:
Audio-Technica MSR7LTD
Audio-Technica M50
 
DACs & DAPs:
Fiio X3 2nd gen
iBasso DX90
ifi micro iDSD (firmware 4.06)
 
 
 
 

Some recordings used in this review:


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earfonia
earfonia
@Whitigir You're welcome! Glad you find it useful :)
GearMe
GearMe
Nice review...any chance you've heard the CALs?

I really like them for the $$ and would consider upgrading to the 2s if they were an improved version with a similar sound signature (i.e. a little tighter bass, more isolation, better build, etc.)
earfonia
earfonia
@GearMe unfortunately I didn't have the opportunity to test the CAL. I will post my impression if I have the chance in the future.

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