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The In-Ear3s retail for $149 (MSRP). With a fit akin to earplugs, these headphones can accurately portray a wide range of sounds, and since they fit in-ear, like ear plugs, sound stays where it should. Overall, these are a good buy.

Highly portable, not very versatile headphones, but comfortable

It should be noted that the speakers on the are guarded by a small bit of foam, and a plastic rail- these may not block out all the gunk in your ears from entering the nozzle, but it's better than nothing. The cord guards of the are fairly uninspiring. Do NOT tug these out of your ears by the wire, as you run the risk of snapping the relatively weak solder points on the inside of the buds. Connecting all this to your device is a 3.93 foot cable of the Creative Aurvana In-Ear3s terminate in a standard 1/8th inch plug, and has a boringly common rubber wire coating.

Over time, the foam makes your ear canals build up heat a little bit, and this can get quite uncomfortable.

In-ear headphones are typically uncomfortable, as they rely on putting pressure on the inside of your ear canals to stay put. However, the s do a couple things to sidestep some of these issues somewhat. First, they offer the use of several sizes of sleeves or foam tips, which form to the exact shape of your ear. Second, they distribute weight over your pinna, meaning that the weight distributed to the ear canal is relatively low. While they are still in-ears, they aren't that uncomfortable... relatively speaking, of course. However, over time, the foam makes your ear canals build up heat a little bit, and this can get quite uncomfortable.

Wide repertoire of sounds, but accuracy issues

have the ability to produce a wide range of sounds with an even hand. It had some issues at either end of the sound spectrum, an affinity with bass and a drop off with high pitched noises. However, we were impressed with the 's sound quality. Though it has the ability to create wide range of noises, it has a bit of an issue with accuracy. It diverges most when dealing with lower frequencies. The distortion is not enough to be really disturb you unless you really looking for it.

The distortion is not enough to be really disturb you unless you really looking for it.

The best quality of these headphones are it's ability to isolate you in your own world of sound. If you use the foam tips included in the packaging, you can bet the house on not being able to hear anything short of an apocalypse while listening to the s. By attenuating as much sound as they do, you'll feel sound before you'll hear it.

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Fantastic headphones for the price

These headphones aren’t perfect, though we’ve never come across a pair that are. For example, the distortion in the low frequencies is just barely audible, but only if you have perfect hearing and you know what you’re looking for. Regardless, that’s the biggest problem we have with its performance; these aren’t very flawed.

If you’re looking for an affordable set of in-ears that will give you the performance you’re looking for, and the isolation you crave in the outside world, the Creative Aurvana In-Ear3s are a great choice for a first-time buyer. Just be aware that these are best fit for a dedicated media player with an output impedance of less than 3.5 ohms, and not a smartphone, as they do not have a remote or mic to use with phone calls.

The s aren't perfect. They have some issue with tracking, and distortion. However, all these shortcomings are made up for with its ability to isolate you from the outside world. Given their low price point, we recommend checking these headphones out.

One of the best isolating headphones we've encountered.

They say isolation tempers the strong. If that's the case, then the might as well be a forge. The foam tips, if used properly, will block out all reasonable outside noise. Not surprisingly, the seal made in the ear canal prevents the headphones from leaking sound. You will find it nearly impossible to bother those around you with your music. To test this, we place a speaker next to the HATS, our head and torso simulator, and playing pink noise, which has equal power across the entire frequency range. We then measure how much sound that HATS' mechanical ears pick up.

Good show

Frequency response describes how a set of headphones emphasizes different frequencies. Overall, the Creative Aurvana In-Ear3s have a fairly even frequency response, as it doesn’t really emphasize many frequencies over others. Bass is emphasized about 5dB, but the signal intensity of those notes still stay within our ideal limits very well. If you’re very young (or a robot), you may notice that some of the higher frequencies are quieted a bit, but this is unlikely to ruin your listening experience.

Distortion, Tracking

Distortion is the measure of divergence from the source material. Well, the Creative Aurvana In-Ear3s aren’t perfect, and it shows when measuring their distortion, which increases as the frequency gets lower. While it does manage to stay under the 3% level that begins to get annoying (until the signal reaches126.35dB), it’s entirely possible that you may notice it in sub-100Hz sounds.

Tracking is the difference in volume between left and right channels. The ideal is that they move in lockstep, but the In-Ear3s aren’t perfect, though the errors in channel preference are so minor that you are probably not going to be able to hear them anyways.

Meet the tester

Chris Thomas

Chris Thomas

Staff Writer, Imaging


A seasoned writer and professional photographer, Chris reviews cameras, headphones, smartphones, laptops, and lenses. Educated in Political Science and Linguistics, Chris can often be found building a robot army, snowboarding, or getting ink.

See all of Chris Thomas's reviews

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