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Light, portable, comfortable over-ears

When you first slide the Creative Aurvana Live! cans on, you’ll notice how soft the leather-like material is on your skull. Because these headphones are also quite light, there won’t be a lot of pressure on your head. Over time, there isn’t a whole lot of fatigue associated with the Creative Aurvana Live!, as they are light and grip your head softly.

These cans are quite elegant in their simplicity.

The cable of the Creative Aurvana Live! ends in a regular ol’ 1/8th inch plug, which works in just about any mobile device or media player on the market today. This something you’ll never really have to worry about all that much. If you like to baby your cans, the Creative Aurvana Live! comes with a soft travel pouch that you can take just about anywhere. Because these headphones are also comparatively light for over-ears, they won’t be much of a burden to carry around.

These cans are quite elegant in their simplicity. Not only do they accent their glossy black ear cups with a metallic chrome finish, but they keep a rather uniform look that while understated, isn’t bad to look at. Due to the relatively light construction and the mostly-plastic casing to these headphones, you’ll find that they aren’t quite as durable as they could be. The cable is also very thin, so be careful not to bind it or tear at it too much because it could break.

The Aurvana Live! cans offer solid sound quality but suffer from problems in isolating noise.

There's nothing perfect about the audio quality of Creative's entry-level cans. They maintain pretty solid frequency response, so most music will sound good (unless it's a cymbal concerto, as they de-emphasize high pitched sounds). They do have a bit of distortion in the low end, but it shouldn’t be enough to ruin your listening experience in any way, shape, or form, and while the tracking response of the Creative Aurvana Live! isn’t perfect, its variations in channel preference aren’t wild enough that you’ll notice them. Even if you know what to look for, your ears just aren’t that sensitive. There may be not be perfect, but neither are there any major drawbacks here. Overall, pretty good.

There's nothing perfect about the audio quality of Creative's entry-level cans.

Over-ear headphones typically aren’t the best at isolation, and the Creative Aurvana Live! doesn’t do much to buck that trend. While you’ll notice that it does block out a considerable amount of higher-pitched outside noise, it doesn’t block out any low-end noise. This basically means that if a truck or bus passes, you’ll hear it loud and clear over your music. That could be a good thing, depending on where you're walking.

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Creative delivers some solid cans for an entry-level price

Considering that the Creative Aurvana Live! doesn’t have many flashy or gaudy features, its sub-$100 price point is not only fair, but pretty good for the performance it gives you. Sure, it’s not going to give you the versatility or performance you’d get by paying a premium for a set of headphones designed for high performance, but they certainly hold their own.

They’re not without their blemishes, however, as they do have some minor peculiarities in performance. Namely, they have a minor muffling of higher-pitched sounds, and they also have some distortion issues in the low end. Still, these blemishes aren’t something that should worry the casual listener.

If you’re looking for a set of entry-level headphones with respectable performance, the Creative Aurvana Live! is a great pickup below $100. Keep in mind, however, that these are not designed to work well as a smartphone headset, and are more geared towards listening at your computer or with your media device.

For entry-level cans, the Creative Aurvana Live! headphones are decent performers. They have their share of negative eccentricities concerning their tracking, distortion, and frequency response, but nothing too garish—in all honesty, nothing the average user will even notice. Considering there are no real "drawbacks" here, we can say that these cans are fairly priced and are a solid deal. The science page is here to show you why.

The Aurvana Live! headphones' isolation was its poorest area of performance.

Isolation refers to how well a pair of headphones blocks out noise. Isolation is an important aspect of headphones, in that it allows them to preserve the clarity, and some might say dignity of their sound, without being interrupted overmuch by ambient noise. It also allows the user to keep their music at a safe volume, negating the need to turn it up in order to drown out outside noise.

The Creative Aurvana Live! cans don't isolate well, meaning they let in a lot of ambient noise. Everything below 1000Hz will be about as clear as though you weren't wearing them at all, so the middle range of frequencies down to the low end will interrupt your listening while outside or inside around other people/sounds. Above 1000Hz, these cans never block out more than 30 dB of sound of any given frequency, so you could say isolating is one thing they don't excel at.

These cans maintain a relatively even frequency response.

Aside from a slight de-emphasis (10dB) in the 3-6kHz range, the Creative Aurvana Live! actually maintain a relatively even frequency response. If you’re worried about the dip in the graph, it looks a lot worse than it actually sounds: you’ll notice cymbals and the very highest notes on instruments will be less piercing, but that’s about it.

Meet the tester

Chris Thomas

Chris Thomas

Staff Writer, Imaging

@cthomas8888

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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We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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