Creative Zen Aurvana


Creative has pulled together a very nice audio package here. The Aurvana’s are a terrific-sounding set of headphones that deliver crisp, well-defined audio across the sonic spectrum.

They deliver very good balance—no instrument is emphasized at the expense of another. We dug how Walter Becker’s intricate guitar work sounded on Steely Dan’s “Jack of Speed” as it floated over that studio band’s incredible rhythm section.

And we heard many acoustic elements that we’d previously missed in Beck’s “Nicotine & Gravy;” but when that song’s bass becomes one of its defining elements, it reveals one of the Aurvana’s few weaknesses: The bass tends toward muddiness when it gets hot and heavy.

Creative provides six pairs of silicon plugs for the Aurvana, but only three sizes. Do they think buyers will share the earphones, swapping out plugs? Eew! Whatever the case may be, we had no trouble finding a pair that was comfortable for our smallish ear canals—and they did a very good job of blocking ambient noise.

Creative was the only company thoughtful enough to provide an adapter for plugging into airline sound systems, and they earn kudos for their hard-shell carrying case—the best-designed of the bunch.

Month Reviewed: October 2006

+ EARRINGS: Great sound; nice extras; comfortable.

- EARWIGS: Tendency to be overwhelmed by heavy bass.



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