Sunday, April 28, 2013

Creative Aurvana Live home user review

I have a Koss Portapro and Shure SE215 (upgrade from my Sony stock earphone) and I bought Creative Aurvana Live (CAL) a month ago (from Amazon) to isolate traffic noise for home listening. After having a pair of Shure SE215 and listening to Koss, which has some detail missing, I find it's about time to upgrade the Koss.


Pros
  1. Superior sound quality. Balance sound with bass is tad more compared to the mid and high without overpowering. Bass able to go to much lower note compared to my Koss Portapro and has more rumble. Great for pop and dance music. Furthermore, the CAL has more surround sound feel and I was able to pick up more details, which mine Shure was not able to do so (especially bass detail). 
  2. Affordable price. I bought the CAL at AUD 60 from Amazon and it falls in the price range that I wish for a home user without breaking the bank.
  3. Light and acceptable comfort. The headphone clamp force is gentle enough for listening up to an hour and sit comfortably on the head. However, don't expect it will hold on tight and try to use it for sport, it will fall off easily. The acceptable comfort rating for CAL is due to the earcup size, the CAL fits as on-ear rather over-ear (I guess I have larger ears) and hence the reduced comfort for very long hour listening. The ear cushion is plastic leather and will get hot eventually (around half hour listening)
  4. Some noise isolation. Works well with home listening to block out some noise (fan, traffic, etc.) but not enough for public use. Definitely better isolation than the Koss, which is an open-headphone.
  5. No amplifier required. Easy to drive just using the portable player alone. This helps to save some bucks on getting a dedicated amp. Although the CAL looked bulky however, portable player and smartphone able to pump up the volume easily.
  6. Rubbery and stiff cable which may help reduce tangle and improve durability.
  7. A pouch and an extended cable accessory included. Always come in handy when I need them.
Cons
  1. Ears might get sore/sweaty after long hour of wear. This is very common even for leather pad headphone. Consider getting on-ear/open back headphone rather over-ear/closed which allows more air flow. However, expect to lose some isolation.
  2. Flimsy plastic construction. However, the good side is it has much lighter weight.
  3. Small earcup that end up wearing the headphone as on-ear instead of over-ear. People with small ear may able fit in nicely as over ears. For me, my ear lob was on the pad rather in the cup, so it was kinda semi-on-ear headphone to me.
  4. Not able to rest it around the neck as the headphone will clamp together and strangle my neck. Sometimes I want to check out what's happening in my surroundings and this is not possible with the CAL unless I put the headphone down.
  5. Not portable and not foldable. The ear cup, in my opinion, is too bulky. There is no folding mechanism to store the headphone nicely.
  6. Not recommend for public use due to isolation is not that great. Plus, not as good looking some modern headphones.
  7. Non detachable cable and replaceable part. Replaceable ear pad but no parts sold from the Creative website.
Summary
A great upgrade from Koss Portable and the CAL has been highly recommended by most reviewers on the internet. I always enjoy my music in lossless format (e.g. flac) and have been looking for a closed headphone (to block out some traffic noise) with affordable price for a while. CAL fits to my needs perfectly and I highly recommend for home users who looking for some noise isolation with great sound.

2 comments:

Jay Skywalker said...

Awesome review! I ordered one a few days ago and its on its way. Do you still have them? How are they holding up?

Soon Fung said...

Jay,

Yup, they still holding up pretty good. I only drop it once from table height and everything still in intact. I didn't blast the bass until it distorted because I think I would go deaf before that happen.

It's really hard to find fault on CAL (except it's a closed headphone) to upgrade to other more expensive headphone, thus indirectly it saves me money.

I like the CAL up to this day and I hope you'll enjoy yours. Take care.