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Creative Aurvana Live! 2 Headset (Black)
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23 of 26 found the following review helpful:
Great headphones!Nov 30, 2013
I did not like the first Creative Aurvana Live! but I know a lot of people do so when I heard about the new version I bought it right when it was available on amazon, and yes, I like this new one more than the the first one. I'm not an audiophile but I do have quite a few headphones and to me the Creative Aurvana Live! 2 is right up there with the more expensive headphones like the Sony MDR-1R, UE6000, Philips Fidelio L1, V-Moda M80.
This is an over the ear headphone with plenty of space for your ears, the ear-pads are really soft and even though there's not much padding on the headband I've never felt any discomfort. The cord is not the greatest but it works.
The sound signature is a little laid back, it's not an overly aggressive/energetic sounding headphone. The best way to describe it is, it's an improved Creative Aurvana Live! in every way. The sound signature is more for mainstream than audiophiles, but I bet most audiophile will enjoy them as well.
This headphone will sound great with most modern music like pop, hip-hop, etc. The bass is the focal point of this headphone, big, full, controlled, and not the one note bass like the beats by dre headphones. You can easily EQ this headphone into a basshead headphone if that's your thing, but some extreme basshead will find the bass impact a bit lacking.
Pretty good, not great but good, vocal sometime feels like it's in the background, but after burn-in it evens out nicely.
Audiophiles might want a little more sparkle, but for us normal people it's just the right amount, it's non-fatiguing and detailed.
Soundstage & Imaging:
These are pretty good in this department as well. It's not on the level of an AKG K712 but for a closed headphone it sounds really good for both movies and games. It's almost on par with my AKG K550.
This headphone might not appeal to purist audiophiles or the "nothing but bass" people, but for everyone else who like their music detailed with a good bump in the bass, the Creative Aurvana Live! 2 will be a great choice.
If you enjoy headphones like the V-Moda M100 or AKG K167 you will definitely enjoy these. The sound and look of this headphone easily exceed its price.
I think this headphone is best used as a secondary headphone. For basshead who have hard hitting basshead headphones like the M-Audio Q40 will appreciate a softer bassy headphone, and for audiophiles who likes flat headphones, will enjoy the fun factor this headphone bring for the occasional guilty pleasure.
A BIT OF INFO FOR AUDIOPHILES:
The Creative Aurvana Live! 2 did not pair well with my tube amp. I tested both the Aune T1 and Shiit Valhalla using various tubes and it just didn't sound as good when compared to solid state amps.
It's not really needed but I recommend a headphone amp like the FiiO E07K for best performance. I used an iBasso DX50 stacked with a JDS Labs C5 for this mini review.
10 of 11 found the following review helpful:
Perfect for the price (detailed review)Jan 10, 2014
This headset not only met the expectations I had when I bought them, but exceeded them. They are worth the money for many reasons.
--- Sound quality --- I am no audiophile or expert in sound but I know good sound quality when I hear it. These headphones provide life-like audio with a subtle emphasis on bass which makes everything feel cinematic and vivid. Mids, lows, highs, the whole range sounds crisp and heavenly. I could sit back and listen to music with these headphones all day and still be into the experience. There is a nice emphasis on bass in these CAL!2s which I've never heard in any other headphones. It is not a deep, tunneled, or echo'y bass, but a soft bump that feels very powerful. On top of all this the CAL!2s deliver audio perfectly, allowing me to hear in music bits and details I've never heard before.
--- Gaming/Music/Applications --- I am PC gamer and I stream occasionally on Twitch-TV. And thus, I tend to have a lot of different types of audio coming in at one time. These headphones do an outstanding job of balancing out music, Skype, in-game volume, and interface sounds without leaving your ears begging for you to turn something off. Using all these things at once I can distinctly notice different sounds from different sources. Even with the volume up very high my ears still feel in balance. On top of computer usage, I have used these with my ZuneHD player and my iPod touch, and music of all types and quality levels sound immersive and detailed. Pretty much anything I use these headset with sounds excellent -- that is not an overstatement.
--- Comfort: The pads fit around my ears very well. There is no awkward pressing against one part of my ear more than another. I've worn these up to 7 hours without taking them off and still felt minimal pressure on my ears. The whole headphone fits well on my head and I never have to worry about them falling down my head. I wouldn't recommend these for sports though, as they are best fit for sitting down or walking around. The ear-cups fold outwards when you bring the headphones down around your neck and the backs of them rest very comfortably. When you have them down around your neck though, they may seem rather tight, so, depending on how big your neck is you may not want to do this (I have a rather thick neck - not fat - and these fit around there just fine).
--- Build Quality --- Most of the headphone is plastic with a metal strip in the center of the headband. They don't feel flimsy or cheap and they look very sleek. The silver bit that connects around the ear-cup may look thin and breakable but it is very durable. I have not dropped these headphones yet so I do not know what the result of that would be.
--- Downside --- The detachable cable for these headphones is unique to them and I'm not sure if I could get it replaced if I lost it. So if you do buy a pair of these, make sure to never lose the cable as it is not a standard auxiliary cable with two 3.5 mm jacks. One side is 2.5 mm and there is an in-line mic (which I have yet to use) and a volume adjuster for the headphones themselves. Just make sure to never lose it. That is all.
--- Summary --- These headphones deliver an immersive and realistic experience, providing top of the line sound quality and amazing comfort. I've reviewed these headphones compared to many more expensive ones and they outshine a large crowd of audiophile grade headphones, especially for this price. Additionally, these are perfect for gaming on PC or console, and they are amazing for balancing out audio between multiple applications. Some parts of them appear to be flimsy and plastic, but they are built tough and they look very futuristic with a clean and fashionable design. For only $129.99 these headphones are a steal of a deal. I would recommend these over the ATH-M50s by Audio Technica in almost every category.
5 of 5 found the following review helpful:
Loved the original version, so how do these stack up?Feb 23, 2014
I was eager to get my ears on these new Creative Aurvana Live!2 to see if they would be better than their predecessors, the Creative Aurvana Live! Headphones
I think so, but that all depends on what you mean by better.
My observations are as follows:
I like that the CAL! 2 is FAR more portable than the Original CAL! This is because the new design allows for the HPs to fold flat.
I like the look of both headphones but, the CAL! 2 Looks FAR better on me than the original CAL! I also like the sharp red flash of color on the newer version's outer earcups, compared to the basic, polished black, look of the original CAL!
I find the CAL! 2 to be more comfortable than the original CAL!, but only by a slim margin. While Creative did increase the size of the earpads on the CAL! 2, allowing for this to be a definite Circumaural design (sometimes called full size headphones) that have circular or ellipsoid earpads that encompass the ears, the original CAL!'s fell somewhere between an Over-the-ear and a Supraural (on-the-ear) design. Of course, that was very dependent on the size of the individual user's ears. I found both the CAL! and the CAL! 2 to have very comfortable earpads, regardless of the on-the-ear or over-the-ear design. Unfortunately, the padding on the headband appears to be very similar to the original CAL! on the CAL! 2. This is unfortunate for me because I feel the same level of discomfort that I did from the headband on the CAL! That discomfort occurs on the top of my head and it sets in somewhere around the 1/2 hour mark while wearing either version. Believe it or not, this isn't a deal breaker because all I need to do is re-position the headband to a different spot when I begin to feel the uncomfortable. It is recommended that you take a short break from listening to ANY set of headphones every 30 minutes or so anyway. 2 birds, one stone.
The new CAL! 2 features a removable / replaceable cable that fits in to the left earcup. This is a HUGE improvement over the original CAL!'s Y-Cable that had cables coming out of both earcups (that was an archaic design by today's standards and it made the original CAL!'s harder to work with because of the additional cables). I also like this type of deign because you aren't going to wreck the headphones if the cable gets accidentally snagged on something. The single cable allows you to answer a phone call if you are using your mobile as your music source.
There aren't any improvements in the sound quality over the original CAL! here, but that isn't a bad thing. The original CAL! was always one of my favorite headphones to listen to, and both designs share the same driver, so there were no unpleasant surprises here. Now, thanks to a small improvement in sound isolation and a huge improvement stylistically, I can take them out on the go with me. With the original CAL!'s, mobility wasn't really a viable option.
These are just plain fun to listen to. The high notes are detailed enough for me, and there is no hint of sibilance (they don't try to make my ears bleed so I can get every little, last, minute, detail in the music). The mids are slightly recessed and not on par with the sound I get from V-MODA Crossfade M-80 On-Ear Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone (Shadow)'s, but the CAL! 2 is a perfectly listenable and enjoyable pair of HPs, better than most of the competition in this price range (the M80 is more expensive, i.e. NOT in the same price range); For example, I would choose the CAL! 2 over the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones with Coiled Cable's based on sound quality, but not in regards to comfort. That is my own, subjective, opinion.
I had no problem using these with various types of equipment. Typically, my music files are all WAV or FLAC. My portable player (SanDisk Sansa Clip+ 4 GB MP3 Player (Black)) had no issues powering these. I tried the combo with a FiiO E11 Portable Headphone Amplifier - E11 and found that it wasn't needed. These headphones are pretty efficient. To increase what you get out of them, you may want to try adding an aftermarket DAC to your home and / or portable system. Garbage in will sound like garbage out. Feed these HPs nice, clean, well recorded music, and you can enhance your listening experiences with the CAL! 2.
FYI - I do like the packaging that the CAL! 2 come in. After unboxing them, the LEFT side driver was producing NO sound . This is an all-to-common-problem these days, and most people think the HPs are defective. Thankfully, the HPs are usually FINE. The culprit is OFTEN the connections on the ends of the cable between the HP and the source component. I have some DeoxIT® GOLD Liquid, brush applicator 100% solution 7.4 mL on hand for various issues with electronic connections - this product helps when electrical connectors / connections aren't making sufficient contact, as was the case here. One quick application and the problem was solved.
Overall, I would say that the improvements CREATIVE implemented in the redesign merit a positive recommendation from me for the CAL! 2. That said, the CAL! 2 is a bit more expensive, but I do believe they are worth the steeper price, specifically when they are compared to the original CAL! Thankfully, the CAL! 2 brings a lot more to the table addressing almost all of the shortcomings of the original CAL!
2 of 2 found the following review helpful:
One of the few over the ear headphones with immediate sonic impact.Feb 25, 2014
By Chris Zee Shutterbug
Creative Aurvana Live! 2 Headset with 40mm Drivers and In-Line.
Short story. While the Aurvana may not be as "crisp" in the highs department when compared to quality in the ear headphones, it is no slouch either. This is nicely compensated for in the bass department. You do not have to juggle various earpiece sizes and their insertion position to get the best bass. (see the Superlux HD668 for superb highs). I would describe Aurvana 2 as being very "musical". With the first low notes you will note the bass wow factor. It may be slightly boomy, but its tight enough. These may be a perfect transition for moving up from buds.
At 105 db they are medium high efficiency, certainly more than loud enough at 80% setting on the Iphone and Ipod Touch and LG phones. The 32 ohm impedance works well with receivers as well, although you may need a ¼" plug adapter which is not supplied. The microphone on the other hand was not sensitive enough for my tastes. If you have a mic boost in your setting it may be needed. Callers thought it sounded a bit muffled. The cups did not quite fit over my ears but are comfortable. The external noise isolation was actually better than most in the ear bud style headphones. The top of the head band is quite flat and you will probably need to reposition it after about half hour. Overall pretty comfortable, much more so than my Panasonic RP-DH1250-S Technics Pro DJ Headphone which were much heavier and hotter on the ears.
Finally I do like the included pouch for keeping everything tidy. While the earpieces can be rotated to lie flat on the table, they are not fully articulated, meaning you cannot fold them to fit within the headband arc. The flat cable is meaty enough to be practically tangle free. Hard to avoid the value for the buck comparison, but for what these can be compared to, they ARE a great deal.(try the Superlux HD668B Dynamic Semi-Open Headphones if you are on a tighter budget)
PS Creative is serious about problems when plugging these into 3 rather than 4 connector device. When I tried these with and old Ipod Shuffle (outstanding output amplifier circuitry) I had to move the plug in and out gingerly before digital noise, distortion and low volume would give way to good sound. If you are stuck in this situation I suggest getting a cable like this Steren 2.5mm to 3.5mm Stereo Audio Cable)
2 of 2 found the following review helpful:
I love them!Jan 15, 2014
I was looking for headphones for my phone (HTC One) and PS Vita. Initially for my phone I had bluetooth stereo headphones - stopped using due to poor sound - nothing beats wired headphones!. These have a great fit, they are light, not too flashy (good for commuting), sound is amazing (Im not a sound buff but I can definitely tell if the sound is poor or not). Not sure how these compare to the first model because I never owned them. I am very happy with this purchase
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