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Creative Aurvana Live! 2 Headset (Red)
Modeled after its award-winning predecessor, the Creative Aurvana Live!2 is designed to deliver true-to-life acoustic performance with tighter bass. The headset is powered by 40mm Bio-Cellulose drivers for impeccable audio while the earcups' premium protein faux leather cushions with memory-foam provide excellent seal against external noise. They also provide unmatched comfort for extended wear.
Constructed with accurate 40mm Neodymium drivers with bio-cellulose diaphragm and meticulously tuned, Aurvana Live!2 delivers audio so authentic, it's as if you're in a live performance!
Bio-cellulose is a natural fiber which has extremely fine fiber and high purity. Using cutting-edge biotechnology processes, this material is compressed to produce an ultra-thin diaphragm that is ideal for headphone drivers, delivering sound velocity comparable to an aluminium or titanium diaphragm, while giving warm and delicate sound of paper ones. The result is faithful, crystal clear and detailed highs, coupled with remarkable deep and rich bass tones.
The headset use a high-purity, tangle-free, flat audio cable with an inline microphone and a one-button remote with volume adjustment for hassle-free communication on your smartphone. The cable can be detached for storage or retrofitted with another cable of your choice.
Padded with premium protein faux leather and memory-foam, the earcups provide you with unmatched comfort over extended periods of usage.
Aesthetic and lightweight, the Aurvana Live!2 is styled in two alluring color options and enforced with a metal alloy headband for added durability.
The flat-fold earcups is ideal for audio monitoring and convenient storage. A soft microfiber travel pouch is also included for portable convenience.
Winner of the prestigious 2014 Red Dot Award for Product Design, the Aurvana Live!2 combines modern design with the latest technology for intuitive functionality.
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Average Customer Review:
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15 of 18 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.
2 of 2 found the following review helpful:
A Not Very Creative Redesign Of An Old Favorite Still Ends Up As A Good Choice for the Value ConsciousMar 19, 2014
Intro: The original Aurvana Live was a rebranding of the Denon 1001, an excellent headphone known for its comfort, somewhat warm (bass emphasized) tone, and great value. Denon messed the successor model (1100) up, making it thumpier to the point of serious acoustic inaccuracy, and raising the price considerably. Creative Aurvana Live! soldiered on with the original 1001 design for many years after the Denon rebranding, offering a decent sound at a decent price.
Now Creative also has redesigned the CAL, and the new model the CAL2 remains a good sounding headphone, and a competitor in some ways to the popular Audiotechnica (ATH) M50. The following review will pay a lot of attention to comparing the CAL2 to the M50, as the two designs are natural rivals in the sub-$200 headphone market.
If you like short reviews, the take away here is that IMO, CAL2 has moved away from the relatively balanced bass emphasis of the original, and also costs more, so it is not quite the excellent bargain that its predecessor was, but it still matches up very well against the M50 especially in terms of value for the money.
Build: The CAL2 remains lightweight and relatively comfortable. The overhead band is still skinny and plasticy, and will have a hard time fitting truly big noggins; my L hat size head fit comfortably with the band ratcheted out to 8 of 10 clicks, versus 5 of 10 clicks for the M50 - XL heads will probably prefer the M50.
The M50 is however heavier but also sturdier and more industrial in its styling. The relatively flimsy feel of the CAL2 seems to be part of its lighter weight, so the trade off is comfort versus durability. My vintage D1001s are still doing OK many years later, but they have been lightly treated and babied. If you are rough on headphones, the M50 might be the better choice, though note the old M50 design has a non-detachable cord versus the CAL2s detachable one. As most headphone issues arise in the cords, the detachable feature of the CAL2 is useful. The "new" M50x from ATH uses the same drivers as the old M50, but has a detachable cord and offers three different cords in the OEM kit as compared to CAL2's single cord.
I would call the build quality issue a draw between the two models, as the light weight of the CAL2 will appeal to as many or more than those who want durability over all.
Comfort: Unlike the old CAL / 1001, the CAL2 seems to have less room inside its cups for larger ears. My somewhat larger than average ears fit well enough, but there is little space left over. The M50s fit a lot better, with plenty of room for my ears. The CAL2s were not uncomfortable even over a long period, but the feeling of having ones ears really really close to the pads and drivers is vaguely claustrophobic, and also makes the sound a lot more upfront than it may have been intended to be. Many won't mind this Grado like front and center sound, but I am not sure how much of this effect is by intentional design and how much of it is due to the simple accident of a Creative using a smallish driver housing. The light weight and narrow headband allow the CAL2 to sit lightly on the head. Overall, many hours of comfortable listening are possible with CAL2.
Features: CAL2 comes with a single detachable 4 ft cable that plugs into the left earpiece, There is an inline remote and mike. The remote features a single pause/play/track control button, and an old fashioned volume slider that has a separate fader in the control module. In other words, you can't control the actual volume on your device; instead you set the volume max on the device and then you can slide the separate volume slider to adjust. You don't have the same level of absolute volume control that you would with the normal IOS volume control offered on portable headphones, but at least you gain some volume control over Android devices. (The usual volume up / down controls for wired IOS devices does not work at all on Android gadgets.) So all in all, IOS owners probably will not be too happy with this compromise, while Android owners will be reasonably happy with some sort of volume control rather than the usual disrespect paid to them in a market where IOS compatibility is dominant.
Microfiber style carrying case included, feels slightly better than pleather, but attracts a lot of dust and small particulate matter. As with most soft cases provides little real protection. The CAL2 swivels along one axis to flatten out its drivers so they will be parallel to the frame. No compact ball folding here like say the M50 does, but then those two axis folders usually end up getting creaky with age, so I prefer the single axis folders myself.
Aesthetics: CAL2 appears as a relatively slim and reasonably stylish set of mid-sized headphones. Though the headband in particular looks like its price point, the pleather earpads are attractive and reasonably upscale. There is a lot of plastic in the design, which should hardly be surprising at the price point. Though the ATH M50 looks tougher, it is also arguably both uglier and more generic in its styling (mainy resembling Ye Olde Sonye V6 from 25 years ago) so the CAL2 gets the nod. Something like the VModa M80 is still far more stylish, but the CAL2 will not embarrass you too much, unless the "Creative" name branding is an issue for you.
Sound: Creative has not entirely ruined the good quality drivers from the original design, but they do seem to have tuned them to offer more bass emphasis. The original CAL / 1001 was pretty versatile and could be used reasonably well for all types of music. The new CAL2 is optimized for bass heavy genres, but also seems to have improved on CAL by offering quicker transient response and better overall PRAT characteristics, which benefit rock and metal the most. The CAL2 sound with rock music comes close to that of the genre expert the HD25 from Sennheiser, and only the CAL2s tubby and rather sloppy bass response keeps it from more closely matching the Sennheiser. CAL2 also goes head to head with that other mid-price rock and metal expert the VModa M80, but again, the more well-defined bass of the M80 bests that of the CAL2, but CAL2 has more natural sounding mids, as opposed to the M80s forced and artificial mids and occasionally recessed vocals. All in all, I would give the Senn HD25 first place for rock and metal, followed by CAL2, with the M80 in third place.
If you like rap and bass heavy electronica, the CAL2 is just about perfect, giving deep bass and lively mids. If you want clear and well defined bass from your OutKast or Zero 7, you aren't going to find that here, but those with more mainstream tastes who like their thump to be prominent will have no complaints.
For acoustic music, classical and jazz, the CAL2 generally disappoints. The heavy bass tuning makes orchestral pieces sound distorted and even jazz small ensemble stuff like Bill Evans or Kind of Blue ends up sounding too warm. Though you will get the general concept of the pieces you are listening to, I think most fans of these genres will soon get bored of the CAL2 and either will listen to other types of music or get a different headphone altogether for purposes of jazz and classical listening.
Soundstage of the CAL2 is pretty limited, more than say the Grado SR60, but somewhat less than the M50s, and vastly less than an open design like say the Sennheiser 598.
The ATH M50 in comparison does more things well, but has less competence with metal and rap, though it also avoids the missteps of the CAL2 in acoustic works. The M50 is warm, but nowhere near as much as the CAL2s, which accounts for most of the audible differences.
The one real weakness of the CAL2 vis a vis the ATH M50 is in terms of low volume detail. CAL2 does a great job with offering great detail for loud music (think separation of both guitars in Slayer or Opeth) but does only mediocre to fair work in low volume situations (think Mahler in his quiet symphonic moments). This tendency just exacerbates the divide between the two models, with the M50 offering a great amount of clarity and articulation in wide dynamic ranges, while the CAL2 can only do the same in limited dynamic ranges, i.e. with consistently loud source material.
Moral of the story: like rap, metal, rock, electronic and only listen to one or several of those genres: CAL2 sounds better, at least if you don't mind somewhat boomy bass. If you like a wider mix of genres, and don't mind rock and metal sounding only "very good" instead of "excellent", the M50 is a better choice.
Isolation and Loudness: 32 ohm impedance, closed back, 105 dB sensitivity, 40mm drivers. CAL2 can get very loud. However the loose clamping force that makes the phones comfy also makes them not very good at sound isolation. The outside world won't hear too much of your music, but you will hear a lot of outside noise, making these inadequate for subway or airplane use, and of marginal use in noisy indoor environments like a café unless you are playing limited dynamic range material (i.e. rock or pop) loud. Don't get these as a daily commuter. The M50 has much better isolation, but also clamps a bit harder.
Value: Until a couple weeks ago, the M50 old model, with non detachable cord, cost about 10-20% less than CAL2 on a given day, making CAL2 harder to recommend. However AudioTechnica has brilliantly (?) chosen to issue a detachable cable redesign of the M50 (that's all the changes made) and that now costs about 30% more than the CAL2, while the older non-detachable M50, now apparently scarcer due to the "new" model, goes for about 5% more than CAL2, at time of this writing.
At these revised price points, CAL2 looks like a better deal for fans of pop, rock, rap, and electronic. If you want your bass a bit more scaled back and / or if you listen to music not on the short list above, the M50 (old or new) will probably be a better choice. Note the original CAL model is now selling for only half of what CAL2 does, but that design lacks some of the more modern and useful features of CAL2 (detachable cable with inline control, better PRAT). Of course, for about 50% more, buyers could get something like the Onkyo CTI300, which is a better headphone in every way, except maybe that of comfort.
Conclusion: As the review title suggests, I think Creative could have done a better job in the redesign of a very popular model. At this price point, the competition is wicked, and instead of seeing something imaginative like the NVX XPT100, which has a rare and interesting acoustically balanced sound for less than $100, we get yet another plastic bass cranking machine. "Let's put more bass in it" is a phrase that should be banned from modern headphone design. (Except maybe over at Martin Logan!) Is anyone out there in mass consumer headphone buying land getting bored of all these similar sounding warm sets yet?
I like the style, the comfort, and especially the light weight of the CAL2. The improved PRAT and high volume transience clarity are steps up from the old CAL and make the CAL2 a fun headphone to use for rock and metal. The old CAL was somewhat more versatile, and the long term big dog in the market, the M50 is considerably more versatile. The CAL2 does nothing bad though, and does many things very well. This positive bottom line and the attractive pricing especially versus the pricey M50 redesign makes this a 4 star product, maybe 5 stars if you like loud bassy popular style music.
Creative has both a Bluetooth and a "premium" version of this model available (premium has 50mm drivers: just what CAL2 needs...more bass! (Not...) that I have not heard. I would presume they sound very different from the reviewed model here.
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:
move out of the way ATH-M50Jan 22, 2014
By Daniel Chae
Pros: beautiful, tangle free cord, detachable cord, price (130 as of this review), good isolation, good imaging, nearly flat frequency response - slightly overemphasized bass, balanced mids, slightly distant vocals, great sound stage, incredibly comfortable, lightweight, volume control
Cons: could have tighter bass, vocals could have a little more detail, ask an audiophile
Side note: check out 3D barbershop on youtube with these babies >_o
4 of 5 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.
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