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Creative Aurvana X-Fi Noise Cancelling Headphones
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Average Customer Review:
( 65 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
65 of 66 found the following review helpful:
Great headphones with a caveat (or two)Mar 19, 2008
I compared these headphones to the Bose QC2 headphones for about a week. I was trying to decide which ones to keep. I tried them at home, in an airplane, in busy streets, everywhere I could. It was a tough choice.
I had read other reviews online touting the Aurvana XF-I headphones as the best, and that they blew away the Bose. To my ears, that's not true. The XF-I technology DOES improve the sound of compressed audio, but teh Bose headphones also sound excellent without the XF-I technology. I also read that the Aurvana cans were louder as well; however, my experience was that the Bose were a lot louder -- and I just couldn't get the Aurvanas loud enough to really rock out.
In any case, the XF-I function really does work, and the sound was excellent (with the power turned on). I didn't think they were that special with the power turned off. So as far as sound quality, the Bose and the Creative were close, with the Creative slightly beating the Bose in quality, but the Bose beating the Creative in volume. Both the Bose and the Creative sound excellent, though.
Sound quality Winner: Toss-up with an advantage to the Aurvanas.
In comparing comfort, I found the Aurvana headphones to be bulkier and heavier. The Bose were so much lighter and more comfortable to wear.
Comfort Winner: Bose.
Sound leakage: My major complaint about the Aurvanas is that when turned up, people sitting near you can hear your music. You risk disturbing a fellow passenger with the Aurvanas. I found the Bose QC2 to be much quieter on the outside, keeping the sound in your ears, and not out into the world. Since I sometimes like to crank it up, this was an important consideration.
Sound Leakage Winner: Bose
Finally, I omapared the noise-canceling quality. Both headphones performed admirably, and it was tough to get a read on it, even after switching back and forth 10 or 20 times. The Aurvana headphones did seem a little more quiet in certain situations, but I'm not sure if that was my imagination or not. But on the airplane, it was definitely a toss up. Both headphones did an outstanding job of noise canceling. You may hear a slight hiss with the Aurvanas as they emit the counter-frequency, but it's not annoying at all and very slight. You won't be able to hear it with music playing.
Noise canceling Winner: Toss-up
Conclusion: Since these headphones are so comparable in quality and in noise-canceling ability, I had to base my decision on comfort and noise leakage. I returned the Aurvanas and kept the Bose.
This was a tough call, since the Aurvanas are excellent headphones. I think it comes down to a matter of what's important to you.
If you do love these headphones but find they can't get loud enough either, then I recommend going on ebay and getting a CMOY headphone amplifier. They're around $35 and they will crank up your volume. they are home-made in Altoids tins but very professional. They'll make your Aurvanas louder, but remember that the person sitting next to you will definitely hear everything.
Afterthought: Battery Life. The Bose QC2 uses just 1 AAA battery that is supposed to last for 35 hours. The Creative Aurvana XF-I requires 2 AAA batteries which are supposed to last 9 hours. However, the Aurvanas can still be used without batteries (quality is decreased), while the QC2 headphones will not operate without a charged battery. You decide....
24 of 24 found the following review helpful:
Good, solid NC headphone (but it chews batteries!)Jan 04, 2008
By Demetrio D'ambrosi
I have owned and still own several other Noise-Canceling headphones and Aurvana X-Fi is definitely one of the top performers.
I love being able to use the headphone passively, as most other NC products would not work unless switched on.
Video sounds great with Cristallizer (similar to the USB X-Fi for PCs), i'm not so impressed with music, where Treble tones are still pumped too high.
It does its job on an airplane, where I'd expect to use it most, and it works a tad better than my Bose.
However, it loses one star because it eats batteries at an unacceptable rate. Expect about 8 to 9 hours of continuous use out of two AAA batteries with all 3 featured setting on - it means you are unlikely to finish a full trans-atlantic flight on just one set of batteries. I do not understand how is this possible, as even my 10 years old Bose can stretch about 40-50 hours on two AAA batteries.
My last gripe is with price - it loses another star as I find hard to justify this price tag on a relatively commoditized technology.
If this set could stretch at least 25-30 hours of usage from a battery set (transoceanic round trip plus some) and was priced around a realistic $150 tag, it would get 5 stars.
17 of 17 found the following review helpful:
Very good headphone, get these!!!Dec 13, 2007
By J. Yang
The sound from this headphone is great. I sit next to a loud computer, noise cancellation of this headphone works better than Bose QC3. Ear pad feels very soft and headphone feels like, overall the feel is very comparable to Bose. Fairly comfortable to wear for extended period of time. Got this with a huge discount from Dell.
The only downside, this headphone uses 2 AAA batteries. I use energizer 850mAH NiMH batteries, and they last about 4 hours in this headphone with noise cancellation, x-fi crystalizer and x-fi 3D all turned on. Get lots of rechargeable batteries! With the power turned off, the sound is very weak.
There is a volume wheel on the headphone itself which is nice although I rarely use it.
15 of 16 found the following review helpful:
Sound is beautiful but headphones easily breakJan 23, 2009
By Miguel A. Gonzalez
I purchased these headphones from Amazon.com on one of the Friday Sale specials back in early 2008.
The Creative X-Fi has three types of noise reduction which can be used in any combination to get the best response for the type of audio on your portable device.
The X-Fi can also be used with all powered noise reduction powered off, so you are not stuck with useless headphones if your batteries happen to run out. In fact, I tend to use these headphones in this setting for the majority of the time.
Sound is natural, full, and beautiful forall kinds of music that I listen to (classical, rock, pop, musicals).
HOWEVER (and this is a big however), the headband of the Creative X-Fi is very firm, and if you have a big head, the plastic housing on either side will soon weaken and break. To make matters worse, Creative Labs customer support will blame you for the physical damage and you will need to run it all the way up to a supervisor to have the warranty upheld. Customer support actually had the gall to offer a refurbished pair of X-Fis to me at the "reduced" price of $250.
My replacement pair also broke in the same fashion after four months of use, and rather than deal with customer support, I've used strapping tape to attempt to hold it together. Recently the cord has become worn enough that I'm only able to hear the right channel, and Creative customer support does not keep replacement parts for purchase (it will only provide replacement parts if under warranty) so I was directed to fend for myself in finding an appropriate 3.5mm to 3.5mm replacement cord. I purchased a Cables-To-Go 12 foot 3.5 mm male to male connector and then ended up needing to spend another $7.00 for an Apple first gen iPhone tip adapter to get the cable to properly seat inside the headphones
I am sad to say I cannot recommend the Creative X-Fi despite its wonderful sonic capabilities due to poor construction and (worst of all) a customer support team that does its best to not serve the customer. At this price point I would recommend the Bose QC-2 or QC-3; I do own the QC-3 (perhaps a more artificial sound, but stellar customer service - I've already had my first set replaced for free).
14 of 15 found the following review helpful:
BreakageApr 02, 2009
By Scott A. Ballard
First off, I love the noise-cancelling and sound quality of these headphones. I love the different sounds modes you can put it in, that the cord is detachable and battery life.
With that said, I've used them off and on since purchasing them 9 months ago. Sitting at my computer recently I felt this slap on the side of my head. The left plastic headband where it telescopes shattered hitting me in the head. Looking at it I noticed that the right one was cracking too.
I contacted Creative since it was still under warranty. To my surprise they said what happened was normal wear and tear and that it wasn't covered under the warranty. To boot, they told me that I should buy a new pair from them. This is totally unacceptable to me, especilly a company like Creative that has been around for a long time. This seems to be the general response from them based on the other reviews here. On that note, it seems that every company has the same problem with the headbands breaking after a while.
From an engineering standpoint I don't understand why they cant make the pieces out of stamped sheet metal instead of plastic, unless they are engineered to break after the warranty is up.
Shame on Creative for not standing behind there craftsmenship and warranty. I am still dealing with them and plan on taking this up the corporate ladder. Unfortunately, the design flaw is still there and I'm sure a replacement will break as well. Might be time to go with the Bose.
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