The traditional ear bud-type headphones don’t seem to have the following they used to, thanks to a trend towards isolating in-ear types, or more substantial cans. But can Creative's premium Aurvana headphones add to the mix?
The Aurvana Air take the form of ear bud style headphones with a permanently attached ear hook. Ear hooks are common on headphones that need a little extra support, for example, those designed for sports.
The Aurvana Air aren't designed for sport, however, and a glance at the design sees a more delicately crafted headphone. Constructed from metal components they do have a certain precise elegance to them, but at the same time, the construction does feel a little lightweight.
The ear buds themselves are attached to an arm that rotates in the end of the front column, which travels up to attach to an ear loop. This arm seems a little raw, it is fairly soft and there is plenty of lateral movement in the joint, so we doubt whether they'd last long being thrown in the bottom of a bag. They do come with a protective carry case and cable winder, which due to this lightweight construction is going to be necessary to prolong the life of your beloved headphones.
However, the combination of the hinged arm and the ear loop means the Aurvana Air are easy to fit in your ear, without having to wedge them in. Whether they are comfortable or not will depend on the construction of your ear, but if you've had success with ear bud type headphones in the past, then these should suit you fine.
The ear loop provides plenty of support to counter any swing on the cable as you walk and the ear bud nestles nicely in the outer ear. We found they were a little uncomfortable, as we prefer in-ear types, but as we said, this is mostly due to ear shape rather than any fault of the headphones.
Approx 120cm of cable is tipped in a gold 3.5mm plug and the combination of anodized metal detailing gives the Aurvana Air a premium look.
Overall the performance from the Aurvana is surprisingly good. There is a little sound leakage due to the nature of their fit, which might annoy your fellow passengers on the train and they don't isolate background noise quite as effectively as some for the same reasons. However, if you can get a great fit, you might find that it sounds a little muffled, cutting the detail and washing out the bass.
There is plenty of volume on offer however, perhaps a little too much, as we found ourselves turning the volume down. In our test tracks we found the sound was nicely balanced, well suited to a variety of music that doesn't push the high or low end. Bass delivery is fine for general middle of the road stuff, but bass-intensive tracks tend to get a little lost. Some of the dazzling mid range is exciting, but ultimately, the Aurvana Air can be bettered and perhaps don't stand-up to the "masterpiece" and "exceptional" tags on the box.
Since launching the Aurvana Air have enjoyed a price drop from the RRP of £169, to £79.99, a price drop that shouldn't be ignored as it makes them much better value for money.
The Aurvana Air are a good looking set of headphones with good balanced performance given their ear bud style. We feel that in-ear or over-the-ear headphones make the better option for audio quality and ultimately, the design won't suit everyone.
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