Riding along on the back of the recently reviewed Creative Sound Blaster Wireless for iTunes is the accompanying Creative Sound Blaster Wireless Headphones, a rather expensive pair of cans with an impressive range of up to 30 meters.
Unfortunately this isn’t the most versatile solution in the world as they require a Sound Blaster Wireless for iTunes receiver, Sound Blaster X-Fi notebook adaptor or a set of compatible Creative GigaWorks speakers in order to connect, and no compatible dongle is supplied in the box. This is a little restrictive for our liking, and we can’t think of a good reason why Creative didn’t make this a more generic solution by bundling it with everything you need.
If you are lucky enough to own one of these compatible devices you’ll find set-up to be extremely straightforward - simply a case of charging the headphones using the supplied cable (for up to 6 hours playback) and switching them on. This, a connect button and line-in/power ports are all found at the bottom of the left earpiece, and a range of controls including play/pause, track-skip and volume are situated on the right. These are well positioned, responsive and easy to access "blind".
At first glance the headphones were far smaller than we’d imagined, and this may be an issue for some as they are far more likely to simply perch on top of the ear rather than fit snugly over them. Despite this they are quite comfortable due to the soft padded cups and adjustable headband, though they are still prone to slipping during quick head movements.
Audio quality is very good however, and though it can occasionally struggle with deep, reverberating bass, it generally does a good job of lighter, punchier notes. Mid-range and high-end tones are handled very well and during our tests with a variety of music and some modern games, we were pleased with their performance and ability to eliminate background noise. Unfortunately they do get quite warm in quite a short time, and we felt the need to give our ears a break (and a chance to cool down) after just 30 minutes of use.
Despite the impressive performance on offer here, the Sound Blaster Wireless Headphones do command a very high price; one that’s difficult to justify considering the inherent restrictions and some of the more minor issues highlighted above. There’s no doubt that they work very well with the right equipment, and the range at which they can be used while maintaining a stable signal is impressive, but it would be impossible to recommend them to anyone that doesn’t already have the compatible accessories, and even then it would be a struggle.
If you already own one of the accessories that is compatible with the Creative Sound Blaster Wireless Headphones, you’ll find them to be a powerful and effective way to listen to music that’s being streamed around the home. A handful of minor issues don’t detract too much from the overall performance, but do mean that many people will find it hard to justify the high price.