Summary: The Creative Aurvana X-Fi headphones are a good option for bass-loving frequent fliers who have the money to spend and don't mind others eavesdropping on their listening experience.
Pros: The Creative Aurvana X-Fi offers advanced sound enhancement features not found in other headphones and those features work as advertised. These headphones also offer great sound quality and noise cancellation, and they come with some handy extras.
Cons: The Creative Aurvana X-Fi headphones are expensive, the design isn't that portable, and quite a bit of sound bleeds out for all to hear.
Conclusion: These chunky headphones from Creative could be a bit more comfy, but they eliminate as much noise as the Quiet Comfort 2, sound much better, can operate passively, and can play more loudly.
Pros: Pleasant audio performance—much better than Bose's Quiet Comforts. Excellent noise cancellation. Well-defined bass. More powerful output than the Quiet Comfort 2's. iPhone-compatible extension cable.
Cons: Cable fits awkwardly into headphones. The X-Fi 3D special effect isn't great. Set is less comfy than Bose's Quiet Comfort 2.
Conclusion: If you’ve got room in your holiday bags for a plastic sombrero, there should be room for the Aurvana X-Fi. A great commuting gadget too, especially if not all your MP3s are ripped at the highest quality.
Pros: We would gladly forsake a lifetime of salt and vinegar pretzels and miniature bottles of gin if airlines handed out this noise-cancelling beauties at the start of a flight instead. Connect them to a music player and let the X-Fi gizmos squeeze every last byte from your music files, or plug into the in-flight movie and wonder where all the naughty bits went. The handy travel case includes a fat gold-plated 6.3mm adaptor and room for the detachable 1.5m oxygen-free copp...
Cons: Noise-cancelling isn’t as effective as the Sennheisers and Boses of the world, and you’ll either love or hate the artificial spaciousness of the X-Fi treatment (you can always turn it off it you don’t like it). Sound quality is great at the low end but less impressive for highly detailed pop or classical tunes. Big and heavy, too.
Summary: The Creative Aurvana X-Fi is not inexpensive. But the nearest competitor, Bose's QuietComfort 2, costs just as much and offers half the features. Which would you rather have - headphones that merely block noise, or headphones that block noise and improve your music? The choice is obvious.
Excerpt: We’ve never liked headphones that use active noise cancellation because they simply mask environmental noise by generating background hiss. But Creative’s Aurvana X-Fi headphones are almost good enough to win us over. Donning the headphones and activating their noise-cancellation circuit instantly silenced the background cacophony created by our building’s HVAC system and myriad nearby computers—and we could barely detect the circuitry used to accomplish the feat.
Pros: Active noise-cancellation works well; good sound.
Cons: Active noise-cancellation still detectable; harshes midrange tones; drains batteries.
Summary: The Aurvana X-Fi is not inexpensive. But the nearest competitor, Bose's QuietComfort 2, costs just as much and offers half the features. Which would you rather have – headphones that merely block noise, or headphones that block noise and improve your music? The choice is obvious.
Pros: Improve quality of MP3 files, fit comfortably
Cons: Expensive, surround-sound feature doesn't work well
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Excerpt: Multi-functional, noise-cancelling, and a tech-geek’s deligh, the Aurvana X-Fi headphones splice together some of Creative’s top techy features. But are they as good as some of their more expensive brethren?
Pros: Splicing the visual DNA of the Sennheiser PXC 450 with a pair of DJ headphones from Argos, these noise cancellers from Creative are festooned with buttons, blue LEDs and impressive-sounding features such as “X-Fi Crystalizer” sound processing and “CMSS-3D” pseudo surround sound. Noise cancelling is very effective, albeit less so than the Sennheiser PXC 450 and sonics are generally involving if unexceptional. They run for hours and hours on a single AAA.
Cons: Like most such technologies, the two sonic processors on here are a bit of a waste of time. The X-Fi arguably adds a bit of body to lacklustre, low bitrate MP3s but you shouldn’t be using 128Kbps rips with your £200 headphones anyway. The CMSS-3D may as well be called “The Sound Ruiner 3000” and gives a disorientating effect not unlike listening to music through a guitar’s reverb pedal whilst wearing a bucket on your head. The blue LEDs are both pointless and indiscre...