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Creative Aurvana Air Earphones - Creative Aurvana Air Earphones

By Stuart Andrews



Our Score:


Cable noise isn't such an issue with this sort of earphone as it is with a canalphone or IEM, but the AA's cable has, I'm told, been manufactured with a thermoplastic elastomer coasting to minimise that effect, and tangling. There's a little handling noise, but nothing that will seriously affect your everyday use. At 1.2m the cable is a sensible working length, and there's a handy slider you can use to tailor the amount of loose wire hanging between your ears and the Y-junction below.

At first I was concerned that the posy presentation box the AAs come in was actually supposed to be a travel case, but luckily there is a second, more practical leather wallet containing a plastic holder for the earphones with space to wind the cable around the outside. Otherwise, with no tips or cleaners to worry about, the only other bundled accessories are a couple of pairs of foam earpads, for those who don't like the feel of the naked earpiece in their ears.

I'll be honest. I really wasn't sure what to expect from the AAs sound wise. Creative likes to talk about a 'visceral audio performance', and point to the 15.5mm neodymium drivers and acoustically-tuned bass slots, not to mention a high-purity OFC cable, as signs that these are more capable than your average sports earphones.

The 20Hz to 20KHz frequency response would suggest that the AAs have a bit more low-end depth than some rival models, but not to any great degree, and with a 32Ω impedance and a sensitivity of 102dB/mW at 1KHz these aren't incredibly sensitive earphones, but at this price point you should really expect something special. Can the AAs deliver on the 'exceptional audio' part of their promise?

Not really. Decent? Yes. Exceptional. No. I could be wrong, but I think Creative was trying to give the Aurvana Airs some of the characteristics of a pair of open-back, supra-aural headphones in a highly portable form. If so, it hasn't quite worked. The Creatives have their strengths, but at heart they suffer from the deficiencies of most conventional earbud designs.

There's a lot of clarity and definition at the top end and performance in the mid-range isn't bad. What's more, there is some bass, and it's actually quite crisp, precise and tight. The problem is that it isn't deep or warm or powerful, and this leaves the sound with a lot of material a bit top-end heavy.

Colin Shedden

July 26, 2009, 7:13 am

I'll be honest - you may say these have incredible styling but they look very similar to the Bang & Olufsen headphones I've had for about 5 years, and probably don't sound as good!

James Reckitt

July 26, 2009, 2:53 pm

I agree with Colin, but I'd go as far to say that the design has more or less been nicked from Bang and Olufsen's A8 earphones.

Given that the Bang and Olufsens are around £60 cheaper, have the B&O name, and are nicer to look at (and probably to listen to as well) only a fool would splash out on these!

Mark 16

July 26, 2009, 6:06 pm

Stuart, I think you should should convince Logitech to send you their new 'competing' (i.e. similarly priced) Ultimate Ears 700 earphones for a comparison... I own them and Grado SR80s, and I actually prefer the UE700s. I've always thought that Creative was all about marketing and gimmicks, and Logitech seems to spend their time actually making good products instead. Be interesting to see what you think.


July 26, 2009, 8:29 pm

It's "Aurvana", not "Auvana" ;)


July 27, 2009, 12:11 am

Just to put in my 2 cents. Are there any stores that have a demo pair of in ear headphones? I wanted to try a pair before I bought them. Neither Sony Centre or Currys digital would let me, citing 'hygene' reasons. I also would not be able to refund if purchased and did not like them. What is the best way to purchase and select in ear phones?


July 27, 2009, 12:51 am

@ Peter

This troubled me when purchasing "good" earphones for the first time. Since no outlet will let you try them on, you have to go on the good reviews from trusted outlets online. That is what I did when I purchased my cx-95 in-ear phones. Firstly reading the review from this site, then aggregating it with reviews from other places.

I guess if you truly want to be an audio buff, you need to have deep pockets and accept that some earbuds won't be for you (despite what reviews say), and be able to replace them without feeling the deep loss associated with spending sometimes upwards of £100 for earbuds, when you could be purchasing, say the latest ipod for the same amount of money.


July 27, 2009, 2:45 am

@Colin, James

There are certainly similarities in the styling, but I think the design isn't a total rip-off. Creative has gone for a more metallic look, and the earhooks and armatures connecting the earpiece to the body of the earphone is a lot slimmer. I take your point, though. Without having heard the B&O headphones I can't make any comments on comparative sound quality, but I found the Aurvana Air just a little disappointing.


I'll see if myself or someone else on the team can take a look


One minute with the spellcheck could have saved me so much heartbreak. It's actually spelt differently throughout the review. I'll get it fixed for consistency asap.


I think you'll get the same response from just about anywhere. If anyone knows of a store with a different policy, I for one would like to hear about it.


July 27, 2009, 3:57 am

I've asked UE for some 'phones to review and have been told I'll be informed when they're sampling them... on which advice I'm not getting my hopes up :(


July 27, 2009, 4:01 am

I don't know about the UK, but in Germany Amazon apparently takes back everything within two weeks, including in-ears, no questions asked.


July 27, 2009, 4:31 am


I'm pretty sure that under EU distance buying regulations, if you bought the headphones from an online supplier you'd have 7 days to return the product and cancel your order (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/... ). I'd recommend your current course of following good review sites but following my own experience I'd also bargain on getting a set of Comply memory foam earpieces. I've got a tiny ear canal (I couldn't go running with any earphones because the shock and vibration would cause them to work loose within 100 yards) but the Comply replacements are excellent, the Comply 100's are even better than the ones I got with my Philips 9850 headphones.

The Nitinol wire arms on the earbuds will be hypoallergenic (the metal is used in stents for heart patients) so I really don't know what the inert coating is supposed to add other than a bit of 'bling'. I'm currently using SMA's as transducers for a product I'm designing, they're amazing materials but not quite the sci-fi marvels some futurologists would have you believe.


July 27, 2009, 8:08 pm

@Stuart Dark and Vivid

Thanks for the responses and comments, there are some interesting threads about distance selling ( http://www.avforums.com/for... ) . I guess the high street stores are missing a trick by not doing in store demo's for the top of the range. (maybe if asking consumer to sign disclaimer before use of demo pair + store to provide cleaning wipes).

Angus McGillivray

January 2, 2010, 8:22 am

Having spent a year with much-loved Grado SR60s, the Aurvana Airs took some time to burn in and become accustomed to. Well, it was worth it! The Grados now seem heavy-handed - so have been honourably retired. The Airs produce such wonderful transparency with so much beautiful, spacious detail. I'm totally inseparable from them now. Worth every penny.

Ed A

April 12, 2016, 8:19 pm

Even the less enthusiastic reviews of Creative's Aurvana Airs credit it with good clarity. Mine sound, well, somewhat blurred, from top to bottom. I get more clarity from Etymotic HF5, Yuin OK2, and even Apple EarPods. Anyone else have similar experience with Creative AA? Could mine be fake? I tend to think Not fake, since ordered from Amazon, which does not have a reputation for selling fakes, and the AAs came fully and properly packaged. So why the blurred sound quality? Any thoughts welcome. Thank you. Ed

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