Since Creative Technology’s success as a sound accelerator maker, they have moved into other aspects of the digital entertainment experience. 10 years ago, Creative brought us the Sound Blaster Live! and today, we bring to you a review of the Aurvana Live!
Creative Resources, long time mover and shifter of the multimedia industry, has been busy rising to the upper echelons of audio reproduction. Not too long ago, they employed the expertise of Jun Makino (of Pristine fame) in their product designs – a clear sign of Creative’s focus at “serious” audio, rather than psychoacoustic snake oil (too “X” rated to be named here). The Aurvana Live! we have with us today is representative of the effort Creative has put in, to gain the trust of discerning listeners.
The Aurvana Live! is rather diminutive for a pair of headphones that are supposed to wrap around your ears. Of interest is the construction, which deviates from that of conventional ear muffs or painful trepanation jigs. Studying the Aurvana family, it becomes apparent that the Live! is the most mobile model; one that will fit alongside an iPod or a Zune. Maybe a Zen.
Cabling exits on both sides of the capsules, forming a Y lead that terminates into a gold plated 3.5mm audio minijack. Creative has been considerate in shaping the jack, such that it is small enough to go into most, if not all headphone jacks; even those that are recessed into the equipment panel.
Passive noise isolation is achieved with the sealed back (closed) circumaural design. Fit will vary from person to person, depending on the design of the pinna, its size, and shape of the head. The narrow headband is adjustable, cushioned, and finished in faux leather.
Ear pad is detachable, and hence replaceable. Acoustically transparent grille-cloth adds to comfort.
Taking off the pad reveals the capsule construction. The “bio-cellulose” driver diaphragm is protected with an aluminum grille. The recessed driver has sonic reflections taken care of by the foam ring around the edges. A little digging reveals that the driver unit is custom-made by Foster (Culver). Litz wiring forms the music conducting medium.