Creative's Aurvana X-Fi noise-canceling headphones compete well with Bose's QuietComfort line of headphones, reviewers say. Sound fidelity and overall volume is on the whole better than with the QuietComfort 15 (*Est. $300) , and unlike many other noise-canceling headphones Creative's model, which runs on two AAA batteries, can still be used with noise cancellation switched off. The X-Fi also has two sound enhancement modes, X-Fi Crystalizer and X-Fi CMSS-3D, meant to compensate for "lossy" sound formats such as MP3 files and to simulate surround sound. Most reviewers like the former setting, but the 3D effect gets less enthusiasm. Thanks to the way the headphones' microphones are positioned, the X-Fi tends to leak sound, which may bother those around the listener. The Aurvana X-Fi comes with a carrying case, but it's bulky, and some users find the headphones cheap-feeling and liable to break.
We found a good balance of thorough pro reviews of the Creative Aurvana X-Fi headphones. PCMag.com, Laptop Magazine and CNET all discuss the merits and demerits of the X-Fi, especially in comparison with Bose noise-canceling headphones. Amazon.com has some reviews too, but they are more critical on average.
PCMag.com's Tim Gideon provides a thorough review of the Creative Aurvana X-Fi headphones, pitting them against similar noise cancellers from Bose and Sennheiser. Gideon gives the X-Fis an Editors' Choice award and 4.5 out of 5 stars, saying that the sound is better than Bose's, with nearly as much noise cancellation. But he adds that they're not quite as slim or comfortable, and Gideon feels that Creative's sound modes are mostly just over-hyped equalizer algorithms.
Review: Creative Aurvana X-Fi Noise-Canceling Headphones, Tim Gideon, Sept. 24, 2007
2. Laptop Magazine
The Creative Aurvana X-Fi headphones get an Editors' Choice designation at Laptop Magazine. Reviewer Russ Fischer says that they outperform the Bose QuietComfort 3 headphones, though they're not quite as portable. He also likes the 3D and Crystallizer X-Fi settings. Fischer's only major criticism of the X-Fi is that, thanks to microphone placement, it can leak sound outside the earcups.
Review: Creative Aurvana X-Fi Headphones Review, Russ Fischer, Oct. 12, 2007
CNET's regular headphones reviewer Jasmine France rates the Creative Aurvana X-Fi headphones as "very good," awarding them 3.5 out of 5 stars. She says that noise cancellation and the Crystallizer setting are very good, while the 3D effect is more a matter of personal preference. France points out that the X-Fi headphones aren't very portable, the headband has "a cheap feel" and the earpieces do bleed sound. There are a number of user reviews posted below her review, where many complain about the headphone's durability and poor customer service.
Review: Creative Aurvana X-Fi Headphones, Jasmine France, Sept. 14, 2007
Amazon.com has more than 50 user reviews of the Creative Aurvana X-Fi headphones, with an overall rating of 3.2 stars out of 5. Users like the sound, but quite a few complain about broken headsets and unsatisfactory customer service from Creative.
Review: Creative Aurvana X-Fi Noise-Canceling Headphones, Contributors to Amazon.com