Noise pollution and creativity don’t mix well. There’s nothing more frustrating than attempting to work on the go while surrounded by constant distractions. On the plus side, such scenario creates the perfect opportunity for analysing Creative Labs’ latest Aurvana ANC Noise-Cancelling Headphones. So how does this headset compete with the frenzied chatter of early-morning Starbucks patrons? Let’s find out!
Creative Labs is no stranger to sleek presentation. The Aurvana ANC headphones are beautifully designed, and their luxurious appearance carries over to the accompanying carrying case. The case makes it easy to transport the headset anywhere as it’s built to withstand quite a beating. The matte black/blue palette combined with the silvery earcup plate ensures the headphones appear inconspicuous when on the go. After all, wearing flashy headphones in public isn’t practical.
"Creative Labs is no stranger to sleek presentation. The Aurvana ANC headphones are beautifully designed, and their luxurious appearance carries over to the accompanying carrying case."
For a headset of this size and weight, the 40mm drivers deliver a substantial punch. Music sounds rich and deep, and the audio performance is powerful enough to handle action-heavy video games with surprising results. The frequency channel-balance impresses regardless of how extreme the tonal shifts are. Minute details can be heard as clearly as the thunderous bass. Most importantly, Aurvana’s 87% active noise cancellation provides further sound clarity when the (ANC) switch is enabled.
I’ve used plenty of noise cancelling headphones in my lifetime, and I can confidently say that Aurvana’s active noise cancellation technology rivals some of the best models on the market. That is as long as you know what to expect from noise cancellation technology. New users expecting a miracle might be disappointed to know that even the best noise-cancelling headphones don’t work like earplugs. Having said that, Aurvana subdues enough noise to prevent surrounding disturbances from impacting your listening experience.
"In the end, the Aurvana ANC Noise-Cancelling Headphones are a great piece of tech completely let down by the absence of a volume control knob."
Aurvana’s biggest issue, however, is the lack of a volume knob. Sure, there is a switch to mute the volume/mic, but no knob to actually tune the volume. This alone may impact people’s purchasing decision, and frankly, it would likely be the only reason I’d personally seek another model if given the choice. I honestly feel that this is a devastating mistake on the engineers’ part, and I can’t wrap my head around the possible reasoning behind this silly decision. It’s like asking a car owner to use an external gas pedal if they want to control their speed. It’s 2016 people! Don’t exclude basic and essential functions from tech products.
In the end, the Aurvana ANC Noise-Cancelling Headphones are a great piece of tech completely let down by the absence of a volume control knob. While this may not be an issue for some people, the whole point of on-the-go headphones is to provide portability and accessibility. But, if your only concern is effective noise cancellation and quality audio performance, the Aurvana don’t disappoint!
Review by: Tin Salamunic