Testing and Conclusion
I tested the Creative Zen headphones over about a week, both for music on the go and as my primary headset for work. While working the Zen’s had to deal two rather noisy items in my office. A box fan and a small in-window air conditioner. Both were required to keep things comfortable during the hottest parts of the day!
While connecting to conference calls via both WebEx and Teams my coworkers commented that I sounded quieter than I normally do when using my Sony headset but they could not hear any of the background noise. As we would expect, sound quality was crisp and clear.
What I found most impressive is how often I found myself wearing the Creative Zen between calls and around the office. Thanks to the comfort and Active Noise Cancelling I simply forgot they were on.
For music, I listened to my usual selection of FLAC titles to really get an idea of the range. First, I listened to them without the software via the cable and then with SXFI audio processing using my personalized SXFI profile. Right out of the box the Zen’s sounded confident if a bit flat. Bass is hampered by the smaller drivers but sound is pretty balanced. Once I switched to SX-FI the sound quality crisped up nicely with greater clarity and a more expanded sound stage.
To get the most from Super X-Fi you need to install the SXFI App on your mobile, create a profile and enjoy your audio world beyond the two speakers attached to your skull.
It may be software trickery but I am a believer!
The Creative Zen are designed to provide a killer combination of sound quality and versatility at a very attractive price point. In practice they are comfortable, last forever and sound great. The Active noise Canceling handles typical background noise and works particularly well at covering up droning sounds. Your favorite music will definitely benefit from the SX-FI processing as it gives new life to your commute.
Most noise cancelling headphones in this price point use simple noise isolation or just don’t cut it but the Creative Zen Hybrid headphones make Active Noise Cancelling both affordable and comfortable. I can’t wait to see where the Creative Zen line will go next!
Fantastic Battery Life
Software Install Needed
No Hard Case
Not for the Bass Heads