Thursday, May 23, 2013

Creative Aurvana Live! (EF0060) - The Best Headphone I Ever Had

Creative Aurvana Live! (EF0060) Headphones Reviewed by Dmiko on .

Frequently you get what you pay for. After getting the Panasonic RP-HTF600-S as well as the Sennheiser HD428 headphones and using them for several months, I bought these Creative Aurvana Live! a.k.a. EF0060. The reasons were few. Although the HD428 are very good headphones with very good instrument separation, dynamics and comfort, they sound a bit too analytical and “dry”. The Panasonic HTF600 are not dry at all. They had entertaining sound signature, but were less comfortable and the sound was not as detailed or accurate as the Sennheiser HD428.

Some of my previous headphones include Panasoinc RP-HTX7 in red colorSennheiser HD201Sennheiser HD202Koss KSC75Koss SparkPlugPhilips HS500Creative EP-640, and others. The headphones I used most frequently were the Sennheiser HD202Koss KSC75Microsoft Zune Premium, and Creative EP-640. For a while I was happy with the retro-styled Panasoinc RP-HTX7, both in style and sound, but both the HD428 and the HTF600 sounded noticeably better. Now the new (to me) Creative Aurvana Live! is my headphone of choice, for the reasons described below.

About the Creative Aurvana Live!

The Creative Aurvana Live! are enclosed circumaural headphones with 40-mm neodymium and bio-cellulose diaphragm and a Y-type double-sided 1.2m Oxygen-free copper (OFC) cable with a 3.5-mm gold-plated straight plug. A 6.3mm adapter is included as is the 1.5m extension cord. The headphones have nominal impedance of 32 Ohm and advertised to produce 10-30,000 Hz frequency response. Sensitivity is rated at 103 dB/mW at 1 kHz.

They use the same drivers as what significantly more expensive DENON ADH1001 (created by Foster) used. The headphones are made of black and gray plastic with leatherette ear pads. The Aurvana Live! are very comfortable, more so than even the Sennheiser HD428. They are the most comfortable headphone I have used so far. They also seem to be very well built and durable. The oxygen-free copper cable terminates with a compact 3.5-mm headphone plug that works well with portable devices. That, the short cord (extension cord is included) and the sensitivity hint that these are designed to be used with portable gear. 

The headphones also came with an adaptor for conversion of the headphones' 3.5 mm plug to 6.3 mm for use with home gear (my Panasonic SA-XR57 receiver has a 6.3-mm headphone plug). 

The headphones’ appearance is stylish and modern, although the shiny reflective outside surfaces of the earcups show smudges pretty easily. Not only the earcups are padded but so is the headband. The areas where cups are attached to the headband both expand lengthwise and rotate. The Y-style cable is not my favorite part, but for the sound and comfort these headphones provide, it is worth the hassle to deal with.


The headphones are of medium weight But they do not create much pressure on my head, ears or the areas around my ears. Subjectively they feel somewhat heavier than the Sennheiser HD 202 and about the same as the HD428 or Panasonic HTF600. But the padded areas around the drivers are more soft and cushy than Sennheiser’s, even more so than Panasonic’s. 

The cable is of proper length to use with portable devices. But it is slightly too short to reach my desktop computer (which technically should be called floor-top as it sits on the floor), so extension cable is useful. I use the headphones with my receiver as well as with my Sony NWZ-S639F (NWZS639F) 16 GB Digital Media Player and my computer. 

Unlike the Sennheier HD428, which has a flimsy/thin cable, the Aurvana Live! has a cable that is reasonably sturdy. These headphones do not fold and take up the same amount of space as other non-folding headphones.

Sound Quality 

After burning in these headphones by playing music through them for about 25 hours, I was very impressed by their sound. The Creative Aurvana Live! produce noticeably more detailed sound with better instrument separation than all headphones I had to date, including both the Panasonic RP-HTF600-S and even the Sennheiser HD428

While the Sennheiser HD428 costs about the same as these Aurvana Live! headphones, the Creative Aurvana Live! headphones are superior in every respect aside from the fact that they are less analytical sounding, which could only be a con if you need headphones for studio monitoring. Otherwise, the Aurvana Live! is a clear winner. 

In comparison with the HD428, the Aurvana Live! sounds “more entertaining”, a little less accurate, but more involving. It has better soundstage, sounds less dry, has more powerful bass and sounds clearer overall. The instrument separation, layering and dynamics are better and best I have heard so far. In comparison with the Panasonic HTF600, the Aurvana Live! sound more accurate, had better instrument separation and is clearer overall as well. 

Whereas I previously preferred the Sennheiser HD428’s “stict/dry”, “analytical” sound for classical music and the Panasonic’s sound for most everything else, I now have one set of headphones for all music I listen to. But there is a caveat. If you listen to a lot of rap, you might want to consider something with deeper, punchier bass. 

These headphones have a good amount of bass and it is pretty deep, but it is slightly too mellow and not very well defined at the lowest frequency band. Otherwise, the frequency response is excellent from bass to treble. The treble is quite smooth and not fatiguing at all. 

If you are thinking about buying the replacement headphones for your portable player, or headphones for listening to music at home without disturbing people around you, the Creative Aurvana Live! is a great choice for most music types.

These headphones have impedance of 32 Ohms, which should suit most portable as well as home gear. 

Sound Insulation 

The Aurvana Live! provide little sound insulation; you can hear what is happening around you pretty well. Some sound will leak as well, which might make you annoying in public transport, especially if you listen to music that is loud enough to suppress the outside noise. So these are best used at home or at work. 


These headphones seem to be very well made. I have used them for a couple years at this point with no issues.

The price on these varies. I bought mine for $76. But at this price, these are cheap in my opinion as they are better in virtually all respects than the Sennheiser HD428, which sell for about the same price. 

Pros: Very comfortable, excelllent sound, layering, instrument separation and soundstage.
Cons: Y-type cable.

Bottom Line 

The Creative Aurvana Live! are excellent comfortable headphones with detailed, involving sound and are a good way to get better sound from your portable MP3 or CD player or get good sound from your home gear without disturbing your family members or neighbors. More “musical” and less “dry” than Sennheiser HD428, but with better detail and instrument separation, these are the headphones I use almost exclusively now.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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