Creative Aurvana In-Ear3 review
We’ve always liked the way Creative’s Aurvana earphones sound, but the previous models we've reviewed haven't always proved durable. The latest In-Ear3 earphones feel much sturdier, although the 1.2m cable connecting them to the 3.5mm stereo plug is alarmingly thin and we wouldn't fancy its chances against the coasters on an office chair. We’d have been more reassured by detachable cables such as those used by many Shure earphones.
Although their sound wasn't particularly precise, the In-Ear3 set exhibited a great sense of space and produced warm, vibrant tones. They use dual balanced armature drivers with a dedicated woofer, which gives them much more bass presence than most similarly priced balanced armature earphones – they also put out plenty of volume. The earphones’ sound means that you can appreciate your music as it was recorded, without any unwanted bass boom or harsh trebles, although the mid-range was somewhat dominant for our tastes.
These earphones are designed to be worn with their wire looped over the back of your ears – their large bodies give a pleasingly secure fit whether you use silicone dome or foam sound-isolating tips. Both are supplied, although we found that the foam tips required a bit of wiggling before we were comfortable. Creative says that, once fitted, the earphones block 98 per cent of ambient noise. We lack the equipment to measure this, but the supplied foam tips certainly seem to perform very well. An airline adaptor comes in the pack along with a rigid spool, onto which the headphones can be wound before being placed in the supplied soft travelling pouch.
We liked the sound quality and the fit of these earphones, but they’re expensive and face plenty of competition. They certainly sound good enough to justify their price, which is not unreasonable for earphones with dual balanced armature drivers, they but don’t quite match the distinctive reproduction of our favourite Shure and Phonak earphones at this level.