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Creative HQ-1600 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £25
inc VAT

A murky sound and ugly design make these a poor choice among budget headphones

Creative’s headphone range spans a wide assortment of styles and prices. The HQ-1600 is nowhere near the top, but £25 seems a little expensive given that their plastic construction looks cheap. They’re available in black and a range of bright colours, some of which are rather attention-grabbing, but all of them have the same lightly padded headband.

This felt plasticky and brittle, and it has a stiff extensible section that doesn’t extend very far, potentially making them unsuitable for anyone with a big head.

This set of headphones is very light, which is handy if you’re listening on the move, and its padded cups have some flexibility in how they can be positioned, so they did fit snugly around our ears once we found the right angle. They can’t be folded up for easy transportation in a bag, though, which is just as well as none is supplied.

Creative HQ-1600

The headphones’ overall sound was rather hard, with a heavy emphasis on very low and very high notes, causing them to somewhat swamp the mid-range. The brittle, rather harsh treble was the worst offender, becoming painful at even moderately high volumes. They pack pounding bass and are really loud overall; open drivers ensure that those sitting next to you on the bus will also be aware of this. Their sensitivity could be useful to those who are frustrated with the quietness of a volume-limited MP3 player, but we prefer a lot more balance in our sound than they can provide.

These headphones are pretty basic, with just a 1.2m cable terminating in a 3.5mm stereo plug and no frills to speak of. With harsh sound, poor noise isolation and a plasticky design, this is a disappointing way to spend £25, particularly when you can get the Sony MDR-ZX500s for £39 or Cresyn CS-HP600s for £26.




Typeover-ear headphones
Active noise-cancellingno
Power sourcenone
Frequency response20-20,000Hz
Impedence32 ohms
Plug type3.5mm stereo jack plug
Inline volumeNo
Cable length1.20m

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