Creative Aurvana Live! A Classic Reincarnate

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Enthusiasts recently mourned the death of the Denon AH-D1001 --- a really good sounding sealed headphone at just above $100. Lament no more. This Foster OEM design (model 443741) has found rebirth as the Creative Aurvana Live!

The very good news: it's even better than before.

Creative Aurvana Live! ($99)
It's obvious from the look and measurements that the Denon AH-D1001 and Creative Aurvana Live! are definitely variations of the same product. But measurements and listening also show different, and markedly improved performance, with the CAL!. This is good news, because the D1001 was considered a very good headphone for its price, and the CAL! is even less expensive, which means, IMHO, these cans are on their way to legendary status.

Styling and Build
Overall this is a classy looking headphone in gloss black and dark chrome. It has a slightly flimsy feel due to a bit of creakiness in the bails and delicate design, and I doubt these would take the beating that pro headphones are designed to take, but otherwise I thought these were a very good looking and nicely build pair of headphones ... especially at this price point.

The CAL! uses a biocellulose diaphragm and neodymium magnets. I'm sure there's no guaranty that fancy materials make for good sounding headphones, but it is the case this time.

The oxygen-free copper Y-cable exits from both ears and is thin and rubbery feeling. It's four foot cable terminated in a slim 1/8" plug is just right for portable and laptop applications. A 5' extension cable is included for home stereo listening, as is a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter. The CAL! does not have any folding features to make them smaller for transport, but a simple velour carry pouch is included.

Comfort and Ergos
The headband pad is smallish, but at 200grams this is a fairly light headphone, and the main impression wearing them is that most of the weight is bourn by the plush but close fit around the ear.

The earpads are very nicely soft pleather over ample soft foam donut shaped pads. The earcup is moderately deep but smallish, and does press on the outer ear somewhat. I'd say the Creative Aurvana Live! feels comfy cozy.

The headphones are moderately secure on the head, plenty good for normal movement around the home and office; I do not think they will work for strenuous activity.

The CAL! provides only modest isolation from outside noise. They would be fine around the home or office to reduce normal indoor noise, or in quite outdoor environments, but they would not isolate well enough to be used as a commuter or travel headphone.

Sound Quality next ....

Creative Labs Inc.
1901 McCarthy Boulevard
Milpitas, CA 95035
408 428 6600