Creative CB2530 review: Creative CB2530

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CNET Editors' Rating

2 stars Mediocre
  • Overall: 4.3
  • Design: 5.0
  • Features: 6.0
  • Performance: 2.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Creative's CB2530 Bluetooth wireless headphones feature rugged construction and conveniently located volume and muting controls.

The Bad Unfortunately, the Creative CB2530s offer subpar sound, battery, and wireless performance.

The Bottom Line If you're serious about music quality, Creative's CB2530 Bluetooth wireless headphones aren't for you. Although they eliminate pesky wires, they also suffer from lackluster sound quality, frequent sound dropouts, and limited volume output.

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Creative CB2530 Bluetooth headphones

Over the last year or so, a number of headphone manufacturers have adapted Bluetooth wireless technology for their portable models. And when you stop and think about it, eliminating the wires from portable headphones makes a lot of sense--no more tangled, dangling, or broken cables. Creative's Bluetooth entry, the CB2530, lists for $150, which is at the upper end of the price range for this type of headphone, and it comes in black or white finishes.

The plastic Creative CB2530 headphones weigh 7 ounces and feel like they're ruggedly built; the ultrasoft vinyl ear cushions are almost large enough to completely cover our ears. However, we found the CB2530 only moderately comfortable after an hour of listening, mostly because the headphones squeezed our ears with a bit more pressure than we would have liked. The right ear cup conveniently houses a combination volume and muting control. The CB2530 doesn't fold for compact storage, and Creative doesn't supply a carry pouch.

The Creative CB2530 is powered with a total of three AAA batteries: one in the Bluetooth transmitter and two more in the headphone's left ear cup. Creative quotes a 7-hour life expectancy when using alkaline batteries, and we found that claim to be fairly accurate. Just be aware that you'll have to change batteries often; a rechargeable model would have been better in this case. The Bluetooth transmitter isn't a whole lot bigger than its battery and comes with a 7-inch-long cable, terminating with a 3.5mm gold-plated miniplug; we were disappointed to find Creative doesn't include a 6.3mm home adapter. The cable was too long for our tastes, plus it just dangles there, leaving us wondering where to put the transmitter after we plugged the cable into our iPod or MP3 player. The CB2530 uses Bluetooth 1.2 technology; its range is quoted as 32 feet, but our sample conked out around 20 feet.

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Where to Buy

Creative CB2530

Part Number: 70BX000007148

MSRP: $149.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Color black
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Type headphones
  • Headphones Form Factor ear-cup
  • Connector Type mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm
About The Author

Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Home Theater, Inner Fidelity, Tone Audio, and Stereophile.