With in-ear headphones all the rage now, it didn't surprise us when audio-centric Creative Labs joined the fun with the launch of its own Zen Aurvana in-ear earphones. Already available in Asia a few weeks before their U.S. launch, the $99 "anti-iPod black" pair are extremely lightweight (0.46 ounces) and low profile, and they sound quite good--if they fit in your ears properly (Jasmine's earholes are too small for the Aurvana).
For me, that's not a problem. You get two pairs of three different-size silicon earbuds, the rubbery kind. Though I prefer foam tips, the medium size fit quite well, passively blocking ambient noise (by 90 percent, according to Creative) and delivering clean, balanced sound. Indeed, the high-end sounds come through crystal clear. The Aurvanas have a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz and a sensitivity of 115dB and 20dB at noise blocking. Bass is surprisingly solid (for this listener anyway), and overall performance is good, or as good as a pair of $110 Shure E2Cs, which are bulkier than the Aurvanas. While we prefer the sound of the Shure E3cs, the Aurvanas cost half as much.
The Aurvanas include a Y-junction slider for optimal cable management, and they ship with the mentioned earbuds, an airplane adapter, an ear-gunk cleaning tool, and a travel case.