Creative's original Aurvana Live headphone became a fan favorite among audiophiles because it delivered rich, well-balanced sound for less than $100. Now we get the Creative Aurvana Live 2, which lists for $130, but can be had online for less than $100 (£100 in the UK and AU$100 in Australia).
Aside from the name, these two over-the-ear headphones don't share much in common. Creative has completely updated the design and while this new model feels a little plasticky, it's a very comfortable headphone and -- unlike the previous model -- includes an inline remote and microphone for making cell phone calls. It also comes with simple cloth carrying pouch and its wide, flat, tangle-resistant headphone cord is detachable.
The original Aurvana Live had more of a neutral, audiophile sound, while this model has more of a smiley-face sound signature with the bass and treble a little hyped. In fact, there's quite a bit of bass, but the headphones deliver decent clarity and sound pretty open for a closed-back headphone.
I liked them and think they're a very good value. But I'm just one person, so I had Steve Guttenberg, who writes CNET's Audiophiliac blog, have a listen.
"They're pretty good," he said after running through a half dozen tracks. "A little boomy, a little tizzy, but they're pretty good. How much are they?"
When I told them they currently cost a little less than $100 online, he was surprised.
"Wow, for that price, I have no complaints. They're very good for that price."
While I can't say the Aurvana Live 2's design seems incredibly sturdy, the headphone does look pretty good on your head, sounds quite good (with an acceptable level of treble and bass push) and is comfortable to wear for long periods.
It makes for a good office or home headphone and is light enough to be worn for mobile use. If you can get it for less than $100, it's an excellent value. And if you don't see it for that price, wait for it to come down because it will.