X

Creative WP-350 - headset review: Creative WP-350 - headset

Creative WP-350 - headset

carnoy-headshot-2019-2
David Carnoy
carnoy-headshot-2019-2

David Carnoy

Executive Editor / Reviews

Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable e-reader and e-publishing expert. He's also the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks and Nook e-books, as well as audiobooks.

See full bio
3 min read

Creative has evolved into a value audio brand that delivers a lot of bang for your buck, so it's no surprise that its $79 WP-350 on-ear Bluetooth headphones sound very good given the price.

Creative WP-350 - headset
7.3

Creative WP-350 - headset

The Good

The <b>Creative WP-350</b> headphones are affordable on-ear Bluetooth headphones with a built-in microphone for making calls and an 8-hour battery life.

The Bad

The on-ear design makes your ears steamy in warm weather, and cell phone call quality is spotty.

The Bottom Line

If you're sick of tangled wires, the Creative WP-350 model is one of the better-sounding Bluetooth wireless headphone sets for the money.

On the other hand, on-ear headphones aren't for everyone due to the way they sit flush against your ear -- some may find them more comfortable than others. In the case of the WP-350s, I found them fairly comfortable and experienced no problems wearing them on a 30-minute commute every day to and from work.

Still, they're not quite as comfortable as competing on-ear wired headphones like the Bose OE2i or the Sennheiser HD 238i models, and my ears did get a little steamy on warmer days.

More importantly, I was able to achieve a fairly tight seal on my ears, and these headphones do a decent job of shutting out the outside world. I can't say I felt incredibly cool wearing them, but their design is attractive enough, with a subtle design punctuated with a glossy finish on the outer portion of the earcups.

Again, there's nothing terribly fancy about these headphones, but they seem well designed and should hold up fairly well to being carried around daily. No case is included, unfortunately, and while the cups do fold flat, the headband can't fold up like the band on the more expensive AKG K830BTs.

One thing I appreciate the most in travel is the large buttons, particularly the volume buttons that the designers conveniently placed on the inner lip of the right earcup, so they're easily found by touch. You shouldn't have to fumble around or remove the headphones to raise and lower volume or answer and end calls, and yes, there's a built-in microphone. Of course, if you're using a smartphone to stream audio, you'll most likely use the virtual buttons on the device rather than the hard buttons on the headphone to control audio playback.

As with most other Bluetooth headphones I've encountered, pairing your smartphone, tablet, or other Bluetooth-enabled device with these guys is easy enough, though you'll run into an occasional snafu from time to time. Also, expect to have some dropouts now and again; that's par for the course for Bluetooth, which has a range of about 30 feet.

Performance, as I said earlier, is very good and arguably the WP-350's strongest point. In going wireless with Bluetooth headphones, you usually have to give up some sound quality because Bluetooth compresses your music and has a tendency to flatten out fidelity. You'll experience some of that with these headphones, but the sound quality holds up well against that of comparably priced wired headphones.

The WP-350s offer decent clarity and deliver a good amount of bass. They also play loud and work pretty well with all types of music. These are by no means audiophile-grade headphones, but I thought they sounded better than a lot of in-ear Bluetooth headphones I've tested, and delivered almost as good sound quality as the pricier AKG K830BTs (also an on-ear model), which cost significantly more and aren't as comfortable to wear. I also thought they were superior to a pair of JayBird Wireless SB2TR Sportsband Bluetooth headphones I had in-house.

As far as using the WP-350 as a headset for making calls, it's only fair. You can hear callers quite well but because the microphone is housed in the right earcup, it's a little far from your mouth. My test callers said my voice sounded a little muddy and slightly muffled. They could hear me, but I just didn't come across totally clearly.

Finally, battery life is rated at 8 hours on a single charge, which is a standard spec for Bluetooth headsets. I was able to use them for a full week on my daily commute without having to recharge, and I travel a little less than 2 hours a day.

Conclusion
Creative's WP-350 Bluetooth headphones won't blow you away with their design or comfort level, but their performance in those departments is capable enough to justify the affordable $70 price.

Creative WP-350 - headset
7.3

Creative WP-350 - headset

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 7Performance 8