Creative is a company that has been involved in audio since 1981, and their SoundBlaster line is also a name I also grew up with as most computers came packaged with their soundcards. I’ve also been a long time fan of their affordable desktop speakers, and I’m happy to say that their foray into portable audio doesn’t disappoint.
We would like to thank Creative for supplying this unit for review. We are not commercially affiliated with Creative and this is our honest and independent opinion. The Creative Aurvana Trio can be yours for a very affordable 150USD!
When Luke contacted me about the Aurvana Trio, I was more than happy to review it given my very positive history with Creative’s products. The first speakers I purchased as a freshman at university from Creative lasted me a good 9 years until one side failed, and they were an extremely high value purchase of something like 40USD. I quickly replaced them with another set of speakers from Creative, satisfied customer yet again.
So although I’ve never tried their new portable audio designs, I had a good feeling coming into this, and my gut instinct proved to be correct about the Creative Aurvana Trio.
|Product Type||Wired In-ear|
|Driver Type||1 x 10mm Dynamic Driver + 2 x Balanced Armature Drivers|
|Frequency Response||5 Hz – 40 kHz|
|Cable||1.2 m MMCX Detachable cable|
|Microphone||MEMS Microphone 100Hz – 10kHz, -42 dBV/Pa @ 1kHz
Supports both iOS and Android
Packaging & Accessories
Creative has always kept their designs very clean and utilitarian and it shows through in their packaging as well. The Aurvana Trio sits in a plastic jewel case, presented like a museum exhibit. The accessories such as earphone tips (small, medium and large sizes as well as one pair of foam tips) are located at the bottom compartment along with a small carry case and even airplane plug adapter. The earphone tips and airplane plug adapter are of good quality, and while the carry case does feel a little lacklustre, it does fit the Aurvana Trio fine and even has a magnetic latch.
All pretty standard fare for today’s market, and while the presentation isn’t flashy, Creative never tries to be pretentious with things and just gets straight to the point with the one thing that really matters – audio quality.
One minor gripe though – I wish they would use a little less plastic, though I understand the desire to display the product the way they did. I also didn’t enjoy feeling like I was going to snap either the clear stand that the Aurvana Trio was held up with, or scratch the IEM itself in the process of pulling it out.
Design & Ergonomics
Like I mentioned previously, Creative’s products have never been about flashy, bleeding edge designs, but you can be sure that they’ll be very reliable and last you a long time while providing good value. Despite being quite plasticky and having some visible plastic mold seams, the Aurvana Trio is solidly built. The plastic is of a high quality and there is a nice variation of sheen levels that shows a thoughtfulness to the design.
Its detachable MMCX cable connection is also of decent quality, easy to detach but not so smooth that it allows the earphones to spin around constantly. The triple twisted (not braided!) wire cable, while made of a very soft and supple plastic and is not microphonic, feels a little cheap and I noticed that it had begun to unravel at the cable jack stress point after only 2 weeks. I can also imagine that even though it won’t break easily, the somewhat softer plastic of the cable and of the ring around the silver “Aurvana” logo could be prone to getting dinged up if they come into contact with harder materials.
Despite having 2 small vent holes for the dynamic driver inside, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the isolation of this IEM was actually quite decent. Perhaps it is thanks to the snug fit of the design.
Detailed Sound Analysis
There is just an unimaginable amount of earphones on the market right now, and while I can’t say that I’ve tried every single one of them, I can say with confidence that I’ve tried many of the best out there from a wide range of price brackets. I can also tell you that the Creative Aurvana Trio is undoubtedly a well designed piece of work.
Armed with its 10mm dynamic driver placed in the back for the bass frequencies and two balanced armature drivers right at the nozzle to address the mids and highs, the Aurvana Trio brings in a fun, resolving, and highly coherent presentation. It excels at the unabashedly warm, intimate and musical sound that it presents music with, hitting that sweet price range right between budget and mid priced products. To be sure, this is a rather mainstream kind of sound tuning, but it’s one that’s very well done.
The bass is quite big – solid and impactful, with a bit of robust, real subbass thump that dynamic drivers can effortlessly bring out. The Aurvana Trio doesn’t shirk away from bringing out some quality bass, but it doesn’t “bloom” so much so that it impedes on the other frequencies. Combined with its crisp, forward sounding highs and gently elevated midrange, you get a well balanced sound signature that gets you a bit of everything – nice bass impact, clarity in instruments and vocals, and snappy highs.
Listening more closely, I found midrange vocal and instrumental presentation to be very nicely tuned without obvious emphasis on either the lower or upper regions of the mids. The high frequencies, though quite lively and bold in their presentation in that it doesn’t have a smooth, finely detailed kind of finesse, never irritates or hurts the ears. I am sure the Creative Aurvana Trio is going to appeal to a wide range of listeners.
Strong as it might be in its sound tuning, the Aurvana Trio still has some weaker points. It doesn’t really emphasise the sense of soundstage as all the frequencies are presented in quite a forward manner, with just a bit of width in the high frequencies, although it isn’t so intimate that everything is at exactly the same level. Separation is not perfect, but it is extremely competitive for this price bracket – rarely do I feel like things are mashed together. Compared to higher end IEMs with wider soundstages and better separation it does falter slightly in grand sounding orchestral performances and heavily layered “wall of sound” tracks, but for the most part the Aurvana Trio is exceptional for studio recordings as they don’t typically sound wide to begin with.
1More Quad Driver
I’m pretty sure this is going to be the IEM that people will want to compare the Aurvana against, both because of similar pricing, driver configuration, and the looks.
They have some what similar sound signatures with boosted bass, mids that aren’t too recessed and pretty shimmery highs. However, the Aurvana Trio has less low to lower mid frequency bloom, and bass impact is much more solid as well. Combine that with a bolder high frequency presentation, the Aurvana Trio gives a more intimate and less laid-back and wide sound. I often found myself wishing for slightly more bass impact in the 1More Quad Driver and that’s something I feel the Aurvana Trio does well. At the same time, the finer, precise sounding high frequency details that perhaps the 2 high drivers the Quad Driver offers also gives it a slightly more refined sound than the Aurvana Trio in that aspect.
In terms of build quality, the 1More undoubtedly feels more premium with its metal body, but the Aurvana Trio still feels just as sturdy and reliable despite its plasticky design. While the 1More does feel more premium, they unfortunately skimped on the detachable cable feature which the Aurvana Trio has. So for me personally, I like the Trio just a bit more because I’m a fan of more solid bass, but they’re both really strong mid budget IEMs.
With the frequency response measurement, we can pretty clearly see that it’s not a V or W shaped sound signature, but falls somewhere in between. For sure there is boosted bass, but it’s a gentle curve and not a large peak and the overall smoothness to the curve throughout is what gives the Aurvana Trio its well balanced sound.
If you’re looking for a nice affordable every day beater earphone with a fun, warm sound, the Aurvana Trio might be the one for you. It does lie right on the edge of budget and mid-priced earphone, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find many other products as all rounded as this at its price point.
- Extremely fun, well resolved sound for price
- Overall a balanced tuning with a bit of warmth and bass boost
- Comfortable to wear
- Good isolation despite venting for dynamic driver
- Detachable MMCX cable
- Although it is solidly built, certain spots feel a little cheap
- Not very wide soundstage and above average separation, but it is extremely good for the price.