iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Creative Aurvana DJ Headphones

Creative presented a new model of headphones in May 2007 - Aurvana DJ. It's a full-sized circumaural model. The new headphones have a wide scope of applications, including professional usage. We constantly hear such daring declarations from manufacturers. But Aurvana DJ is a top model. And so we are very interested in how it performs.

Aurvana DJ is notable for stylish and sturdy design, compact earcup enclosures, and a solid headband.

Creative Aurvana DJ Specifications
Acoustic radiation principle
dynamic, closed type
Form factor
circumaural (earcups cover ears completely)
Diaphragm diameter
40 mm
Frequency response
20 Hz - 20 kHz
32 Ohm
105 dB
Cord length
3 meters
Input plug
1/8" (3.5 mm),
1/4" (6.3 mm) adapter
385 g

Dimensions of a headphone with an earcup: 9.2 × 9.2 × 4.5 cm. But it's still a little too small for an ear, because the ear hole is just 4.8 cm in diameter. When you use them for a long time, you start to feel discomfort, as they press into your ear lobe and conch. Leather-clad foam-rubber pads don't solve this problem.

You can adjust "planting depth" of the headphones on your head on both sides. Retractable plates that can be extended by 3 cm have seven fixed positions on each side. The leather-clad headband has a soft pad.

The photo below shows the insides of the headphone. A diaphragm is fixed at a small angle to the ear, it's covered with special tight cloth. The back side of the diaphragm is also cushioned with cloth. Besides, the enclosure contains a piece of polyester wadding. Diaphragm diameter is four centimeters. The headphones have the impedance of 32 Ohm, audio pressure reaches 105 dB/mW.

The coiled cord is three meters long. The cord is connected directly to the left headphone, so there are no plugs. The headphones are plugged to a sound source with a mini-jack (1/8"). There is also a bundled adapter to a larger jack (1/4" TRS).

Let's proceed to measurements in RMAA 5.6. Let's have a look at the frequency response graph for a swept sine played back by the headphones.

We use RightMark™ Audio Analyzer PRO for our measurements.

Earthworks M50 measuring microphone (made in the USA, $2500). Specifications:

  • serial number: 9291C
  • sensitivity at 1 kHz: 26.4 mV/Pa
  • Frequency response at 20 Hz - 20 kHz: 0.2 dB
  • Frequency response at 3 Hz - 50 kHz: +1/-3 dB (trough at 45 kHz)

For our measurements we use a flat panel (much larger than the earcup) with a measuring microphone inserted into a hole padded with a porolon gasket. One of the headphones is mounted on this panel.

Frequency response graph of Creative Aurvana DJ headphones

Judging by our results, frequency response of the Aurvana DJ headphones is highly non-uniform. It's rugged along the entire frequency range. It's strange to see such results demonstrated by full-sized headphones, to say the least.

Now we publish signal spectrums plotted at pilot frequencies.

Signal spectrum reproduced by the headphones playing the 50 Hz signal

Signal spectrum reproduced by the headphones playing the 75 Hz signal

Signal spectrum reproduced by the headphones playing the 100 Hz signal

Signal spectrum reproduced by the headphones playing the 250 Hz signal

Signal spectrum reproduced by the headphones playing the 500 Hz signal

Signal spectrum reproduced by the headphones playing the 750 Hz signal

Signal spectrum reproduced by the headphones playing the 1 kHz signal

Signal spectrum reproduced by the headphones playing the 2.5 kHz signal

Signal spectrum reproduced by the headphones playing the 5 kHz signal

On the whole, Aurvana DJ demonstrates very few harmonic distortions. The spectrum is quite clear. Harmonics Two and Three are predominating. It's a pity that flatness of frequency response is so horrible.

For subjective tests we plugged the Aurvana DJ headphones to the E-MU 1616m audio interface and Pioneer AX5i DVD-Audio receiver. We compared its audio quality with that of Beyerdynamic DT 250 headphones.

The audio quality of Creative Aurvana DJ is on the average level. The main problem is colored sounding at high and middle frequencies. Accent on certain frequencies stresses too many details. Compositions with saturated percussions and cymbals reveal a characteristic sandy tone.

Mid frequencies demonstrate fewer problems. At the same time, sounding at this frequency range is hardly comfortable. The sounding here is not full because of the curve dip in the low mid frequencies and a little accent on the top area.

These problems can be partially solved with a software equalizer. Fortunately, the distortion level is low. At the same time, you cannot solve the problem with colored high frequencies because of distortions.

Audio quality in low frequencies is not bad. LF saturation might have been higher for these closed enclosures.

Thus, we found out that the Creative Aurvana DJ headphones are a usual inexpensive model without surprises. We should point out the tendency to improving audio quality in each new model. That's very good, of course. In our opinion, the best usage of these headphones is with mobile devices. What concerns professional usage, the sturdy design and closed enclosures are not enough.

Creative Aurvana DJ headphones
kindly provided by Creative

Grigory Liadov (grigory@ixbt.com)
August 24, 2007

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