iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Creative CB8100 Headphones

Creative present a new CB8100 model of wireless headphones. It's an unusual product - Bluetooth headphones, which can also work with a cable. That's the key feature of the CB8100 - Dual-Mode. However, this feature is not widely spread in wireless headphones, so it's certainly praiseworthy.

The CB8100 headphones use GFSK modulation of Bluetooth 1.2. Reception range of this model is 10 meters. It's powered by batteries in the left headphone and in the transmitter. The bundle includes a power adapter to charge batteries. Built-in batteries are much more convenient to use than changeable batteries, which were used in the previous CB-2530 model. According to the manufacturer, the play time of these headphones is approximately 10 hours.

CB8100 Specifications
Nominal (1 kHz) impedance
20 Ohm
Diaphragm diameter
50 mm
Frequency response
20 Hz - 20 kHz
90 dB
Input plug
1/8" (3.5 mm), 1/4" adapter
Acoustic radiation principle
dynamic, closed type
Form factor
circumaural (earcups cover ears completely)
Radio interface
Bluetooth 1.2
Reference frequency
2.4 GHz
Reception range
10 meters
Sampling frequency
48 kHz
Play time
up to 10 hours

The headphones are made mostly of plastic. They are light-weight even with the built-in battery. These headphones have a folding headband, which remains sturdy and does not collapse accidentally. The manufacturer bundles the headphones with a carrying case. So you don't have to buy it as an additional accessory. This case holds the entire bundle. Folded headphones. The power adapter, cables, and the transmitter come in a separate box.

The earcups are designed to cover your ears completely, even though they are not very large. As you can see on the photo, there is a small recess in the earcup to release some pressure on the upper part of your helix. Owing to this feature, earcup pressure is distributed more evenly, so that you can use the headphones much longer without feeling discomfort. Leather-clad earcup cushions are quite soft.

A diaphragm (50 mm in diameter) is installed slightly below the center of the earcup. Interior volume of the enclosure is cushioned with the acoustic material. The diaphragm is protected from mechanical damages with a plastic grid.

Both enclosures house headphone controls. There is a wireless switch with an indicator and a power connector on the right enclosure. The left one contains a Bluetooth control, a discrete volume control, and a line-in connector. The volume control can also be used as a mute button in its middle position, but it works only in the wireless mode.

The transmitter is assembled in a miniature box with a short cable and a minijack at the end. The wireless audio adapter is equipped with a power LED and the on/off button. Sampling frequency is fixed at 48 kHz.

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 ($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 (falloff at 45 kHz)

Frequency response graphs plotted in various modes

The frequency response graph shows very high irregularity. Non-uniformity reaches more than 20 dB at high frequencies. Such frequency response flatness is a mediocre result for full-sized headphones.

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 300 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, harmonic distortions are on the average level. The spectrum is quite clear. We mostly see n-tuple harmonics. These results are good for a device of this class.

The Creative CB8100 offers mediocre audio quality, considering that these headphones are not cheap. We can mention colored medium frequencies and slightly accented low frequencies. However, considering the main application of the CB8100 (mobile devices), these drawbacks are not very noticeable. Besides, it's not quite correct to compare the wireless CB8100 with wireline headphones of the same price.

In our opinion, the Creative CB8100 is a good product. Advantages of these headphones include their usability, the choice of connections, and the excellent bundle. There are actually no serious cons. But if you are interested in audio quality in the first place, you should pay attention to wireline full-sized models.

Grigory Liadov (grigory@ixbt.com)
August 30, 2007

Write a comment below. No registration needed!

Article navigation:

blog comments powered by Disqus

  Most Popular Reviews More    RSS  

AMD Phenom II X4 955, Phenom II X4 960T, Phenom II X6 1075T, and Intel Pentium G2120, Core i3-3220, Core i5-3330 Processors

Comparing old, cheap solutions from AMD with new, budget offerings from Intel.
February 1, 2013 · Processor Roundups

Inno3D GeForce GTX 670 iChill, Inno3D GeForce GTX 660 Ti Graphics Cards

A couple of mid-range adapters with original cooling systems.
January 30, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1

An external X-Fi solution in tests.
September 9, 2008 · Sound Cards

AMD FX-8350 Processor

The first worthwhile Piledriver CPU.
September 11, 2012 · Processors: AMD

Consumed Power, Energy Consumption: Ivy Bridge vs. Sandy Bridge

Trying out the new method.
September 18, 2012 · Processors: Intel
  Latest Reviews More    RSS  

i3DSpeed, September 2013

Retested all graphics cards with the new drivers.
Oct 18, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, August 2013

Added new benchmarks: BioShock Infinite and Metro: Last Light.
Sep 06, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, July 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 and AMD Radeon HD 7730.
Aug 05, 2013 · 3Digests

Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Golden Sample Graphics Card

An excellent hybrid of GeForce GTX 650 Ti and GeForce GTX 660.
Jun 24, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

i3DSpeed, May 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770/780.
Jun 03, 2013 · 3Digests
  Latest News More    RSS  

Platform  ·  Video  ·  Multimedia  ·  Mobile  ·  Other  ||  About us & Privacy policy  ·  Twitter  ·  Facebook

Copyright © Byrds Research & Publishing, Ltd., 1997–2011. All rights reserved.