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Customer Review

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you could want in Headphones for Gaming, Mobile Use, PC etc., 26 Oct 2013
This review is from: Creative Sound Blaster EVO ZxR Over-ear foldable headphones Noise cancelling Bluetooth and NFC with iOS Android App control and built in audio processing - works with PS4 (Electronics)
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The whole package comes in a rather nice box which is like a cardboard storage unit and the headphones themselves are contained in a pouch made of what looks like black jeans material. This is designed to be light but protective of its contents. It has a useful zipped compartment for leads and accessories.

There is another box within, which contains all of the accessories and manuals. The publicity photographs make a lot of the "wireless" capability of the headphones, but you do actually get a variety of leads in the matching dark red that is the trim for the main unit. The headphones turn and fold flat, which helps them fit into the pouch and take up less space than you would imagine, when you see them configured for use.

These are substantial headphones and feel sturdy enough for most uses. There is a lot of matt black plastic, but the parts that make contact with you, are finished in a nice, soft leather material with a similar bar for cushioning at the top. The parts that extend are solid metal and alllow you to fit for comfort. In use they feel light enough and make a snug fit to cover your ears - meaning that not so much sound leaks out.

I confirmed that for people around me, there is very little spillover sound and this is important to know if you are using them on trains or planes, as it can be annoying for fellow passengers. I compared this with my normal headphones and at high volumes there was a big difference with this unit delivering good volume with much less spill. This is the big difference in specification between the EVO Zx and ZxR - the ZxR has a "Circum-Aural" design, that surrounds the ears and helps to attenuate external noise.

I usually find that with headphones on the move - it is useless trying to listen to classical music for example, as it is drowned out by external sounds in the quieter parts so I tested this with Holst's Planets, Youtube clips of the Berlin Philharmonic and a recent Philip Glass purchase. It certainly makes a big difference - even without the active noise cancelling, the design of these headphones focuses your hearing much more and outside sounds are pushed much more into the background - although even with ANC engaged, not everything was kept out - but certainly good enough for comfortable listening at average volumes.

These headphones incorporate all sorts of technology - but none of that matters if the sound is not of high quality. But no problems there - in the Planets,the huge bass pedal sounds came through, just as they do on studio monitor quality speakers. Highs were sharp and lows were very bassy. Apart from the classical pieces, I tested Daft Punk's last album, where the bass really came through and vocoder tones revealed new details. I also tested a Grace Jones album with reggae dub bass - which came through very well.

Bluetooth is fine although I have found that it can be flaky on some of my devices. However, there is really no need for this, as you can connect the USB lead provided to your PC/Laptop and listen while charging at the same time - I am in fact listening as I type this. There are also leads provided which can be used with an iPod or similar and for use on planes. All the leads are the matching dark red colour.

In use, you have controls on the headphones for ANC and a 'Talkthrough' button so you can cut out the sound to talk to people without taking the phones off. There is also a rotating volume control which works very well and is conveniently placed. There are buttons for you to skip tracks back and forward - I couldn't find them easily when the phones were on my head, but they do work if you feel this would be useful.

There is the option to download software that links with the headphones - but this is where I found the only slight problem with the whole package. When I tried to link to the web address given it was not available and it seems to be defunct. But I easily found the SoundBlaster site and was then able to download the free software and register the product. Also, be careful you have the headphones connected to your computer when downloading the software or it will not install - I had the headphones charging via the mains with the plug provided and had to repeat the process with phones connected via the USB.

With the software, you can do things like change the SBX profiles to suit music, movies or games. The movies option allows you to test the surround sound and it is uncanny how you can get something approaching surround on a pair of headphones. You can also use the software to balance all the components in the headphones and adjust sounds. You also get updates and support.

Overall I cannot fault these headphones and was surprised at how much had been packed in. I like the fact that you can charge them via USB to your computer or at the mains. I have looked at noise cancelling phones before and they ate batteries so quickly they were simply not worth using. I also tried the type that fit snugly into you ear canal and found them incredibly uncomfortable.

So these are for me, a huge improvement in every department. They feel very comfortable, even after using them for several hours and I can imagine using them at home in conjunction with my laptop for either video or music, when I am doing something else on the computer. They do sound excellent for all styles of music and I will also use them when on the move with an iPod or tablet, as they do block out most of the outside sound and allow you to enjoy music wherever you are.

They are of course a bit pricy, but you are getting several products in one and can use them in several situations - with laptop/PC for music, video or gaming and on the move. I like the way they fold and the carrying pouch has been well-designed to be light yet protective, along with the comprehensive provision of accessories like leads, mains plug etc. Overall this package has to be a top recommendation and 5 stars.

UPDATE : I have tried using these headphone in Bluetooth mode for several hours and they are holding their charge very well - certainly better than any others with ANC and built-in soundcard, that I have tried before. I continue to be very impressed at how well these are working.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Nov 2013 17:26:58 GMT
Hi,

I maybe doing odd things here, but could not find other way to PM you, and question is connected with headphones offcourse.

It is about bluetooth dongle, apparently there is not any dongle in package included, which is strange for me considering headphones are labelled as wireless ones. Yes I understand NFC ability, but still my opinion is that Creative should include an bluetooth dongle in package that will properly work with these headphones.

Contacted Creative about it, and reply was that bluetooth dongle bt-w1, which is 30 pounds on their website, is proper one that should be used with heapdhones. When i say proper one, i mean on optimal sound transmitted trough blutetooth connection as well ability to receive signals, for talking purposes for example, over Skype or some other VoIP.

Wanted to hear your opinion about it, is there any other bluetooth dongle that will be optimal for EVO ZxR usage over it, what bluetooth dongle you are using and how happy you are with the wireless sound quality with these headphones?

Cheers

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Nov 2013 17:53:12 GMT
Last edited by the author on 1 Nov 2013 17:56:50 GMT
Bruce says:
My laptop has BlueTooth capability built in and I just tapped the side of the headphones and it connected automatically to the laptop. No need for a dongle - so it can be used for listening and making conference calls etc. My Laptop is running Windows 7 and it recognised the headphones as a bluetooth headset - but I think you can do things like "add device" - but that will depend on your laptop and software setup.

I tested the headphones in BlueTooth mode for several hours while I was working on other things - I listened to this and then watched the DVD - Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3 - Bartůk: Piano Concerto No. 2 (CD/DVD)

The sound quality is excellent and I am very impressed with this and how easy it was to use Blue Tooth. I think many devices have blue tooth built in - but if you can't get this to work, then there are all the leads you could want to connect the headphones and I actually preferred it with leads. Blue Tooth only works for a short distance and it's not a "must have" for me.
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