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Headphones Just Got Exciting! Creative Aurvana Ace with xMEMS Drivers

Today, we're checking out Creative's latest innovations in the headphone market – the Aurvana Ace and Aurvana Ace 2. What's exciting about these headphones is their use of xMEMS Drivers, a ground-breaking technology in audio. Let’s explore what these headphones offer and how this new tech shapes up.  


Kicking things off with their design, both models sport a sleek, modern look reminiscent of Apple standard EarPods but they lean towards the plasticky side in terms of build. Having said that, I think the Aurvana Ace 2 translucent charging case makes up for it – it's discreet on the outside with sleek and shiny copper inside, which is certainly attention-grabbing.  


For the earphones themselves when taken straight out of the box, the fit wasn't perfect for me – the default ear tips felt too small but switching to the larger tips included in the package significantly improved comfort. However, they still lag behind the comfort offered by my Bowers and Wilkins and even more so if compared to my Samsung in-ear headphones. 


Now, let's dive into the heart of these headphones – the xMEMS Drivers. This technology is all about precision. Unlike traditional drivers, xMEMS which stands for micro-electro-mechanical systems - use silicon solid state technology for sound production. This means you can get extremely accurate and consistent audio, which is great for clarity and detail in music. However, being a newer technology, it might come with a higher cost and potentially less powerful bass compared to traditional drivers and I expect it to have some adoption pains as well.  


This could explain why Creative opted for a hybrid approach, incorporating both the xMEMS Solid-state Driver and a 10mm Dynamic Driver into both sets. 


But what is the sound quality you might ask... From my experience both headphones seemed precise and clear. The Ace 2 stands out with support for AptX Lossless audio codec, and adaptive Hybrid ANC. It does have slightly sharper sound profile while ANC is enabled, however when I compared them directly, the differences between the Ace and Ace 2 were subtle at best. Even when using one earbud from each set simultaneously, distinguishing between them proved to be quite a challenge. 


I do like the app where you can adjust the EQ settings either manually or select from a wide range of presets. By default, it is set to a flat profile, and I’d say that is a good starting point. This ensures that the headphones have a neutral and unobtrusive sound profile. 


When comparing them to other headphones such as these B&W or my main daily driver Samsung ones, they do appear to have a slightly lower volume output. I find myself needing to increase the volume to a higher level than I'm accustomed to. The sound stage is good and over all sound is comparable and certain things sound a bit better, although not drastically so. Considering the price point of these headphones, this level of performance is indeed quite commendable. 


If you want a really powerful and clean bass, I'd recommend looking into the B&W headphones, as they excel in delivering that deep bass response, especially for music featuring electric guitars with distortion. 


When loading up the app the first time both models come fresh with a firmware update which just shows these are hot off the press. One downside is the app only displays the battery level of the headphones, not the case. And while we’re on the topic of charging - I do like the inclusion of wireless charging for the case as well as via USB type C.  


In general, the headphones are light, which is great, but adjusting them often leads to unintentional shortcuts activation, something you might need to get used to. 


A few more things to note – at first, I was convinced there's no indication of left or right on the headphones, but after seeing the official video I embarked on a journey to find the markings. It took me solid 20 seconds to actually spot the vague inking on the ends of the tips. So factually they are there but in reality, it will be quicker to just remember how they sit in each ear. 


And fairly quickly I realised that there is one more feature that I missed - there's no in-ear detection, so your music keeps playing even if you take them out.  


There is Bluetooth 5.3 in both sets and range is acceptable but has its limits. Don’t expect to walk two doors down without your phone and still have connection.  


The sports enthusiasts will be happy to hear that these headphones are IPX5 rated so you should be ok using them while doing reasonably light activities.  


When it comes to active noise cancelation – they both do well, with Ace 2 maybe taking a slight lead, when comparing them to Samsung Buds 2 they are slightly worse at cancelling out the noise. With this in mind they also produce slightly less pressure in the ears.  


While we were out and about, we did a few quick mic tests (see the video above at 4:30) and I would say in all examples there are problems, but Ace 2 stands out as it makes my voice more clear. While standard Ace is probably worst out of the bunch. 


We re-tested it in another environment with less background noise and both Aurvana headphones are now more similar, but Ace 2 still takes a slight lead. Overall, the way Creative does their sound isolation is not particularly good and results seem to be bit of a hit and miss so hopefully you don’t need to make too many calls with them.  


So, to wrap this all up – I am pretty impressed with this first gen product that is both bringing something new and exciting to a very old market, as well as hitting at a competitive price point. If you are on a market for a good pair of in-ear headphones, I would really recommend checking these out. When it comes to choosing which one to get – I would say unless you specifically need Lossless Audio Codec, then save the money and get standard Ace. 


And for all the audiophiles in the audience – what do you think about this new tech and is there something specific you would like me to test? Let me know in the comments below. 


Affiliate disclosure: as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon. 

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