In the ever-evolving world of wireless earbuds, the Creative Zen Air makes a compelling entry, targeting budget-conscious consumers seeking quality audio experiences without breaking the bank. We got to try a pair thanks to Creative Philippines, and here’s our review.
Opening the box we got from the brand features the TWS earphones in a nice case, a pack featuring extra tips for a more comfortable fit, a USB A to C cable, and some documents on how to use the device.
Design and Build Quality
The Creative Zen Air wireless earbuds make a striking first impression with their sleek and minimalist design. These earbuds are thoughtfully crafted to be compact and lightweight, ensuring comfort during long listening sessions.
The pack is very straightforward – the device has a shell case which houses the two earphones inside. There’s a small groove at the front to assist in opening the case, and an LED notification area. Only two colors are seen – white for opening and connecting, and red to signify that the case is charging the buds and to warn of low battery status.
At the back is a USB-C cable for charging, and the button to toggle pairing is inside the device as you open it. The case has a two-tone finish as it houses the earphones in a black matte compartment inside, while the outer shell is white and glossy to the touch.
The case is all donning a glossy finish However, it gets the job done and fits comfortably in your pocket or bag. While it’s a fingerprint and smudge magnet, it’s not that obvious. For those with sweaty hands like me, you may find yourself catching this every now and then as it slips from your hand.
One of the standout features of the Zen Air is its commitment to comfort. The package includes multiple ear tip options, guaranteeing a snug and enjoyable fit for most users. Additionally, these earbuds provide a secure fit, making them suitable for workouts and physically active lifestyles.
Considering its affordability, the audio quality delivered by the Zen Air is surprisingly impressive. The sound is clear, and the bass packs a satisfying punch without overpowering the mids and highs. These earbuds offer a solid auditory experience that’s more than sufficient for daily music listening and casual use. We’re glad to know that the wireless buds also suport AAC connection, which makes listening much better.
The Zen Air’s call quality is decent. The earbuds do a nice job of picking up your voice, but the microphone could benefit from improved noise cancellation, particularly in noisier environments, as it tends to capture ambient sound.
These wireless earphones also feature Creative’s SXFi (Super X-Fi) technology, an advanced audio innovation that delivers a personalized and immersive listening experience. Typically integrated into compatible headphones and gaming headsets, SXFi creates an individualized audio profile for users by considering their unique ear shape and head-related transfer function (HRTF).
Utilizing both hardware and software components, it processes audio signals to create a surround sound effect, enhancing spatial audio and immersing users in a multi-directional soundstage.
Using it requires having the SXFi app installed (which you can download from your respective app store), and you’ll need to register too. Then you need to have your custom head profile mapped by asking someone to capture your head (right, face, then left) in order for the software to correctly place the virtual soundstage.
You’re also limited to downloaded content on your device with the SXFi app only, so it’s a bummer if you wanted to try this out with Spotify or YouTube Music. I find the SXFi features limited as it can only be available inside the app, and it’s a hit and miss at times. When I listen to electronic beats, sometimes it just becomes muddled compared to non-SXFi listening. It does work on more engineered tracks such as classical and acoustic tracks with bigger soundstages, you can definitely feel the instruments as you move your head around your area.
Connectivity and Controls
Setting up the Zen Air with your device is effortless, thanks to its Bluetooth 5.0 technology. Pairing the device is simple – you just have to long-press the button inside the TWS earbuds case to enable pairing with devices. The LED notification will signal it’s okay to pair once it’s blinking.
Once connected, these earbuds maintain a consistent and dependable connection. The touch controls on the earbuds are responsive and user-friendly, allowing you to effortlessly manage your music playback and take calls with a simple tap.
The battery life on the Creative Zen Air seems decent. On a single charge, these earbuds offer around 4-5 hours of playback time with ANC on and toggled at a higher volume. You’re sure to get more when you toggle the ANC off, at around 5 and a half hours to 6 hours depending on your toggled volume.
The charging case provides an additional 16 hours of battery life. What’s good about the charging case, though, is it prioritizes charging fast to your buds – a quick recharge takes around 15mins to get to around 70%
Recharging the whole device takes around 30 to 45 minutes if wired with a 10W charger. There’s also a wireless charging option, which is a surprise for wireless earbuds this affordable, though this may take a bit longer at around an hour to complete.
The Creative Zen Air emerges as an enticing choice for budget-conscious consumers seeking wireless earbuds that offer commendable audio quality, comfort, and convenience. You can purchase the Creative Zen Air, as well as other Creative Labs audio and video products at their official online stores: