Creative Aurvana Live! A Classic Reincarnate

Enthusiasts recently mourned the death of the Denon AH-D1001 --- a really good sounding sealed headphone at just above $100. Lament no more. This Foster OEM design (model 443741) has found rebirth as the Creative Aurvana Live!

The very good news: it's even better than before.

Creative Aurvana Live! ($99)
It's obvious from the look and measurements that the Denon AH-D1001 and Creative Aurvana Live! are definitely variations of the same product. But measurements and listening also show different, and markedly improved performance, with the CAL!. This is good news, because the D1001 was considered a very good headphone for its price, and the CAL! is even less expensive, which means, IMHO, these cans are on their way to legendary status.

Styling and Build
Overall this is a classy looking headphone in gloss black and dark chrome. It has a slightly flimsy feel due to a bit of creakiness in the bails and delicate design, and I doubt these would take the beating that pro headphones are designed to take, but otherwise I thought these were a very good looking and nicely build pair of headphones ... especially at this price point.

The CAL! uses a biocellulose diaphragm and neodymium magnets. I'm sure there's no guaranty that fancy materials make for good sounding headphones, but it is the case this time.

The oxygen-free copper Y-cable exits from both ears and is thin and rubbery feeling. It's four foot cable terminated in a slim 1/8" plug is just right for portable and laptop applications. A 5' extension cable is included for home stereo listening, as is a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter. The CAL! does not have any folding features to make them smaller for transport, but a simple velour carry pouch is included.

Comfort and Ergos
The headband pad is smallish, but at 200grams this is a fairly light headphone, and the main impression wearing them is that most of the weight is bourn by the plush but close fit around the ear.

The earpads are very nicely soft pleather over ample soft foam donut shaped pads. The earcup is moderately deep but smallish, and does press on the outer ear somewhat. I'd say the Creative Aurvana Live! feels comfy cozy.

The headphones are moderately secure on the head, plenty good for normal movement around the home and office; I do not think they will work for strenuous activity.

The CAL! provides only modest isolation from outside noise. They would be fine around the home or office to reduce normal indoor noise, or in quite outdoor environments, but they would not isolate well enough to be used as a commuter or travel headphone.

Sound Quality next ....

Creative Labs Inc.
1901 McCarthy Boulevard
Milpitas, CA 95035
408 428 6600

donunus's picture

Are these still being made? I thought they got discontinued along with the d1001

donunus's picture

If they did get reissued, can you give us a link of where to buy them?

Tyll Hertsens's picture
Here's the link to the product at the Creative store:

It's at Amazon as well. I got it from Creative's internal PR guy who didn't mention anything. I'll check again, but it seems they're still being made.

donunus's picture


pulleyking's picture

How does the soundstage performance of these headphones compare to the ATH-M50, and is the treble on the ATH-M50 really that harsh?

DT48's picture

Nice appraisal! The Foster microfibre driver of the Denons has always intrigued me. I bought the Aurvana Live and damped the cups somewhat, but still feel that it is a bit too bass heavy. Still excellent sound and hard to beat at the price.

gurubhai's picture

The Denon D1001 were my first serious headphones a few years back & I really enjoyed them for a long while. The mid-bass was a tad bloated, but that can be fixed by a little felt on the back of the driver.
The soundstage was very good for a closed can.
Overall, excellent sound apart from a 'plasticky' treble( most mid/low end dynamic headphones have this issue so not really a complaint at this price point) & a bit laid-back mids.

Its interesting that after trying out various headphones over the years, I have landed on another Foster OEM as my current headphone.
This is the NAD RP18, an OEM of legendary Fostex T50 circa 1977, similar to the Aiwa HP-500 that Tyll recently reviewed.

uaciaut's picture

Do you happen to know if Creative has since changed the driver behind the CAL's? I.E. is the current model still using the technical design of the Denon 1001's?
I'm looking to make a purchase soon and as it will be quite substantial to me i want to make sure i know what i'm buying and it's good.

Tyll Hertsens's picture
The model tested was current at time of writing. Doubt it will have changed.
uaciaut's picture

Got spooked because of the "Pricing, product specifications and availability are subject to change without notice. Package contents may vary according to the different regions." message.

Specs say the driver is "40mm Neodymium magnet with composite bio-cellulose diaphragm", sounds about right?

Junebugbaker's picture

Was wondering if you had tested the Aurvana 3 in-ear headphones. I'm looking for the best pair I can get under $250 and came across these but haven't found much about them.

donunus's picture

Tyll, do you like these as much or more than the momentum's? :)