Gaming and audio favorite Creative has unveiled its latest pair of wireless noise-cancelling headphones, the Creative Zen Hybrid – and they don’t look bad.
Claimed to be able to block “up to 95% of ambient noise” with its Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) technology, Creative’s latest cans feature two full-range 40mm neodymium drivers – the same size as in the Apple AirPods max – to deliver high quality audio for less than $100/£100.
The Zen Hybrid headphones also bear more than a passing physical resemblance to Sony’s WH-1000XM4 Over-ears, and although it’s too early to tell if they’ll make our ranking best wireless headphones For the price, the specs are impressive and they could certainly prove some of that best cheap headphones in 2022.
The Creative Zen Hybrid headphones share another feature with Apple’s AirPods Max and Sony’s wireless headphones: an ambient mode (read: transparency mode) that filters in just the right amount of outside noise to keep you above traffic and conversations in the city to keep you updated.
The headphones come with a neat foldable design and carrying case, making them a great everyday option for those who are always on the go.
In terms of battery life, the Creative Zen Hybrid offers up to 27 hours of juice with ANC mode on, or up to 37 hours of battery life with ANC disabled – either way, those are pretty impressive numbers given the comparable battery life of most premium wireless headphones (which aim for around 30 hours in either case).
Additionally, Creative says its latest cans will benefit from super-fast charge speeds – you’ll apparently get five hours of listening time from just a five-minute charge.
Of course, at $98.99 / £99.99, we don’t expect these wireless headphones to set the world on fire in the audio department compared to pricier models – you won’t find the same market-leading quality here as you’ll find in premium headphone equivalents from Bose, Sony or Apple for example – but it’s refreshing to see a brand offering an impressive array of high-end features for such a low price, especially as the cost of living continues to rise in 2022. And if the sound quality is on par with other headphones for this sort of price point, while offering all of the above, Creative could be a winner.
The Creative Zen Hybrid headphones, which will ship June 8 in the US and June 17 in the UK, are available to pre-order now on the brand’s official website (opens in new tab).