Creative Aurvana Platinum review
As the title suggests, this is my review of the Creative Aurvana Platinum headset. Since i use it almost exclusively with SGN3, it seems logical to post my review here.
As this constitutes my view
of the product, i think that a couple of words about me would be in order.
First: I´m no audiophile. I don´t own heaps of headsets, amplifiers, speakers and whatnot. Consequently i can not provide a comparison to scores of other headsets. I am simply a guy that's been searching for a bluetooth headset, that suits my purposes, for a very long time.
I have however tried several solutions along the line and can obviously provide a comparison within those limitations.
Up until Aurvana Platinum i have, among others, tried Jabra Tag, Clipper and Halo 1. Sony Ericsson HBH-DS970, Motorola S9, and finally a positively ancient HTC S100.
With that aside, on to the main event:
Interesting official spec´s with comments
Drivers: 50mm Neodymium magnet
Noise Reduction Level: Up to 20dB (90%) with quad microphones (3 reduction levels)
Wireless Technology: Bluetooth v3.0
NFC pairing enabled.
Bluetooth Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP (HD Voice ready*)
Audio Codec: aptX, AAC, FastStream**, mSBC, SBC
Operating Range: Up to 10m / 33ft
Charge via USB: 5VDC, 500mA
Charge time: 2 hours (Fairly accurate)
Play time: 15 hours without
Active Noise Cancellation. (Haven´t timed it objectively but not entirely off. Easily an 8 hour work day with
Talk time: 21 hours without
Active Noise Cancellation. (Could very well be right).
Weight: 332g / 11.7oz
The headset comes i a high quality cardboard box.
Apart from the headset you´ll find an airplane adapter, a tanglefree cable for wired connection, a carrying pouch, a quick start guide and a standard USB/Micro USB cable for charging. No mains charger though.
The carrying pouch is an afterthought and fleece lined which saves it from being a downright insult. Now it´s merely a disgrace
The build quality feels solid enough for everyday use and well put together, allthough i can´t help noting that all the shiny polished-metal surfaces are in fact plastic. Apart from the charger and audio jacks there isn´t a scrap of metal visible anywhere.
I haven´t tried purposefully dropping them on the floor and have yet to drop them by accident but i feel they should survive the occasional drop from head height.
Make no mistake though
A toughened, Mil-grade, provide-music-to-coalminers headset this is definitely not
Controls have just the right tactile feedback and feel nice & firm without any wobble.
Wearing comfort is excellent. You can easily wear these for hours on end. The foam/faux leather pads are soft and pliant. After a while i tend to forget they´re there.
Firmness of fit is adequete for office work, driving, leisurely bicycling and other commuting without taking any special considerations.
Jogging, fitness and other heavy physical activity: Look elsewhere.
Operation & controls:
The only thing you´ll find on the left earcup is the micro USB jack for charging. Everything else is on the right earcup.
A multifunction button turns the headset on/off, starts bluetooth pairing, plays music, pauses music, accepts calls, rejects calls, promts for battery stats by voice and starts voice dial. All dependant on short clicks, long clicks, double clicks and very long clicks as well as context.
In combination with the volume up/down buttons the multifunction button also provides reset function and pairing of two headsets to the same source allthough i haven´t tried this for lack of a second compatible headset.
The NFC area is clearly marked below the multifunction button.
Two buttons provide previous/next track. As mentioned there are two separate buttons for volume up/down. A sliding switch for enabling/disabling active noise cancellation. A button for toggling between the three different noise cancellation profiles and finally a 2,5 mm headphone jack.
The headphone jack is for media consumption only. As there are only 3 contact points on the male jack i have to conclude that you cannot use the headset for wired phone calls.
Pairing up with Note 3 is a breeze. No need to turn on the headset. Just put it on, go to your home screen on your phone and simply slide the back of your phone slowly down the right earcup.
You get a generic female voice stating "Powering on" followed by a pairing signal and you´re good to go. If you´re still at the home screen tapping the multifunction button on the headset once will start music playback from last played track and list.
For some reason disconnecting and turning off the headset, on the other hand, seems quirky and somewhat illogical to me.
Get this: First NFC tap turns the headset on, starts bluetooth on your phone, pairs up and is ready to play.
Second NFC tap disconnects and turns off bluetooth on your phone but headset stays on.
You have to turn power off manually
Yes you might want to pair up to something else without NFC right? Wrong - manually pairing involves turning the headset on and keep pressing the multifunction button to make the headset visible to other devices.
But then you might want to keep the headset on to use the Noise cancellation for some peace & quiet on, say - a plane trip right? Wrong again - The slider switch turns noise cancellation on/off totally independent of the "Powering on/off" sequence by the multifunction button.
It´s not a deal breaker for me. I just don´t get it - is all.
Voice dialling has its own issues. When you activate voice dialling and your Note3 is active/on the home screen what you get is S-voice.
For the English-native part of you this works great - Calling Peter, Paul or Mary.
If you, like me, however have to call Jørgen Sørensen or Nivinnguaq Kristoffersen it doesn´t work. I spent a short while trying to figure out if it would be possible to point voice dialling at a different app. Couldn´t make it work.
This, in my humble non-audiophile opinion, is where the headset really shines. But damn
they sound nice. Compared to other headsets i ever tried, Bluetooth AND wired, they´re in a league totally of their own. Both listening to music and doing phonecalls i´ve never listened to anything remotely comparable. My conversation partners have all reported loud and clear speech. Music is well defined. I can clearly hear the various instruments. Even turning volume all the way up on AC/DC "skies on fire" the bass stays dry and well defined. Drum beats are short and to the point. Brian Johnson´s easily recognized vocal stays clear.
The bluetooth connection is not totally wired-rock-solid, but again it is totally the best experience i ever had wireless connection wise.
The noise cancellation is also the best i ever heard, albeit i can only compare with one other wired headset whose make & model i sadly don´t remember.
Being a powerplant engineer i decided to push the envelope a bit.
I turned the noise cancellation up to high (called airplane mode) and wore them in the pictured generator room where about a megawatt of diesel engines tried to ruin my hearing.
What can i say - Noise cancellation works. I had no trouble at all hearing the engines but the sound was very far from the usual eye-watering roar.
If i had to work there for hours on end i´d resort to industri standard protection but for a short visit - no problem.
Stellar sound quality
Excellent wearing comfort.
Good solid connection.
Great active noise cancellation
Decent battery life.
Not for sports.
Voice dialling (For me at least)
The pouch is a disgrace
All in all the best headset i ever had.