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Creative Zen Air Review: An Audio Testament

 Creative Zen Air

Creative is the audio brand we have always been familiar with. It's that one brand that most people share in common and it's quite popular with the crowd. It has a wide range portfolio consisting of one-of-a-kind audio peripherals from different categories with the likes of soundbars and speakers and not long ago since the Singaporean tech brand joined the wireless earphones bandwagon with its subsequent release of wireless earphones. Fast-forward to the present, the renowned audio brand returns with its latest installment — the Creative Zen Air.

Read further as we dive in with the brand's most recent wireless earphones release.

What's inside the box?

Creative Zen Air
The Zen Air and its essentials | Image credit: Brahm Daniel Verano / androidist

The Zen Air comes with the device itself and a number of paperwork out-of-the-box: it has a Warranty Card, a SXFI Read Me Card, and English and Chinese versions of the Quick Start Guide. It also comes with an extra pair of small and large ear tips and a USB-A to USB-C cable. 

Build and design.

Creative Zen Air
The Creative Zen Air with its earbuds | Image credit: Brahm Daniel Verano / androidist

The charging case of the Zen Air has the Creative logo imprint along with the SXFI-ready branding on top. It has a simple yet sophisticated white color coating surrounding the capsule, with a dark color underneath in between the buds, which makes the color two-toned when opened. The LED lights add elegance to its eye-candy complex. The pair of buds inside are etched with the iconic Creative icon. The charging case feels light on hand and each bud is easy to get a hold of, although the material used is plastic. 

The Super X-FI feature and its oddities.

Creative Zen Air
The Creative Zen Air | Image credit: Brahm Daniel Verano / androidist

Despite being one of the highlights of the product, the SXFI feature does not seem to blend with the appeal. It is a mundane inclusion to the Zen Air's set of features. Oddly enough, we're only getting a "preview" treatment as stated on the box and it is hard to decipher. 

The feature can be configured through the SXFI App, downloadable from the Google Play Store.
Throughout the app, you'll be required to sign up (or log in if you're an existing user) to utilize the feature. But it automatically sets up on its own upon launch when configured. The feature barely adds any improvement on the song selected via the app. And you can make use of it only through the app. It's only a preview after all. I don't know why this is advertised as if it is the main feature. 

At least we have taken a glimpse of what Creative has right up its sleeves — an audio ecosystem. It's a good intro. At all.

Audio quality, features, and controls.

Creative Zen Air
Image credit: Brahm Daniel Verano / androidist

The Zen Air is able to deliver clear sound with surround bass and great consistency. Its Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) is effective as it filters most of the background noise efficiently, comparable to other earphones in the same price segment. While the ambient mode is able to provide an immersive, accurate ambiance within the environment. 

As for the controls, well, they're kind of infuriating as most of the touch gestures have identical actions but they're easy to adapt.

Charging and battery life.

Creative Zen Air
Image credit: Brahm Daniel Verano / androidist

The Zen Air takes a couple of hours to fully charge, though it charges in an hour or two depending on the environment. One charge grants you an all-day usage, While it is environment-dependent, make sure you have an hour to spare when charging in warm, heated places. On a side note, it supports wireless charging although the wireless charging pad is sold separately. 

The Verdict: androidist Meter – 4/5

Creative Zen Air

A prolific addition to the Zen catalogue, the Creative Zen Air promises a jam-packed, personalized audio experience in a sleek, chic eye-candy capsule. It has infuriating touch gestures but its ergonomic design and relatively efficient noise control gets it off the hook.

Why we gave it a 4?

The Good.
It has good noise cancellation
Ambient mode is accurate.
The buds are SXFI-ready
The mic is effective.
It has extra ear tips out-of-the-box.
It has a modern-looking design.
It has a consistent audio output.
The case feels lightweight.
Battery lasts a day.
It has IPX4 certification for water and sweat resistance.
It has support for wireless charging.

The Bad.
It has infuriating touch controls.
The design is prone to debris.
The SXFI (Super X-FI) is more of a gimmick than a feature, perhaps it's because it's only the preview we're treated to in this product.
The earbuds cannot be shut down manually.

Pricing & Availability

The Creative Zen Air is available in a solo White color configuration and is priced at PHP 2,658 in the Philippines and USD 29.99 in the United States. The new wireless earphones can be bought from the brand's official website, and its partner channels on Lazada and Shopee (PH only).