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Hands-on: Creative Aurvana Trio, hybrid triple-driver IEMs

By Liu Hongzuo - 2 Dec 2017

Hands-on: Creative Aurvana Trio, hybrid triple-driver IEMs

If Creative is to take credit for a particular trait, it would be their willingness to push new audio products based on the insight and preference of their users. The latest personal audio product to tickle an audiophile's fancy is the Creative Aurvana Trio, a hybrid triple-driver in-ear monitor (IEM). 

These headphones act a contender against other low-priced, triple-driver IEMs, such as the 1More triple-driver in-ear headphones and the FiiO F9. Like the Creative Aurvana Trio, they also inject great value into IEMs that use a similar 3-driver configuration. To see how Creative competes in this space, our hands-on will briefly touch on its features, build quality, and sound signature.

The Aurvana Trio uses an aluminum housing flanked by a plastic front and back cover - the choice of materials help to keep the entire IEM piece rigid while lightweight at 19g. As with many IEMs, they're expectedly ultraportable and easy to stash away, while it has a plain, yet classy appearance.

Creative also chose to use a double injection molding technique for its rubber rear housing - that's the part that leads to its default, 1.2mm MMCX cable. The cable is detachable, it's braided, and it also comes with a MEMS microphone array with built-in controls. The microphone works on both iOS and Android mobile devices. Since the MMCX cable ends off with a 3.5mm headphone jack, folks with newer smartphones lacking the appropriate port will need an adapter for the Aurvana Trio.

These IEMs use a hybrid triple-driver configuration for audio output. A quick check turned up the following: Creative places two balanced armature drivers side by side (one driver for midrange frequencies, the other for highs). Next, they use a bio-cellulose diaphragm for their 10mm dynamic driver - this acts as the bass frequencies' woofer for the Aurvana Trio. 

In its retail box, the Aurvana Trio comes with three pairs of differently-sized silicone ear tips, and a set of foam earbuds. There's also a hard case for the Aurvana Trio IEMs and its accessories, plus a travel adapter for airplane ports. 

For our brief audio trial, we played the following tracks to grasp the traits of the Creative Aurvana Trio: 

  • Hotel California (1994 Live) by The Eagles (MP3)
  • Melt My Heart To Stone by Adele (MP3)
  • Elements Of Life by ‎Tiësto (MP3)
  • Perfect Duet by Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé (Spotify 320kbps)
  • Hometown Girl by ZHU (Spotify 320kbps)
  • Spanish Harlem covered by Rebecca Pidgeon (WAV)
  • Flute Concerto In D by The Connecticut Early Music Festival Ensemble (WAV)

The music player of choice was an iPhone X. While this isn't a true audiophile setup, it's a likely situation for the Aurvana Trio to be in, given its compatibility with mobile devices. 

Generally speaking, the Aurvana Trio has a natural sound signature, with a studio-like soundstage. Its three drivers offer exceptional clarity and separation for each notable frequency range (treble, midrange, and bass), but it falls behind on details. It has other its quirks as well.

For example, vocals produced by the Aurvana Trio have a natural timber, but it lacks the polish to bring out the uniqueness in our various vocalist-based tracks. The bass playback is peculiar - it doesn't show up well on some songs, but it's able to perform in Elements Of Life by capturing the galloping bass line (lesser IEMs tend to simplify it to a 4/4 beat).

The in-ears have a firm midrange presence, while it also handles the higher frequency range almost just as well - save for the fact that the IEMs start struggling if these top notes were introduced suddenly and sporadically (for instance, experiencing extended flute solos versus occasional flute accompaniment).  

As a whole, the Aurvana Trio is pleasant to listen to, and its natural sound signature makes it suitable for long hours of listening.

Its promotional price of S$199 (U.P. S$399) is only available at ISSE 2017 in Singapore this weekend, but we noticed that it's also available on their official website (and they tend to keep the promotional prices going for a while).

If you're looking to pre-order a pair of Aurvana Trio IEMs this weekend, you can expect to receive them towards end-January 2018.