Creative Labs CB2530
- Excellent audio quality, uses digital transmission
- No integral recharger, the small cups are a little uncomfortable
Using Bluetooth digital transmission technology, you don't have to fear white noise or interference during use of the CB2530. Audio reception was near perfect, but the design of the headphones could use a little work.
Price$ 137.00 (AUD)
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With the Digital Wireless Headphones CB2530, Creative has decided to use Bluetooth technology to digitally transmit audio data to the headphones. It uses the standard Bluetooth A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) system. And it really pays off, especially at short range. The audio reception on the headphones during our testing was absolutely flawless, and it worked as advertised to a range of 10m and through several rooms. It dropped out quickly at ranges longer than that, however. At all ranges, there was no noticeable lag, so that the audio and video synched nicely when watching movies.
Since the headphones work in the 2.4GHz spectrum, the same as that used by Wi-Fi, we tested the headphones both with the presence of a Wi-Fi network and without. There was no noticeable difference in the range or reception of the headphones, although that may change during periods of high activity of the Wi-Fi network.
The audio performance of the headphones themselves was also top notch, with quality bass and high tones that came through the 40mm driver unit strongly. According to creative, the frequency response for the headphones is 20Hz to 20KHz. It also offered higher volumes than many other wireless headphones, although the audio became decidedly muddy at high volume.
The headphones are not flawless, however. The design looks quite nice, in stylish black and with readily accessible volume dial, but the smallish cups will tend to sit on your ears rather than around them. The headphones aren't heavy (203g with batteries), and the pressure on the ear isn't great, but extended use might turn out to be uncomfortable for those with sensitive ears, especially given the relatively thin padding on the cups.
The "base station" of the headphones is actually more like a dongle, being roughly the size of a small cigarette lighter. Since it uses Bluetooth A2DP, the headphones can also be used with PDAs and other devices that can transmit audio over A2DP, without the need for the dongle.
The dongle, like the headphones, is powered by AAA batteries, and does not come with a recharger or option to use mains power. According to Creative, the batteries in the headphones will last approximately seven hours before requiring recharging or replacing.
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