Creative EP-830

Isolate yourself from the outside world

Creative EP-830
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5


  • Powerful bass response, crisp high-range


  • Muddy bass, invasive

Bottom Line

Creative’s EP-830 in-ear headphones are a great option if you need decent sound quality as well as noise isolation. The headphone cable can cause a bit of discomfort if it's not secured, but these are decent quality in-ear buds.

Would you buy this?

Creative's EP-830 headphones occupy that difficult point within the portable audio market — not ridiculously expensive and audiophile-grade, but not bargain-basement cheap like the bundled headphones of most MP3 players. They err on the side of good quality, though, with tight and accurate mid-range response as well as pleasantly deep bass.

They are currently only available in Australia bundled with Creative's ZEN X-Fi MP3 player, but they are released independently within European and Asian markets.

They're an in-ear model, so they sit deeper in the ear canal than 'regular' ear-buds. This allows for improved frequency response as well as the added benefit of passive noise cancellation. When there's music playing, even at low volumes, these headphones succeed in blocking out a large amount of background noise. You won't be able to notice environmental sound or people talking around you — so you'll either need to be very perceptive or very careful when you're out walking.

To achieve this, they do a remarkably good job at blocking the ear canal. The trade-off here is discomfort for some users. The sensation of pushing a rubbery silicone cone into your ear is never a pleasant one, and, frankly, you'll need to keep your ears clean. If you don't, be prepared to be upset by the amount of ear-wax unleashed upon the world.

When they're in and nestled securely, the first thing noticeable is the clear sound quality. The EP-830 headphones are an upgrade to Creative's earlier EP-630 model, fixing several flaws. One of the upgrades is a stringent focus on treble in order to create less 'muddy' sound. Whatever's been done to improve the legacy of the EP-630 has worked; these headphones have a clear and crisp character. This is particularly good when teamed with synthesised electronic music or high female vocals — producing sweet highs. The sound is never painful, however, even at volumes that are far too powerful for regular listening.

Mid-range is another surprise. Middle tones are easy to recreate with in-ear headphones, but manufacturers often make the mistake of over-emphasising them. This isn't the case here; the mid-range is slightly recessed but accurate nonetheless.

Bass is always a favourite of in-ear models — the nature of the headphones allows for deep, booming bass to be simulated even at low volumes. Bass isn't a standout performer here, being slightly muddy and indistinct, but it is the most prominent feature of these earphones. This lends them a rich sound, as well as giving music a slightly reverberating feeling.

They're unobtrusively styled, too. Dark chrome and matt black plastic are the main elements of the ear-buds, while the 1.2-metre long headphone cord is a perfect length. The headphones are designed with a 'Y-split' (both headphones have identical length individual cords) rather than a wrap-around style. Each style has its merits, but we prefer wrap-around for in-ear monitors due to the extra cable securing — which goes a long way to reducing cable vibration.

Given their reasonable price — less than their direct competitors, the SHE9800 from Philips — the EP-830 headphones make a compelling argument. The lively sound they lend to music is great when you're on the move and their in-ear style means a lot of background noise is blocked. If you've used in-ear monitors before you'll appreciate the isolation — but if you haven't, you might be a little shocked by their invasive nature.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?