So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Creative Labs HQ-1900
- Comfortable ear pads and design, smoothly blended sound
- Muffled treble, expensive for average sound quality
Creative's new HQ-1900 headphones, while slightly expensive for their sound quality, offer a comfortable solution for casual listeners. A simple, classy design and compact format allows for them to be used in a wide variety of situations.
Price$ 69.95 (AUD)
Creative's HQ-1900 portable headphones offer yet another option for anyone looking for a budget model. With tough opposition from rival companies, Creative has managed to make headphones with acceptable sound quality aimed at a casual listener. They're good for long-term listening, but falter on clarity when listening to instrumental only music.
While the headphones are competitively priced, the HQ-1900s don't have a lot to differentiate them from other mid-range models on the market. A sturdy yet slim casing and a simple design means they're nice to look at, with a more traditional look rather than the space-age styling common to inexpensive headphones.
Wearing these for a long period of time is not a problem – the suede ear pads are very comfortable when compared to leatherette pads, and the clamping force of the headphones is minimal. The design of one cable to each ear cup can sometimes be uncomfortable and intrusive though, especially if the cables don't hang naturally.
While these headphones don't have the top sound quality of more expensive models, they will be more than acceptable for a casual listener considering their price.
The HQ-1900s have extremely smooth sound reproduction, and all the different elements and notes within a song flow together. However, this does lead to a loss of clarity when listening to any complicated musical styles or tracks. With a simple, clean genre like beat-driven pop music these headphones excel, with middle-bass being punchy and powerful. There was a decent amount of audible lower bass when listening to bass-heavy styles like rap, though the small driver size means that they're not earth-shaking.
When listening to female vocals and instrumental music, though, we found that the mid-bass did often overpower higher notes, missing out some detail. In general, the treble seemed a little muffled and distant, especially in vocal heavy sections. We did also notice a slight background hiss when the HQ-1900 was connected to various sources, but this could be attributed to the source quality. In any event it wasn't audible when music was playing. With an open ear cup the headphones don't offer a great deal of isolation against outside noise, but this is a trade-off for better audio quality than a closed ear cup product.
If you're looking for a set of headphones with a fairly simple but pleasing sound, and that are easy to wear for long periods of time, the Creative HQ-1900 is a decent choice in a crowded market.
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