If there's a pair of headphones that's an easy recommendation from us, look no further than the Creative Zen Hybrid Pro. It offers good sound, hybrid Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), and is comfortable to wear for hours. At S$159 for the Classic bundle, which comes with the Creative BT-L3 audio transmitter for Bluetooth LE Audio, and a detachable boom mic, it's great value for money.
- Bluetooth 5.3, supports codecs: LC3+ LC3, AAC, and SBC
- Hybrid ANC, Ambient mode
- 40mm full-range titanium-coated dynamic drivers
- Up to 100 hours of battery life
The Zen Hybrid Pro impresses with its build quality. It's well made, for sure. There's RGB lighting at the side, which I can live without. That said, it doesn't feel excessively loud. There's a detachable microphone (which sounds great), and physical buttons on both earcups. There are no touch controls on the earcups, which I honestly prefer. All the controls you need are at the sides, such as the volume dial, ANC button, media controls, and the power button.
As one of the first few Bluetooth LE Audio headphones, the Zen Hybrid Pro packs the LC3 codec, and Auracast broadcast audio. The latter means you can use it at silent discos which use this standard to share audio among multiple devices. I don't think you'll use it this much for now. I'm guessing it will be more useful in the future, when this standard is available in places such as museums. Meanwhile, just think of the Zen Hybrid Pro as a normal Bluetooth device, and you'll be fine. Battery life is rated at 100 hours with ANC off, and 80 hours with ANC on. Despite having enabled the auto-power off function via the Creative app, the Zen Hybrid Pro just doesn't power off when connected to my PC, even when my PC is in sleep mode.
Speaking of which, I can't seem to connect both my PC and phone at the same time, even though you're supposed to be able to. But this could be just me. Anyway, sound quality is great. There's a nice, expansive soundstage with plenty of details. I could hear tiny details while watching West Wing, such as the ticking of clocks that I never really noticed before. Bass is strong, while the mids and highs are clear. The hybrid ANC isn't the strongest, but it will lower the hum of airplane engines somewhat. If you want to experience Creative's Super X-FI, you have to use the app on your phone. But that's limited to the SXFI app. These headphones don't come with Super X-Fi built in. You'll want to get the Creative Zen Hybrid Pro SXFI bundle (S$189) instead.
The Creative Zen Hybrid Pro is a pretty good value buy for those who want a solid pair of headphones with ANC. The sound quality is excellent, the battery life is great, and the fit is comfortable. Get the Classic version for S$159 from Shopee or Lazada.
Note: Review unit provided by Creative.
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