Get ANC on the cheap with stylish new Creative Zen Air earbuds


Noise cancellation and good battery life make Creative's new earbuds a good value at $45.
Noise cancellation and good battery life make Creative's new earbuds a good value at $45.
Photo: Creative Zen

Creative Zen unveiled its Air active-noise-cancelling (ANC) earbuds at CES 2023 and now you can buy them in the U.S.

For stylish, stemmed ANC earbuds with Ambient Mode, relatively long battery life and other solid features, they look like a good value at $45.

Creative Zen Air ANC earbuds

Creative Zen Air earbuds sport a stick-shaped earbud design and a compact wireless charging case, the company said.

The buds feature ANC to filter our exterior sounds with Ambient Mode to let some back in. Those features along with up to 6 hours of playtime on one charge (18 hours of playtime with charging case) make the buds look like a wallet-friendly score, if they also pack good audio.

Not that 18 hours is exceptionally long playtime — some other earbuds are nearing or hitting 50-hour mark.

Regarding sound quality, the earbuds are small and lightweight (46 grams), but Creative said they offer big sound “that greatly exceeds its price point” through 10 mm Neodymium drivers.

The company emphasized the buds’ “clear highs and well-balanced mids.” They use the AAC audio codec.

And four microphones are installed in the earbuds to enable clear voice calls.

Connectivity-wise, Air uses Bluetooth 5.0. And the buds carry a IPX4 sweatproof rating.

Spatial holographic audio

Notably, Creative Zen said its Air earbuds are “SXFI-ready for Spatial Holographic Audio.” Here’s more on that from the company:

Creative Zen Air will support upcoming SXFI READY devices (e.g. smart TVs, PCs and mobile devices) that come built-in with the award-winning Super X-Fi Spatial Holography technology that allows users to enjoy SXFI Spatial Holography that recreates a multi-speaker system soundstage within the headphones. Users can download the SXFI App to preview this technology on local content on their phones.

One thing you won’t find with these earbuds — and most at around this price point — is a dedicated app. You control volume and other features through touch controls on the earbuds.

Price: $44.99

Where to buy: Creative Zen


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