The Creative Sound Blaster EVO ZxR Wireless are stylish and sturdy gaming headset. Unfortunately, they sound too bass heavy with music, lacking detail in instruments and vocals. Noise isolation is weak and they also leak quite a bit of sound, which makes for a poorly isolated listening experience.
- Audio customization with Sound Blaster app.
- Sturdy build.
- Overwhelming bass.
- Poor noise isolation.
- Leaky ear cups.
The Sound Blaster EVO ZxR are well-designed gaming headphones. They feel sturdy and durable and the large ear cups encompass the ears well. Unfortunately, the padding used for the ear cups isn't the softest, not adding much comfort to the design. Their control scheme also requires some getting used to but delivers good functionality.
The large ear cups of the Sound Blaster EVO ZxR fully encompass most ears and the headband is decently padded. The padding on the ear cups, however, is not very pliable and does not mold well around the ear. This slight stiffness also adds a little tension around the ear and can get uncomfortable over time.
The Sound Blaster EVO ZxR delivers a lot of functionality: Call/music, track skipping, volume, noise cancelling and talk-through controls. Unfortunately, the awkward placement of the buttons can take some time to get used to and is not the most intuitive.
These headphones are not designed for sports. They are bulky and heavy, and the large ear cups sway as you tilt your head. They're able to maintain a decently stable fit during casual use but will quickly fall off your head while running or jumping. On the upside, they have a wireless design that doesn't require a cable, which can get hooked on something and pull the headphones off your head.
The Sound Blaster EVO ZxR are below-average portable headphones. They have large ear cups, and they do not fold into a more compact format. The earcups lay flat to take a little less space, and they will fit in relatively small bags or handbags. However, they are too cumbersome to carry around on your person and will not fit into any pockets, even larger jacket pockets.
Build quality is above average. These headphones feel solid thanks to the metal frame and dense plastic used for the headband. The ear cups also feel dense and able to withstand a fair bit of physical stress. However, the transparent plastic covers on the ear cups look susceptible to cracking if the headphones are dropped a few times.
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The wireless Sound Blaster EVO ZxR have unbalanced audio reproduction that favors powerful bass over clarity and presence of instruments. Bass packs a punch but drowns the already underemphasized mid-range. This creates a bass-heavy, boxy and boomy sound which may work for some but is not for everyone. On the upside, the Sound Blaster app allows for some audio customization, helping listeners tweak the sound to be a little more to their taste.
Average performance. The low-end cutoff of 27Hz means that the bass has good extension, but it is consistently overemphasized. These headphones sound bass-heavy and boomy.
Poor performance. There is a big tilt, ranging from +10dB at 250Hz to -12dB at 2KHz. This shifts the tonal balance towards bass and lower instruments, makes the low-mid sound boxy, and pushes the vocals and lead instruments to the back of the mix.
Poor performance. There is a noticeable underemphasis in low-treble, adding to the bass-heavy quality of these headphones. There is also a 10dB peak around 8KHz, which could make these headphones sibilant.
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Good distortion performance. There is little rise in distortion at 100 dB SPL and it's mostly in the lower frequencies, which is good.
The Creative Sound Blaster EVO ZxR have weak noise isolation. The padding of the ear cups provide a little passive isolation but the seal is not ideal, leaking quite a bit of sound. In addition, the active noise cancellation is inefficient in even moderately loud environments. It will easily let the rumbles of a train and the chatter of an office ruin your listening experience.
Poor overall isolation. The passive isolation provided by the ear cups is good. It is mostly effective in the treble range, reaching a maximum of -36dB of attenuation at 3KHz. The active noise cancellation, however, is quite poor, maxing at -8dB of attenuation at 100Hz.
Average leakage. There is not a lot of high-frequency leakage here, as the majority of sound being leaked is in the mid-range, starting at around 400Hz and extending up to 3KHz.
The Creative sound blaster are packed with features but have a poor battery life. They do have a lot of battery saving features that somewhat make the below 5 hours battery life manageable, but they still won't be the ideal headphones to use casually. On the upside, they have a good wireless range and latency although the lack of aptX(LL) makes them less than ideal for gaming online.
These headphones have a good wireless range that's great for indoor use. In direct line of sight they have an excellent reach which is ideal for big open offices. The obstructed range is also above average and was consistent below 40 ft when the Bluetooth device was in another room. However, the hold to pair procedure is a bit tedious if you often switch between Bluetooth devices and the lack of an actual .
The Soundblaster have a worst battery life than some wireless in-ears. For full sized over-ear headphones the drain time is way below-average and won't last you throughout the day or even a prolonged gaming session. On the upside, they have an auto off timer within the provided app and can also be used while connected to a power source so if you're at home or the office this could be a way to extend the poor battery life.
The Sound Blaster Central app is not the sleekest and most modern app, but it offers a great suite of features and an amazing level of control. You get a full parametric equalizer with preset options, surround sound and microphone tweaks, an in-app player, a battery status display and even an alarm. Unfortunately, there's no auto-off timer, but the sheer number of options make the sound blaster central a phenomenal app.
In the box
- Creative Sound Blaster EVO ZxR Headphones
- Audio cable
- Carrying pouch
- USB cable
- (US) power adapter
- Airline adapter
- Mic/Audio computer adapter