It’s almost a year now that I own the Creative HN-900 headphones - probably the cheapest active noise cancelling cans from a well known company. I wanted to review them for quite some time, but never had the time to sit down and do it. Therefore I’ve decided to divide my review into three short entries. Today is the time for positives.

Part 2: the bad.

Part 3: the ugly.

Creative HN-900

Headphones themselves

I’m not the one to judge aesthetics, but I like them. What’s more important is that the headphones are very comfortable. The earpiece sits nicely around the ear, with just enough depth to not touch. The headband is padded on both sides, a nice touch when compared to my cheap Sennheisers. There needs to be significant clamping force to keep an acoustic seal, but the padding of the earpiece makes it easily bearable. This used to be a problem with the said Sennheisers.

The build quality is very decent, but not stellar. The headband is metal- reinforced. There are no squeaks nor cracks during slight abuse of the housing. But you can see that it is made of plastic and you probably don’t want to sit on them nor let them fall from your neck. But what about the real pain point of headphone reliability - the cable? Here, it is detachable with a standard mini-jack slot in the left earpiece. Therefore you don’t have to worry about the phones going dead two weeks after the warranty due to frayed copper. The cable included in the box comes with a microphone (OK quality) and a remote control button.

Creative HN-900 detachablecable

The headphones are active - need a separate power source. This is a standard AAA battery (included). I didn’t measure the exact time it takes to drain it, but it seems very long. Probably over the 40 hours claimed by Creative. Unlike some of the competition, the headphones continue to work once the power drains out. But that is without the internal amplification, nor noise cancellation.

The box contains also a nice black material pouch. As the headphones themselves are foldable and not a problem to transport, I repurposed it to carry around my 7 inch tablet.


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  • Caladan (2012-12-12 09:59:19): Did you observe any artifacts due to the noise canceling circuitry? Is it possible to turn it off?
  • lRem (2012-12-12 13:05:40): You can turn the circuitry off, but you probably don’t want to. I described it in the second part of the review, where I concentrated on the bad traits of the HN-900.
  • lRem (2012-12-13 14:07:18): About the artifacts: ugly/
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