Reviewed on Apr 05, 2016

Creative Sound Blaster EVO ZxR Wireless HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3.1
6.3
Mixed Usage
6.2
Neutral Sound
6.3
Commute/Travel
6.6
Sports/Fitness
6.4
Office
5.4
Wireless Gaming
6.8
Wired Gaming
7.1
Phone Call
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

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.

Test Results
Design 6.6
Isolation 5.4
Microphone 7.8
Active Features 6.2
Connectivity 7.0
Pros
  • Audio customization with Sound Blaster app.
  • Sturdy build.
Cons
  • Overwhelming bass.
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Leaky ear cups.
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  3. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  4. Update 9/28/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
  5. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

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Sound Blaster EVO ZxR
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Amazon.com
6.6

Design

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.

Style

The Sound Blaster EVO ZxR look stylish, if a bit bulky. The two-tone color scheme is visually appealing and the futuristic design looks good for gaming. They may not be the most sleek headphones to wear in public but their style and color scheme is above what most gaming headsets have to offer.

6.5 Comfort
Weight : 0.72 lbs
Clamping Force
:
1.13 lbs

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.

8.0 Controls
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Ease of use : Mediocre
Feedback : Mediocre
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : Yes
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : Yes
Talk-Through
:
Yes
Additional Buttons : No

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.

6.7 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 4.8 C
5.9 Portability
L : 7.87 "
W : 7.28 "
H : 2.17 "
Volume : 115.94 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

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.

6.5 Case
Type : Pouch
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

Comes with a fabric pouch that will protect the headphones from scratches and doesn't add much bulk. unfortunately the fabric will not shield your headphones from water damage or hard falls.

7.0 Build Quality

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.

6.0 Stability

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.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
Top

Sound

Sound Profile
Bass Amount
:
0.57 db
Treble Amount
:
-4.5 db
7.2 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.56 dB
6.3 Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
5.14 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
26.31 Hz
Low-Bass
:
-0.93 dB
Mid-Bass
:
4.84 dB
High-Bass
:
7.91 dB
5.8 Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
5.56 dB
Low-Mid
:
7.26 dB
Mid-Mid
:
-0.84 dB
High-Mid
:
-4.99 dB
6.3 Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
4.88 dB
Low-Treble
:
-5.52 dB
Mid-Treble
:
-0.15 dB
High-Treble
:
-5.53 dB
6.3 Peaks/Dips
Peaks
:
2.57 db
Dips
:
1.68 db
6.9 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.34
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
1.39
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
3.37
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
18.75
4.8 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
3.49 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
3.11 dB
PRTF Distance
:
5.3 dB
Openness
:
5.0
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
4.2
7.5 Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
:
0.334
WHD @ 100
:
0.151
5.4

Isolation

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.

5.0 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-13.29 dB
Bass
:
-2.33 dB
Mid
:
-7.01 dB
Treble
:
-30.7 dB

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.

6.4 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
42.92 dB

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.

7.8

Microphone

Integrated
:
Yes
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
N/A
7.5 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
77.72 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
1.93 dB
HFE
:
3466.89 Hz
Weighted THD
:
2.582
Gain
:
43.79 dB
8.2 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
30.03 dB
6.2

Active Features

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. 

6.1 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
:
4.7 hrs
Additional Charges
:
0
Total Battery Life
:
4.7 hrs
Charge Time
:
2.3 hrs
Power Saving Feature
:
Yes
Audio while charging
:
Yes
Passive Playback
:
No
Charging Port : micro-USB

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.

7.5 App Support
App Name : Sound Blaster Central
iOS : Yes
Android : Yes
macOS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
Graphic + Presets
ANC control
:
No
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
Yes
Playback control
:
Yes
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

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 graphic 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.

Sound Blaster Evo Zxr Effects

Sound Blaster Evo Zxr in-app player (IOS)

Sound Blaster Evo Zxr Equalizer (Android)

Sound Blaster Evo Zxr Equalizer (IOS)

7.0

Connectivity

8.8 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
2.1+EDR
Multi-Device Pairing
:
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
:
Yes
Line of Sight Range
:
159 ft
Default Latency
:
154 ms
aptX Latency
:
129 ms
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A
0 Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Non-BT Latency
:
N/A
8.6 Wired
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
Yes
Detachable : Yes
Length : 0 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRRS
Wired Latency
:
50 ms
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
:
Audio + Microphone
PC / PS4 Wired USB
:
N/A
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
:
No
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox Analog
:
Audio + Microphone
Xbox Wired USB
:
N/A
Xbox Wireless
:
No
0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A

In the box

  • Creative Sound Blaster EVO ZxR Headphones
  • Audio cable
  • Carrying pouch
  • USB cable
  • (US) power adapter
  • Airline adapter
  • Mic/Audio computer adapter
  • Manual

Compared to other Headphones

6.3 Mixed Usage

The Sound Blaster EVO ZxR are not good everyday headphones. They have a lot of features that make them good for gaming, but they're too cumbersome, heavy and leaky for casual use. They also don't isolate well.

6.2 Neutral Sound

Mediocre for neutral listening. They have a bass heavy sound quality and their closed back design limits their soundstage. They're also uncomfortably tight.

6.3 Commute/Travel

Average for commuting. They're wireless and have a competent if a little confusing control scheme. However, their noise-cancelling is not efficient enough for loud environments and noisy commutes.

6.6 Sports/Fitness

Not designed for sports. They're wireless and have a decent control scheme, but they're bulky and unstable.

6.4 Office

Average for office use. They leak a lot and have poor isolation. They won't block the chatter of a busy office efficiently.

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