Creative Zen Hybrid, ANC headphones at an affordable price | Review

Creative Zen Hybrid, ANC headphones at an affordable price | Review

Creative Zen Hybrid

Creative is certainly not new to the world of audio, but so far it has offered a single product with ANC: the Creative Outlier Pro earphones. The offering of products with active noise cancellation has recently expanded with the new Creative Zen Hybrid (object of this review), light over-ear headphones, easy to carry and with a list price of 109 euros, but available at the time of writing discounted at only 65 euros, a figure that makes them really interesting since, at this price , there is practically no over-ear headphones with ANC.

Technical features and design

But what do the new Creative Zen Hybrid offer, in addition to active noise cancellation? They have Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, the ability to use them with a 3.5mm jack cable, recharge via USB Type-C port and are Super X-Fi Ready. We will go into more detail on this aspect later, for now we just remind you that SXFI is Creative's proprietary technology that simulates a multi speaker system and creates customized profiles for each user, thanks to ear mapping that takes place via a dedicated app. Obviously there is also a microphone, which allows you to use the headphones even for phone calls or to participate in online meetings.

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The design is captivating, mainly thanks to the white color (at the moment the only one available) and the golden lettering. The Creative Zen Hybrids are light (they weigh only 271 grams), comfortable to hold on your head even for many hours and practical to carry: thanks to the ability to fold the pavilions and rotate them 90 degrees they take up little space and can be stored anywhere, both in the backpack than in a bag. In this regard, Creative includes a fabric bag to store them in.

User experience

The Creative Zen Hybrid are comfortable and they are able to use for several hours without any problems whatsoever, thanks also to the high autonomy, of 27 hours with ANC active and 37 hours with ANC deactivated. The audio tends to emphasize the bass, but not excessively; the quality is good, overall music and movies are enjoyable to listen to. Unfortunately the headphones are not compatible with the Creative app, so it is not possible to intervene on the equalization. Too bad also for the SXFI, not implemented in the best way: the headphones as said SXFI-Ready cone, that is, they allow you to take advantage of Super X-Fi only for music played locally through the application of the same name. A real shame, as technology is at its best with movies and TV series rather than music.

The ANC works well, it's not the best on the market but it almost certainly is in this one. price range. The button to activate / deactivate it, however, is in a rather uncomfortable position, you will have to make several attempts before finding it, at least initially. very good also the transparency mode and the reduction of the background noise of the microphone, which allows you to be heard well on call in many situations, even when you are not in quiet environments. Thanks also to this functionality, the integrated microphone is more than adequate for phone calls and online meetings.

During our test, the absence of the multipoint was also felt, that is the feature that allows you to connect headphones to two devices at the same time. Frequently switching from PC to smartphone is extremely convenient, but here it is not present and there is not even a system to quickly switch from one device to another.


Le Creative Zen Hybrid are good headphones for those who travel often and are looking for a product that is not too expensive but well made, easy to carry and with noise cancellation, perhaps to exclude the background noise of the train while traveling. We appreciated the build quality, audio and microphones, autonomy and the presence of active noise cancellation, all qualities that take on even more value when compared to the selling price: we remind you that the Creative Zen Hybrid have a list price of 109 euros, but at the time of writing they are in promotion (through a coupon to be applied directly on the Amazon page) for about 65 euros.

Obviously a low price also implies waivers, which in this case include the '' impossibility of managing and equalizing them through the Creative app, the compatibility with SXFI limited to local music played through the homonymous application and the absence of the multipoint connection, perhaps the most serious lack of these Zen Hybrids, which complicates the life of those who want to use with multiple devices.

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