Creative Hitz WP380 wireless headphones full review
The Creative Hitz WP380 are a solid but lightweight set of headphones that allow for both wireless and wired listening. We review the Creative Hitz WP380 for sound quality, Bluetooth connectivity and comfort.
Wireless speakers and headphones are becoming increasingly popular now that Bluetooth technology has developed to cope with high-quality audio. See also: Best speakers for iPhone, Galaxy, Nexus and Best earbuds and headphones for iPhone, iPad, Android
Were moving on from the days of Apple’s iconic white iPod earbud cables. Getting rid of such headphone cables has more benefits than just not snagging yourself on door handles or having to untangle miles of strangely knotty cable – can anyone explain just how headphone cables do get in such tangles? Read: How to add Bluetooth to an iPod classic.
With Near Field Communication (NFC) technology all you need to do is tap your NFC-enabled smartphone or music player to a compatible speaker or headphone and you’re connected within seconds. Sadly Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod can't yet handle tap-to-pair with speakers or other accessories such as the Creative Hitz WP380 wireless on-ear headphones. But NFC comes in just about every Android and Windows Phone, so Apple users are missing out for the time being.
That’s not to say that the £89.99 WP380 headphones won’t work with iPhones or iPods – it’s only the tap-to-pair NFC feature that is denied them until Apple wakes up to the benefits.
Instead you hold down one area of the headphones through power up and a few seconds more to start pairing the WP380 and your iPhone/iPod.
With Bluetooth headphones such as these you can share your audio with another headphone user – no walking oddly tethered by a cable lead.
Creative calls this ShareMe. Sharing an audio source might seem like a gimmick but think of the possibilities: listening to music, a podcast or audiobook together, or watching a movie with friend during a commute or long-haul flight.
Pairing two sets of compatible headphones isn’t as easy as tapping NFC devices but it’s a relatively simple matter of both users pressing some of the headphone buttons.
Creative Hitz WP380 wireless headphones review: Sound quality
We were pleasantly surprised how good the Creative Hitz WP380 does sound. To be sure we gave the wireless headphones to our resident audio nut, Technical Editor Andrew Harrison, to test.
He was impressed that there’s none of the background hiss and crackle he has heard on many Bluetooth audio devices.
Connected by aptX (data reduction technology) to a MacBook, it’s close to having a regular wired connection.
The overall tone of the headphones are good – warm bass without being overblown, tight and controlled for the most part too; level midband, inoffensive treble if with a little metallic hint audible in classical strings, for instance.
There is a nice stereo spread between the ears, and usefully wide sound with good image focus.
In layman’s terms… the Creative Hitz WP380 is a pair of great-sounding wireless headphones.
The Creative Hitz WP380 headphones feature the Apt-X codec, which is a neat audio compression technology (codec) that optimizes audio streaming through Bluetooth in an attempt to transmit CD level audio quality wirelessly. Both the headphones and the device you're streaming from have to support aptX. Just as with NFC Apple doesn’t yet support Apt-X with its mobile devices but plenty of Android smartphones do. Check out a list of Apt-X– compatible devices here.
Creative Hitz WP380 wireless headphones review: Comfort
The headphones are a bit clampy on the head but are secure with it, and we found noise leakage to be mininmal – so you won’t annoy people near you with your music.
Andrew did detect some slight mechanical noise from the headband if he waggled his head or jaw, but we don’t think this is going to put many people off these quality headphones.
You control On/Off power, volume and Forward/Back track selection from the right ear pad.
There are no heavy batteries to constantly replace or weigh you down as charging is done through the supplied Micro USB cable. A nice touch is that the headphones come with a flat, tangle-free audio cable (2.5mm jack for the headphones and 3.5mm for the audio player) in case the battery power runs out.
Creative claims that you’ll get up to 12 hours of playback and talk time with a single charge.
Creative Hitz WP380 wireless headphones review: Built-in mic
The headphones boats a built-in, HD-ready speech microphone with the ClearSpeech Engine that Creative claims actively suppresses external noises and digitally enhances speech clarity to keep conversations loud and clear.
To take full advantage of HD Voice – which makes conversations more natural and life-like – both parties must converse on HD Voice-capable smartphones, and be connected to the same mobile network that supports HD Voice. Thankfully this is an audio technology that is present in the iPhone 5 and later. See: Will iPhone 5 HD Voice work in the UK?
Note that when the audio cable is connected to the headset, it operates in a "passive mode" where the headset's call functions and volume controls are disabled.
Creative Hitz WP380 wireless headphones: Specs
- Weight 150g (5.3oz)
- Main Features: Volume Control, aptX, Near Field Communication (NFC)
- Driver Size: 34mm (1.33 inches) Neodymium magnet
- Frequency Response 18Hz ~ 22kHz
- Optional cable Length 1.2m / 3.9ft