Excellent battery life for people on the go

creative zen hybrid feature image

Creative Zen Hybrid headphones are a comfortable, lightweight set of cases, perfect for wearing around the house, while shopping, or on the go. The foldable headphones feature ANC, a sleek design, and best of all, they come with excellent battery life that has become a trademark of Creative. Can’t you love him?


  • Brand: Creator
  • Battery life: Up to 37 hours and 27 hours with ANC
  • Bluetooth: 5.0
  • Noise canceling: yes
  • waterproof: number
  • Weight: 271g / 9.55oz
  • Colors: white
  • Audio decoder systems: SBC, AAC

  • Excellent battery life
  • Relatively compact and lightweight design
  • bluetooth and wired mode
  • Overall sound quality and good ANC
  • cute travel bag

  • The ANC can be more powerful
  • Bass is sometimes lacking
  • SXFI works with local files only
  • Does not work with Creative desktop or mobile app
  • No aptX, aptX HD, LDAC

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There’s a lot to like about the Creative Zen Hybrid ANC Bluetooth Headphones. It’s convenient and comes with great battery life, active noise cancellation, and a wired connection option that means you can use it without worrying about running out of power.

That’s all you want in a set of headphones, right?

Enjoy decent sound and at $100, the Creative Zen Hybrid headphones seem to be a great deal to buy.

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Zen hybrid style and comfort

Let’s start with opening the case, which is not something we usually talk about. It’s only a small feature, but the Creative Zen Hybrid cases come in a nice microfiber travel case, which is a nice touch for headphones that Creative clearly intends to travel with. In the bag, the headphones fold up nicely, ready for a vacation or just your daily commute. In that, the Zen Hybrid fits this mold perfectly, coming in with a relatively small profile (we’re not talking about gaming headset size here) and weighing 271 grams (9.55 ounces).

Size and weight also contribute to the Zen Hybrid’s next noteworthy feature: comfort. When slipping on the headphones, they are instantly comfortable, adjusting to my head size easily and without any undue pressure. The headband does not put pressure on the ear cups in my ears, and the entire unit feels like it was made. In fact, the headband, which is covered in a soft cushion with a leather material, has a lot of give, meaning that even those with slightly larger heads will find the Zen Hybrid comfortable wearing.

Likewise, the earmuffs are covered with a single leather and behind it is a kind of foam. Although these are very comfortable, the earpads’ center diameter isn’t huge, so they’ll mostly sit on your ear and not around it. However, the Zen Hybrid can be worn for hours at a time, which is ideal when it comes to headphones.

Creative Zen Hybrid battery life and connectivity

Battery life is an area where creative products typically excel, and Zen Hybrid is no different.

Zen Hybrid headphones last up to 37 hours of playback with ANC turned off, dropping to 27 hours with ANC turned on. Both numbers are excellent, and the ability to provide more than a full day of playback with ANC enabled is excellent news for those who will be using the headphones for travel. The headphones take two to three hours to reach a full charge, while the quick charge option gives you five hours of playback on a five-minute quick charge. Charging comes via USB Type-C, and you’ll find a charging cable in the case.

It’s a great package, that’s for sure.

The one thing that’s a slight disappointment to the Creative Zen Hybrid is the lack of an “advanced” Bluetooth codec. Zen Hybrid uses SBC and AAC, which is perfectly fine, but you won’t get the most out of your Tidal or Qobuz account with these two. I can understand why Creative didn’t use an additional codec like aptX or its variants – it’s important to keep costs low – but inclusion would have made the Zen Hybrid headphones really shine.

On the other hand, one thing I really love about the Creative Zen Hybrid is that you can still use it with an old, old 3.5mm jack, which means you can plug it into whatever you want and start listening. Even though most smartphones have ditched the 3.5mm jack, you can still find one on your laptop, computer, and maybe a tablet, and you likely have a 3.5mm to USB Type-C or Lightning connector anyway.

Plus, you get a little performance bump in wired mode, which is noteworthy, and you can still use the headphones, albeit without the ANC. Let’s face it, if you’re offered a dead set of headphones and a long bus ride with a wired connection, you’ll jump for joy that the option is there.

Please make sure, though, that you’re not making the same silly mistake I did: trying to switch to wired mode while still using the Bluetooth connection with the headset turned on!

Zen Hybrid and ANC sound quality

In the main event: What do Creative Zen Hybrid headphones look like?

As you’d expect with a name like Creative, the Zen Hybrid sounds good, delivering excellent audio clarity across the entire spectrum. It’s clear and accurate, and a pleasure to listen, and the 40mm neodymium drivers cover most of the spectrum well.

Saying more, at times, I feel that the Zen Hybrid headphones lack a little in the bass department, something that’s sadly noticeable across a large variety of genres. There is definitely some bass in there, but the out of the box experience is somewhat lacking. I’m not someone who really wants bass front and center, which blocks out the rest of the music, but when you want it, it’s often not there. Or at least, it’s not as prevalent as you’d expect.

Otherwise, the Creative Zen Hybrid headphones look good. The mid-range has decent room, and the sounds come through clearly. The high end is probably a little lower than you’d like, but it doesn’t compromise the overall listening experience, and for the money, the Creative Zen Hybrid headphones are good listening.

Creative Zen Hybrid ANC

Considering these headphones sell for $100, the overall package is great, and the inclusion of ANC only enhances that. It’s not the most powerful ANC you’ll ever use, but it does its job most of the time. For example, it did well against the airline’s high-pitched noise test (not a super scientific test, though, I’ll admit) and blocking a fair amount of sound while wearing the Zen Hybrid headphones at the local supermarket.

ANC comes in two modes: active and ambient. Active works as stated on the box, effectively preventing noise from entering your listening experience. The Ambient feature does the opposite, allowing noise to pass through the headphones to keep you in tune with your surroundings. The Ambient mode works well and despite my usual skepticism with ambient/passing modes in general, the Creative Zen Hybrid seems to be one of the better versions.

Creative Zen Hybrid and SXFI

Super X-FI is Creative’s integrated headphone holographic mode that makes your music or other audio inputs sound like they’re playing around you. It is somewhat similar to the 7.1 virtual surround sound mode, providing a spatial audio experience. However, the integration with music streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc. does not work. The only files you can use with SXFI (a separate Creative app, available for iOS And the Android) are the local music files downloaded to your device.

It’s a bit of a problem for those who use music streaming apps only and don’t keep any music stored locally. However, once you have SXFI up and running, scans your ear, and adjust the volume to your liking (it does this automatically), the sound quality definitely gets a boost. Whether or not including an audio boost from SXFI is enough to get you to start buying and downloading singles to your device is another matter entirely.

Are Creative Zen Hybrid Headphones Worth Buying?

The Creative Zen Hybrid headphones retail for $99, and considering the overall features, convenience, and quality, it’s a really good price. You can easily make this your daily driver; Its relatively lightweight and foldable design makes it the perfect choice for commuting, traveling or just your weekly shopping.

Although the ANC isn’t the most powerful you’ll ever use, it does a decent job. Just don’t expect a clean feeling of solitude.

There is one small issue, however, which is that the Creative Zen Hybrid headphones don’t work with the Creative desktop or mobile app. I hope this is an easy decision and not a specific design one because allowing users to create and use custom EQ settings and making other mods look like a feature every user uses. The Creative desktop and mobile app is actually pretty useful in terms of companion apps, and it would be another feature that should help the Creative Zen Hybrid headphones shine, especially given the price.

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