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Creative Zen Hybrid over-ear headphones: hybrid ANC for sub-$100

Creative is refreshing its wireless Bluetooth headphones lineup with the addition of the Zen Hybrid. Surprisingly, the new pair of headphones sport hybrid ANC (active noise cancellation) and a robust battery life for less than $100.


  • Creative just launched the Zen Hybrid with ANC.
  • The Zen Hybrid headphones are compatible with the AAC codec.
  • Creative is launching the Zen Hybrid for just under $100.

Headphones with hybrid ANC for under $100

As for the design, the Zen Hybrid feature swivel earcups and three-way folding patterns. Creative says the adjustable headband uses reinforced steel inside while complementing it with a synthetic leather wrapping. There is also support for voice assistants like Siri and Google if you don’t prefer to navigate through the physical buttons positioned on the right earcup.

In terms of audio connectivity, the Zen Hybrid come with Bluetooth 5.0 and are compatible to the AAC and SBC codecs. They lack any HD Bluetooth codec support such as AptX, AptX HD or LDAC that you’d find on more expensive headphones such as the Sony WH-1000XM5. Seemingly, you wouldn’t expect much with this pricing. Instead, the company is throwing in large 40mm drivers and their proprietary sound enhancement technology called “Super X-Fi holographic audio”.

Creative’s Zen Hybrids come with a USB-C port for charging, a 3.5mm audio jack and physical buttons. / © Creative

The hybrid ANC on the headphones employs four microphones to block up to 95 percent of outside noise according to Creative. Frankly, we would want to specifically learn how much dB (decibels) this would translate to in actual usage. In addition, an ambient mode is also supported if you want to be more aware of your surroundings.

Pricing and battery of Zen Hybrid

Creative promises up to 27 hours of battery life with ANC turned on and up to 35 hours without it. Charging the headphones using the USB-C cable is quite lengthy at maximum 3 hours.

The Zen Hybrid are priced for $99 in the US with a 1-year warranty – in Europe you’ll be getting two years of warranty at €109.99. The headphones are only available in white.

Do you think active noise cancellation is a very important function with wireless headphones? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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