Creative Live! Audio A3 Review (Page 1 of 4)

Creative Live! Audio A3 Review

By: Aaron Lai
February 2, 2024

More recently, I have been watching a lot of Border Security: Australia's Front Line. For those who are unaware, Border Security is a show that films interesting people and items that come through the border of the country. The Canadian version has clips at the land borders, international airports, and at mail processing centers. Usually, the cases involve people coming for reasons that do not match their visas or with contraband. For the Australian edition, many of these episodes included people trying to bring food into Australia. The issue is not usually the sort of food they bring, but the fact they often go undeclared. As such, these people end up getting their luggage checked and they usually get slapped with a fine. I never really understood why people would bring these food items in, especially as many of them are available in Australia. Unfortunately, a lot of the offending people seem to be from China and southeast Asia, although it should not be too surprising given the proximity of the nations. Thankfully, we have seen very few unexpected things when it comes to new products. For example, today we have the Creative Live! Audio A3, a USB audio interface with capabilities to capture two channels of audio simultaneously. While it is Creative's first entry into this sort of product, they are no strangers to audio, so it is not out of the ordinary. With Creative's claims of a high-resolution recording and playback offering, will this deliver on their declarations, or will we find some unforeseen results? Let us read on to find out!

Today's review unit of the Creative Live! Audio A3 arrived from a logistics company called Kerry Logistics, located in Lachine, Quebec, Canada. This box was also shipped via their own internal shipping and thankfully arrived in excellent condition to our offices here in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. There were no holes or dents to be concerned about on the outside. Inside, we have a bit of packing paper to protect the contents inside.

Out of the box, we have the retail container of the Creative Live! Audio A3. It follows a lot of the recent Creative products we have seen here, especially those in the Live! lineup. As such, we have a white box with some orange accents. On the front, we have the product name under the company logo. A scaled down image of the Audio A3 can be seen on the right side. Otherwise, there is not much else in this area. Around the sides and back, we have some primary features and specifications, but otherwise the box is decorated with a minimal set of graphics.

Before I continue on, I have grabbed the specifications from the manufacturer for your reading pleasure:

USB Interface: USB-C for power and data
- 2 x XLR/ 1/4” Combo (Mic/Line/ Instrument)
- 1 x TRRS 3.5 mm (1/8”) Mobile stereo I/O
- 2 x 1/4” Headphone out
- 1 x 1/4” Balanced/Unbalanced Stereo Out
Supported Recording and Playback Resolution:
- Playback - 16/24-bit, 44.1 kHz, 48.0 kHz, 96.0 kHz
- Recording - 24-bit, 44.1 kHz, 48.0 kHz, 96.0 kHz
*Playback and recording must be set at the same sampling rate
Frequency Response: 20 - 45,000 Hz
Microphone Gain: Up to 50 dB
Dynamic Range: > 90 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): 0.05%
Dimensions (L x D x H): 187.7 x 109.2x 52.7 mm / 7.38 x 4.30 x 2.07 inches
Weight: 890g (31.4 oz)

Out of the retail container, the Creative Live! Audio A3 can be found wrapped in a clear plastic bag to prevent any surface scratches or marks on the unit. Next, we have a white box which holds a rubber USB Type-A to Type-C cable measuring around 1.5m in length. Finally, we have a quick start guide that highlights the inputs and outputs around the Audio A3. We will be taking a closer look at all of these on the next page. Just so you are aware, Creative includes a limited 1-year warranty with this product.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look - Hardware and Software
3. Audio Performance Tests
4. Conclusion