In recent years, there has been an influx of true wireless earbuds to hit the market. From the budget friendly to the sound enthusiast, the internet offers a wide range for buyers to consider and they’re getting better all the time. Until this year, nearly all have struggled in some way, usually with battery life and connectivity. Enter Creative’s Outlier True Wireless Earbuds. A sleek, compact set that aims to find the sweet spot between budget, quality and battery life. Do they succeed? Grab that coffee, kick back and find out.
- Interface: USB Type-C (Charging), Bluetooth 5.0
- Product Type: True Wireless Headphones
- Weight: Earbuds: 10g (0.35 oz), Charging Case: 54g (1.90 oz)
- Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz
- Driver: 5.6 mm graphene driver diaphragm
Battery Type and Life
- Battery in Earbuds: 2 X Rechargeable Lithium Polymer Battery 80 mAh (Battery in Charging Case: 1 x Rechargeable Lithium Polymer Battery 450 mAh)
- Charging Time: 2 hours (Ear buds in charging case), 3.5 hours (Charging case)
- Connector Type: Bluetooth 5.0
- Bluetooth Operating Frequency: 2.4 GHz
- Audio Codec: aptX, AAC, SBC
- Operating Range: Up to 10m / 33 ft
- Wearing Style: In-ear, True Wireless
- Frequency Response: 100 Hz ~ 10 kHz
- Sensitivity: - 42 dBV / Pa
- Type: Omni-directional
- Music playback and calls control: Yes
- Outlier Gold True Wireless Earbuds
- USB Type-C Charging Case
- USB Type C-to-A Charging Cable
- 2 Pairs of (S) Ear Tips
- 2 Pairs of (M) Ear Tips
- Quick Start Guide & Leaflets
The Creative Outlier True Wireless Earbuds are the first of Creative’s headphones that I’ve had the opportunity to review. If the quality of build on the Outlier is any indication, then they have the right idea when it comes to design. This sleek, compact build feels well-constructed when handled. Unlike some other true wireless sets I’ve used, the Outliers feel solid to hold and can handle the roll and tumble of being thrown in a bag or purse. The earbuds themselves are a smooth and rounded affair. Their low profile design fits comfortably in my ear with very little of the tech protruding past my earlobe. This results in an exceptionally comfortable experience.
For testing purposes, I used the earbuds continually while at work, during exercise and even binging Netflix during the evening. The combination of its lightweight design and compact size mean that when walking or running there is very little movement of the earbuds. This, in turn, results in a more consistent sound, less irritation on the ear and an overall much more comfortable experience. The earbuds come with an additional two sets of silicone ear tips that can be swapped out based on your ear size so that you can find the perfect fit no matter your ear size.
The Outlier also comes with an exceptionally handy charging case that acts as both a protector your earbuds as well as a charging station. On their site, Creative advertises that if the earbuds are stored in the case when not in use you can average about 39 hours of actual use time on the buds. I pushed this theory to the limits and found that although my numbers never quite reached the 39-hour mark I was able to get about a week’s worth of moderate to heavy usage out of them. This included tasks like listening to music, watching movies and editing videos.
My usage times ranged from two to eight-hour blocks and in those times, I never needed to drop the buds in the charger. In fact since picking them up for review I’ve actually only plugged in the case once to charge. I am thoroughly impressed with the battery life of the Outliers. It really has given me a whole new appreciation for the tech.
Controlling audio with the Outlier’s is actually exceptionally easy. Everything is controlled from a series of taps and holds on the face of each earbud. For example, pressing and holding the left earbud’s face turns the volume down, while doing the same on the right earbud turns volume up. Tapping twice on either earbud skips to the previous or next track respectively. The whole system works well, is fairly intuitive and comes with a minimal learning curve.
The earbuds also come with a built-in mic for phone calls. The mic did a solid job picking my voice despite being located on the side of the earbud. Again, audio and mic functions can be controlled with a series of taps and holds. This allows for complete freedom from actually handling your phone not only while receiving but also making calls. All this is thanks to Google Assistant or Siri being available with a quick double tap of an earbud when not listening to music.
The sound quality of the Creative Outlier True Wireless Earbuds is great. As with all in ear headsets, the Outlier’s rely heavily on being positioned perfectly in your ear. Thankfully, due to their design and the extra ear tips this is fairly easy to maintain. As a result the 5.6 mm graphene driver’s have no problem delivering a crisp, clean audio experience. As Creative puts it,
“...the world's thinnest and hardest nano-material that is lighter than paper, stronger than steel, and a better conductor of electricity than copper. The graphene diaphragm consumes minimal energy while providing superior audio quality, so Outlier Gold can optimize power to drive excellent audio reproduction for detailed highs, well-balanced mids, and immersive bass.”
Essentially, by using the graphene drivers, Creative as created a cleaner, crisper audio experience that uses less energy, allowing for a better overall experience. It quickly becomes evident when listening to the earbuds as the overall quality is comparable to some of the higher end brands without the hindrance the bulk and poor battery life. It is a feat of engineering that results in a delightful experience for the listener.
Overall connectivity was solid. The 5.0 Bluetooth wireless worked great on my Pixel 2XL, an iPhone 7 as well as my older MacBook Pro and Dell laptop. The earbuds worked best with the phones as Creatives SXFI App allows for some great integration and customization. In fact, the App has a personalization suite that actually does a scan of your ears and head shape to help cater the listening experience.
The SXFI app also allows you to select the headphones your connecting furthering the customization experience and even offers a built in music player so that you can listen to all of your local music from within the app. As a music streaming service user, I have to say that I didn’t find this latter feature all that beneficial but it is nice for those that prefer to locally store their music. Overall, I did notice a slight difference pre and post personalization but honestly, the Outlier sounds great even on default.
Connecting to a computer works in much the same way as with cell phones. Interestingly I found that if I had my phone and computer in close proximity any time the earbuds would go to connect they defaulted to the phone. My guess is that due to the age of the Bluetooth tech in both devices with the earbuds defaulting to the better of the two. The Outliers worked great with my MacBook Pro and Dell for music listening and video watching. The quality of sound was on par with that of the phones.
I did, however, find one issue while editing videos on my Dell that I haven’t quite narrowed down. After editing for a while (generally a couple of hours at a time) while using the earbuds, any video or audio file played would begin to stutter. Interestingly this not only affected the editing software but literally any audio or video I tried viewing from any app or program. A quick disconnect and reconnect of the earbuds resolved the issue but it was something I couldn’t actually solve. It only occurred on my Dell Laptop so I’m guessing it has something to do with the Bluetooth device on that system.
The Creative Outlier Gold True Wireless Earbuds are an exceptional set of earbuds that offer a wide range of benefits. If you’re a more active and on the go person, these make for a great workout companion; their low, lightweight profile and sweat proof design work exceptionally well for people on the go. If you love music and movies, the Outlier’s 5.6 mm graphene driver diaphragm pack some serious punch even for its small size. All this coupled with an exceptional battery life and compact carrying case makes for a nice package for someone looking to pick up their first true wireless earbuds. Priced at 99.99 USD as of the time of writing, the Creative Outlier Gold True Wireless Earbuds are serious contender to consider.
- Low profile design
- Exceptional battery life
- Easy connection and reliable connectivity
- Great sound quality for the price
- Weird issue with older Bluetooth connection