Creative, known for its audio products has introduced Creative Outlier headphone/headset that’s loaded with features to the brim. Creative is known to add features which other brands might be reluctant to add on, to stand out, like the Creative Woof 3 and Creative Sound Blaster Free Bluetooth speakers.
Build and Design: 8/10
The build quality of the product is really good. The Outlier is made of durable and lightweight materials which can be bent and twisted without breaking.
The Outlier features a lot of useful and interesting things, like the different coloured rings. A real nice touch by Creative to add a bit of spunk to the headphones, which come in black or white body. Apparently removing the rings tightens the bass response, however during testing, we didn’t feel any noticeable difference.
The headphone comes with Bluetooth and NFC for convenient wireless connection, but Creative doesn’t stop there, they have included aux input and USB audio support, all with appropriate cables in the box.
As if these features weren’t enough, Creative even threw in a built-in music player to play songs (MP3, WMA and WAV only) that can support up to 32GB microSD card.
Buddy Notification App
To top it all, Creative offers its Buddy wireless voice notification app that can be paired via Bluetooth which reads out incoming messages from SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook, LINE, etc. The text-to-speech engine used is Android’s very own, unfortunately, iOS users cannot use this.
The headphones also have an inbuilt lap timer that allows one to listen to lap timer announcements in English only.
Who’s this product for?
Creative Outlier is ideally for those who want to use a comfortable lightweight headphone for the outdoors, like jogging or travelling. With the built-in player and Bluetooth capabilities, this can easily become a comfortable companion.
In terms of audio, Creative Outlier’s don’t pack as much as it packs features in the product. The sound is average, has clarity though nothing that really stands out.
Due to the light clamping force of the headphones, the sound and the bass is a bit lost. Press the headphones, you can much better bass response. The bass itself is loose, lacks definition and tightness in it. Removing the rings is supposed to tighten the bass, but didn’t really have any noticeable effect.
Mids lack the impact, heavy metal songs like Metallica’s Enter Sandman and Megadeth’s Almost Honest felt quite flat. The guitar and the drums didn’t sound like fun at all.
The highs don’t have the fidelity nor clarity to get clean highs. The sound overall does feel balanced, the Outlier does not edge towards any particular sound spectrum.
However, as soon as you start to use the Equaliser, things start to get better - better bass, mids with better impact and better highs. It almost sounds like a different headphone altogether. Keep in mind, the EQ option is on the connected device, therefore, inbuilt music player will completely lack sound enhancement.
Call Quality: 7/10
The calls sound clear and loud, however, the so-called “HD voice” with “ClearSpeech Engine that actively suppresses external noises” isn’t really as good as it sounds on paper. The caller on the opposite line said he could hear clearly however the voice sounded hollow and there was background noise caught when using the headphone mic than using the phone mic. This I believe is primarily due to the orientation of mic which is by the right ear rather than near the mouth.
Interestingly the “HD voice” (HFP Bluetooth profile) requires supported smartphones and mobile networks to work.
The battery is rated at 10 hours playtime, 8 hours talk time and 2 hours charge time. Our usage indicated total time around 7 hours 15 minutes approx.
Verdict and Price in India
The Outlier is a typically a decent set of headphones with a lot of features thrown in together. Don’t expect exceptional sound quality, for better sound you will have to use earphones in the same cost such as the Brainwavz BLU-200 Bluetooth earphones.
Talking of cost, for Rs 4,831 street price (Amazon), Creative’s Outlier is a good choice for those who’d like to use these headphones for travel or exercise. Unfortunately, Creative has only a one-year limited warranty on this.
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