CREATIVE OUTLIER AIR

Design & Construction

Creative finally did it, they have created their very own pair of truly wireless in-ear headphones. Though not being one of the first few companies to dabble in this very new market, they did a great job as a first attempt. But just how good is it? Let's dive straight into the design. Once again just like all Outlier products, Creative stuck to the classic matte black plastic finish on the face of the earbuds themselves. The earbuds also come with 2 different size silicone ear tips to ensure a tight seal and secure fit. All controls for music playback and calls are controlled via both buttons on the earbuds themselves. For simplicity sake, I listed the full control scheme for your easy reference. It takes about 1.5 hours to charge both the case with the earbuds. Throughout long listening sessions, I experienced a little bit of wearing fatigue in my ear canal but that is after a few hours and nothing too bothersome. Notably, the earbuds are IPX5 splash-resistant. The earbuds also do a great job at resisting fingerprints smudges, however, the buttons on the individual earbuds are quite difficult to press. They need a very hard press to get them working and with these tiny earbuds in your ear canal, pressing deeper will definitely cause them to push deeper in your ears and cause severe inner-ear pain. Moving on to the case, it is rounded and fits right into my palm of my hands. A USB Type-C port can be found on the left side of the case. There are four LED indicators on the left side of the case, (From Left-Right): the left earbud charge, the case charge, the charging light and the right earbud charge. Blue LEDs indicate charging in progress, red LEDs indicates low charge and no LEDs indicates fully charged. The case is a greyish black plastic box that slides out from the left to reveal the earbuds themselves. It is quite durable and is likely to survive a couple of accidental drops but will most likely be scratched up. The earbuds do magnetic attach to dock in place when they are placed into the case.

 

Sound Quality

Creative re-invented the driver material on the Outlier Air. The 5.6mm graphene driver diaphragm produces a very balanced sound signature. They produce an extremely bright, clean sound signature that creates a very immersive sound experience. Bass comes off as strong and boosted giving a nice thump while the mids and highs have character and are fun to listen to. The highs do sound a little too sharp and tinging at times but tuning with a third-party equalizer helps soothes the listening experience. The Outlier Air is still great for all genres of music ranging from slow jazz to fast-paced EDM tracks. However, soundstage is rather narrow and there isn't much instrument separation. Based on user experience, the noise isolation is top-notch, I could not hear much of my surroundings even when I had no music on and when I am using it at a low volume level. There was no sound leakage even at full volume and no high-volume distortion. Call quality was not very good though as the caller struggled to hear me clearly on the other end but sound came out from both earbuds so I could take calls much more naturally.

 

Connectivity & Portability

The earbuds support the AptX codec together with Bluetooth Version 5.0. Users can choose to use only one earbud if desired and either left or right can be assigned to be the master earbud. If the user decides to use the left earbud only, they should pair 'Outlier Air L' as the master and leave the other docked in the case. The earbuds also automatically power on or off when docked or taken out from the case. Do the same process if you want to use the right earbud only, (Outlier Air R) The battery life peaks at a crazy 10 hours per use and 3 additional charges from the case; a total of 30 hours. The package also comes with a USB Type-C cable for charging. If you are planning to watch videos or movies with these, I am glad to report that they do not suffer from any latency.

 

 

PROS

  • Durable Construction

  • Small & Discreet

  • IPX5 Water-Resistant

  • Bluetooth 5.0

  • AptX Support

  • Controls For Music Playback, Volume & Calls

  • Long Battery Life

  • USB Type-C Charging

  • 3 Charges From Charging Case

 

CONS​​

  • No Ambient Sound Hear-through

  • No Equalizer; Sound Signature Control

  • Difficult to Press Buttons

  • Only One Colour Available

 

The Bottom Line

The Creative Outlier Air is a well-priced true wireless in-ear headphone that features a crazy long battery life of 30 hours, bright and crisp sound signature, slick design, USB Type-C charging and Bluetooth 5.0. That's the perfect marriage of great audio, technology and price. 

WE RATE IT!

9.5/10

Other Notable Competitors

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JBL FREE X
SONY WF-SP700N
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