True wi-fi earphones such because the AirPods Pro have demonstrated simply how a lot may be achieved in a small type issue, whereas the Redmi Earbuds S have confirmed that you simply needn’t spend an excessive amount of for first rate true wi-fi sound. Somewhere between these two extremes is a very attention-grabbing worth phase that does not fairly get sufficient consideration, as a consequence of not having too many high-profile launches. Creative appears to be like to make a mark on the Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 10,000 house with the Outlier Air true wi-fi earphones.
Singapore-based Creative is among the many older names within the laptop audio enterprise, and is credited with growing among the finest inexpensive private audio merchandise of contemporary occasions, together with the wonderful Creative EP-630 wired earphones. Today, I’m reviewing the Creative Outlier Air, a promising new true wi-fi headset priced at Rs. 6,999. Is this the very best true wi-fi headset you should buy for lower than Rs. 10,000? Find out on this evaluate.
The Creative Outlier Air has an enormous, clunky charging case
Straight out of the field, the Outlier Air appears to be like and feels precisely as you’ll count on of a Creative product. The earphones are fairly massive, however their plastic our bodies preserve them mild sufficient to remain in your ears comfortably. All of the included ear suggestions are small and do not supply a lot grip contained in the ear, however the design of the earphones lets them sit securely in your outer ears, additionally leading to good passive noise isolation. There are massive contact factors for charging on the insides of every earpiece.
The earphones every have mild rings across the outer facet, and bodily buttons for controls as a substitute of contact sensors. The lights may look good, however may be fairly distracting for folks round you as they’re brilliant sufficient to barely illuminate a very darkish room. The lights keep off when one thing is taking part in on the earphones. They illuminate solely when the earphones are related however not in use, in pairing mode, or charging with the case open. Indicator lights are helpful, however the Creative Outlier Air overdoes this a bit.
The buttons are extremely agency and fairly tough to press when carrying the earphones. The on-device controls cowl every little thing together with playback, answering calls, adjusting the quantity, and invoking the voice assistant in your smartphone, however what occurs will depend on whether or not you’ve audio taking part in or not.
With music taking part in, it was attainable to play and pause music (single press), skip to the following or earlier monitor (double press on the best or left earphone respectively), alter the quantity (press and maintain the left or proper button). You can solely activate the voice assistant with a double-press when audio playback is paused, and alter the quantity when it is taking part in. When I attempted to regulate the quantity with the music paused by urgent and holding the button, it disconnected the earphones and went into pairing mode. All of this was fairly sophisticated to recollect, and I discovered myself sticking to my smartphone to manage the earphones to keep away from any mis-hits.
Although the earphones are plastic, the Creative Outlier Air has a moderately impressively constructed metallic charging case. It’s fairly massive and has a sliding mechanism for opening and shutting, which I discovered a bit old style and inconvenient. The earphones ought to snap in place magnetically, however this did not all the time occur on the primary try, leaving them paired to my smartphone and never charging regardless of being within the case. All of this implies the case is a bit clunky and tough to make use of. The case has a USB Type-C port for charging and 4 indicators to point out the charging standing of the person earphones and the case itself, and warn you of low energy on the case, which does barely make up for its shortcomings.
Battery life is first rate on the Creative Outlier Air, with the earphones working for round eight hours on a single cost, and the case providing a further two full fees. This gave the headset a complete battery lifetime of round 24 hours per cycle. This is sort of good given the value of the Outlier Air, and the eight-hour determine for the earphones is on the upper facet within the inexpensive and mid-range true wi-fi segments.
The Creative Outlier Air options 5.6mm graphene dynamic drivers, and is IPX5 rated for water resistance. The headset makes use of Bluetooth 5 for connectivity, and is able to remembering as much as two paired supply gadgets so you possibly can swap between them shortly. It additionally helps the SBC, AAC, and aptX Bluetooth codecs, making this among the many extra inexpensive choices with help for the superior aptX codec.
Interestingly although, the earphones did not permit handbook codec choice for me, and robotically switched to the very best codec relying on the machine in use. This was aptX on my Android smartphone, however AAC on my MacBook Air, despite the fact that the laptop computer does help the aptX codec. This wasn’t typically an issue for me, however I’d have appreciated the power to change.
Energetic sound on the Creative Outlier Air
While I often converse extremely of the Qualcomm aptX Bluetooth codec and any headphones that help it, it is price noting that having or not having this codec would not essentially make a pair of headphones or earphones good or dangerous. Headsets such because the Blaupunkt BTW Pro do not sound too good regardless of help for the codec, whereas the Apple AirPods, Jabra Elite 75t, and Samsung Galaxy Buds+ sound excellent even with out it.
The Creative Outlier Air is among the many numerous headphones I’ve examined that places Qualcomm aptX help to excellent use. There was a noticeable distinction within the sound when utilizing my smartphone as in comparison with when utilizing my laptop computer. The earphones sound good even on the AAC codec, however there was a marked enchancment with the Android smartphone utilizing aptX.
Starting with Light It Up by Major Lazer, the Creative Outlier Air made for a energetic, thrilling, and pushed sonic signature that suited this reggae-inspired dance monitor very nicely. The synthesised bass was aggressive and energetic, however remained calculated and held again simply sufficient to permit for different parts of the monitor to be heard and loved clearly. The sound felt a bit heat at first, however there’s loads of sparkle within the mid-range and highs as nicely. The sonic signature may be balanced and heat on the similar time.
Switching to one thing somewhat slower and gentler, I performed a high-resolution model of Days To Come by Bonobo. Some of the gentler instrumental parts have been sharp and distinct, however it was right here that the aggressive bass tended to take centre stage and overpower the vocals and the faintest parts of the monitor. It naturally did not sound as clear and detailed because the balanced armature variant of the Shanling MTW100 which has superior drivers, however the stage of element and the sonic capabilities have been adequate for the value.
Back to Spotify and energetic, fast-paced tracks, I performed Feel The Love by Rudimental, and promptly heard precisely what the Creative Outlier Air is finest at. These earphones are fairly able to maintaining with the tempo of quick, busy tracks, conserving issues cohesive and thrilling via and thru.
This drum-and-bass monitor begins off gradual after which will get quick and busy round 90 seconds in; the Outlier Air succesful stored up with these adjustments, providing up sufficient element and an honest soundstage, for an immersive and enjoyable listening expertise all via. The bass was punchy, permitting simply sufficient element within the mid-range and highs to sneak via with out audibly altering the character of the monitor.
While the sound was finest at across the 60-70 % quantity mark, the Creative Outlier Air may go as much as across the 85 % stage earlier than I heard a little bit of distortion. That mentioned, the earphones are suitably loud even on the 80 % quantity stage, and you will not end up needing to transcend that time too typically.
The Creative Outlier Air is first rate sufficient for calls, providing loud, clear sound on each ends. Even open air, the earphones carried out nicely and managed to isolate my voice, with the particular person on the opposite finish reporting little or no background sound. Both earpieces have microphones, and you should use both one individually when you like.
The mid-range true wi-fi phase hasn’t seen too many main launches in the previous few months, so the Creative Outlier Air comes as a breath of contemporary air (pun unintended) to a phase that I imagine is uncared for and has a lot potential to develop. The design of the earphones and charging case is lower than best, however the Creative Outlier Air makes up for these minor shortcomings with USB Type-C charging, good battery life, and excellent sound for the value.
Although held again a bit by its dynamic drivers, the Creative Outlier Air places Qualcomm’s aptX Bluetooth codec to good use, providing up energetic and energetic sound throughout genres. The bass can get a bit an excessive amount of at occasions and the earphones do face some points with distortion at very excessive volumes, however on the entire, it is a excellent pair of true wi-fi earphones for the value of Rs. 6,999.
In this worth phase, you may additionally think about my earlier favorite within the phase, the 1More Stylish True Wireless earphones which additionally help aptX. However, higher battery life and USB Type-C charging give the Creative Outlier Air an edge right here, and makes it my new high decide for lower than Rs. 10,000.
Price: Rs. 6,999
- Bluetooth 5, aptX Bluetooth codec help
- Excellent battery life
- Lively, energetic sound
- IPX5 water resistance
- Good for calls
- Dull design, obvious LEDs
- Complicated, tough controls
- Clunky charging case
- Not very detailed sound with high-resolution music
Ratings (out of 5)
- Design/ consolation: 3
- Audio high quality: 4
- Battery life: 5
- Value for cash: 4
- Overall: 4
Why are smartphone costs rising in India? We mentioned this on Orbital, our weekly know-how podcast, which you’ll subscribe to by way of Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or simply hit the play button under.