Review: Creative Outlier Pro - excellent noise reduction and long battery life

Review: Creative Outlier Pro – excellent noise reduction and long battery life

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Epblogs verdict

The Wireless Creative Outlier Pro earphones do not revolutionize cheap headphones, but they do have a fresh and fun bass profile, good battery life, a comfortable fit and excellent active noise reduction. These earbuds are not for everyone, especially not if you prefer a more balanced sound from your earphones. But if you’re a bass lover, Creative Outlier Pro wireless earbuds are a solid bet on your next earphones.

The review is short

Over the last few years, we have seen that affordable wireless headphones have really become worth buying. Because even though the price is low, they now offer high-quality features that previously only existed on more expensive earphones.

This is also the case with the wireless Creative Outlier Pro earphones, which contain a good amount of solid features at a price that is on the border between budget and mid-range.

The Creative Outlier Pro Wireless Earphones cost € 89.99 or about $ 670, and for the relatively low price you get many of the features you would associate with the best wireless earphones you can buy. The earphones have e.g. excellent active noise reduction, making it easy to listen with, regardless of your surroundings.

In addition, the IPX5 rating of the earphones provides good protection against water splashes and sweat. This means that they are impressively versatile and can also serve as a pair of amazing training steaks.

With that in mind, it helps that the Wireless Creative Outlier Pro earphones are incredibly comfortable. They do not irritate the ears, even with prolonged use, and thanks to theirs, they are reliably stuck in the ears, so we have at no time been nervous that they should fall out. 

You get lots of bass with the wireless Creative Outlier Pro earphones. While it’s good if you’re looking for a rich sound, the bass here might be a little too loud. It creates an imbalance in the sound, which especially makes the midtones a bit blurry, and it goes beyond the vocals. This is the biggest challenge, and although the equalizer in the app makes it possible to highlight the vocals, the sound still lacks some crispness and sharpness in the midtones. 

on the other hand, you do not have to be afraid of running out of battery right away, because battery life is hard to beat in their price range. Without ANC you get about 15 hours on a single charge. The included charging case provides an additional 45 hours, so you end up with a battery for 60 hours of music. Fast charging gives two hours of playing time after 10 minutes of charging.  

With ANC active noise reduction turned on, the battery life drops to 10 hours per charge and 40 hours for 40 hours from the charging case. It is still far beyond what many other wireless headphones can perform. 

The charging case itself is a bit of a weirdo. The rounded design and metallic finish are appealing, and the knobs themselves almost automatically fit into the case thanks to a built-in magnet. Unfortunately, the part of the case where the earplugs sit a bit feels loose when you pull it out of the metal case. I’m not nervous about it breaking, but it does not feel like a premium case either. However, once the headphones are pushed into the metal case, the premium feel returns. 

To get the most out of Creative Outlier Pro, you need the Creatives app, which is truly excellent. It is incredibly easy to use, yet many options. With the app you can switch the ANC on / off and adjust the equalizer. You can also change the settings for the touch buttons on the earbuds, so that you can e.g. can adjust volume, switch between ANC and Ambient noise control modes and activate the voice assistant.

Comprehensive EQ gaming sound settings

We have tested many headphones but never seen one that had so many presets in the equalizer. As many as 43 different presets are there. You will find the usual ones like “Pop”, “Jazz”, “Rock” and “Classical”. But there is also one of the presets that is based on specific game titles.

The first is called “Footstep Enhancer”, which is probably meant for the more creepy games. But Apex Legends, Call of Duty, DOTA 2, Fortnite, Genshin Impact, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds are just some of the game titles that have their very own presets. In fact, we’ve never seen that before. 

Price and availability

The Wireless Creative Outlier Pro earphones are available now and can be purchased from Creative’s online store for 89.99 euros – or about 670 kr. So if you can find out to buy them on Creative’s website, which jumps back and forth between different countries, when putting Creative Outlier Pro in the shopping cart.

Design – robust and large charging case

The Wireless Creative Outlier Pro earphones certainly do not lack style. Perhaps most striking about them at first glance is the metallic, dark finish that, while flashy, helps them stand out from other earphones for the same price.

The stylish design of the earplugs themselves may not be quite as unique (they are a bit reminiscent of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro ), but have a nice finish and their build quality is really good for the price.

As mentioned earlier, the charging case is not quite as perfect. Although the metal is quite fine, it is also relatively large. It affects mobility, because it is certainly not all pockets that can accommodate the charging case in a good way. So if you compare with e.g. AirPods Pro, Creative Outlier Pro is not nearly as pocket-friendly.

n metallic finish is appealing, it suffers from a rather fragile build quality. The case is also a bit on the big side and lacks the portability factor, such as. AirPods Pro has.

The sound – lots of bass, great noise reduction and Dolby Atmos

It can be said that Creative caters to a specific type of audio profile with the wireless Outlier Pro earphones. Regardless of how you set the equalizer, it seems like the earphones still weigh the bass very high. If you love bass, it’s really nice, but if you want sound with precisely balanced elements, then they’s probably not for you. Whether intentional or not, the bass-heavy soundscape means that these earphones work better for some music genres than others. 

If you love adrenaline-filled music, e.g. numbers in the metalcore, EDM or pop genres, the Outlier Pro earbuds are extremely comfortable. However, more casual or melodic tracks suffer from the generally slightly woolly sound, and you may find that the vocals are a bit lost in the mix.

To give some examples, hardcore tracks like Hereafter by Architects hit particularly hard, as the knobs really focus on the song’s throbbing bass and metal-lined riffs. They also fit perfectly with electronic music: 90s electro-classics like We Have Explosive by The Future Sound of London are a pleasure to listen to with the Creative Outlier Pro headphones, again thanks to the fact that they get the most out of the coarser instrumentation.

If you’ve into bass-heavy music, you’ll probably love the Wireless Creative Outlier Pro earphones. 

Creative Outlier Pro is branded with Creative’s Super X-Fi Ready, which means they support the 3-dimensional sound of Dolby Atmos. It provides a great experience for both movies and games, nor is it something you usually see in headphones in this price range.

Super X-Fi not only gives you Dolby Atmos sound. If you download the separate Super X-Fi app (why now an extra app?), You can have an automatic adjustment of the sound made. It “just” requires you to take photos of your face and every ear. Then the app makes sure to adapt the sound to your goals in some way. Before I get into the effect, it’s worth mentioning that it’s a good idea to get someone to help you with that part. At least if you want to avoid spending ten frustrating minutes trying to take pictures of your ears. Because it is actually impossible to see what you are doing and whether the ears are now within the template that the app puts over the image. I had to stand and wave back and forth with the phone for 10 minutes, where I also tried to use mirrors and another mobile to try to line my ears up with the template. It can be done, and luckily the app detects itself when the ear is within the template and automatically takes photos. But hold up, where does it take its time. 

However, the effect is also quite noticeable. I found that the sound became noticeably clearer, and there was a better balance in the soundscape. At the same time, it seems like the equalizer in the Super X-fi app is better at turning down the bass. So here, Creative Outlier Pro actually exceeds expectations as well. The challenge is that at no point are you actually made aware of the Super X-Fi app or the ability to customize the sound if you, like me, just download Creative’s standard app. This is something that Creative should fix as soon as possible. 

Creative Outlier Pro comes with built-in active noise reduction (ANC), and it is incredibly effective. Even without the music on, it’s like the sounds of the world disappear when I activate the noise reduction via the app.

I have tested the ANC effectiveness of earphones in a wide variety of places, from indoor office environments to busy streets. Here, the ANC is able to block most sounds from the surroundings very effectively. The alternative Ambient mode is also great and does its job by shutting in enough sound to make you more aware of your surroundings. Ambient is great if you e.g. is in the city and must be aware of crowds and oncoming traffic.

You can also switch between ANC on / off and ambient mode by double-tapping the left earphone. It almost seems like someone is turning off the rest of the world when the noise reduction is set to maximum. There are five levels for both noise reduction and ambient mode, so you can adjust the noise level. However, it can only be adjusted via the app. In general, the level of noise reduction is quite unheard of for a pair of earphones in this price range.

Battery life and connections – power up to 60 hours

Creative Outlier Pro’s battery life is excellent for the price. If you have switched off the active noise reduction, you get about 15 hours on a single charge, and the charging case gives up to an additional 45 hours, which gives 60 hours of total playing time before you have to plug in. If you activate the ANC, this drops to 10 hours in the earphones and 40 hours of power of the charging case, but it’s still quite impressive for a pair of earbuds at a relatively affordable price.

The earphones also charge fairly quickly when placed in the charging case. After approx. 10-15 minutes of charging we could get just under 2 hours of listening time with the ANC turned off. On Creative’s website, there is a bold claim that the average user should only charge the case twice a month. We tend to agree, but expect that these statistics will fail if you use them every day with the ANC turned on.

You connect via Bluetooth 5.2 and it works fine for devices like a smartphone or PC. Pairing via Bluetooth 5.2 takes place without any problems. After this initial pairing, the earphones will automatically connect to your paired device when they are moved from the charging case to your ears. 

One thing that seems a bit sloppy is that it takes a relatively long time for them to connect the first time you connect to them. The waiting time is just a few seconds longer than other earphones, but it will be quite noticeable if you switch from a pair of other Bluetooth earbuds.

When connected, the connection is fine and the 5.2 Bluetooth connection is very stable and we saw no dropouts in the sound. 

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