True wireless earbuds continue to be a hot topic in the headphone industry, allowing you to break completely away from wires, generally with solid battery life to last you through a day. Now there are numerous options available to you of all styles, ranging from something you’d buy at the local grocery store on an end-cap to something you spend a great deal of money for (ie, Sennheiser Momentums).
This round, we take a look at Creative’s new Outlier Air True Wireless buds. A new model coming from a company that has long proven their worth over the years.
These new buds are similar to some models in ways and unique in others. There are only so many shapes you can run with when it comes to buds (although some companies have gotten plain crazy with trying). However, they still prove to carry their own unique presentation to them.
They feature a single button on both buds. These buttons provide multiple functions depending on which one you press, and how many times. You are able to do everything from play/pause the current track. skip or go back in your list of tracks, control their volume, answer/reject calls and more. That’s it for buttons.
You carry them within a case that charges them on the go, like most true wireless solutions. The case slides open long-ways by press one side as it slides open on the other. The buds automatically turn off and begin charging when you place them in, and they immediately turn on and pair when you take them out (once you have initially paired them to a specific device of course).
The case features a silver design with black on the sides. The side you push on to slide it open doesn’t contain anything, but the opposite end contains a USB-C port for charging both the case and the buds with (at once). Above the port are four LEDs to show various status conditions, such as which bud is charging, how much battery life the case has, and that the case is charging when you plug it in.
On a full charge, the buds can last up to 10 hours of playback, and you can get up to 30 hours (total) when you factor in the case charging them in between uses. So they have plenty of juice to get you through a few days of steady use.
They each contain a graphene driver inside for delivering all of your sound with, and feature IPX5 water resistance–basic sweat, light rain, etc).
Oddly, they chose to stick with a single size of tips. They provide a second pair as well, but they are replacement tips of the same size (in case you lose the initial pair or something). We found that to be odd since most earbuds of any style typically (at least) come with no less than three pairs (each a different size). This limits them a bit when it comes to the various sizes of ears out there. Because of this, they seem to take a hit on bass presence, since the size they went with, falls a bit small. So unless you have tiny ears, you may not get much of a full range at times.
You might prefer to use tips from another model/pair that are larger to get a better seal with. However, you can’t really use tips from other models so easily without the buds sticking further from your ears, or the tips falling off and into your ears when you try to take them out.
We found that when you place them into your ear, you have to twist them slightly to the rear of your head for them to slip best into the ear and get the most out of your bass. You may have to wiggle them around till you hear the best sweet spot. Since they don’t provide larger tips, this is the best you can do.
Their highs are pretty crisp, which is nice. Their mids are ok, and as mentioned, their lows need some attention. Without a better focus on the lows, these sound closer to an entry pair of buds at times (at times…). However, the $79.99 price tag suggests differently. Thankfully, they still work really good for vocals, and instruments who benefit from solid mid-highs and highs.
They are comfortable in the ear unless you find yourself playing around with them trying to tune in extra bass. They are light and the case looks great (and fits well in your pocket).
The distance is pretty good. Average when it comes to wireless in general, but better when it comes true wireless solutions since some models can begin to lose signal around 10 feet. These will get you the normal 20-30 feet you see with wireless buds that have a single wire running in between them.
You can currently find the buds on Creative’s website, and they will likely begin shipping to retailers soon (like Amazon).
We found these to have really good highs and mid-highs, with decent mids. The lows could use some work, and it could have been as easy as having larger tips to choose from (to help form a good seal with), but the lows are at least there if you position the buds just right in your ears. The case is pretty well planned out and the battery life is terrific. Their range is also pretty good, allowing you to get a good distance between your device and the buds before they start disconnecting. They feel good in the ears and seem to be a good entry-point for Creative in general, when it comes to wireless solutions.
|Buy from Creative
*Average price is based on the time this article was published
- USB Type-C (Charging), Bluetooth 5.0
- Product Type
- True Wireless Headphones
- Earbuds: 10g (0.35 oz), Charging Case: 54g (1.90 oz)
- Frequency Response
- 20 Hz ~ 20 kHz
- 5.6 mm graphene driver diaphragm
- Battery Type and Life
- Battery in Earbuds: 2 X Rechargeable Lithium Polymer Battery 60 mAh (Battery in Charging Case: 1 x Rechargeable Lithium Polymer Battery 380 mAh)
- Charging Time
- 1 to 2 hours
- Bluetooth Operating Frequency
- 2.4 GHz
- Audio Codecs
- aptX, AAC, SBC
- Operating Range
- Up to 10m / 33 ft
- Wearing Style
- In-ear, True Wireless
- Type: Omni-directional
Frequency Response: 100 Hz ~ 10 kHz
Sensitivity: – 42 dBV / Pa
- Type: Omni-directional
- Operating Temperature
- 0°C to 45°C
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.
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