This is the Creative Outlier Pro, made by Creative, known for their Soundblaster sound cards and T-Series Speakers. The company had sent us the Creative Outlier Pro, which is their highest end TWS earbuds of the Outlier range. Priced at $119, it is packed with a plethora of features such as sweat-proof design and Hybrid ANC (Active Noise Cancellation), which is rarely seen in wireless earbuds of this price range.
What’s In The Box
Like most wireless TWS earbuds, the Outlier Pro has everything you need out of the box. You get:
- Creative Outlier Pro TWS Earbuds
- Charging Case
- 3 different sizes of ear tips
- USB charging cable
- User manual & warranty info
|Driver||10mm Graphene Coated Drivers|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.2 (AAC, SBC)|
|Battery Life||15 Hours (ANC Off)11 Hours (ANC On)60 Hours (With Charging Case)|
|Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)||Hybrid ANC with Ambient Mode|
Design And Build
The Creative Outlier Pro’s size can be described as “chonky”. Unlike other TWS earbuds, the Outlier Pro is similar in size to in-ear monitors, and has quite a bit of heft to it. The outer shell is made of glossy plastic, while the inner one is made of matte plastic materials. They are IPX5 rated, which means the earbuds can withstand minor water splashes, so sweating would not pose an issue. The earbuds have touch control buttons on each side, allowing you to adjust the ANC modes, change volumes, answer calls, and music controls.
The charging case is also made of plastic, with bits of metal wrapping around it. It is much larger than other brands out there but there is a reason for that, which will be explained later. It also features a slide out drawer design to store and retrieve the earbuds. The USB-C charging port populates the side of the case along with three charging indicator LEDs: one for the case, the other two for the earbuds. Alternatively, you can charge the case with a Qi wireless charger as well.
Overall, the Outlier Pro feels premium to the touch, albeit being larger and heavier than the competition.
Connectivity And Customization
The Creative Outlier Pro can be connected via Bluetooth 5.2, and the pairing process is very easy with no hitches. Although it only supports AAC and SBR audio codecs, I found that lag is kept to the minimum.
By default, the earbuds allow you to control ANC mode, volume, play/pause, voice assistant and track skip through its touch controls. Fortunately, they can easily be remapped according to your preference via the Creative App available on Android and iOS. You can also adjust the level of ANC and Ambient Mode as well. Though I find the level of adjustment to be limited.
If you love tweaking the sound signature of your earbuds, the Creative App has you covered as well. It comes with 43 different EQ presets (at the time of writing), which not only include the music oriented presets (pop, rock, vocal etc), but also game oriented ones as well. They even have presets for popular games on mobile and PC. If the presets are not enough, you can easily adjust the EQ manually with the 12-band equaliser and save it as a custom preset.
Besides the Creative App, the Outlier Pro also supports Creative’s Super X-Fi Headphone Holygraphy App. The app would scan your ears and face in order to adjust the sound signature to simulate over ear headphones for a more cinematic listening experience. While the demo song in the app simulates wonderfully, music files with lower fidelity will sound hollow. It also only supports local files so if you listen to music streaming apps you are out of luck.
How It Sounds
I have daily driven the Creative Outlier Pro for about 3 weeks, listening to a healthy mix of rock, pop, R & B and heavy metal tracks on Spotify. The sound signature can be described as laid-back with a slight “V shaped”. It sounds more bass-forward without being overbearing. Mids sound balanced and warm, while treble is well-controlled despite being more pronounced. My only nitpick is the mid-bass section. It sounds muddy and lacks punch, especially during fast paced drumming sections in rock songs.
In short, the sound signature is quite versatile and popular among casual listeners. With the added EQ presets it is very easy to find a sound signature that works for you.
This is where I think the Creative Outlier Pro blows its competition out of the water. The heft and size of the earbuds and charging case contributes greatly to increasing its battery life. Rated at 15 hours of battery life with ANC off, or 11 hours with ANC, the earbuds can easily last for days with moderate listening and reasonable volumes. Coupled with the charging case, the battery life can be extended to about 60 hours. This is perfect for those who are always on the go and those who always forget to charge their devices.
Call Quality and ANC
The Outlier Pro has three microphones built into each earbud. The microphones work together to record the ambient noise and your voice individually, filtering out the background noise in calls. The call quality turned out better than expected especially considering the narrow bandwidth of bluetooth during phone calls.
The ANC however, is not the best. In office environments, I was able to filter out about 80% of the ambient noise, but it sometimes struggled to negate voices and higher pitched sounds. On the other hand, switching between ANC and Ambient Mode only needs a few taps on my left earpiece, which is convenient as I do not need to remove my earbuds just to listen in to a conversation.
All in all, I really like the Creative Outlier Pro. It combines good sound quality, decent mic quality, and amazing battery life in an affordable package. Sure, there are some flaws with the mid-bass and ANC performance, but most users would be more than happy with the implementation of these features.