When looking for a new set of wireless in-ear headphones, there’s no shortage of options. Accounting for every budget, you can pick up a pair for not much more than a cup of coffee, and you can also spend a considerable sum more than that.
That’s all before you take into account how you want them to fit, and how complex you want its features to be. Creative has been a consistently popular name when it comes to home audio equipment, so it stands to reason that any headphones from them will catch your eye more than most. Are Creative’s Outlier Sports headphones worth your attention, though? At $69, they’re sure to appeal to your wallet, at least. We put them through the paces to see if they’re worth the investment.
Initially, you’ll be quietly pleased with the packaging. Frustration-free, it’s akin to what we now expect from any decently designed piece of tech. Slipping out of its glossy box, you’re presented with the earphones themselves, a selection of extra attachments and a small and lightweight carrying case. The carrying case has a hardshell, ensuring it’ll protect your headphones, as well as the standard micro USB charging cable that’s included.
That standard charging cable will immediately endear you to what Creative is offering here. These headphones might not stand out as heavyweights in their field, but they do a fine job of being excellent all-rounders. Promising a battery life of 11 hours, I found they lived up to the job pretty well, but when you do find yourself having to spend some time charging them, you’ll be appreciative that anything with a USB socket will charge them quickly.
A choice of different size ear tips and wing tips help you find the right fit for your ears. The last thing anyone wants is in-ear headphones that constantly fall out when you’re doing anything particularly energetic. While no in-ear headphones can confidently promise to match every ear type, the Outlier Sports do a pretty good job of catering to most people. I found the medium size worked best for my ear, easily slotting inside and feeling snug but not uncomfortable. For once, I’d found in-ear headphones that didn’t immediately want to drop out of my ear.
Hooked ear wings supplement the angled part of the earphone, ensuring your ears can also work at keeping everything tightly kept together. The headphones are very light, made from rubber and plastic, so there’s no risk of feeling like you’re wearing anything weighty. Slot them in at the right angle and you can almost forget about them. Almost.
Available in two vibrant colors of neon orange or neon green, and one fairly sedate navy blue variety, they’re certainly eye catching which can garner mixed results. Ultimately, it’s down to whether you’re a fan of being noticed at the gym or on your run, or if you’d rather blend into the background.
Amongst its sleek design is a control module which stands out a little in its bulkiness. Placed on the connecting cable, it supplies you with a small mic for making calls, a micro USB input for charging and three buttons dictating volume and playback, as well as syncing and turning the device on. It’s straight forward stuff, meaning anyone can figure it out.
In particular, I found syncing a breeze. Just switch Bluetooth on through your phone and hold the button down. The headphones do the rest meaning you’re ready to go in hardly any time.
The Outlier Sports headphones promises passive noise cancellation and for the most part, it’s pretty effective. I found when running alongside major roads, I had to turn the volume up a little but mostly, I felt cocooned to just the right level while still knowing what was going on around me. They won’t survive immersion but they do withstand rain, sweat and even the briefest of dunkings in a puddle of water. That’s pretty much all anyone could want from headphones that are aimed at average use.
And that’s the key thing about the Outlier Sports headphones. They’re ideal for everyday use. They’re solid all rounders. They might not stand out due to an astonishing battery life but 11 hours is still great. They’re not fully waterproof but they fill mostly anyone’s needs. The sound quality is strong and competent but audiophiles might wish for a little more.
For your regular workout needs though, they’re just right. Well priced and easy to use, you should be happy with a purchase of these. I know I’ve finally found a pair of wireless in-ear headphones that are as comfortable to wear as wired ones.