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GeekDad Review: Creative Outlier Pro Wireless Earbuds Are Battery Life Champs

By this stage, pretty much everyone I know is in the wireless earbuds camp. Apparently the “cool kids” are going back to wired, but it’s safe to say that wireless earbuds are mainstream. And I’d bet that if you surveyed all those wireless earbud owners, the number one complaint would be battery life. It’s been getting better. I remember early generation earbuds that could barely crack three hours on a charge. But even today, the latest version of the sales chart-topping Apple AirPods is rated at up to five hours of listening time. That’s why the Creative Outlier Pro wireless earbuds feel like game-changers.

These earbuds are rated at up to 15 hours on a charge. Not 15 hours including the battery in the charging case. That’s 15 hours on a charge. More than a full day’s use for most people. A total of 60 hours if you count the charging case.

Here’s what you need to know about the Creative Outlier Pro true wireless earbuds.

They are a little chunky by modern wireless earbud standards, but definitely not cheap-looking. (Photo by Brad Moon)

A Big Charge Case

Most companies have been shrinking the charging case to make it truly pocketable. The Outlier Pro case went the other direction and is a little bulkier than most. It measures 3.25-inches in length. It’s also an unusual sliding design instead of a hinge. However, it looks sleek enough thanks to rounded edges and a metallic finish. One end is equipped with LED charge indicators and a USB-C charge port. The case also supports Qi wireless charging. It adds another 45 hours or so of battery life, bringing the total before you have to go looking for a power outlet to 60 hours.

Outlier Pro Earbuds Appearance, Fit, and Touch Controls

These earbuds look to be on the larger size (likely one of the reasons for their battery life), but they fit quite comfortably and stayed in place. Creative includes a selection of ear tips, so most ears should be covered. I appreciated the fact that left and right were clearly marked.

The buds have the same bronze, metallic appearance as the charging case, with the addition of glossy black covers on each. The black pad adds some visual interest while also serving as an input for touch controls. These worked well and can be programmed from the defaults using the Creative mobile app.

Creative’s mobile app lets you tweak audio and other settings. (Screenshots by Brad Moon)

It’s worth noting that they are protected by IPX5 water resistance, so wearing them during a sweaty workout or being caught in the rain should not be a problem.

Audio Performance

The Outlier Pro earbuds are equipped with graphene-coated drivers, support AAC, and connect using Bluetooth 5.2 (another boost to battery life). On my iPhone, the sound was clear and crisp. The mid-range and high notes delivered, but the low end felt a little under-represented. The Creative app has an EQ that can help you tweak the audio, but I never did get the bass up to the point that I prefer. However, bass response on wireless earbuds is all about fit and seal. I know from experience that my ears are not earbud-friendly and although these fit well enough and stayed in place, I never did get that solid seal. So your experience may be better than mine there.

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The app has a switchable low-latency mode, which you can turn on to ensure audio remains in sync during video playback.

Hybrid ANC

Creative says the earbuds take advantage of six microphones (including both feedforward and feedback mics) for active noise cancellation. The feature also includes an ambient mode to pipe in background noise so you can hear it without removing the buds.

I found the ANC was minimally effective. With music playing on speakers in my office and my neighbor cutting the grass outside, even the maximum ANC level had little effect on either. What did work was the ambient noise mode.

Battery Life

Battery life on these earbuds was like nothing I have experienced in wireless earbuds, and, so far as I am concerned, this is their killer feature. Using ANC and cranking up the volume will eat away at the numbers, but listening to music at around 40% volume I never came anywhere near to draining the battery in a day of working.

Today is typical. I started wearing the Outlier Pros at 8 am. Eight hours later—even with a few extended sessions of trying the ANC and cranking up the volume for a few songs—the bud with the lowest remaining power is at 74% charge. My AirPods would have been getting close to requiring a second trip to the charging case by this point.

Super X-Fi Technology

Creative has also built award-winning Super X-Fi support into the Outlier Pro earbuds. Using it involves downloading a second app that scans your ears and face to build a 3D model. Music played through the app (I was able to access my locally stored Apple Music files) gets the 3D treatment. Or, “headphone holography” as Super X-Fi describes it.

I’ve tried many of these spatial audio effects on different devices. My general reaction also holds for Super X-Fi. It’s kind of cool, some songs sound much better than others with the effect active, but I prefer listening to the music as traditional two-channel stereo.

Creative Outlier Pro Wireless Earbuds Recommendation

The charging case supports USB-C or Qi wireless, bringing total battery life to 60 hours. (Photo by Brad Moon)

The Creative Outlier Pro wireless earbuds have an MSRP of $89.99, but at the time of writing, they were going for $79.99 on Amazon. I wouldn’t buy these for their underwhelming noise cancellation or for the Super X-Fi support. Audio performance is good but nothing really outstanding. The killer feature really is battery life. When you can get 15 hours of use out of a pair of wireless earbuds without having to hit the charging case, that is a game-changer.

Disclosure: Creative provided earbuds for evaluation purposes but had no input into this review. As an Amazon Associate, I earn affiliate fees from qualifying purchases.

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This post was last modified on May 27, 2022 9:57 am

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