Gadget Review: Creative Outlier - Smart headphones on a sound budget
Looking for a sturdy, durable pair of headphones that work across devices and modes? Try these out
If you have been looking for a pair of headphones that not only looks good but also offers quality sound, perhaps you should consider the recently-released Creative Outlier. Priced within 7K, the headphones not only look sleek, they are lightweight and designed well to keep ambient noise off your ears.
Modes and connectivity (8/10): The Creative Outlier can be used as wireless as well as wired headphones. Wireless connectivity is supported with NFC and Bluetooth 4.1, whereas wired connectivity is available on USB (on your PC and laptop) and via 3.5mm Aux-in port (placed on the left ear cup). The device also comes with a microSD card slot (up to 32GB) placed between the volume and playback controls on the right ear cup.
The range of wireless connectivity is amazing. It works seamlessly up to 10mt in line of sight. As for the built-in media player, it can play MP3, WMA (up to 320kbps) and WAV (up to 16-bit 48KHz PCM). No HD music, though.
Our Windows 10 laptop was unable to identify the headphone in the USB audio mode, perhaps due to some driver issues, but it worked fine on our Windows XP desktop. Though, we prefer the USB mode because of the clarity in PC music, the 32mm drivers work like a charm in all modes.
Controls (9/10): You can juggle between three digital modes — USB Audio, Bluetooth/NFC and MicroSD Audio — using a three-way switch placed on the right ear cup. There’s a hands-free button placed on the right ear cup as well that doubles as the power button. To pair the device using NFC, your NFC-enabled device needs to touch the NFC logo on the right ear cup. As for Bluetooth, you have to press the hands-free button for a few seconds (till the LED indicator placed above it starts blinking rapidly), and then pair normally. You can also use it to accept and reject calls on Bluetooth. To use the Aux-in port, press the hands free button for a few seconds to switch off the device.
Battery (9/10): The Outlier takes anywhere between 2-2.5 hours to fully recharge itself, depending on the charging port. And though it didn’t match up to the company’s claim of 10-hour mark, it did gave us an average of eight hours playback.
Fit (8/10): The ear cups come with leatherette pads that fit well on your ears. The ear cups block most of the ambient noise;
however, their small size may become a problem for those with large ears. An option in ear cup sizes would have been
Audio (8/10): Creative is known for its high-quality drivers and the 32mm Neodymium magnet drivers in the Outlier don’t disappoint either. The device comes with a mic built into the right ear cup that picks up your voice without any interference. We faced no problem during phone calls or while using the wireless modes. It also supports HD voice quality, depending on your cellular service provider.
Build (9/10): Though made of plastic, the headphones are durable for rough outdoor trips. It’s also light weight, weighing
Accessories (8/10): The headphones package contains a 1.5-metre long USB cable, 3.5mm Aux-in cable, a graphical chart explaining the various modes supported by the headphone, a user guide and six pairs of ear cup rings (called acoustic rings), which Creative claims not only adds a dose of colour to the headphones, but also changes the sound quality. Though we didn’t feel any difference in the sound, a choice of the colour rings a good design idea.
What is it?
Creative Outlier is a new pair of hybrid headphones from the Singapore-based company. It offers wireless (NFC and Bluetooth) and wired (USB audio and 3.5 mm aux input) connectivity, as well as a microSD slot for music playback on the device. It also doubles as a hands free on the go.
The guide Verdict: Once again, we were impressed not just with the sound output but also with the build and a feature-heavy package. Besides, with nearly eight hours of wireless audio playback and support for 3.5 mm Aux-in cable, it is a steal.
DRIVERS: 32mm Neodynmium magnet (20Hz ~ 22KHz)
Media player: 32GB internal storage; supports MP3, WMA and WAV
CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth 4.1 (HD Voice) ready, USB Audio, Aux-in and NFC
Battery: 200mAH (up to 8 hours)l; 2 hours to full charge
Price: Rs 6,499
Available on: Amazon.in
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