Here at Dad Kingdom, we’ve tested our fair share of Creative Labs speakers. The iRoar, Rock and MUVO 2 have each left us thoroughly impressed. But what about their headphones? The new calendar year has brought a new product to dad’s doorstep: Creative’s latest offering, the Outlier Sports sweat-proof wireless Bluetooth earbuds.
Advertising for the Outlier Sports leans heavily on the exercise-friendly attributes of the in-ear headphones. I enjoyed working out and running with them, but… they’re also an outstanding choice for everyday use. Rarely is my commute strenuous enough to require sweat-resistance, but I can still appreciate the “ultra” light weight, attractive style, secure fit, ergonomic in-line controls and neat carrying case while on the subway. And, thanks to long battery life, I can use them for both cardio and commuting!
EARBUDS ESSENTIALS: COMFORT & BATTERY LIFE
While testing the Outlier Sports, I compared them to a few other pairs of earbuds, both wired and wireless. Notably, this affordable pair of Bluetooth buds. It came as no surprise that Creative’s design shined. Comfort and fit is top notch. Also, the in-line controls are placed intuitively. Unlike the TaoTronics’, feeling around for the Outlier’s controls is at a bare minimum. Also, a secondary benefit: The controls make you instantly aware of which earbud is left and which is right. The ultra-lightweight and included collar clip makes exercise comfortable. The secure fit also allows you to take one earbud out for a short period of time without the other one being ripped out. (A big problem I experienced with the aforementioned TaoTronics earbuds.) The variety of included inserts allow you to customize the buds to fit your ears and minimize fatigue.
Battery life is quite impressive! I think the advertised rating of 11 hours is fairly accurate. I used the Outlier Sports during my subway commute for almost two weeks without needing to charge them! When it’s time to recharge, the port protector is refreshingly easy to open, yet it also stays closed. It’s a night-and-day difference compared to the cheaper TaoTronics, which require some aggressive fingernail action to open the charging port.
As I said before, I compared the Outlier Sports to other earbuds. Overall, the Outlier’s sound quality impressed me. Bass at lower volumes leaves a little to be desired, but otherwise I preferred the Creative earbuds over every other pair I tried. (Bass at moderate and louder volume is great, for the record. Perfect for workouts!) Simply put, the music sounds clean and clear. For home theater use I’d still prefer bigger headphones like the Miccus SR-71s. Otherwise, I’m using the Outliers all the time.
Bluetooth pairing was a snap, and subsequent automatic pairing was surprisingly quick! Phone calls were better than I expected. Getting used to the muffled sound of your own voice takes a minute (typical with earbuds). Yet, soon enough it feels completely natural. Sound quality on the other end is perfectly fine. My wife wasn’t even aware that I was speaking through a Bluetooth device.
The Creative Outlier Sports are near-perfect in-ear headphones for both exercise and daily use. For me, comfort and fit is the most important attribute and the Outliers certainly deliver. Of course, features, battery life and sound quality are great too, as I’ve come to expect from Creative. The only reason I shaved off a half point, is because I’d prefer more bass at low-volume and I wish they cost a few bucks less. Still, they’re great earbuds and there are several premium brands that charge a lot more for a similar product. Thanks for visiting Dad Kingdom!