Creative Outlier – Music for the Young Hustler


In line with the converging world of laptops, tablets and smartphones, there has been growing demand for portable audio devices. Creative has answered the call with the Outlier Bluetooth headphones.

Made for the urban commuter and health enthusiast, at Rs. 6499, the Outlier charges a premium over rivals like the JBL T400 BT, Philips SHB4000BK or Skullcandy Uproar Bluetooth headphones that are available for as cheap as Rs. 3.5k.

Since the Outlier stands for everything you (the BI reader) and I (22, urban, fat) would want, I used the Creative Outlier Bluetooth headphones for a week. Here’s what I found out.

Note: This is nothing like a conventional review. If you’re the geek looking for tech jargons, run!

Looks Cool

Behind the padding is a slot to place what Creative calls ‘Acoustic rings’. They apparently have an effect on balancing the audio. Without these rings, the headphones will offer more bass. No idea how that works #TooTechy.

These elastic rings can be changed easily. Might be a fad, but the young crowd would love it. You can wear a different color every day. If neon colors aren’t your thing, stick to the white or the black bands. I liked the white set.

Ears don’t hurt!

The soft-feel leatherette ear pads are ideal for prolonged use. I wore it for hours in the Delhi metro, and my ears never hurt. However, the full-enclosure patterns means you can hear s**t if you wore it on the streets. I almost got run over several times (don’t tell my Mom).

As the cups are almost the same size as your ears, you can comfortably wear your glasses, and the padding won’t push your specs off your face.
At 100 grams, the Outlier is extremely light. Personally, I expected better build quality for Rs. 6,499. Remember, you can have Bose earphones for less than Rs. 6k.

Audio is OK
Creative have a solid record when it comes to audio.

I expected average sound at best, thanks to the compact size. However, clarity and sound balance would surprise you. The 32-mm Neodymium drivers offer quality that’ll satisfy most light users.

The acoustic rings offer you two performance modes - with the rings there is a more balanced music. Take them off, and it boosts bass.

Is it best in class? No. If quality is your sole focus, go for the wired Sennheiser in the same price range.

Playback options galore

The Creative Outlier comes with NFC-Enabled Bluetooth 4.1. There is also an integrated MP3 player. Major audio file formats can be played via the MicroSD card.

The Outlier also features a 3.5-mm aux input in case you want to connect it to your non-Bluetooth sources.

The more options, the better.

Feature rich
Creative has added some nifty features to the Outlier.

The hands-free calling function works perfectly. My callers were pleasantly surprised at the results while using the microphone. This is due to the HD Voice and ClearSpeech Engine. It blocks external noises and enhances clarity.

The Outlier can also read messages to you, thanks to Buddy, a free message-reading app. Creative have released a free app for Android. The app integrates Google’s Text-to-Speech engine to read messages from your phone directly to the Outlier.

You also have a Pacer Mode that allows active users to record and announce lap times and total elapsed time. There is also a built-in lap timer which is designed to provide voice prompts about your laps and the total time.

Final Word
I can confidently say the nifty, compact style and colorful acoustic rings will appeal to the young generation. The music playback is also generous at 10 hours, with up to eight hours of talk time.

However, the huge price gap tells me it’ll be an impulsive buy, and not the most sensible choice.
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