Creative Outlier Bluetooth Headset Review
With any headset the important elements are; a) how great the sound quality is; b) how comfortable they are; c) everything else.
Whilst we'd normally tackle them in that order we have to make an exception for the Outlier. Comfort usually comes from how much the headset presses upon your ears and how heavy it is in total for marathon gaming/listening sessions. The Creative Outlier is so featherweight that not only can you wear them way beyond their 10 hour battery life, but you almost forget you're wearing them. They haven't got a cable that gets tangled up in your clothes or caught on door handles or what-have-you. Sitting on your ear rather than in them means that your ear canals don't get fatigued, yet because they sit on your ears rather than surround them you also don't have the annoying 'pressing against your head' experience you can get with certain headsets. They're an absolute joy to wear. Yes the specifications might say 93g, but it's difficult to quantify that. For comparison purposes that's 2 Mars bars, or 10g less than a Razer Deathadder mouse, 30g less than a regular iPhone 6 or, lastly, four Creative Outliers = 1 can of Coke. So yes, this is lighter than a feather and unbelievably comfortable.
Don't confuse light weight for flimsy though. These things are robust. There is a video on the Creative Outlier product page that demonstrates how flexible they are, and whilst we wouldn't necessarily want to go to the extremes they do there on a regular basis, nonetheless they are capable of such feats.
Sound quality is excellent too. They aren't the loudest headset we've ever worn, but then you shouldn't aim to damage your hearing anyway. In very noisy situations we did find that we'd like them to have been a little bit louder as even with our phone and the Outlier on maximum volume it wasn't quite capable of drowning out the passing traffic completely. However, the actual quality of the sound is very good with all the frequencies well represented and none of them dominating the others. Well rounded is our overarching impression.
It's perhaps not surprising that the Outlier are so capable either, as the amount of connection options is staggering. You can do the old-fashioned jack-to-jack connection if you wish, and Creative supply a cable to let you do so, but where this really shines is in the two wireless options. Bluetooth audio has come on leaps and bounds in recent times and with most Smart televisions, and the PS4 at least, supporting Bluetooth connection then the Creative Outlier finds an instant home as your gaming weapon of choice. Or watching a film in bed without disturbing the rest of the household. Pairing is simple too with the built in NFC hotspot. If all that isn't enough and you want to just take some music with you whilst exercising, but not want the fear of your phone/mp3 player falling out then the MicroSD port is an absolute boon. Obviously the playback is limited to skipping forwards or backwards, so it might not be best for putting all your songs onto a card but if you have a particular playlist for cycling/running then it's exactly the thing.
There are, as always, a couple of minor drawbacks. There is no battery indicator and a couple of times through our testing we found it had gone flat earlier than we might have expected. It definitely makes the claimed 10 hours, but if you've used them for an hour here and there without recharging it's easy to suddenly find them flat. Equally the power-saving feature is great for extending the life as much as possible but if you've paired them to your PC then the gap between them thinking nothing is happening and turning off is short enough that it happened regularly in lobbies whilst we awaited the next matchup. Heck it happened whilst we decided what Youtube video to watch next. Reconnecting them is definitely a faff. Lastly as we said above the in-built SD card slot is excellent if you have a small selection of songs, but unwieldy if you're after a particular track. We'd even be willing to forego a few extra grams for a battery/MP3 tag display.
Those minor issues aside though, and they are minor, the Outlier has fantastic build quality, class leading comfort and more connection options than you could reasonably desire. Marry that to excellent sound reproduction and minor personalisation ability and it's definitely worthy of both your investment and our OC3D Gold Award.