When Creative first offered me a set for review I had to wait some time as there was a rush over Christmas and into the New Year. The just didn’t have enough to meet demand and therefore review samples were scarce. The fitness craze of January has eased off and I have been able to grab a pair and assess what the fuss is about. In short, the shortage was justified.The Creative Outlier Sports are a fitness-focused set of in-ear headphones, designed to offer a comfortable and secure fit, whether you’re sitting at your desk or sprinting. They’re water resistant (to cope with rain and sweat), and they have a battery life north of ten hours (so you won’t be able to get out of exercising because your special earbuds have run out of battery again). They look quite promising, so let’s put ’em to the test!
These are primarily fitness-focused in-ear headphones and if you are, have spoken to or know anything about fitness headphones, you will know there are very few on the market that manages to tick all the boxes. From a secure fit to ease of use, quality of sound to stylish design, normally you might get close, however, few have managed to come quite as close to perfect as the Outlier.
To get things straight, I am not a fitness nut. My wife is. She is a runner with a passion of Marathons and she maintains headphones are not a crucial addition to the getup, it is better to have the option carried with. Over the years my wife has worked her way through much different
Over the years my wife has worked her way through many different headphones and I have listened to the complaints that have eventually presented themselves. Cabled headphones are a tangle and a muddle, frequently getting in the way and one swift movement can pop the headphones jack and precious seconds can be shaved off the mile time as the user struggles to get things reconnected.
Therefore, eliminating the wire makes sense. Going Bluetooth is sensible however it’s not quite reliable, is it? Some headphones might have problems if the phone is stored in a pocket that might be on the other side of the body. Sound being pushed can often suffer from cut-outs or loose connection entirely. Bluetooth can also have limited battery life.
Another consideration is the size of the units, over ear headphones can become sweaty and easily fall off. Similarly, in-ear headphones can pop out or even feel like they might, causing distraction and a break in concentration.
Lastly, the one thing that seems to be overlooked in favour of the above consideration is the sound quality. By the time you can get the headphones secured, comfortable and operational you are happy to have anything playing. Good sound quality comes at a high price, doesn’t it?
I’m more that happy to say, these Creative Outlier Sports have ticked all of the boxes above. When asking my wife how they are doing I was shocked to hear, they are perfect. She was having no issues, this was a first!
These look good. Creative have opted for a bright colour selection, this might be pleasing to some and not others, however of the colours available, orange, lime green and blue are not dazzlingly over coloured, they are subtle enough to look the piece. The materials used are plastic and rubber, they have a quality feel. The earbuds use a hook to secure them into your ear. Inside the box are a number of hooks for differently sized ears and prove to be very sturdy once you have found the right size.
An in-line controller is quite easy to find when needed and it’s quite light. Makes a change from the of the other more bulky options out there that end up pulling the headphones out of your ears. The controls are simple to find when you can’t see them. There are buttons to adjust the volume that doubles as track skipping by holding down the volume buttons, and a pause or play button in the middle button.
The Outlier Sports do have an IPX4 rating protects from rainfall, a little sweat and dust. Whilst you can’t take them swimming, you don’t have to worry about running in the rain.
The earphones have a 6mm Neodymium driver with good bass response. Some clarity in the mids can be a little overpowering, depending on the type of music. Generally, in fitness faster and louder is preferred and whilst it isn’t flawless, it certainly isn’t poor.
Battery life is claimed to be 11 hours of constant playback, and this is something difficult to measure. My wife would run for around 2 hours 3 times a week and she would charge them once a week. Obviously, the volume level would play a big part in the battery life and I could only suggest it would be around 75% for the large majority of this. Price
Over the years I have purchased and been sent a number of headphones to review and for my wife to try whilst running. Some cheap and cheerful options from Amazon, other larger brand names with big price tags. The Creative Outlier Sports are not terribly expensive for what you are getting. These are good value for money as they will last, stay in and pump the beats to keep you going. Great headphone.