The first time we came across products that had Creative’s Super X-Fi technology was at CES 2020. We met them at their suite, they whisked us off into a backroom where they measured our ears, and blasted some of the most amazing audio I’ve heard from a set of headphones. Granted, we were using their top range, big bucks headphones, but the technology has filtered down throughout the rest of their range. And that’s where the Creative Outlier Gold headphones come in.
So what’s in the box? Well, not much really. You of course get the headphones, which are pretty small. You get a set of different earbuds which range from small to large. The large onces came preinstalled which were wonderful for my ears and offered some decent noise isolation. This may vary though depending on your ear shape and size. You get the charging case and finally a set of instructions that you don’t really need to worry about.
Setup of the headphones was easy enouigh, and after longpressing the buttons on each earbud, my phone found both left right earbuds in seconds and I could connect to them. I had to connect to them separately, but once I connected to them both, they appeared as one unit inside my Bluetooth settings.
The earbuds themselves are small in size, although the bulb on the rear sticks out a little further than say an Airpod. They’re made from plastic which keeps the weight down enough not to feel uncomfortable wearing for a long period of time. There’s an indicator ring around the buttons which shows status.
The case is a lot more cylandrical than I’m used to. Usually it’s a small pebble shaped case that has a lid. But this time, the charging part of the case slides in and out, making the case feel more like a tube in design. The slide mechanism is smooth enough. You just have to tuck your fingers under the lip on the left to start the motion off. Don’t pull too hard though, I can see people ripping the charger from its case pretty easily if you’re too tough with it.
On one side of the case you have some Super X-Fi branding, as these fall under the Creative Super X-Fi range which I’ll speak about in a moment. The other side was home to a few indicator lights which include battery life, charging light and a light to say how much battery the left and right headphone have each. Just under this is a USB Type-C input for charging the case.
The case itself will offer up to 39 hours worth of total playtime, while each full charge of the headphones will give you roughly 14 hours. Of course like other TWS earbuds, the case is a charger too. The headphones would be perfect if you were jetting off on holiday somewhere. It’s definitely one of the more impressive battery lives we’ve seen on a TWS setup. The headphones also use Bluetooth 5.0 for a larger connection distance.
One of the most annoying things, and we’ve mentioned this on TechNuovo before, is the fact that your have to physically press the buttons on either earbud. Doing so forces the tip further into your ear canal, and can actually make them quite uncomfortbale to wear. A single press on either earbud will pause the music, while two presses skips the track you’re listening to. The buttons also control volume and even your phone’s AI assistant.
Okay, let me run you through a couple of issues I found with power. While the headphones turn off for some charging time when you put them back in the case, they don’t pause when you remove the earbuds from your ears. You need to physically click one of the side buttons. Removing them from the case to use automatically connects you your phone, and it’s pretty quick too which is impressive.
In terms of audio quality, the Creative Outlier Gold true wireless earbuds are superb. The shining feature is the bass. In most instances the music did feel tight and punchy, but there were times I thought the bass was a little overpowering compared to the rest of the tones. The highs are sharp and crispy and do shine through very nicely indeed. There is an equiliser built into the Creative app that you will need to download. The soundstage is nice, but this is where the Super X-Fi branding comes in.
It requires an app, which in turn will widen the soundstage of your music, making it ‘feel’ as if your music is coming from all around you. For the most part this does a great job, especially on modern day mixes, and really improves tracks from the 70s or 80s. The music leaves the space between your head and opens it up to really a 360-degree stage. What does suck though is the fact that this only works for locally stored music, and there’s no compatibility with streaming services including the Tidal, which is known for its ultra low, even non-existant compression.
But, music still sounds pretty decent without the feature switched on, and I guarantee you will not have an issue with this if you were to purchase some of your own.
The Creative Outlier Gold true wireless headphones are a decent pick for those wanting some wireless earbuds for long journeys, or those who have some limited charging capacity. They sound really good, even when streaming your music. They retail for around £94.99 which is pretty good ebing under the £100 mark compared to something like the Airpod 2s. They don’t have active noise cancellation, but it’s not really needed here. For more information, head over to the Creative website.