Over the years, Creative has made some excellent audio products, especially to accompany PCs. And perishing I think the Creative Roar was one of the best Bluetooth speakers sold, not just for its audio quality but also the plethora of functions it offered. Now, the company wants to offer an affordable truly wireless audio experience to Indian users with the Creative Outlier Air, priced at Rs 7999.
The Creative Outlier Air comes in a compact metal case that slides out to reveals the very futuristic looking EarPods. The charging case has LED indicators to show battery level of the case as well as the two EarPods separately. That’s a good addition.
There is more LED at play. The futuristic EarPods both have LED rings that glow in blue and red to indicate they are connected, or that the battery is low — or so I guess. The EarPod design is a bit different from what we have seen so far and fit well into the ears. However, they also seem to create a bit of suction to keep out external noise and I did not really like the feel of this vacuum in my ear canal. But the positive side of this is noise isolation it provides — remember, the paid don’t offer noise cancelling otherwise. Also, the Creative Outlier Air is great for those who want something for the gym or workout as these are sweat resistant.
The Creative Outlier Air’s EarPods both have sides that can be pressed to navigate, pause or take a call. However, it needs a bit of a push to activate and is a distant cry from the touch sensitivity in some of the more expensive truly wireless sets of late. A long press also brings up Siri or Google Assistant depending on the phone you have.
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The noise isolation means the Creative Outlier Air gave me a period of the clearest phone calls I have had during this lockdown season. I have not really liked the experience of making calls on high-end truly wireless sets, given they offer a tinny experience. This, however, is closer to the natural feel of the Apple AirPods when it comes to call quality.
The audio profile is the Creative Outlier Air is a bit partial towards bass. I say a bit because it does not of quite get there and ends up offering a balmy layer instead of the oomph you get on a Sony. I am not complaining because I don’t like a lot of bass anyway, but then this might not impress those who do.
So when Ankita Joshi sings Lat Ulajhi, the graphene drivers do enough to let you enjoy her vocals and not be distracted by all the arrangements around it. The entire audio profile gives the composition a cohesion that is often rare with earphones these days. But look at it from another angle and you might feel that it does give you the clearly layered signature of some of the top-end headphones you could buy. But then this is a budget option. I tried my entire test playlist and I liked what I heard, but the Creative Outlier Air keeps reminding you it is an affordable option and should be considered in that context.
This battery life can easily go up to 30 hours with the charging case. Just be sure to keep the pods correctly in the dock as the first few times I seemed to have slipped them in carelessly and one of the EarPods did not charge as much as the other.
At its Rs 7,999 price point, with the decent audio profile and superior build quality, the Creative Outlier Air comes across as a good value for money truly wireless options for those who need something that is functional and durable. In this price range, the Creative Outlier Air is clearly worth recommending. Audiophiles can look elsewhere.
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