Creative seems to have a renewed push in the headphone business. Just recently, we took a look at the Creative Outlier Black headphones, and found that while they had a lot to offer for the price, they still had some pretty major issues. Now, it’s time to look at the Creative Outlier One headphones, which trade in the over-ear form for an in-ear one.
Do the Creative Outlier One headphones continue in offering good value for money, or should you steer clear? We put them to the test to find out.
Like the Creative Outlier Black headphones, the Creative Outlier One headphones have a decent design, but they’re a little nondescript. Sure, they look fine, but if you’re looking for something interesting or unique, you may want to keep looking.
Unlike the similar Creative Outlier Sports headphones, the Creative Outlier One’s are only available in one color — black. We think most people will prefer the black look anyway, but options are always nice. The earbuds themselves are mostly built with plastic, though here we don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. It keeps the headphones nice and light, which is helpful for a pair of sports headphones.
Part way down the right side of the cable, you’ll find a control module — which features a standard three-button setup: one multi-use button, and two volume buttons. We found it was easy to feel the buttons to find which is which, even without seeing the buttons.
In the box, you’ll find the headphones themselves, a MicroUSB charging cable, a total of three pairs of ear tips, one pair of sports wings, and a cable clip.
So the headphones feature a decent design, but are they comfortable enough to wear? It depends. For starters, we think you’ll want to experiment with the different ear tips that come in the box, but even with that experimentation, it’s hard to get past the fact that the earbuds are a little large. That’s true of both the earbuds themselves, and the arm that extends into your ear canal. The result is that after long periods of listening, the headphones can get a little uncomfortable.
That said, we think that the headphones are perfectly fine in the comfort department for the duration of most workouts. If you’re someone who works out all day, these may not be the best for you — but if your workouts generally last an hour or two at most, then these will do just fine.
In the end, you’re probably most concerned about how the Creative Outlier One headphones sound, especially given the bass-heavy sound profile of the Creative Outlier Black headphones. Thankfully, these headphones sound pretty good — trading in the overly bass-heavy sound for a slightly more natural frequency response.
That’s not to say that the bass is lacking. The bass here is still heavy and pounding, and the overall sound could still be described as a little overdone in the bass department. Not to the extent of the Outlier Black headphones — but we still wish Creative would tone the bass down a little.
The mid range here seems to be quite well tuned for a pair of headphones in this price range. The low mids are generally warm, while there are plenty of high mids to help things like vocals cut through a mix.
The high end is also relatively well tuned. We could always use a little more detail and presence, but cymbals seemed to shimmer reasonably well and there was plenty of presence in vocals.
The Creative Outlier One headphones connect to your listening device through Bluetooth 4.1, and as such you’ll get a connection distance of around 10 meters, or 33 feet. We found that the headphones were generally good at keeping a connection without too many skips or jumps.
The battery life of the headphones comes in at 9.5 hours, which is pretty good. It’s not groundbreaking, by any means, but if you’re good at charging up your headphones every week or so, you’ll find that the battery life is perfectly fine.
The Creative Outlier One sports headphones are actually a really solid choice, especially for the money. At $30, there are few headphones that offer this kind of value for money. While their design is a little boring, and they can get uncomfortable with long listening times, they generally sound pretty good.
In fact, if you’re looking for a pair of sports headphones and have around $30 to spend, we think these are the best option. Sure, they don’t compete with headphones far more expensive, but in this price range you really can’t do much better.
So much so, that we’ve decided to award the Creative Outlier One headphones the Headphone Review Bronze Medal.
|Frequency response||20Hz – 20kHz||Active noise cancellation
|Driver size||6mm||Noise attenuation||Unknown|
|Total harmonic distortion
|Rated input power
||Unknown||Battery life||9.5 hours|
|Maximum input power
||Unknown||Wireless distance||10m (33ft)|
||Bluetooth 4.1||Cable length||N/A|
||No||Case type||Soft pouch|