Creative may be best known for its computer keyboards and mouses, but the company has been building speakers and headphones for some time now too. Most recently, the company launched a slate of new headphones in its Creative Outlier series — including the new Creative Outlier Black over-ear wireless headphones.
The headphones are targeted at offering a good pair of headphones at a reasonable price. That price? $60. We put the Creative Outlier Black headphones to the test to see if they were worth buying.
The first thing you’ll notice about the headphones is their design, and while they’re not the flashiest headphones out there, they don’t look bad. The headphones, as the name suggests, are completely black, featuring on-ear controls on the right ear cup, along with a MicroUSB and aux port.
The controls on the right ear cup include volume controls and playback controls. When they’re shipped, the headphones feature a sticker that indicates the controls — and we like that the indicators aren’t permanent, as they often end up looking pretty ugly when they are.
The headphones are largely built out of plastic. It’s not surprising for a pair of headphones in this price range, but still something to consider — if you’re looking for metal headphones that can withstand a bit of abuse, you probably need to be ready to shell out a little extra cash.
In the box, Creative has included pretty much everything you’ll need. You’ll find a MicroUSB cable, aux cable, and even a carry pouch.
In general, the headphones may not be the strongest around, nor the most creative (ha), but they still look pretty good and come with everything you’ll need, which is nice.
We were a little unsure whether to call these over-ear or on-ear headphones at first — they’re a little too small for over-ear headphones, and a little big for on-ear. In the end we decided to go with what Creative is calling them — over-ear headphones. Their small size, however, does play into comfort in a negative way — we would have liked to see slightly larger ear cups.
Still, apart from that, they’re relatively comfortable headphones. We were able to wear them for hours at a time without too many issues. A bit more padding in the ear cups would make things even better, but the headphones are nice and light, which helps a lot.
At $60, it would be easy to dismiss these headphones without giving them a fair listen. In the end, however, the headphones sound pretty good for their price — but they’re far from perfect.
Let’s start with the bass, which is by far the most pronounced frequency range in these headphones. Kick drums and bass guitars seriously punch through a mix, to the point of getting a little muddy at times. Safe to say, if bass is important to you, then these might be a good buy.
The mid range is pretty intensely tuned. The low mids, like the bass frequencies, are pretty boosted, leading to a very warm sound. The high mids, on the other hand, seem to have been cut quite a bit, which pulls back on the vocals and guitars. We would have liked to see a bit more presence in the high mids.
The highs could also use a little better tuning. The high frequencies that are there sound pretty good, though some more extension would be nice — music in general isn’t very clear or precise.
But all this is from the stand point of someone who spends hours each week reviewing headphones — for the price, the issues with the headphones aren’t all that bad, and if bass is more important to you than anything else, the headphones may still be well worth buying.
The headphones connect to your listening device through Bluetooth 4.1, and as such you’ll get a listening range of 10 meters, or 33 feet. We didn’t really experience any skips or jumps, except at unreasonable listening distances or with obstacles like walls.
The Creative Outlier Black headphones offer a battery life of 33 hours which is fine, but not the best. Other over-ear headphones generally offer at least 15 hours of battery life, with many ranging to even double of that. We would have liked to see Creative include a larger battery, if possible.
The Creative Outlier Black headphones have a lot to offer in their price range. They’re relatively well-designed and comfortable, and while they certainly don’t sound natural, some might like the bass-heavy sound.
But is there a better option? Well, not really for $60 or under. If you’re looking for a pair of over-ear wireless headphones for under $60, these could be the cans for you.
Of course, if you have a bit of extra cash to spend, you could probably get something a whole lot better. Like, for example, the JLab Audio Omni headphones, which come at $100.
Still, given their good value for money, we’ve awarded the Creative Outlier Black headphones the Headphone Review Bronze Medal.
|Frequency response||20Hz – 20kHz||Active noise cancellation
|Driver size||40mm||Noise attenuation||Unknown|
|Total harmonic distortion
|Rated input power
||Unknown||Battery life||13 hours|
|Maximum input power
||Unknown||Wireless distance||10m (33ft)|
||Bluetooth 4.1||Cable length||1.2m (4ft)|
||Yes||Case type||Carry pouch|