Review: Creative Outlier Gold

Good idea, poorly executed

Creative Outlier Gold has some smart stuff in it, but the sound can not be approved.

Published 2020-10-01 - 8:23 am
Creative Outlier Gold
Geir Nordby

Among the two completely wireless earplug models in Creative’s arsenal, Outlier Gold is the most expensive, with a speaker element clad in graphene. The earplugs are still not expensive, with a price tag of only 1300 kroner.

Creative Outlier Gold is water-repellent with IPX5 certification, which means that they can withstand both sweat and heavy rain, even though they are not primarily marketed as training plugs.

The biggest selling point for Creative is the battery capacity, which is an impressive 14 hours in the plugs, while the charging case provides an additional 25 hours. You hardly need to think about the charging cable, unless you are going to be more than a long weekend away from home.

The other thing that sets Outlier Gold apart from other earplugs is Creative’s Super X-Fi technology. This is a holographic way to reproduce music so that it is outside and around you instead of living inside your head as with other earplugs. For it to work extra well, the app uses the mobile camera to scan your ear, to make more correct manipulation of the audio signal based on your unique ear shape.

Creative Outlier Gold

Photo: CreativeIt works quite well, the music gets a bigger room to frolic in. But it is not without artifacts, and I do not feel it is a very natural way to listen to music. But the worst thing is that the function does not work outside the app. This means that the app will be your future music player, where you can play music that is both already there, and you will also have access to the music stored on your phone. But no power services.

You cannot plant the sound inside the DSP of the earplugs, and the same applies to the sound settings (EQ). Where others use the app as a remote control for the plugins, where you can make settings that are also remembered when the plugins are connected to another player, Creative does not allow you to do anything outside the app. In other words, you can forget to mute the sound when listening to Spotify, Tidal or other streaming services. Tabbe.

The sound of Creative Outlier Gold

And here comes the problem. The Creative plugs do not sound particularly good. Lady Gaga’s voice cuts into the ears of Sour Candy, it does not help much that Outlier Gold supports the aptX codec, because the sound is no less sharp on Android phones than on the iPhone.

The Röyksopp song Oblique Thrills (Lost Tapes) will hit the bass, and you will feel like playing loud. And there are things that speak in Outlier Gold’s favor, such as the energetic bass and the crisp details of synth and percussion. But the midrange register is jam-thin, so bass and treble do not bind together very well. And again, these would mean that you have to spend for these processes. Dolly Parton’s cover version of Brandi Carlile’s The Story sounds too thin, with sharp ss, and the snare drum is the thinnest I’ve heard in a while.

The call quality is quite decent, but it sounds a bit hollow dropouts can occur. But Creative sounds better than Skullcandy here.

Conclusion

Fantastic battery life and an interesting sound effect with Super X-Fi notwithstanding, Creative Outlier Gold does not meet our sonic requirements. The bass is full enough, but the midrange is too thin and the treble too sharp. Even though it is crisp and clear enough in the top register, it sounds unnatural.

If Creative had an EQ function that could adjust the earplugs themselves and not just when using the app, it could save a lot. But until that happens, there are many other models we would rather recommend.

Karakter
Creative Outlier Gold
Basic

We think

Full-bodied and rhythmic bass, interesting Super X-Fi function for holographic sound. Fantastic battery life! Sharp treble, too little midrange. Very "hammock" sound! EQ function does not work outside the app.

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