We wouldn’t hold it against you if Creative was not the first brand name to jump into your mind when thinking about true wireless headphones. Especially when thinking about sets that cost less than $100.
But maybe they should be….
In the past 18 months, Creative have released three sets of truly wireless earbuds. The best of those are undoubtedly the Outlier Gold, which is our number one pick for sub $100 true wire-free headphones.
But, we do want to make a small disclaimer before we continue…
There are definitely better sets of true wireless headphones available right now – sets like the Sony WF-1000XM3 and the Jabra Elite Active 75t are currently setting the standard. But, in terms of bang for your buck, there are no better options. The Outlier Gold are even matching some of the class leaders in certain categories!
So, join us as we take a deep dive into our Creative Outlier Gold True Wireless Earbuds review and explain exactly why we love this set of earbuds so much!
Design and Construction
Creative have managed to create a feeling of opulence and quality with these earbuds, by incorporating the use of gold splashes over an almost pearl-like satin finish. The resulting hand feel is satisfying, and it only gets better once you place them in your ears.
Ergonomically designed (with an angled ear tip) to snuggly sit in both the ear canal and on the ear itself, the comfort levels are top-notch. As hard as we tried to shake these out of our ears, they never budged – exactly what we like to see. This makes these earbuds more than suitable for gym use.
Come rain, come shine…
Adding to this suitability is the IPX5 sweatproof rating. This means that you can use the Outlier Gold true wire-free headphones in even the most draining and sweat-drenching workouts, or outdoors in the rain, and not have to worry.
Hidden inside the Outlier Gold are a pair of 5.6mm graphene driver diaphragms. This sort of tech is normally reserved for much higher priced units, and is one of the main reasons that we love this set of true wireless earbuds as much as we do! The sound produced is very high quality and a joy to listen to. We will get into the sound a bit deeper further down in this review.
Creative have gone with a single button setup, and it works like a charm. The left controls volume down and previous track select, with the right controller volume up and track skip. Either can be used to pause/play or to access your voice assistant. We know it sounds a little complicated when you write it down, but trust us, the system is super intuitive and easy to use.
But that’s not all…
Each bud is an independent unit that can be used entirely on its own. Each has a separate, inbuilt microphone – meaning you can make and receive calls with a single earbud. The microphone setup does a great job of delivering clear and concise audio in most conditions, with the exception of areas where there is high wind.
The premium charging case is surrounded in a super-strong, brushed gold aluminum skin, and the whole shebang weighs less than two ounces (54 grams). Quick USB-C charging and auto-recharge are also on offer, but we will get into that in more detail later.
Sound and Performance
Sporting a ‘U’ shaped tonal curve (meaning slightly boosted bass and treble with the mids softened), the Creative Outlier Gold has a beautifully balanced, warm, and concise soundstage.
This is all thanks to the world’s thinnest and hardest nano-material – graphene. This lighter than a feather, strong as steel compound, is a more efficient conductor of electricity than copper. This means that it consumes minimal energy while still being able to provide the best audio quality.
The 5.6 mm graphene driver diaphragm hidden inside each unit does just that, with the soundstage being up there with the amazing Sony WF-1000XM3 (our pick for best sound quality in true wireless earbuds).
A big addition to the Outlier Gold earbuds is Super X-Fi, Creative’s proprietary headphone holography technology.
Hold up, headphone holography technology?
Sounds fancy, right?
This is software that can essentially simulate a soundstage. What this actually means is that whatever you are listening to will instantly sound drastically wider. It also gives the user full access to EQ settings, with a range of presets available. This is limited, though, with the technology only being engaged when listening through the app.
That meant that when we were listening to Audible audiobooks, we were getting the unprocessed signal. Not a huge deal but worth noting.
Although the ‘U’ curve is a little more pronounced compared to what we are used to seeing, the overall sound is extremely well balanced. We found no distortion issues, with bass and drum lines consistently driving through with clear and clean brilliance. And we were just as impressed with the other end of the frequency range. The top-end is punchy and vibrant, with no traces of drop-off.
This is where the Creative Outlier Gold really starts to show off, in particular for the sub $100 market.
Wait for it…
The stated battery life is 39 hours total play time, with a 14 hour play time per charge! That means that once you take into account the auto charging from the case, you get a ridiculous 39 hours playback without having to refill the charging case tanks.
These numbers seat the Outlier Gold at the tippy top of the battery stakes. There are only one or two competitors in the same range, and they cost considerably more.
The sliding mechanism that the case employs feels sturdy and well designed, and once you seat the earbuds on the tray and slide it back into place, the case automatically starts to recharge the earbuds.
Unfortunately, there is a lack of fast charge capabilities here, but since everything is automatic and so simple, to be totally honest with you, we didn’t miss it. The USB-C charging speed is fast enough.
This battery setup is one of the best on the market and provides unbelievable value to anyone purchasing this set.
With Class 1 Bluetooth 5.0, this system is capable of twice the speed and half the energy consumption of the old standard – Bluetooth 4.2. The stated range is about 33 ft (10 meters), and with multi-codec support, there is no need to worry about connection stability or strength. Within 25 feet, we had zero issues, and issues only arose once we lost line-of-sight, which is pretty common, regardless of the price of a pair of earbuds.
Creative Outlier Gold True Wireless Earbuds Review Pros and Cons
- Solid design.
- Warm and clear soundstage.
- Ergonomically designed for long-lasting comfort.
- IPX5 sweatproof rating.
- Super long-life battery.
- Fully plastic, but metal construction would have driven costs up.
Looking for more superb Earbud options?
If so, and around $100 is your budget, check out our reviews of the Best Earbuds Under 100 Dollars currently available.
Or if you have a particular criteria you need, for example, sound quality or comfort, then take a look at our reviews of the Best Noise Isolating Earbuds, the Most Comfortable Earbuds, the Best Airpods Alternative, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Best iPhone Earbuds, the Best Wireless Earbuds For Small Ears, and the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones on the market.
Creative Outlier Gold True Wireless Earbuds Review – The Final Word
Without a shadow of a doubt, the Creative Outlier Gold true wireless headphones are some of the best value earbuds available right now. With the lively sound stage, beautiful aesthetics, sturdy construction, long-life battery, solid connectivity, and the fantastic companion app, there really isn’t much out there that comes close, especially for the price.
Sure, you could go out and spend more than double on a different set with a few more bells and whistles. But in all seriousness, we think you would be just essentially throwing away your hard-earned cash.
And with the $100ish market starting to become slightly flooded with options, there has never been better deals! So what are you waiting for? Check out how cheap they actually are!