Typical Headphones are made up of small speakers either separated with each in the ear or over the ear with cushions for comfort and sound insulation. The Creative Outlier Free are Bone conduction headphones – that transmit sound waves through the bones in a user’s skull instead of their ear canal. These are worn resting on your temples. Because of this design, these are ideal for conditions in which many earphones would fall out of the inner ear or shake off the head. These have the advantage of not blocking the ear ( similar to hear-through as used on some earphones ) allowing alertness of the surrounding areas. The material is strong and sturdy with bigger buttons that are seen on many earphones with water-resistant, but not as fully waterproof as seen on their other model Creative Outlier Free pro. The creative logo is visibly seen on the earphones.
These do not come with a carry case to protect the earphones or store the charging cable when not in use which is slightly disappointing.
- Headphone Drivers: Bone Conduction Transducers
- Frequency Response: 20–20,000 Hz
- Microphones: Omni-directional x 1
- Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 5.3
- Bluetooth Profiles
- •A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile)
- •AVRCP (Audio / Video Remote Control Profile)
- •HFP (Hands-free Profile)
- Audio Codec: SBC
- Operating Frequency: 2402–2480 Hz
- Operating Range: Up to 10m / 33 ft
- Voice Assistant Support: Siri and Google Assistant
- Playtime: Up to 10 Hours*
- Charging Time: 2 Hours
- Charging Interface: USB-A
- Battery Type: Rechargeable Lithium-ion Polymer Battery
- 180 mAh 0.666 Wh
- Input: 5V 1A
- Operating Temperature: 0–45°C
- Maximum RF Output Power: 4 dBm
- IP Rating: IPX5
The quick start guide is excellent allowing the use of a QR code to read the manual easily. The setup is straightforward while having the bonus of multimode connectivity which allows the headset connected to two separate devices at the same time. This may be two separate phones or a laptop connected via Bluetooth. Either device if called automatically can respond as a call or music played from either device. The process of connecting works the same way as syncing a new Bluetooth device.
Connection to an Android phone and a Windows laptop worked uncomplicated and straightforwardly as you would expect from Creative.
Battery & charging:
The earphones come with a Magnetic USB charging port to USB Type A with a Rechargeable Lithium-ion Polymer Battery of 180 mAh which has a charging time of about 2 hours charging for 10 hours of use. This is where these earphones are let down, most modern earphone comes with a standardised USB C charger lead ( Meaning this cable can be swapped via a modern android phone ) and some come with a wireless charger, Creative have gone with a proprietary magnetic charger given a reasonable 10 hours as compared to other in an earphone that gives over 30 hours via the case. When the earphones aren’t in use the power button is larger but required this to be manually pressed to power down.
A Full Tech Review – Creative Outlier Free Pro bone conduction headphones seen at techbuzzireland previously https://techbuzzireland.com/2023/03/14/tech-review-creative-outlier-free-pro-bone-conduction-headphones/
The warranty is 2 years within the European Union but may be less outside of the EU.
The audio quality in terms of the frequency response for these headphones is 20 to 20,000 Hz which is a standard frequency in this range, When used in a traditional phone call the audio is a noticeable difference in terms of the bone conduction headphones which transmit sound waves through the bones in a user’s skull instead of their ear canal this causes a vibration which is not a critique of the audio rather a different approach. When used for High-Resolution Audio the audio which has higher sampling rates is partially noticeable but unless stopped and fully concentrated on the music hard to tell the difference. This model is good in terms of when listening to higher volumes those surrounding the earphones do not hear a leakage on the music . the option to Turn on Low Latency Mode to enjoy synchronized and smoother playback of audio and video is a positive for these earphones allowing for multiple options on audio experiences.
When looked at from a Safety perspective ( open-ear listening) being able to hear the surrounding area but also in terms of not directly in the ear canal, ( This is not supported by formal medical advice but rather an opinion ) no ear wax has been pushed into the ear and safer from an awareness of your surroundings. The IPX5 splashproof or sweatproof rating is excellent for everyday use as could be taken in and out of the shower but not suitable for swimming certainly good enough to ensure if out in the rain these will not be affected,
Overall as someone that tries to walk for over an hour a day, this is my go-to set of earphones, as practically impossible to have them fall off the head due to the design, through the design from a safety perspective, they are similar to having heard through on all the time without the need to remove from your head is stopping to chat to someone, The multimode is excellent allowing connectivity & versatility for use in more than one device. Once familiar with the design while heaver at 30g than many other earphones on the market this quickly becomes forgotten they are around your head. This model is ideal for extreme sports and certainly will endure lots of adversity in its use.