Audio Quality and Performance
For testing, there were four areas I was most concerned about. Audio performance, comfort, battery life, and the included software. I’ve been using the Outlier Golds on and off for weeks now anytime I am on the treadmill or looking to block out outside noise and the audio performance wasn’t too much of a shock. Creative has been on point for years now in their audio performance and this wasn’t any different. They were a noticeable improvement over the Philips wireless earbuds I took a look at not long ago and I would say that they were just a hair under the Jaybird Vistas which had a much higher price point. Bass was good and also not overpowering and mids and highs are crisp and easy to hear across all different types of music.
For comfort I found the Outlier Golds to be comfortable in initial testing. The larger size, however, does weigh a little more than I would like and extended periods of use it was noticeable and sometimes a little uncomfortable. I also don’t like that they stick out past your ear, a touch thinner would look much better and not be as noticeable, not to mention potentially helping with long term comfort. The larger size, on the other hand, allowed them to fit in large batteries and I do love the battery life. You get enough life to use both earbuds for an entire day morning to night without needing to charge them, not to mention having another 5 and a half-hour charge for each earbud stored in the case. If you only want to use one earbud, you can extend things out to a total of 39 hours which is almost a full work week!
Typically I would prefer to not have any software needed for earbuds. But in addition to the gold finish and a higher battery life, the Outlier Golds set themselves apart from the cheaper Outlier Airs with their support for Creatives Super X-Fi software so I thought I would check it out. When I first booted it up I was surprised that the setup guide wanted me to take pictures of my face and ears. They use these to figure out your soundscape. It was a little difficult at first because you can’t see the screen when taking the pictures, but it does make a sound once you get it right and you can move on and get your other ear and face.
Once you get set up, this is the full menu for the Super X-Fi software. You can select what headphones or earbuds you are running in the headphone selection or wirelessly setup for some products if that is easier.
Without a doubt, the coolest feature is how they handle the EQ. Creative lets you get full control by drawing your own EQ, not just adjusting a few bars.
All of the Super X-Fi features are exclusive to playing music on the built-in player though which was a huge bummer for me. I typically listen to music on SiriusXM or with a program like Pandora or YouTube. In order to take advantage of the soundscaping, you have to have music on your phone and play it here. Now I will say the Super X-Fi was interesting, making at least some music sound better (the punk I was testing here didn’t however) but having to load up my music ahead of time didn’t exactly have me wanting to use it. Especially when the Outlier Golds sounded good without it in my other apps.