Last month I had the chance to review the Creative Outlier Air. They are fantastic and a fantastic value. Today, I’m taking a quick look at the Creative Outlier Gold wireless headphones. They’re very much like the Outlier Air but with a few key differences. Since they are so similar performance wise I’m choosing to focus only on the differences. Check out the Outlier Air review because everything there applies here.
The most striking difference from the Outlier Air is that the Outlier Gold is, well, gold. I’d describe it as a champagne gold. It’s light and subtly pink. I think they look pretty good and will certainly appeal to gold and pink iPhone buyers.
Not only are the earbuds gold but the carrying/charging case is as well. It’s also slightly larger than the Outlier Air case because it has a larger battery inside. The larger battery gains you an additional 9 hours of rated charge.
For the most part, the Outlier Gold sounds and performs just like the Outlier Air. In other words, they sound great. The primary difference is what Creative calls Super X-Fi. Super X-Fi is a feature that pushes the music out and around your head, extending the soundscape. It’s basically 3d audio processing for locally stored music played through the SXFI app.
I downloaded the SXFI app and loaded up some music on my phone to try it out. It’s a pleasing 3d effect but it is severely limited by being constrained to locally stored music. The world is moving to music streaming and if you are part of that movement then the Super X-Fi feature will be irrelevant for you. I look at is a nice add-on feature but not a selling point for most folks.
The $99 Outlier Gold comes at a $20 premium over the Outlier Air. Here’s what your $20 gets you – 9 hours of extra battery life, the gold coloring, and Super X-Fi. That leaves you with a still sub-$100 set of earbuds that sound great and have class-leading battery life. I’m very impressed by the agressive pricing.
If the Outlier Gold and Outlier Air are so similar it begs the question, is it worth paying more for them? As usual, the answer is, “it depends.” To me, Super X-Fi is a non-starter because all of my music comes from Google Play Music or YouTube Music. The extra battery life is fantastic, though. The Outlier Gold headphones are the longest lasting wireless earbuds I’ve tested. Then there’s the color. Gold isn’t my first choice but for my wife or daughter? They love the look.
I’d say that if you like the color, or can even just live with it, go with the Outlier Gold for the battery life alone.