The Creative Outlier Gold True Wireless headphones are not are not our usual fare here at PCGamesN. We prefer chunky over-ears and boom mics for maximum 1337 gaming, right? But there are occasions when a chunky headset just isn’t right for the job – no matter how great they may sound.
When genuine gaming performance is possible on-the-go without a hulking mid-tower, wireless earbuds like the Outlier Golds offer a viable alternative to full over-ears. Say you’re stashing your gaming laptop into your rucksack for a day trip, or even packing a suitcase for a short trip and space is tight, a pair of lightweight Bluetooth headphones that can connect to all your devices are best suited to the job.
Hence why Creative’s Outlier Gold’s at £95 have peaked our interest – most of all for their incredible 14-hour battery life on a single charge and a whopping 36 hours with the included charging case. One of my fears with relying on wireless earbuds for a long trip is running out of juice and having to sit in silence… that’s when the existential dread seeps in.
You needn’t worry about keeping charge with the Outlier Golds. Battery life is by far the greatest strength of these wireless buds, and these are capable of outlasting even much larger, and more expensive, headsets.
Weight is similarly in the Outlier Gold’s favour. At just 10 grams for the earbuds, and 54 grams for the charging case, these are a welcome departure from heavy wireless gaming headsets such as the Sennheiser GSP 670 at 398 grams.
But audio quality is the be-all and end-all for any headset, and there are some sacrifices that have to be made for such a compact and wireless package. For one, gaming headsets are renowned far and wide (or rather notorious) for outlandish and domineering bass, and the Outlier Gold’s 5.6mm Graphene drivers are not particularly conducive to low-end frequencies.
|Creative Outlier Gold|
|Drivers||5.6 mm graphene driver|
|Water resistance||IPX5 Certified|
|Battery||14 hours (39 hours with charging case)|
|Weight||10g (charging case: 54g)|
With a footprint some 10 times smaller than their distant gaming cousins, these drivers are also far quieter even at max volume than over-ears. While your ears may be thankful for the respite from explosions and gunshots ricocheting off of your ear drums, you may find it trickier in loud environments to hear footsteps or the more delicate intricacies of a game’s audio design.
These are all concerns to be expected with a pair of in-ears, and sacrifices difficult to avoid without opting for a pair of headphones occupying the middle ground between in-ears and over-ears – such as a pair of Bowers and Wilkins on-ears.
The Outlier Gold’s offer rich detail across the remaining frequency range, however. With decent tone and clarity in the mids and highs, the Creative buds offer audio fidelity either casual gaming or music. We’re definitely not recommending any esports level gaming on these wireless buds – for one you might struggle to be heard with only two miniscule microphones on either ear.
Wireless connectivity is provided by Bluetooth 5.0, so best be sure to check your laptop is fully-equipped to beam out the necessary signals. This has the benefit of allowing for all of your devices to connect to a single headset, whether you’ve ditched the 3.5mm jack on your phone yet or not (it will happen one day).
Yet for all the benefits of a wireless connection, the Creative’s Bluetooth connection is not the most stable of the lot. While dropouts were few and far between, they were present – especially with my phone in my rear pocket. Blame clothing manufacturers for not making front jean pockets big enough. This shouldn’t pose any issue for gaming on a laptop right in front of you, but it’s certainly something to consider for other uses.
At least once you’ve got a steady connection, these earbuds are hella comfortable. The two buttons on either unit within the LED indicator rings can be a bit uncomfortable to press, as the design requires pressing the ear bud into your ear to actuate, but that doesn’t detract too much from the overall ergonomics. Even over long journey’s these in buds rest in-ear easy.
So while not quite a gaming headset per say, a set of wireless buds to meet all of your needs while travelling can make for a convenient alternative. With a fraction of the weight of a gaming headset, all the while easing battery life concerns, the Creative Outlier Golds are a welcome weight-saving measure for gaming on the move. And while I have some issue with Bluetooth dropouts and bass response, at £95 I need little convincing to recommend these to anyone over encumbered by gaming gear.
Creative Outlier Gold
With first-rate battery life and decent enough audio, these wireless earbuds offer superb value for seasoned travellers hoping to make the most of their downtime.