Review of the Creative Outlier Air V3: Budget-friendly friends who do it right
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The Review of the Creative Outlier Air V3: Budget-friendly friends who do it right
Creative has a thing for its Outlier Air line of earbuds. While “V3” would suggest that the Outlier Air V3 is a third generation product, they are actually the fourth. With each successive pair, Creative has added something extra to make them more viable, be it the company’s Super X-Fi technology or audio upgrades. This time it’s about noise and call quality.
All these combine features and performance makes these earbuds great for what they cost, especially when you factor in battery life, comfort and app support – they are easily among the best wireless earbuds in this price range.
Bottom line: Creative is back with another pair of entry-level wireless earbuds to choose from up where the last pair had gone. That’s not just better sound, but ambient noise and call quality to improve things even further. If your budget is tight and you want real value for money, it’s hard to go against these earbuds.
Creative first launched the Outlier Air V3 in other markets in June 2021 and then brought it to the United States in August. They are usually priced at $70, but you can also find them for less at $60. That’s a good price for earbuds that offer so much out of the box, and they can drop even further later.
The Outlier Air V3 are almost copies of the Outlier Air V2, except for a different color scheme for the case. Instead of metallic blue, you get metallic green. The earbuds themselves have shaved off quite a bit of girth as well, making them much more comfortable for a wider variety of ears. Under the hood, some things have certainly changed in much the same way.
Creative chose to use different drivers made from bio-cellulosic materials, which is essentially an organic compound very similar to paper. That helps reduce the overall size of the earbuds and, in practical terms, pump out better sound. Without getting too technical about how this works, I can say that Creative’s suggestion that it helps deliver a wider frequency range has some merit. These sounded more balanced than I expected, with more detailed mids helping the bass and treble. There is some hissing noise that slides in at higher volumes or with certain equalizer presets, but the overall results are otherwise excellent.
To lend a hand, Creative has since revamped its app to better support products like the Outlier Air V3. The EQ now has multi-band fluidity to adjust the sound the way you want. There are also a plethora of presets if you want them, and they even include popular video games. Good app support isn’t always easy to find for earbuds in the sub-$100 price range, but there’s at least some good stuff here.
Creative’s app plays a bigger role because of the extra features the company brought in these earbuds. Ambient Sound finally gets the streak of the Outlier Air line without anything related to noise cancellation or ambient noise. The reason this works now is due to dual mic setups for each earbud, ultimately fixing an omission from the previous pair. It’s just a shame that you get active noise cancellation instead of full cancellation when you want to drown out background noise.
It’s not that there’s no effectiveness to speak of, it’s just that by “reduction” Creative implies that the frequency range it can cancel out isn’t that high. That’s actually confirmed in a chart the company has displayed on its website that shows how much the Outlier Air V3 could potentially block. In real conditions, the mileage varies. Busy street noises seep through, and the earplugs don’t completely attenuate low-frequency sounds on transportation vehicles. i liked the feature sufficient in some scenarios, not in others.
Ambient Sound works quite well, and recording it with noise cancellation puts more emphasis on how well the onboard controls work. They are still touch based, only now they are more responsive and consistent. Better yet, you can also customize them to whatever works best for you.
Wrap up Review of the Creative Outlier Air V3: Budget-friendly friends who do it right
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