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Home Reviews Creative Outlier Air review: Affordable functionality

Creative Outlier Air review: Affordable functionality

Although more phones are returning the headphone jack, many have continued to omit it. This absence has made true wireless earbuds evermore appealing. Enter the Creative Outlier Air, an affordable option for those uninterested in dongles.

Read the in-depth Creative Outlier Air review at SoundGuys

What are the Creative Outlier Air like?

Each earbuds has an LED ring to indicate connection status.

Everything about the Creative Outlier Air, from the USB-C charging case to the earbuds, is lightweight. Initially, I was concerned by the size of the earbuds being too large. However, they proved secure thanks to the angled nozzles and array of silicone sleeves. Granted, the sloping shape of the earbuds makes it difficult to grasp them securely. There were a handful of times one or both earbuds slipped from my fingers to the ground upon removal.

One quirk of the Outlier Air is how much effort it takes to press the button on either housing for volume, playback, and call controls. Accessing Siri or Google Assistant requires a double-tap of the right earbud, which puts repeated pressure on the ear canal. On the other hand, changing the volume requires you to press and hold the button on either earbud. This puts prolonged pressure on the ear. Criticism aside, it’s a bearable nuisance. After all, these cost a reasonable $80 and merit an IPX5 rating, which certifies water-resistance.

Listeners with hearing impairments and those who need to be aware of their surroundings will benefit from mono mode.

Another useful feature is mono listening. This is automatically engaged when one earbud is placed back in the case. It’s great for those who are hard of hearing or who need to remain aware of their surroundings, such as during an outdoor run.

Related: Are the AirPods 2 worth it?

Battery life and connection quality

The Outlier Air charging case being inserted into a pocket.

The case charges via an included USB-C cable and requires two hours to complete a charge cycle.

The Outlier Air’s standalone battery life makes these some of the best true wireless earbuds available. You get 7.78 hours of playback on a single charge. It takes two hours to fully charge the case, which provides an additional two charge cycles. If you need something better, get the Beats Powerbeats Pro. Those cost three times as much as the Creative earbuds, though.

Some listeners have reported connection strength issues, SoundGuys’ loaner unit demonstrated excellent connection quality. Bluetooth 5.0 firmware allows for a 10-meter wireless range. Additionally, aptX and AAC high-quality codecs are both supported to reduce latency on iOS and Android devices alike.

How do they sound?

Creative Outlier Air true wireless earbuds with one in the case and the other resting just outside of it.

The Creative Outlier Air earbuds have the best battery life of any true wireless earbuds, support AAC and aptX, and include USB-C charging.

These earbuds appeal to a wide swath of consumers because of their bass-heavy sound signature. Bass notes sound about twice as loud as midrange frequencies (vocals and string instruments). This is often preferred by athletes and commuters alike to drown out ambient noise where isolation falls short. Even though the earbuds insert into the ear (unlike AirPods) a significant amount of environmental noise can be heard. Ultimately, this can degrade audio quality and may compel some users to invest in Comply memory foam ear tips.

Fortunately, the reproduction of three-dimensional space is impressive for a pair of cheap true wireless earbuds. In all fairness, this is the company that brought us the SuperX-Fi amplifier and SXFI Air, two products noted for their abilities to recreate a realistic sense of auditory space.

Creative Outlier Air microphone demo:

What’s more, taking calls with the Outlier Air is a pleasure because, unlike other true wireless products, audio is relayed through both the left and right channels. The integrated microphone in each earbud relays the human voice well enough while filtering out background noise as heard in the example above.

Should you buy them?

Yes, the Creative Outlier Air are a superb value. Sound quality, while not neutral, should be enjoyable for most consumers. The substantial battery life is appreciated, as is the high-quality Bluetooth codec support. If you want a solid pair of daily earbuds, the Creative Outlier Air are a great choice with forgivable drawbacks.

Get your Creative Outlier Air!

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Tribit StormBox portable wireless speaker review

Bluetooth speakers come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and price points. To say that it’s easy to find something that works for you would likely be an understatement.Bluetooth speakers are also widely available; they’re found not just in electronics stores, but general retail stores and myriad online outlets, too.For every big-name branded speaker that you’ll encounter in your hunt, there also will be unknown companies competing for your attention and money. Take, for instance, Tribit.Although it doesn’t have the same market presence as Ultimate Ears, it does have a growing portfolio of competing products with lower prices. Its StormBox speaker is one of the brand’s latest products and we’ve had a chance to check one out.DesignThe Tribit StormBox is a cylindrical speaker that takes up about as much space as a large energy drink. Although its buttons lead you to believe there’s a specific front to it, the shape lends itself to a 360-degree sound.Speaking of buttons, the StormBox keeps things simple. There are volume controls and a multi-function power/pairing button. Oh, and there’s also an XBass button that’s used to take sound to the next level.The speaker has a hard mesh exterior and an IPX7 rating which means it’s built to withstand splashes and scrapes. At the top is a lanyard that makes it easy to carry or connect to a bag. Nice and portable, it weighs in around one pound total.Although it pairs via Bluetooth, the StormBox also has a 3.5mm auxiliary input for directly connecting to audio sources. It, and the microUSB charging port are located under a protective rubber flap that keeps things dry.Also worth noting, you can pair multiple StormBox speakers together to create a stereo sound. We did not have the chance to test the feature out.What’s Included?Tribit Bluetooth SpeakerMicro USB CableBlack LanyardUser ManualSetupThere’s very little to mess with here as it’s more or less a case of powering on and holding down the pairing button. You don’t have to worry about any apps or phone settings.PerformanceI was quite happy with how the speaker performed as it did everything it promised. The StormBox had no problem filling large rooms and open spaces. You could easily hear whatever was playing throughout any room.The water-resistance worked pretty well. It was a bit muffled, but nothing drastic. Overall, I thought the speaker did really well underwater.As for the special button, I didn’t feel that the XBass button had much effect. I wish it had been a bit stronger.The battery life is reported to be twenty hours. I used it right out of the box and used it for about ten hours, and haven’t had to charge it yet. The manual includes a guide to figuring out the different functions, including how to understand your battery level. It isn’t very obvious, but there is a column of lights on the back that will give you a general idea.ConclusionOne of the best selling points of the StormBox is that it comes with an 18-month warranty. Not only that, but you can extend it out to 30 months at no extra cost. This process is done online at Tribit’s website.Given the affordable ($60) price, this is a great speaker option for people who might want something for around the home, office, or pool. It’s portable, sounds great, and has an excellent battery life.AvailabilityThe Tribit StormBox comes in a variety of color options, including blue, black, and red. Look for it at Tribit’s website and Amazon for about $60.

Cool tech gifts under $100

In the era of digitalization and lots of tech advancements appearing every day, you have no choice but adapt to our quickly-changing world. Tech gadgets are cool: they simplify our life and make it much more convenient. Besides, they become an irreplaceable part of our daily routine, just like smartphones once did. More attention to tech gadgets are paid in college: students are in need of helpful devices as well as reliable services like papercoach, which you can pay for an essay or just delegate your homework. Tech gadgets can also become a great gift for everyone, from a teenager to a retired person. In this guide, we will cover the top popular of them that will not cost you a fortune.Top gadgets for under $100 budgetHow many times have your smartphone, quick Internet connection, and professional student service united to make wonders? You just choose a reliable resource based on speedy paper review and other agencies’ feedback, then send a request like «Can you do my homework for me?» or «Can you write my essay for me cheap?» and receive a completed task within a short timeframe. Just a decade ago, we couldn’t imagine it would have ever become possible. Now there is a variety of gadgets aimed to make our life easy and comfortable. We offer a list of top tech gifts everyone would be happy to get and which cost no more than $100 (however, today $100 can get you quite far):Streaming stickA device like the Chromecast will cost you around $70, if not less, and is good for people who love streaming like bloggers or just enjoy watching Netflix. All tech giants like Apple, Amazon, and Google have invested in the development of the streaming revolution so you can find a variety of models appearing every year (for example, Roku). It is able to deliver 4K HD video and helps you find the best place to enjoy the content easily;Portable chargerThis is a must-have device for active smartphone users that never have enough battery power (that is, for everyone). We recommend getting the one with 20,000mAh or more, which will likely cost you around $50 and will keep your phone charged seven times (this is especially convenient during the trip in the mountains, concerts, and other places where you can`t get charged a standard way). It is small, lightweight, and easily fits in the pocket or backpack. Besides charging quickly, it also does it safely based on your cable and device;Amazon Echo DotThis device is a mini voice assistant speaker that has access to multiple apps and using which you can control smart home devices (lights, garage door, water, and thermostat), listen to music, and order pizza. It will cost around $50 and is totally worth this money: it has a far-field system of voice recognition so you can make commands across the room while the device will react to your speech, accent, vocabulary, and patterns;E-readerFor example, it can be Amazon Kindle for the cost of $80. If the person loves reading and cannot invest much money into regular books buying, this one will make a perfect gift. The most recent models have a nice design, enough memory to download hundreds of books, a great touch screen, and a powerful processor for convenient reading. Talking about Amazon, it also has a built-in vocabulary and the battery life of one month by active reading;Wireless headphonesIf you are looking for a gift under $100, you can consider the Shure SE112 model that has a solid construction, built-in microphone for making calls, great quality of the sound, and a smooth Bluetooth connection. These headphones provide outstanding performance within a limited budget so you can enjoy music on the go;DroneDepending on the model, it will cost you around $100, and it will be a perfect gift for travelers and just nature lovers. It is lightweight, has stabilization features, and is controlled via an app. Cheaper models can record videos in 720p, which still makes great quality.EDITOR NOTE: This is a promoted post and should not be viewed as an editorial endorsement.

Android’s file sharing Nearby Share is now live

One feature that has been missing in the Android space for some time is the option to easily share files and contacts wireless with other Android users. Apple has had this with AirDrop for years, but Google has never brought a comparable protocol to the table. Finally, the rumors have been confirmed with Nearby Share available to Android.Nearby Share gives consumers a great option to quickly share links, photos, contacts, and documents with Android users instantly. The service works over cell networks, Bluetooth, WebRTC, or WiFi. This gives folks multiple avenues to deliver the shared files both on and offline.Google’s blog post also states that privacy settings are available in the app to make sure you have some more granular controls over how you can be found and receive files. You can change this from “all contacts” to “some contacts” or “hidden”. These privacy settings should allow you to add a layer of security to make sure you are only receiving or sending files to your most trusted friends or colleagues.Chromebooks are also not forgotten in this update. Chrome OS is quickly becoming the jack of all trades operating system and Google has made Nearby Share available on this platform as well. File sharing seemed like a natural progression of the already good continuum experience of Instant Tethering from Chrome OS devices to Android phones and we are glad Moutain View’s finest took the time to make this compatible day one.Nearby Share is a long-awaited addition to the Android ecosystem. While we like to think that Apple steals from Google on a consistent basis for new iOS features, this has been a gap in the Android experience that just needed to be fixed.Pixels and “select Samsung devices” should already see Nearby Share on the devices. Google will continue the trend of rolling releases of new Android options like this with future handsets getting Nearby Share over the coming months.