Wireless bluetooth EAR BUDS recommendations

grandorder302

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most websites call these "Wireless neckband Headphones or Earbuds", cuz there is a rubber/silicon wire which goes behind your neck.

Actually many brands offer this design
- JBL
- Beats
- Sony
- Sennheiser
- Creative
- Samsung
- Plantronics
- Audio-technica

Some have ear hooks, some come with ear wings....
Sorry, what i meant was the shape of the earbud design, it's shaped like an airpod but I don't know what this design is called.
 

wwh5210

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Guys i used to use creative outlier..
Then i change to sennheiser

My budget ard 150 to 250

Is there anything out there u guys feel better

Purely for listening to music.. So sound quality. I like mine bassy.

Tempted to change to samsung buds
I am using Jabra Elite 7 Active. Quite comfortable and the sound quality is good. I gotten mine at $168 on Lazada back in Jun. Sony Linkbud S is pretty decent too. I saw Popular selling it at only $178 (SRP at @ $299).
 
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DarthGW

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my soundpeats truengine 3se died, any good recommendation in terms of audio quality upgrade within same price range or slightly higher?
 

DigDub

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Bose quiet comfort earbuds 2. Superb nosie cancelling and very natural ambient mode. Very comfortable. Sound quality is very enjoyable as well, with a consumer friendly sculpted sound signature that puts out a good amount of sub bass and bright highs without sounding muddy or sibilant. The touch controls works very well, full playback and volume controls are available on each bud. Price-wise, it's in the Sony XM4, Sennheiser mtw 3 and airpod pro 2 category.
 
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Henabi

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I feel Bose QC 2 earbuds are better at reducing higher frequency noises which sony, Sennheiser and apple tend to struggle
 

Henabi

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After using the Creative Outlier Air V2 for a month.... here is my personal thoughts about it...

Design & Build
  • Big earbuds
  • Chunky case
  • Material wise... it feels solid, premium and it speaks quality despite its huge size
  • individual LED indicators for earbuds and case
  • USB-C charging

Comfort & Fit
  • Despite the huge size and weight, it is very comfortable wearing them, as the earbuds weight is pretty equally distributed and you will forget them after you wear them.
  • It comes pre-installed with M-size soft silicon eartips. Creative also provides extra S & L size silicon seals so you can mix & match to get the right fit.
  • The silicon seals are pretty thick, so I am ok with the M-size.
  • Since the ear tip is pretty short, the silicon seals only goes slightly into my ear canal. So a fair bit of the earbud is sitting outside your ear and stick out quite a fair bit.
  • Once you get the right seal and fit, you will instantly notice the noise isolation
  • Lastly, as they don’t trap heat and do not press against any parts of my ears, I can wear them for many hours without any ear fatigue and pain.

Music quality
  • Outlier V2 supports SBC, AAC and Aptx codecs.
  • Creative used 5.6 mm superior graphene-coated driver diaphragm for V2.
  • Audio output at 50% volume level is pretty loud for such small drivers. Most of the time, my volume don’t need to go beyond 40%.
  • Music quality wise. The Outlier V2 is definitely one of the best you can get at this price and of course, having the right seal and fit as I mentioned earlier, have a direct influence on music quality as well.
  • The bass is surprisingly good for such small drivers. There is plenty of Bass but never overbearing.
  • Vocals and instruments are clear and bright. You can hear the details in the instruments.
  • Sound stage is very good.
  • If you tend to listen to your music at high volume levels like 80/90 or even max volume, certain tracks may sound a bit more harsh or even have a low hissing sound in the background.
  • But Overall, at this price point, Outlier V2 is definitely one of the best sounding tws you can get for such low pricing.
Battery life
  • Earbuds can last up to 12 hours on music.
    • On my own test, I managed to get 13.5 hrs on music at 80% volume
  • Charging case rated to provide extra 22 hours, giving you a total of up to 34 hours
    • Case takes around 2hrs to be fully charged from 0-100 via USB-C.
  • Honestly speaking, V2 is definitely some of the longest-lasting cheap earbuds you can buy with 12 hours of music from a single charge.
App support
  • No Creative app support for Outlier V2, except the Super X-FI app which is useless with music streaming apps.

Exercise, workout, gym, jogging
  • The IPX5 water proof rating is very handy, especially if you have an active lifestyle or you are looking for a pair of earbuds which can take some water and sweat.

Mic quality
  • The mic quality is excellent indoors.
  • Once you move outdoors, the Qualcomm cVc 8.0 tech does a good job at isolating my voice and suppressing background noises, even when I was walking along busy roads.
  • Though it struggled slightly in noisier places such as noisy cafes, coffeeshops and wind.

Summary
  • Pros are: Battery life. Good sound quality, IPX5 rated, Good mic quality
  • Cons: No ANC. big earbuds, bulky case, no quick charge, no wireless Qi charging, no app support, useless Super X-FI

Final Verdict
  • Are they worth it? Looking away from the big earbuds and bulky case, Imo, if you are on a budget, and you are looking for a pair of tws which literally check most boxes plus you don’t need features like ANC and app support, then at under S$30, if you still can find one, the Creative Outlier V2 is definitely one of the best sounding wireless earbuds with 12 hours battery life per charge. This is probably only bettered by Samsung and Beats.
 

Henabi

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Finally.... my personal thoughts about the Creative Outlier Air V3 ANR is out....
Design & built
  • Basically same design and shape as Outlier V2. But if you bring out the rule to measure, it is a tad smaller

Comfort and Fit
  • Just like Apple and Sennheiser, Creative decided to retain a similar earbud shape as the V2, but the V3 earbuds are smaller and thinner.
  • Just like the V2, it is very comfortable wearing them, despite the size and weight. The earbuds weight is pretty equally distributed and you will forget them after you wear them.
  • It comes pre-installed with M-size soft silicon eartips. Creative also provides extra S & L size silicon seals so you can mix & match to get the right fit.
  • The silicon seals are pretty thin, so I had to switch to L size.
  • The ear tip is pretty short, the silicon seals only goes slightly into my ear canal. So a fair bit of the earbud is sitting outside your ear and stick out quite a fair bit.
  • Once you get the right seal and fit, you will instantly notice a “vacuum” effect. This is the first time I have such an experience with in-ear earbuds.
  • The earbuds don’t trap heat and do not press against any parts of my ears, I can wear them for many hours without any ear fatigue and pain.
  • Though I do have two issues with the silicon seals.
    • First one is whenever I remove the earbuds, the silicon seal will be left in my ear. This happened quite a few times. It seems like the V3 silicon seal do not have a tight grip on the ear tips. But luckily, the silicon seals do not sit very deep in my ear canal so i was able to remove them easily.
    • Second one is the “vacuum” effect. The moment you pull the earbuds out from your ears, you will hear a squishy sound, which kinda irritates me over time, because I do not get such effects from other in-ear earbuds.
Music quality
  • Creatives uses 6mm Bio-cellouse driver with The Outlier V3
  • it supports SBC & AAC codecs. No AptX this time.
  • In terms of Overall sound quality, The V3 has a similar performance as the V2 but V3 has a much better overall Balance.
  • Bass sounds more balanced and controlled on V3 compared to V2, which is definitely a much welcome upgrade.
  • Vocals and instruments are cleaner, with greater clarity and details compared to V2
  • Users can now customize the EQ via the Creative App! YEAH!!!!
  • The hissing issue with V2 is still present with the V3 but it only happens to a small handful of songs.
  • Hopefully Creative will release firmware updates to rectify this issue.
  • But Overall, at this price point, Outlier V3 is definitely one of the best sounding tws you can get

ANR (ACTIVE NOISE REDUCTION)
  • Outlier V3 is Creative’s first pair of wireless earbud with noise reduction feature. You notice that Creative calls it ANR, which is like ANC Lite.
  • But still, The ANR does a fairly decent job at reducing plenty of noise, which makes walking along busy roads and sitting inside the subway a bit more enjoyable.
  • Via the Creative App It also allows users 5 different levels of ANR.
  • ANR can also be utilized together with phone calls. We will touch on that later.
  • Since ANR is a lite version of ANC, therefore It is important to manage your personal expectations because it won’t remove as much noise as, let’s say tws with hybrid active noise-cancelling, like UGreen HiTune X6, Edifier W240TN or earbuds with full ANC like Jabra Elite 85T, Apple Original Airpods Pro and Pro 2, but it’s fine for listening to music or streaming a Netflix show in relative peace on the commute.

Ambience Mode
  • Even though this is Creative’s first attempt but they kinda nail it well.
  • Environment noise is amplified cleanly. Therefore it is possible to have a conversation.
  • Station, PA announcements can be understood even at a distance of a few metres.
  • Via the Creative App It also allows users 5 different levels of Ambience mode

Battery life
  • Creative claimed V3 to have 10 hrs without ANR
    • Close to 8hrs per charge on music at 70% vol, ANR on.
    • Close to 8hrs per charge on phonecall indoors
    • Close to 6hrs for mixed usage: 2 hours phonecall, 6hrs music
  • Charging case Recharge both earbuds up to 3 times. up to 40 hours total usage.
    • Case takes around 2hrs to be fully charged from 0-100 via USB-C. It will take longer with Wireless Qi charging around 3 hrs.
Connectivity
  • Uses Bluetooth 5.2 version
  • Transmission distance: up to 9metres At home
  • Initial BT pairing is a bit tricky because the earbuds will show up individually on the pairing screen.
  • It took me several attempts before I was able to succeed.
  • No fixed master/slave. Able to use each earbud independently after pairing.
  • Switches effortlessly between music, videos and phone calls / video app calls
  • Though I want to highlight two issues which I have to face daily
    • 1 - subsequent reconnection with the earbuds is a chore
    • 2 - earbuds will randomly lose connection even when I was walking along an empty street.
  • Hopefully Creative will release firmware updates to rectify this issue.
Controls
  • Creative continue with touch controls for the V3
  • And this time, Creative cramp all possible commands you can find, ANR, Ambience, Vol control, Power ON/OFF
  • You name it, V3 has them
  • What’s more important is that Creative improved the responsiveness on V3.
  • V3 is able to better detect and differentiate 2x taps and 3x taps compared to V2
  • Besides that Users can further customize the commands in the Creative App.

Creative App
  • The Creative App unlocks a lot more features for users to customize their V3 experience
  • The main screen has all the standard stuffs with huge icons and large wordings.
  • Earbuds Battery life, ANR/Ambience mode, EQ, Controls, additional settings.
  • The graphical EQ comes with ten bands for sound adjustment
  • You can also save your own custom EQ settings.
  • In addition, there are 43 ready-made EQ settings to choose from, yes 43!!!
  • Ranging from different music genres to specific settings for individual computer and video games such as “League of Legends”, “Fortnite” or the “Call of Duty” series.
  • These settings can also be used as a basis for customisation, which is a nice touch.
  • Furthermore, there is the option to update the headphones’ firmware.

Exercise, workout, gym, jogging
  • For some of you who have a more active lifestyle or you tend to have sweaty ears, the V3 are rated to be IPX5 water resistant.
  • So it can handle rain, water and sweat pretty ok
  • The earbuds also stay snug in my ears during my runs
  • Though the case has no proper ratings. So remember to keep the case somewhere dry.

Mic quality
  • V3 comes with two mics in each earbud. Four in total.
  • Creative also allows users to utilize the ANR feature with phone calls.
  • In a quiet environment, the V3 offers exceptionally good voice quality, given their price range
  • But once we move outdoors, the reproduction of your own voice can be affected by the amount of background noise.
  • It is fine when you are walking along busy roads.
  • But when you are sitting in a cafe or restaurant, your voice is choppy in transmission and the volume fluctuates quite considerably.
  • This occurs both in the standard setting, with ANR and is even worse in ambient mode
  • I hope Creative will release firmware updates to rectify these issues.

Summary
  • Pros are: Battery life. Excellent sound quality, IPX5 rated, Good mic quality, ANR, Quick Charge, Wireless Qi Charging, App support, crazy amount of Pre-set EQ
  • Cons: Not full ANC or hybrid ANC, big earbuds, bulky case, useless Super X-FI, troublesome pairing and reconnection,

Final Verdict
  • Are they worth it? Should you buy the Creative Outlier Air V3 or get something else?
  • Well, the V3 is by far the best version of the Outlier Air series.
  • Apart from my personal issues with V3, such as the troublesome pairing, random D/C, the silicon seal coming off and stay in my ear canal....
  • aside from all these, If you can look past its enormous case, big earbuds, I would say that it is one of the best pair of Active Noise Reduction wireless earbuds under S$60 range (with promotions and discounts of course).
  • But if you want something a little smaller and don’t mind losing some hours, then check out the EDIFIER W240TN, UGreen HiTune X6 and even the Sonicgear EarPump TWS 12.

PS: I recorded my review on 18th November 2022. On 19th November, Creative released a firmware update for Outlier V3, Version 1.1.220729.1220
This update fixed a few issues, namely:
  1. Volume muting issue after Initial BT pairing and subsequent reconnections
  2. Fix earbuds powering ON & OFF when users adjust the volume slider with MAC OS devices
  3. Fix app bugs
  4. Fix reconnection issues
 
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Henabi

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After my experience with Outlier V2 and V3… i am not sure if I should get Outlier Pro and the new Sensemore Air

and do a complete comparison
 

rerear

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suppose the case for a pair of tws is rather huge and I would like to carry it in some other small form factor container, is there a way to pair without the case?
 

Henabi

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suppose the case for a pair of tws is rather huge and I would like to carry it in some other small form factor container, is there a way to pair without the case?
the pairing is done with the earbuds... some can do pairing with the earbuds still in the case...
Its' called "Quick pairing" or "Fast pairing"

if you only want to carry the earbuds around, it is possible... make sure the earbuds has touch command for POWER ON/OFF.

when you are done, input the command to power it off... when you want to use again, input the command to power it ON
 

Henabi

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I finally received this tws earbuds from Kickstarter!!!!
its called the GENKI Waveform...

Highlighted feature:
1) Dualstream: Basically allows two different audio sources to be stream to the earbuds
2) Allow direct audio connection via the charging case (Using a USB-C to 3.5mm headphone jack cable)
3) 24-bit Hi-fidelity

Really excited to test these out

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