A little over two decades ago when Metal Gear Solid 2 was released, I remember hearing about bone conduction audio devices that transmits sound directly to your inner ear bones by using vibrations in your temporal bones, as that’s what Snake’s earpiece was using to communicate with others.
After all these years I finally get to try it out for myself with the Creative Outlier Free Pro+ Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones that are pretty neat as they let you listen to music or talk on the phone while keeping your ear canals open and free, as long as you’re okay with losing some of the “oomph” most standard headphones possess.
Once taken out of the package, I noticed how light and flexible this device is. It’s so flexible that I was scared they would break when trying to adjust the transducers to fit right in front of my ear canal. Thankfully they’re not easy to break and hold up really well, which is a definite plus for those using these when exercising (or even bike riding in my case).
Speaking of which, thanks to a nice silicone coating and the IPX8 water resistance rating these have, you don’t have to worry about sweat or dirt interfering, and you can even swim in the pool with them on (just be sure to plug up the mic port with the convenient mic cover first).
The sweet thing I really like about these headphones is not only can you pair it with any Bluetooth device and have a nice amount of range thanks to its Bluetooth 5.3 usage, but it also has a built-in MP3 player with 8GB of space that plays MP3s, FLAC, WAV and APE files, so you don’t have to be connected to any device or the internet to enjoy your music or audio files. Since these rely on vibrations for sound instead of traditional audio drivers, the sound isn’t as clear nor the bass as solid as typical headphones, but these still sound good enough to satisfy your music fix and phone calls.
On the right side there’s three buttons that control the volume up and down, as well as the multimode button that allows you to switch between your Bluetooth connected devices, the music and audio file player, as well as setup and enable a cool multipoint sharing mode. That’s right, these headphones allow you to pair to not just one, but two devices that you can swap between.
Another nifty feature is the cool charging port on the right side that uses a proprietary, magnetic charging cable that easily clicks to the device when close to it. From here you can plug in the USB-A end to your computer that will allow you to charge the device which takes about two hours for ten hours of use (while a quick ten minute charge will give you two hours), as well as drag and drop your music and audio files onto the headphones.
I love coming across technology that boarders on magic, and the Creative Outlier Free Pro+ Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones are some of the coolest tech I’ve used yet. While the sound they produce won’t be as meaty as traditional headphones, these manage to pump out music and audio quite nicely while freeing up your ear canals that’s a big plus in my book.