It’s about time Creative revamps their true wireless earbuds casing! And they even come up with a new name! It’s the new Sensemore Air TWS, retailing at S$119 in Singapore.
The earbuds design retains the look of the Outlier Air series, and all the touch functions remain identical, which is good news for existing owners so there is no re-learning. You can also customise the touch controls via the Creative App. The case undergoes a transformation into, well, a more common clamshell design made of lightweight plastic. Although it deviates from the premium-feel aluminium casing, I’m sure owners would be happy to forgo that for a more compact case. Plus, it supports wireless Qi charging, though I’m not a fan of wireless charging as the charging takes longer. The earbuds have IPX5 water protection, deliver up to 10 hours per charge, and a total of 35 hours with the case.
The main reason for naming the new TWS “Sensemore” is because Creative has added a new mode which basically amplifies the ambient sound more than usual. Years back in 2017, this feature was being explored by a product called Here One, where the earbuds mixes ambient sound with music using specially-engineered audio filters. But it did not catch on, and for many years, the “Transparency” or Ambient Modes offered on true wireless earbuds are tuned to make the wearer feels like open-fit, nothing more.
Recently, there is a trend to offer an alternate mode to increase the amplification of the ambient sound, specifically the voices, so that the wearer can hear conversations clearer while still cutting out the noises from other frequencies. Creative caught wind of this trend and now includes this feature in the Sensemore Air. As the name suggests, switching to this mode elevates your hearing and makes everything around you sound a lot louder, and to a certain extent, noisier. Fortunately, through the app you can adjust the intensity.
How useful is Sensemore Mode?
Like any technology, there are positive use cases and there are negatives. The Sensemore Mode is not suitable for use at noisy places, like a food centre or on public transport, because all the undesirable noises are amplified. On the other hand, if you use it in a rural environment where you want to absorb all the harmonious sounds of nature, the Sensemore Mode will let you listen to the rustling leaves, the birds chirping. It’s like enjoying ASMR on-the-go.
Or, when you are in the office, enabling Sensemore Mode enhances your aural senses so that you are hyper aware of what’s happening around you, all your colleagues conversations, the clattering keyboard, the creaking chairs. Then, when it gets too distracting, just double-tap the left earbud to enable ANC. And just like magic, all the noises evaporated into thin air.
How strong is the ANC Mode?
The Creative ANC level is one of the better ones in the budget true-wireless earbuds segment. It reduces ambient noise rather well so all the loud environment noises are effectively reduced to a comfortably quiet level. The noises are not removed as aggressively as the leaders, but neither do you pay more than twice the price. When music is streamed, you can enjoy the details even in noisy place like on a train.
The Sensemore Air continues to improve the sound signature of the Outlier Air series where the treble remains clear and detailed without too harsh. It is a bit lacking in fullness for those who prefers a more authentic upper midrange. The bass is strong with sufficient warmth without too bloated, extending towards the lower midrange . The tuning makes music sound sweet and exciting. The sound staging is wide, instruments have separation, vocals are focused towards the front. The overall musical control is good and presents the materials for pleasant enjoyment. If you prefer a warmer tuning with less treble over-brilliance, you can go for the Outlier Pro. Similar to the recently TWS from Creative, the Sensemore Air supports only AAC and SBC audio codec.
Like most TWS, the Sensemore Air is good in controlling background noises, so the other caller will not be distracted by the ambience. However, you have to make yourself heard by speaking up, or else the earbuds mic will treat you as part of background noise and reduce your vocal clarity as well. In less noisy environment where the noise removal engine is less hardworking – like in the office – my voice is audible without speaking too loud.
The Creative Sensemore Air is the true wireless earbuds that consumers can finally get without compromises. It comes in a smaller charging case, contains the industry-standard ANC and Ambient Mode capabilities, plus a brand new Sensemore Mode to increase hearing intensity, offering new use cases for people who wants to amplify the ambient sounds more than usual. It might not work for all situations, and being a new feature, there are certainly room for improvements. But even if you disregard this new feature, the Sensemore Air is very much an upgraded line of TWS from Creative, keeping to the same price point of S$119.