Creative’s Outlier Air V2 cable-free in-ears feature outstanding battery life, are universally tuned for everyday use and support high-quality audio codecs such as aptX or the AAC format in addition to the Bluetooth 5.0 standard. On top of all this, a “holographic” listening experience using Super X-Fi technology can be set up via connection with the app.
The compact, ergonomically adapted design of these in-ears weighs in at six grams per side and offers a comfortable fit. At the same time, the housings embed themselves well in the ears and only protrude slightly, which promotes a fairly stable hold and makes it possible to wear a hat. Thanks to a sweat- and water-resistant finish in accordance with IPX5, these earphones are protected from weather-related moisture outdoors and are also suitable for sports, as long as they are not subjected to stronger vibrations.
In our battery endurance test, the Outlier Air V2 achieved a runtime of 13 hours and 30 minutes at high volume levels, which was a very impressive result for a wireless in-ear system. In the transport case, which also serves as a charging station, these earphones can be fully charged once and then again to two-thirds full until the battery reserve is exhausted, which means that the total runtime is over 34 hours. Although the transport case seems quite large compared to some other models, it offers a modern USB-C connection and a charging status display for both the earphones and the case itself using three LEDs. This is supposed to show the remaining reserve while the in-ears are charging, but this is not very reliable as the LED signals that the capacity of the box has been exhausted far too early. Apart from that, it is easy to see from the outside when the charging cycle of these headphones and the case is complete; it takes two hours and 15 minutes in both cases. No quick-charge function for these in-ears was included. A USB-C to USB-A charging cable for the box, however, is included in the package.
Pairing these headphones, each of which can also be used individually in single mode, can be done by removing them from the case, which turns the system on and automatically puts it into pairing mode. Once a wireless connection is established, a double-tap controls playback, and this is also used to answer and end phone calls that can be made with good voice clarity. Holding the touch-sensitive surfaces also controls the volume by reducing it on the left and increasing it on the right. Track selection is activated by tapping three times, with the left headphone being used to jump back and the right side to jump forward. When playback is paused, a triple tap activates Siri or Google Assistant. We noticed that the touch control reacts with a slight time delay and that the triple tap must be done quickly so that it is not misinterpreted as that causes playback to stop. However, with a little practice, reliable operation is possible. The range of the Bluetooth connection within an urban environment proved to be not particularly high at just seven metres, especially since isolated dropouts already started to occur from a distance of four metres or more.
The Outlier Air V2s have a tidy, clear soundstage that seemed bright rather than dark and, given their price range, surprised us with a precise, powerful bass response that seemed neither shallow nor bulky. The prominent low bass also sounds well defined, which enables a powerful reproduction of bass-oriented music and provides plenty of listening pleasure. Voices sound fresh and agile, which benefits both films and audiobooks or podcasts. Up to a higher room volume, these headphones shine with a universal orientation of convincing quality, and the in-ears do not lack a high output with reserves. However, as the volume increases, the sibilance becomes noticeable, especially as the prominent highs are not free of harshness. The sound benefits from the fact that the upper ranges do not drop off, but with these headphones, a slight background noise has to be accepted.
Creative’s Super X-Fi technology is designed to enable three-dimensional listening via headphones, as with a multi-speaker system. However, with the Outlier Air V2, the function is not applicable to streamed content via Spotify, Tidal or YouTube, but only to local music files. For this purpose, a player is available for playback via the free app connection, which also provides an EQ for sound adjustment, where you can choose ready-made pre-sets, but you can also use your own settings. However, any adjustment made is not permanently stored on the headphones and is only active while the app is in use.
The tutorial is provided and it is helpful with setting up the audio holography, as both the face and both ears are photographed to create a personal profile. Afterwards, the sound effect can be switched on and off via the player so that a direct comparison is possible. However, the musical benefit of all this turns out to be rather small, as the virtual stage shifts clearly to the back and low frequencies are no longer perceptible, which sounds strange especially with hip-hop or electro productions. Better results can be achieved with ambient soundscapes.
Creative’s Outlier Air V2 are remarkable all-rounders at an attractive price that score points with high-quality audio codecs for Android and iOS devices. Some compromises have to be made with high volume levels, which have a biting treble reproduction, and in terms of the Bluetooth range. However, the long battery life of these weatherproof True Wireless in-ears is unparalleled.
- defined bass reproduction with depth
- IPX5 sweat and water resistant
- in-ears with exceptional battery life
- USB-C connection
- double-sided single mode
- good speech intelligibility during phone calls
- support high-quality audio codecs with aptX and AAC
- no quick charge function
- slight background noise present
- quite low Bluetooth range
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
- Weight without cable6 g each, case 60 g
What's in the box
- Eartips in three sizes (S/M/L)
- USB-C to USB-A charging cable
- Charging case
- BT codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX
- BT version: 5.0