Two years after its release, Creative Technology has launched Creative Outlier Air V2, the successor to Creative's best-selling In-ear headphones, Outlier Air (our review here).
The latest Outlier Air V2 true wireless earphones (TWS), feature touch controls, Super X-Fi Ready technology and improved battery life. The price? 69,99 €, in line with the first Outlier Air version but substantially lower than the Gold. We have thoroughly used the sample sent to us for the review and we can tell you, without many frills, that - although they keep the original soul of the Outlier Air - they have undergone a significant evolution from different points of view.
But first things first.
- Driver: 5,6mm graphene driver diaphragm
- Frequency response: 20-20.000 Hz
- Audio codec: AAC, APTX, SBC
- Microphones: Qualcomm cVc 8.0 with noise reduction
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
- Charging: USB-C
- Bluetooth profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP
- Microphone: omnidirectional, one per earphone
- Weight: 6g each
- Battery life: 12 hours per charge
- Charging case: up to 34 hours
- Charging time: earphones 12 hours, case 3 hours
- Water resistance: IPX5, sweat resistant
In the sales package we find:
- Creative Outlier Air V2 headphones
- 1 x USB-C charging case
- 1 x USB-C charging cable
- Pair of silicone grommets (S), (M) and (L)
- 1 quick guide
Design and comfort
Il homes it is very similar to the previous one, although longer than a few millimeters. It opens with a swipe to the left and allows you to allocate - thanks to the two comfortable magnets - the headphones inside. The taking is practically instantaneous. The case appears in a beautiful matte blue and has the Creative logo in anthracite color on the top. It is easy to carry and can be stored in the jeans pocket easily and with a very small footprint. The total recharge is 34 hours about 4 hours more than the Outlier Air and 5 less than the Gold. All in all they keep their promises and above all they quickly recharge both earphones.
The fit of the Outlier Air V2 is nothing short of superb; they fit comfortably in the ears thanks to the different sized silicone rubber pads Like most earphones, for superior sound quality, the larger size ear tips would be recommended. The color chosen for the headphones is identical to that of the case and their shape - really eye-catching compared to the Outlier Air - is not very dissimilar to the Jabra Elite Active 75t (here our review). Weight? A trifle, 6g, slightly more than the Jabra (5,5g).
Nowadays, modern TWS earphones pair with your device in an instant. You take them out of the box, pair them via Bluetooth and that's it.
These are slightly different as they appear as two separate headsets in the Bluetooth menu. When you pair one - by lightly holding down the touch button on the front - the second should then try to pair automatically.
Once paired, you can start using both headphones or separately if you want. Unlike the Outlier Air, the robotic voice will warn you that the headphones are on and connected but when you put them back in the case the indication will be given by a simple beep.
The Creative Outlier Air V2 has the longest battery life of any TWS headset we've ever had a chance to review in recent years. We stressed them out in all ways: long music listening sessions, movies, calls and calls via Skype or other video calling apps.
The duration declared by the manufacturer is 12 hours. An incredible duration that will make you sleep peacefully knowing that the headphones will not "die" so easily.
The case itself should be able to provide approximately two additional full charges to the earbuds.
What does Super X-Fi Ready mean?
Super X-Fi Ready is a new feature equipped on the Outlier Air V2. Creative's Super X-Fi technology turns regular audio tracks into an immersive 3D listening experience. Using AI-based software, Super X-Fi creates an audio profile that fits your ears by simulating realistic spatial sound. Check out our Creative SXFI Gamer or Trio review for more details on how headphone holography works and how to set up Creative's Super X-Fi.
We cannot fail to highlight a major drawback of the Super X-Fi Ready technology: the audio processing takes place via the SXFI app, which means that it only works with local audio files played using the app. If you want to enjoy the audio / sound experience from third party sources, such as Spotify, YouTube or Netflix, you will need to invest in headphones equipped with the same but integrated technology, such as the Creative SXFI AIR mentioned above.
The sound quality is amazing. With the silicone pads pre-installed, the audio quality was a bit underwhelming and flat at first, but the move to the larger rubber pads brought out all the sound. The drivers are the same as the Outlier Air - 5.6mm in graphene, so the sound quality isn't that different. The lows are rich and deep - almost overwhelming - but the mids and highs are also able to surprise and turn out to be incredibly clear and balanced.
The fact that they are more bass oriented makes them ideal for most people and for those looking for a headset for sports use.
In addition to the standard SBC audio codec, the Outlier Air V2 also supports AAC and aptX. These high-end codecs facilitate better audio quality and lower latency, even if it's hard to hear the difference. Overall, the Outlier Air V2 produced a satisfying sound on a wide spectrum of different sounds, especially the more energetic ones such as: metal, rock, hip hop and electronics.
These earbuds don't have active noise cancellation, but passive noise reduction is good.
With regard to voice calls, what characterizes these Outlier Air V2 makes is the cVc 8.0, a technology that reduces environmental noise pollution during calls. For example, if there is background noise during a call, the Outlier Air V2 filters out the noise, making the voice clearer on the receiving end. This feature worked wonders in our tests.
Finally, as mentioned above, you can pair and use each headset independently. However, unlike many TWS headphones, the dual voice calling function will allow you to enjoy stereo sound during calls.
Goodbye keys, welcome to touch controls
In this new Outlier Air version, Creative has decided to abandon the obsolete button replacing it with a touch one. The feedback is all in all good but can be improved. Increasing or decreasing the volume is simple, just press and hold the right earbud lightly to raise it, the left one to reduce it. The uncertainties we recognized when we had to change the song. The fact of having to press the right touch button three times does not always activate the passage to the next song. You have to be fast and still otherwise you risk pausing the songs with each touch. Ultimately the touch works well and is a feature that gives a real breath of freshness to the product.
The Creative Outlier Air V2 is a great pair of TWS in-ear headphones.
We love the design, the touch controls are much better than the button in the previous version, and the battery life is excellent. At a price of 69,99 euros, they beat the competition hands down.
Frankly, we found very little to fault. If we really want to nitpick, Super X-Fi Ready technology can only be used with local files, active noise cancellation is missing and touch controls are not always flawless.
That said, if you're looking for a comfortable pair of TWS earbuds with solid sound, quality design, and incredible battery life at a fair price, the Creative Outlier Air V2 is for you.