Creative Outlier Air V2 True Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Jan 14, 2021 at 07:34 am
Creative Outlier Air V2 True Wireless Picture
7.2
Mixed Usage
6.6
Neutral Sound
7.8
Commute/Travel
8.1
Sports/Fitness
7.0
Office
5.6
Wireless Gaming
5.4
Wired Gaming
6.7
Phone Calls
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Creative Outlier Air V2 True Wireless are the second generation of the Creative Outlier Air Truly Wireless. Their ear tips have changed slightly compared to their predecessor, which forms a better seal to help isolate noise around you. Also, they're compatible with the SXFI app, which gives you access to a graphic EQ for sound customization. Their Super X-FI head mapping technology is advertised as creating a more immersive, studio-quality sound, but we don't test for this.

Our Verdict

7.2 Mixed Usage

The Creative Outlier Air V2 are decent for mixed usage. They're stable enough to wear to the gym, and their integrated microphone has a decent recording quality for making phone calls. Their portable design makes it easy to bring them on your commute, too. Their V-shaped sound profile may not be ideal for fans of neutral sound, but they have sound customization options, which is nice.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ.
  • Comfortable, stable fit.
Cons
  • Terrible passive soundstage.
  • Struggle to isolate against bass-heavy background noises.
6.6 Neutral Sound

The Creative Outlier Air V2 are okay for neutral sound. Their balanced mid-range can reproduce voices clearly and accurately. However, fans of a more neutral sound may find their excited, V-shaped sound profile to be a bit boomy or piercing. Fortunately, there's a graphic EQ in their companion app to help you customize their sound.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ.
Cons
  • Terrible passive soundstage.
7.8 Commute/Travel

The Creative Outlier Air V2 are very good for commute and travel. Their comfortable, portable design is ideal for long days on-the-go. With a continuous battery life of over 10 hours, they should last through most international flights, and you can recharge them in their charging case. However, they struggle to block out bass-heavy background noises like bus and plane engines.

Pros
  • Comfortable, stable fit.
  • Portable design.
Cons
  • Struggle to isolate against bass-heavy background noises.
8.1 Sports/Fitness

The Creative Outlier Air V2 are impressive for sports use. These headphones have a comfortable, stable fit, so they shouldn't fall out of your ears during low-intensity workouts. Their portable design makes it easy to bring them on-the-go, and they have an IPX5 rating for water resistance, though we don't test for this. However, if you like high-intensity workouts, they may fall out of your ears during more intense shakes.

Pros
  • Comfortable, stable fit.
  • Portable design.
Cons
  • Not as stable as in-ears with stability fins.
7.0 Office

The Creative Outlier Air V2 are decent for office use. They're comfortable, and they don't leak a lot of noise, so you can crank up the volume without bothering nearby coworkers. Their over 10-hour continuous battery life should last through your 9-5 workday, and their charging case offers additional charges. They can block out the sounds of people chatting around you, but they can struggle with bass-heavy ambient noise.

Pros
  • Comfortable, stable fit.
Cons
  • Struggle to isolate against bass-heavy background noises.
5.6 Wireless Gaming

The Creative Outlier Air V2 aren't compatible with Xbox One or PS4. While they can be used with Bluetooth-enabled PCs, their latency is likely too high to be suitable for gaming.

5.4 Wired Gaming

The Creative Outlier Air V2 are wireless headphones that can't be used with a wired connection.

6.7 Phone Calls

The Creative Outlier Air V2 are fair for phone calls. Their integrated microphone has a decent recording quality, and your voice sounds full-bodied but also a bit unnatural. The mic also struggles to separate your voice from background noises, so they're better-suited for calls from quiet settings. They have decent noise isolation, but you may be distracted during your calls by bass-heavy background noises.

Pros
  • Decent mic recording quality.
Cons
  • Struggle to isolate against bass-heavy background noises.
  • 7.2 Mixed Usage
  • 6.6 Neutral Sound
  • 7.8 Commute/Travel
  • 8.1 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.0 Office
  • 5.6 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.4 Wired Gaming
  • 6.7 Phone Calls

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Creative Outlier Air V2 are bulky wireless in-ears that protrude a bit from your ears. They have a very similar overall design to the Creative Outlier Air Truly Wireless, but come with a few more ear tip sizes, and have a dark metallic blue finish. There's also an LED light circle surrounding the buttons, which flashes different colors to show the battery level and pairing information. You can't customize the LED lights.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.03 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

The Creative Outlier Air V2 are comfortable. These lightweight in-ears don't go very deep in your ear, and they don't apply a lot of pressure, which is nice. They come with more ear tip sizes than the Creative Outlier Air Truly Wireless, so you have more options to find the most comfortable fit. Also, compared to their predecessor, their control scheme is easier to press thanks to its touch-sensitive design, so you don't push the buds further into your ears when inputting commands. However, they're a bit bulky and stick out from your ears.

6.8
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The controls are easier to use than the Creative Outlier Air Truly Wireless' controls, largely thanks to their touch-sensitive design. You can tap either bud twice to play/pause audio or answer/end a call. You can tap either bud and hold for three seconds to reject a call. Three taps on the right bud skips to the next track, while three taps on the left bud skips back to the previous track. Tapping and holding the left bud turns the volume down and tapping and holding the right bud turns the volume up. If audio isn't playing, you can tap three times to activate the voice assistant, and tap and hold for six seconds to pair the buds. There are audible beeps for every command and there's a chime for when you reach min and max volume.

9.3
Design
Portability
L 1.5 "
W 1.3 "
H 1.1 "
Volume 2.2 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

Like most truly wireless in-ears, the Creative Outlier Air V2 are incredibly portable. You can easily slip them into your pocket to bring on-the-go. Also, their portable case should easily fit into your pocket or bag.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 3.2 "
W 1.7 "
H 1.1 "
Volume 6.0 Cu. Inches

The Creative Outlier Air V2 have a good case. It's made of hard plastic, which can help protect the buds from scratches and falls. You can monitor the battery level for the case and for each bud using the corresponding LED battery lights. Also, it has a nice sliding compartment which magnetically holds the buds in place while they charge.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The build quality is good. They're made of plastic, but they still feel pretty durable. They also have an IPX5 rating for water resistance, though we don't test for this. Like the buds, the case is made of plastic with a metallic look, but it still seems solid. Overall, they should survive a few accidental drops without taking too much damage.

7.5
Design
Stability

The Creative Outlier Air V2 have a stable fit. If you manage to get a good seal, they should stay in your ears, even during low-intensity workouts. However, some high-intensity shakes may cause them to fall out of your ears.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Creative Outlier Air V2 earbuds
  • 5x tip options
  • Hard charging case
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
1.97 db
Treble Amount
-0.52 db

The Creative Outlier Air V2 have an excited, V-shaped sound profile. The extra kick in the bass helps you feel the thump and punch in bass-heavy music genres like EDM. Vocals and lead instruments are clear and present in the mix, so they're still suitable for podcasts and audiobooks. However, there's some frequency mismatch in the treble range. There's also a graphic EQ available in the companion app to help you customize their sound to your liking.

Note: While we expected these headphones to have a low noise floor, we encountered a hissing sound while testing them. This noise was mostly noticeable at lower volumes. This high noise floor could be unique to our model. Note that noise floor refers to the signal created from all the unwanted signals in our measurement system and it doesn't affect.

9.3
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.15 dB

The Creative Outlier Air V2 have remarkable frequency response consistency. If you get a proper fit and seal, they should deliver audio consistently each time you wear them.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.1
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.14 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
2.61 dB
Mid-Bass
4.45 dB
High-Bass
5.85 dB

The Creative Outlier Air V2 have decent bass accuracy. The entire range is overemphasized, so you really feel the thump and punch in action-packed videos and bass-heavy music. Some listeners may find them a bit boomy or muddy, but they're ideal for fans of a bass-heavy sound.

8.2
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.38 dB
Low-Mid
3.57 dB
Mid-Mid
-0.93 dB
High-Mid
-0.12 dB

The mid accuracy is impressive. There's an overemphasis in the low-mids that continues from the bass range, so vocals and lead instruments can sound a bit muddy and cluttered. However, the rest of the range is quite balanced, so those same instruments are clear and present.

6.4
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.86 dB
Low-Treble
1.36 dB
Mid-Treble
5.46 dB
High-Treble
-3.05 dB

The Creative Outlier Air V2 have passable treble accuracy. Vocals and lead instruments are present and detailed, though a bit bright. Sibilants like S and T sounds can be piercing or painful, but there's some mismatch between the L and R drivers in this range. However, this could be specific to our test unit, so your real-world experience may vary.

7.3
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.79 db
Dips
1.2 db

The Creative Outlier Air V2 have decent peaks and dips performance. The peak in the high-bass to low-mid ranges adds a boomy, muddy quality, while the dip in the mid-mids pushes vocals and lead instruments towards the back of the mix. The dip and peak in the low-treble can make those same instruments alternately veiled and piercing. The peak in the mid-treble makes sibilants piercing and painful, but there's some noticeable frequency mismatch in this range. However, this could be specific to our test unit, so your real-world experience may vary.

8.1
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.08
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.51
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
3.91
Weighted Phase Mismatch
6.22

The imaging is great. The weighted group delay falls below the audibility threshold, resulting in a tight bass and transparent reproduction. Also, the L/R drivers of our test unit are well-matched in amplitude and phase response, but there's some mismatch in frequency response. As a result, objects like footsteps and voices may not be accurately placed and localized in the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our test unit, so your experience may vary.

0.7
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
2.6
Acoustic Space Excitation
0.6

The passive soundstage is terrible. Due to their in-ear design, these headphones bypass the outer ear, which is one of the key factors in creating a large, speaker-like soundstage. Also, because of their closed-back enclosure, their soundstage isn't perceived to be as open as that of open-back headphones.

2.9
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
Adjustable
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
Super X-FI

The Super X-FI virtual soundstage feature uses head mapping technology to analyze your ears and your face and adjust the audio reproduction accordingly. The manufacturer claims that this technology recreates a studio experience, but we don't currently test for it. You can only use this feature with music stored on your phone while using the SXFI app. Unfortunately, it won't work with media from streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music.

7.9
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.199
WHD @ 100
0.110

The Creative Outlier Air V2 have a very good weighted harmonic distortion performance. All frequencies fall within good limits, resulting in clean and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
Unknown
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
aptX, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings we used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when using these settings.

Isolation
7.4
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-20.4 dB
Bass
-10.43 dB
Mid
-15.65 dB
Treble
-35.4 dB

The Creative Outlier Air V2 have decent noise isolation. These headphones have smaller, flatter ear tips than the Creative Outlier Air Truly Wireless, which helps create a better seal in the ear canal for improved noise isolation. They struggle to isolate bass-heavy background noises like bus and plane engines though. However, they perform better with higher-frequency ambient noise, so you don't hear the sounds of people talking around you or the hum of nearby AC units.

9.4
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
24.45 dB

The Creative Outlier Air V2 have an exceptional leakage performance. They don't leak a lot of noise, so you can listen to your favorite music at loud volumes without really bothering nearby coworkers in your office.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No

The Creative Outlier Air V2 have an integrated microphone.

7.3
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
20 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
4.0 dB
HFE
6267.15 Hz
Weighted THD
2.324
Gain
2.6 dB

The microphone has a satisfactory recording quality. Your voice is full-bodied and understandable, though a bit unnatural.

Note:Our microphone recording has some hitching or cutting noises. We aren't sure why this happens, but we've posted the recording with the lowest amount of hitching. This seems to be an issue with our software, and it hasn't impacted our scoring.

6.0
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
11.22 dB

The microphone has a mediocre noise handling performance. It struggles to separate your voice from background noises, even in moderately noisy environments.

Active Features
7.9
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
10.2 hrs
Additional Charges
2.0
Total Battery Life
30.6 hrs
Charge Time
1.5 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The Creative Outlier Air V2 have a very good battery performance. We measured continuous battery life of over 10 hours, though the manufacturer advertises a 12-hour continuous battery life. The portable charging case offers around two extra charges for when you're on-the-go, and there's even an auto-off timer to help preserve battery life.

7.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name SXFI App
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS Yes
Windows Yes
Equalizer
Graphic + Presets
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
Yes
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
Yes

The SXFI app is decent. There's a graphic EQ and presets that let you customize the sound profile of the headphones. You can also use the app to browse music stored on your phone or PC. The app lets you access the Super X-FI surround feature that uses its head mapping feature to analyze the shape of your face and ears and adjusts audio reproduction accordingly, though we don't test for this.

Connectivity
6.7
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
153 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
335 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
388 ms
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
59 ms
Android Latency
35 ms

The Creative Outlier Air V2 have reasonable Bluetooth connectivity. They don't support NFC or multi-device pairing, which can be disappointing for some listeners. Their latency with PCs is likely too high to be suitable for watching videos or movies, even when using aptX codec. However, they perform better with Android and iOS devices. Also, some apps compensate for latency, so your experience may vary.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A

These headphones are Bluetooth-only.

0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

The Creative Outlier Air V2 can't be used wired. They come with a USB-C to USB-A charging cable.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
No
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones are compatible with Bluetooth-enabled PCs, but you can't use them with PS4.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones aren't compatible with Xbox One.

2.2
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Charging Case
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
Yes
Power Supply
USB-C

These headphones have a charging case. You can recharge it using the included USB-C to USB-A cable.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Creative Outlier Air V2 come in one color variant: 'Blue'. You can see the label for the model we tested here. If you come across another variant, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.

Note 02/03/2021: We have updated this box to better reflect the color variants available.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Creative Outlier Air V2 are budget-friendly truly wireless headphones. They're the latest version of the Creative Outlier Air Truly Wireless, and thanks to their touch-sensitive control scheme, they have a more comfortable fit than their predecessor. They're also compatible with the SXFI App, which gives you access to a graphic EQ and the Super X-FI head mapping surround support. See also our recommendations for the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds, the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds under $100, and the best earbuds for bass.

Creative Outlier Air Truly Wireless

The Creative Outlier Air V2 True Wireless are better headphones than the Creative Outlier Air Truly Wireless. The V2 are more comfortable, largely thanks to their touch-sensitive control scheme, which doesn't push the buds as deep into your ears when you input a command. They also have better noise isolation, a longer continuous battery life, and a companion app that offers a graphic EQ and Super X-FI surround support. However, the original Air are more stable.

Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless are better headphones than the Creative Outlier Air V2 True Wireless. The Samsung have a more stable fit and a longer continuous battery life. Also, their default sound profile is more neutral than the Creative's v-shaped sound. However, the Creative come with a full graphic EQ for sound customization, and they have better noise isolation.

FIIL T1X True Wireless

The Creative Outlier Air V2 True Wireless have a similar overall performance to the FIIL T1X True Wireless, so you may prefer one over the other. The FIIL have a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, and they have a more stable fit. However, the Creative's integrated microphone has a better recording quality. Also, they have a graphic EQ, while the FIIL offer EQ presets.

Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless

The Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless and the Creative Outlier Air V2 True Wireless are similarly-performing headphones, so depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. Out-of-the-box, the Anker have a more neutral sound profile, so they're better for neutral sound. They also have better noise isolation. However, the Creative are more comfortable, with a longer continuous battery life and a companion app that offers a graphic EQ and surround support.

Beats Solo Pro Wireless

The Beats Solo Pro Wireless and the Creative Outlier Air V2 True Wireless are two different pairs of headphones, and depending on your usage habits, you may prefer one over the other. The Creative are in-ear headphones with a more portable, comfortable, and stable design. Their app offers more sound customization features, including head mapping and a graphic EQ with presets. However, the over-ear Beats are better-built with a longer continuous battery life and better noise isolation. Also, the Beats' sound profile is more neutral than the Creative's v-shaped sound, which some users may prefer.

Jaybird Tarah Wireless

The Jaybird Tarah Wireless and the Creative Outlier Air V2 True Wireless are similarly-performing headphones, so depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. The Jaybird have a more stable fit, and their sound profile is more neutral and balanced out-of-the-box. However, the Creative are more comfortable, and their continuous battery life is longer. Both headphones offer lots of sound customization options in their companion app, which is nice.

+ Show more
Price trend (United States Last Year)
Retailers' prices Amazon.com BestBuy.com B&H
Blue   Outlier Air V2
SEE PRICE
Unavailable
Unavailable
Deals

Recommended Articles

LOG IN

JOIN RTINGS.com

Be part of the most informed community and take advantage of our advanced tools to find the best product for your needs.
Join our mailing list:
Become an insider
EARLY ACCESS

Gain early access to all tests results for new products

Early Access UI
PRICES LISTED

Prices will now be listed directly in reviews and tables

product prices UI
MORE VOTES

Have 5 votes per product category to choose which product we’ll review next

Additional votes UI
UNLIMITED ACCESS

Gain unlimited access to detailed test results in tools and results (no blurred results)

test table UI

Create Post

Create Deal