Creative Outlier Air V2 Headphones Review

With an impressive battery life and a low price, these headphones are well worth considering, but the fit won’t work for everyone

Creative Outlier Air v2 headphones worn by woman
(Image: © Creative)

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Truly wireless sports headphones have been around for a few years now and there have been three particularly notable and welcome developments across the board during that time: sound quality has improved, battery life has got longer, and more affordable, good-quality sets have appeared.

The Creative Outlier Air V2 buds typify these three improvements as much as any I’ve tried. They offer 12 hours of playback on a single charge, and the case doubles as a portable charger to add another 22 hours. They also sound good – not as great as high-end buds like the Bose Sport Earbuds or Jabra Elite Active 75t, but considering they cost less than half as much, that’s easily forgiven.

That price really is quite remarkable. In recent years I have tried sets that cost £150 and more that were worse than these. Some even cheaper truly wireless headphones have impressed me lately, like the £40 Tribit Flybuds 3, but the Outlier Air V2 offers an upgrade in line with the extra you’ll pay – especially in terms of the battery life.

The only question I’d raise about the Outlier Air V2 headphones concerns the fit when exercising. The headphones don’t have an ear hook or wingtip to provide extra security, and I found they would squirm loose during especially sweaty indoor weights and cycling workouts, and needed some adjusting while running.

Creative Outlier Air V2 heaphones

(Image credit: Creative)

However, it’s a fairly standard in-ear fit, so if you have not had trouble with similar designs in the past I expect you wouldn’t with these headphones either. I often find in-ear buds come loose for me while running, so my preference is an ear hook or wingtip to provide a really secure fit on running headphones.

The build feels robust, and the headphones are IPX5-rated, which means you’ll be fine using them in the rain or for very sweaty workouts.

The headphones connected easily and reliably to my phone, and you can switch them to another device by tapping and then holding the touch control panels on both buds at the same time. I did find, however, that the connection to my laptop was patchier, with the occasional drop-out even while sitting at my desk.

Each bud has a touch panel that you can use to control them, and while it’s a bit fiddly and it takes a while to learn all the commands, the panel does work pretty well during workouts. There’s a lot of double- or even triple-tapping and holding involved, but you can achieve pretty much any playback mode you want to without getting your phone out.

I also like that there is no command linked to a single tap of either bud, because that’s something that you can set off by accident easily with truly wireless headphones when you adjust them.

The sound quality is not knock-your-socks-off good, but it’s impressive for the price. The bass is powerful but doesn’t dominate the mids and trebles, which are fairly crisp. I did get a little distortion at higher volumes, and tracks with lots of instruments and vocals coming through at once got slightly muddled.

The fit also helps to beef up the bass, while providing a high degree of passive noise cancellation. There is no transparency mode on the headphones, so that tight fit means you’ll have to stay sharp when running or cycling with them by or on the road.

Creative Outlier Air V2 Headphones and Case

(Image credit: Creative)

There are a couple of common features that aren’t on the Outlier Air V2 buds. One I didn’t really miss is ear detection – they won’t pause the audio automatically when you take them out. The other is more important – there is no quick charge feature on the buds, and they take a couple of hours to fully charge from empty. If they’re dead when you’re about to head for a run, you won’t be able to hang around for five minutes and be confident they’ll last you, though obviously having a case that doubles as a charger reduces the risk of this happening.

There is nothing essential missing from the V2s though, and if you’re confident in-ear buds fit your ears snugly, they are a stand-out option. They offer most of the features you’ll get from much more expensive headphones, plus better battery life than those, for £75 – or often less. That’s a snip any way you look at it.

Creative Outlier headphones worn by man exercising

(Image credit: Creative)

Creative Outlier Air V2 TWS True Wireless Sweatproof In-ear Headphones with Touch Controls, Graphene Diaphragm, Bluetooth 5.0, aptX, AAC, 34 hrs Battery Life with 12 hrs per Charge

Buy from Creative | £74.99 

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.