Hands on: Creative Outlier Air V2
23 February 2021 | 0
The TWS market is a busy space, full of name brands and generic alternatives, some much better value than others. Creative, a staple of PC audio, have been in the market a while and the Outlier Air V2 is its latest entry for the sub-€100 mid-market. Do you get what you pay for? Yes, and a little more besides.
The first thing you notice about the V2 package is the sliding carry case. This is a carry-over from the previous generation and is certainly different from the common ringbox/contact lens case design so prevalent in the market. It’s not a discrete carry so you’ll either be leaving it at home or keeping it somewhere with generous pocket space.
According to Creative the V2 has an impressive battery life of up to 34 hours, with 12 hours of play time per charge. As a heavy user that’s enough for about two working days, and two-and-a-half hours better than the V1.
I’m especially sceptical of TWS as a worthy investment over the likelihood of losing them and I’ve had a mixed experience to date. The V2s, however, are a snug fit and felt comfortable for extended use, even when out walking.
One notable upgrade for the V2 over its predecessor is the move away from uncomfortable button controls to a capacitive touch pad. The controls are a simple set of depending on what mode you are in. In audio mode, tapping twice controls play and pause, tapping three times on the left and right bud skips the track forward and back respectively.
To change the volume level, press and hold left and right to turn volume down as necessary.
Taking a call requires a double tap, pressing and holding for three seconds rejects it. When out of audio mode tapping three times opens up Siri or Google Assistant as per your preference.
There is a a downloadable app with additional controls but I gave it a miss as it required too much effort to deliver the perfect listening experience. I wasn’t into taking pictures of my face and ears to help select the perfect tip size.
As for the listening experience, as someone used to wearing cans for nine hours a day I had to temper my expectations. If you’re looking for monstrous bass you won’t find it here. That said, you won’t be disappointed for clarity. If your preference is for podcasts and audiobooks over music you will be well served here.
For music, that means what it lacks on the low end it makes up for in middle and treble. The sound avoids being tinny but lacks punch.
At just under €70 the Outlier V2 is good value. The fit alone puts it above some of the pricier TWS buds on the market. If your tastes skew towards spoken word content or the quieter end of the musical spectrum there are few better options out there.