Creative SXFI Overview & Product Line Up
Some of you may have already heard of SXFI from Creative as it’s been around for a little while and they’ve been continuing to develop the technology. While at CES this year, Stef and I were lucky enough to experience SXFI for the first time and were very impressed indeed. In short, SXFI is a virtual surround sound technology that immerses you into your content and it’s available in a variety of different products.
“Super X-Fi® has been a dream of mine since the 1990s, and has taken over twenty years of engineering sweat, tears and grit to realize this feat. And now to see how many have been blown away by its magical performance
is something truly fulfilling for me on a personal level. I’ve never been so excited before in my whole life.”
“As the creator of the Sound Blaster, which has sold over 400 million units worldwide, the excitement that I felt then doesn’t even come close to what I feel now with Super X-Fi®. What we are seeing here is life-changing. We are on the verge of a universal game-changer in the way people experience audio in their headphones, where the audio experience is so expansive, immersive, and life-like, that it’ll be the new norm of headphone listening.”
“Once you experience Super X-Fi®, you won’t want to go back to the old headphone experience. It’s like after watching color on TV, you won’t want to go back to black-and-white! This is the ‘Holy Grail’ of headphone audio which the whole industry has been searching for. I believe this is what every headphone should sound like. This paradigm shift will elevate mankind’s appreciation of audio through this gift we
call Super X-Fi.” Sim Wong Hoo, creator of SXFI
How does it work?
Super X-Fi is computational audio; it uses complex algorithms and computationally intensive techniques to custom fit audio, for every individual, through a sophisticated Head and Ear-Mapping process. Hundreds of anthropometric parameters are extracted from the features of the head in high precision using real-time image detection and analysis. An artificial intelligence (AI) engine then uses these parameters along with the dynamics of the targeted headphones, and synthesizes them with a multi-dimensional map of the desired room acoustics. Using this synthesized map, Super X-Fi recreates the natural expansive audio soundstage, for headphones, to give a magical listening experience custom-made to each individual’s unique physique.
Now from experience, we were able to map out our heads while we were there at CES and then that was saved under our user account with Creative. It can be done via the app though and it will request images of your face and ears, and generate a profile for you. This profile can then be tweaked further within the app.
The technology is very good and can really blow your mind the first time you experience it. Although the examples shown to us were fabricated perfectly for the technology, it was fascinating hearing the various sounds from multiple locations. For me, it’s best suited for video content as you can really appreciate the gunshots from the left, a helicopter flying overhead and by visualising it on screen, it adds to the immersive’ness. Gaming too, I have played many games of Modern Warfare with them and the pinpoint accuracy really helped me identify when enemies were approaching.
Creative has a number of products that include this technology, some that are SXFI ready, meaning they need to work alongside the SXFI app, while others are SXFI certified, meaning they are standalone, ready to use products.
They have a number of headphones and earphones available, including the SXFI theatre, specifically for watching movies and the SXFI Air, which is the pair of headphones I have been using. They also have a variety of wired and wireless earphones, a DAC amp and a personal amp. The SXFI Amp is a tiny little device, that allows you to connect any existing headphones to it and allows the SXFI technology to work with them.
It’s one of those things that you need to experience to understand how effective the SXFI technology is but then again, a lot of these products are affordable, so you could just take the plunge. I don’t usually like watching movies on my own but when I do, I put the headphones on and I’m sucked in for the duration.
To find out more, head over to the official Creative SXFI website.