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Creative SXFI Amp

VSG

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Creative finally brings to market its Super X-Fi technology built over 20 years of R&D. It aims to be a radical new change to the audio world by not only offering extremely convincing surround sound using stereo headphones, but generally enhancing the audio experience even for mono recordings provided you have a certain set of compatible devices.

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Looks pretty neat, but it would have been nice with some actual numbers, sorta like amir from ASR does, so we have something to compare it to
 

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Looks pretty neat, but it would have been nice with some actual numbers, sorta like amir from ASR does, so we have something to compare it to
The whole Super X-Fi technology is subjective though.

Edit: Ah, you are referring to the DAC and amp in here. I see what you mean, and we can explore this further via our actual audio editors. I wrote this up because I was one of two TPU editors at CES experiencing this, which you absolutely had to in person, and neither of us are the designated audio editors.
 

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Even the limited selection of "certified" headsets can't provide consistent results - this should kill the technology on the spot.
 

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Even the limited selection of "certified" headsets can't provide consistent results - this should kill the technology on the spot.
I think that's a harsh statement to make, when 3/4 certified headphones I tried all worked well, and the fourth also was fine to a control participant.
 
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I think even that DAC and amp alone is pretty good buy, also its super portable and being able to feed hog of headphones from it? Not bad.

As for headphones needed to make it work, no wonder, soundstage effect is wildly varied between headphones, same goes for sound clarity and so on.. I kinda doubt anything of low quality will work well. Would definitely love to test it on my old HD555 which even in natural state have pretty damn good soundstage (well almost natural state, they bit modded).
 
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This thing should work fine actually.

No bad feelings at all. It does what it says. They will improve the idea. DSP is an area where they can have room for expansion.

Tailored settings, bind it with VR... and who knows, their last bet?
 

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super fly for an XF-i...

Before i hang myself I think the device should of had a belt clip or come with an angled USB adapter instead of the regular straight ones. Things like these would make its usability much greater as you can put it easier in your pocket and you can clip the device to things instead of having it constantly hanging down
 

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super fly for an XF-i...

Before i hang myself I think the device should of had a belt clip or come with an angled USB adapter instead of the regular straight ones. Things like these would make its usability much greater as you can put it easier in your pocket and you can clip the device to things instead of having it constantly hanging down
So what I find myself doing with this is just putting it in the same pocket as my phone, and having wires go from the pocket to the headphones of choice. It is so small really that a decent belt clip would likely be larger.
 
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how is it compare to the stock quad dac of the v20 LG ? hmmm
 

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So what I find myself doing with this is just putting it in the same pocket as my phone, and having wires go from the pocket to the headphones of choice. It is so small really that a decent belt clip would likely be larger.
Its just something that annoys me to have something like that sharp stub or stub poking out.
 
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There is no Xbox support also. Should be put up in minuses

Didn't pay the licensing also. PS4 is free.
 

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There is no Xbox support also. Should be put up in minuses

Didn't pay the licensing also. PS4 is free.
I thought about it, but as a PC-centric website it did not seem fair for me to judge it without any personal experiences.
 
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I thought about it, but as a PC-centric website it did not seem fair for me to judge it without any personal experiences.
Well if you put up IOS, it should be also there.

Well that's my opinion. Actually TPU is pretty mixed bunch. We are not that console hating, most of us does all platforms. Creative isn't that poor to pay up the accessory license Microsoft is milking on Xbox. It isn't the case as with Apple, where you simply cannot push an app having so much access needs. It takes months of approval no matter who you are. The thing works on ios btw, you just cannot config it.
 

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Well if you put up IOS, it should be also there.

Well that's my opinion. Actually TPU is pretty mixed bunch. We are not that console hating, most of us does all platforms. Creative isn't that poor to pay up the accessory license Microsoft is milking on Xbox. It isn't the case as with Apple, where you simply cannot push an app having so much access needs. It takes months of approval no matter who you are. The thing works on ios btw, you just cannot config it.
iOS is on there because the amp needs a mobile app for setup, no matter what you do with it next. It is more integral to the user experience in my opinion, even if there is a back entry approach.

I will ask Creative for clarification on the XBOX support and update the review based on what they say.
 
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not something up to a Fiio Q1 Mark II (which is Apple MFI certified, not that i need it, in addition to work just fine with USB-C android phones) which cost 30.99$ less (mitigated by the Aurvana SE initial limited offer, although it's not the type of headset i would use with my phone, the Aurvana Trio on the other hand ... would fit better but, well, a tad expensive for me) and offer a 2.5mm TRS+3.5mm TRRS output .

Well it's a little more compact and has some marginally higher specs although i find more practical the Q1 MkII attached to the phone (and the "no need" for certified headset)
 

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not something up to a Fiio Q1 Mark II (which is Apple MFI certified, not that i need it, in addition to work just fine with USB-C android phones) which cost 30.99$ less (mitigated by the Aurvana SE initial limited offer, although it's not the type of headset i would use with my phone, the Aurvana Trio on the other hand ... would fit better but, well, a tad expensive for me) and offer a 2.5mm TRS+3.5mm TRRS output .

Well it's a little more compact and has some marginally higher specs although i find more practical the Q1 MkII attached to the phone (and the "no need" for certified headset)
Keep in mind that the unique selling point here is the Super X-Fi tech, with the DAC and amp coming in next.
 

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Is there a market for 5.1/7.1 setups in PC gaming, or why Creative keeps multi-speaker support in their products? Personally, if I would want to have a surround sound, I'll go to my living room with AVR and play on a big screen.
 
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Keep in mind that the unique selling point here is the Super X-Fi tech, with the DAC and amp coming in next.
oh i kept that in mind ... well after reading the product page ... i am mixed, i will test the app later (i use Onkyo HF Player and Foobar 2000 with my Q1 MkII)

as for the AMP/DAC i still prefer to have a battery driven one and not being tied to a specific set of headset to make them work (specially surprised by the output power ... without a battery it's ... weird)

noteworthy ... the AKM AK4377 has native support for DSD up to 256 (compared to the AK4452+XMoS) , tho i wonder why that SXFI AMP is not Hi-Res Audio certified (and not Apple MFi compliant )


on the other hand i am semi interested in testing the Creative S-XFi Air/Air C headphones but again the price make it ... "meh" even for the include "magical" S-XFi DSP chip
 
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tho i wonder why that SXFI AMP is not Hi-Res Audio certified (and not Apple MFi compliant )
Because is not a DAC, it is a custom DSP hybrid with DAC.
 
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Because is not a DAC, it is a custom DSP hybrid with DAC.
but the AKM AK4377 is a DAC ... they could pass that certification (tho the Apple MFi cert. is rather harsh ... iirc around 2% only pass i need to search the reference again )

the Fiio Q1 Mark II is also a DAC/AMP, ok it doesn't have the Super X-Fi DSP, but i doubt it would be the cause of not having Hi-Res Audio cert. or Apple MFi, Creative is quite bigger than Fiio and it surprise me to see them shirk on that.
 

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Well if you put up IOS, it should be also there.

Well that's my opinion. Actually TPU is pretty mixed bunch. We are not that console hating, most of us does all platforms. Creative isn't that poor to pay up the accessory license Microsoft is milking on Xbox. It isn't the case as with Apple, where you simply cannot push an app having so much access needs. It takes months of approval no matter who you are. The thing works on ios btw, you just cannot config it.
Creative got back to me on this, and I added a para to the review which you can also see below:

"Finally, for those wondering why there is no mention of Microsoft's XBOX platform in the compatibility list, Creative tells me this is primarily because the XBOX consoles do not support USB audio, unless certified under their "Made for XBOX One" program which means it is not a native USB client. Indeed, many aftermarket USB DACs end up using the USB port for power only, and use optical out for data connection. Creative plans to support the XBOX primarily via their upcoming SXFI TV media box, which houses the SXFI DSP in it, and has HDMI + USB for I/O."

They had a prototype of the SXFI TV media box at their CES suite, which effectively brings this tech to the living room.
 
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XBOX consoles do not support USB audio
Well mate, we both know that Xbox runs Windows. Well look the video, there will be the confirmation about the licensing stuff... it is an artificial limitation. I wan't to to have my cynical look under the AE-9 cover also.

but the AKM AK4377 is a DAC
Sure, it is a part. Motherboard also resides a combo DAC, so we should call it also like that? ANY Realtek controller resides it as a module block, yet it doesn't define what really it is.

It is a custom DSP, the thing Creative does for years and is good at it. How you further drive your data, via DAC or route it only digital via HDMI for example, is another story. Your fine devices like Fiio does doesn't have the balls to make such custom made silicon really. It is fine at the HW end section, okay, but this device is something else. It reeks VR really. Custom tailored settings for each owner, it is needed actually, because we are pretty different physically. It is HW mode DSP. Very complex actually... it needs so much field experience. XMOS does have DSP features on the paper, but nobody boots the code to use them really. Everyone and their cat utilizes same china driver code for them.

So basically they are relatives, but not the same thing.

I also wonder... from where those 20 years came from? Sound Blaster is already 29, and the company is like 33 years old? The X-FI is near 15? That's a tough one.
 
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Software Win10 64/none/Android 5.1.1 custom/Android TV 8.1/Android 9.1.0
Benchmark Scores bench...mark? i do leave mark on bench sometime, to remember which one is the most comfortable. :o
I also wonder... from where those 20 years came from? Sound Blaster is already 29, and the company is like 33 years old? The X-FI is near 15? That's a tough one.
excuse me? i ask my 2 SB Live! (or the Audigy 2 sitting in one of my rig) where i was these 29yrs before that... tho the SB Live! weren't my 1st creative labs soundcards, and even my actual mobo as a Recon3Di full chip, but i am not really using it nowadays... either i use my GPU (display port plus my 2.1 on the screen ) or i even sometime use the Q1 MkII as USB DAC (for headphones )

wait ... now that i re read that sentence ... oh ... woops ... it was for that one "Creative finally brings to market its Super X-Fi technology built over 20 years of R&D. " errrr .... my bad, reading in diagonal is bad ... i did read "i also wonder... where were you those 20 years" :laugh:

So basically they are relatives, but not the same thing.
never said it was the same thing (otherwise i wouldn't be interested by the SXFi Air/Air C )

tho one thing surprise me on that AMP ... if the AK4377 support native DSD up to 256 ... why it is not mentioned, did they choose to not use it?

Your fine devices like Fiio does doesn't have the balls to make such custom made silicon really..
oh... Fiio is extremely well regarded in the domain of Hi-Res Audio


muh ... now i want to give a try to the SXFi AMP ... but still the headset cert. requirement in a p.i.t.a.
 

AnubisRising

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A word of caution to anyone ordering this that Creative's list of incompatible devices is incomplete. I was stoked about this product from reading the reviews so when the UK pre-ordes opened I pulled the trigger. The SXFI app has shipped and arrives tomorrow. I got an email from Creative instructing me to install the SXFI app via the Play store but I couldn't find it. I then search the Play Website and find it, only to discover my Moto Z (Android 8.0 and USB-C) isn't compatible with the app, despite not being in Creative's list of problematic devices. I now have a £145 SXFI amp paperweight arriving tomorrow that I will have to return as unfit for purpose as I can't set it up. No idea how widespread the compatibility issues are with other handsets but it's pretty disappointing. I can't get the app to run on my Nvidia Shield tablet (Android 7) either. For anyone thinking about buying one I'd recommend installing the app first to avoid wasting your time and money. :(
 
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