Nov 1, 2018397 views

Has anyone been watching the Super X-Fi?

This is a hasty preview in order to get some opinions from the community. I've already ordered one of these, but still want to hear your thoughts and praise for my impulsive purchase.

Photo credit: CNET
While I'm not a True Believer™ audiophile, I do enjoy great sound (and get a smug satisfaction from getting close without breaking the bank). To that end I have been a pretty consistent fan of Creative Sound-Blaster headphone amps: E5, G5 and X7 all get regular use. Lo-and-behold, this morning I get an e-mail from to announce the start of US sales for the Super X-Fi headphone amp. It was chock full of glowing reviews and a claim of 99% customer satisfaction from the Singapore launch. Creative claims that they have cracked some mythic wall between our expensive headphones and natural surround sound, the word "magic" appears seventeen times on between quoted review and Creative's own copy. ("Holy Grail" appears six) . Their approach, according to them, involves personally calibrating your device to your ears using an app and letting the device create a custom sound map, according to them AI plays a major role. The end state seems to be a transparent experience that makes your headphones disappear and allow for a truly immersive experience.
CNET's reviews of the technology are very positive and I won't restate their words:

My one reservation (right now) is that Creative's calibration app relies on a list of "certified" headphones, and their business model seems to revolve around manufacturers paying for such an accolade. I'm not a huge fan of controlled ecosystems, and it would bother the hell out of me if a Beats branded PoS got better support than my Oppo PM-3s, but I have a feeling that I'm overstating a problem that may not exist.


I demo'd the super x-fi at the 2018 CES show, and it blew me away. A year later, bought the damn thing, and configured my PC for 7.1 and it's just "meh". Didn't really feel the sound separation as clean as it did than the CES trade show. I even had a friend take a picture of my ear and everything. It also didn't help when I have an iphone, and the super x-fi doesn't support iPhones.
Here is my take on it. Don't worry about the certified, they will continue to add different models and if your headphone isn't listed there, just try every headphone settings and see which one fits your taste best or closest to your headphone sound signature. Btw if you want to find the best settings for SXFI on windows using MPC Super XFi has been for me personally, maybe one of the best inventions of my generation.  Personally, i love music, i love playing games on my PS4 and on my computer and I love watching movies and i love to pick the best seats in a movie theatre so that i can enjoy a movie with the best audio. Since space is limited where i am living in, i can only get headphones. I've got a Sennheiser HD598, then HD650 and now Emu-Teak (thanks to this thread). What Super XFi brought to the table is that it changed the playing field from 2D world where i was searching for the end game like maybe STAX or HD820 or Focal Utopia and Tube Amp to 3D world where all the terms like timbre, clarity, resolution, resolving, soundstage, airy, attack, dynamic range, etc are now being moved to 7.1. What makes Super XFi great is that when i am not using it, i am thinking of it and when i am listening to music or watching a movie etc without it, i am thinking how would it sound on my SXFI amp and Emu-Teak setup. Then i listen to it or watch a movie with SXFI and it exceeds my expectations and then some. (5.1/7.1 with SXFI is surreal)  Normal audio no longer satisfied my hunger, SXFI has now created a hole where i hope it could continue to improve and fill because I am too still looking for more clarity, more resolution, more more more but in this new playing field. I would really want to be able to change to other HTS setups using the SXFI as like different headphone is used for different situations. Like how i use HD650 for concert music and Emu-Teak for movies and pop music.  With SXFI, watching movies like Lord of the Rings Trilogy reminded me of the time when i saw the movie in the theatres, the thumping bass is unbelievable. Listening to recordings makes me feel like i am in the recording studio with the singer, singing right in front of me. Listening to live shows or concerts makes me feel like i am there in the audience. Btw totally changed the way Netflix shows and movies sound even if some of the content is not in 5.1. Most games are fantastic with SXFI. Even watching home videos with SXFI makes me feel like i am once again brought back in time to the location. (Try and test it and see how much better it is with SXFI on) Personally, one more added benefit, all my listening fatigue is gone. I can't wait for more advancement in this technology and I hope they can create a better desktop amp to combo with SXFI like X7.