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Creative Labs' SXFI headphones

Get 3D Sound with Super X-Fi Headphones

A good set of headphones can go a long way, especially during times when families are hunkered down at home together.

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I tested out a new headphone technology that totally changes the way your music, TV programs, and movies sound.

What is Creative Super X-Fi? Super X-Fi is a chip that processes any audio from any source and promises to drastically change the way it sounds. Creative Labs has been developing audio processing chips for decades and this is their newest creation. The SXFI AMP adapter works with phones, video games, laptops, or anything you can connect with a headphone jack and USB port. Creative’s SXFI headphones have the chip built in, and the AIR models have Bluetooth connectivity. They call the technology “audio holography” because it creates 3D sound with a simple set of headphones.

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You want a picture of what? Setting up any X-Fi headset starts with the app. This app will ask you to take a picture of your face and ear—yup, lobes and all. The app uses that information to help design the way your sound is processed specifically for your ear. The shape of your ear is part of the equation that the chip uses to create the sound of a multi-speaker high-end sound system, using only earbuds or over-the-ear headphones.

So how does it sound? Pretty amazing! In my tests, it was surprising how well this technology seems to create a 3D world of sound in what appears to be a pretty standard set of headphones. In fact, you can even use Super X-Fi with your existing headphones and still get that immersive sound. I really liked it for movies and TV shows. Music sounded cool, but I prefer to listen to my music the way the artist intended it. The nice thing is, you can simply flip the switch to turn off the 3D sound and go back to a more traditional sound, which still sounded great via the Super X-Fi chip.

Overall, this is a cool experience and one of the most unique new options for headphones I’ve seen in years. For someone who watches a lot of video, movies, and TV shows using headphones, the Super X-Fi line from Creative is a good option. Kids who play a lot of games will love this too. It might not be necessary for people who primarily listen to music.

Super X-Fi headphones start at $80 if you find them on sale and go up to about $200. You can buy the headphones or an adapter ($150) to convert your existing headphones. If you’re willing to spend the money, I think they’re well worth the extra cost. They may be the perfect set of high-end headphones when you need a few hours to escape.

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