With the SXFI Carrier, Creative has introduced a new soundbar that has exciting features on board. With the technology called Super-X-FI (SXFI) Headphone Holography, Creative’s home theater gadget is a true pioneer on the market. After all, no other soundbar has come to market with this particular technology before. SXFI is the result of a collaboration between Creative and the renowned sound experts from Dolby Laboratories. The awards that the soundbar has already managed to win seem to speak volumes. We want to take a closer look at this piece of audio technology, which has won three BEST OF CES awards, among others.
Dolby Atmos speaker system
Soundbars are becoming increasingly popular. After all, they are the optimal way to bring a home theater sound in line even with little available floor space. However, you also have to cope with disadvantages with the compact speakers, which usually find space directly under the TV. Due to the compact design, they are simply not capable of producing a home theater sound that you could create with large speakers. Accordingly, audio manufacturers regularly rack their brains over how to conjure up a real home theater sound despite the low volume. Creative also tries to conjure up a wide soundstage from its SXFI Carrier. The soundbar is just 88 cm wide and tries to achieve a rich surround sound with a speaker system with Dolby Atmos that is individually adapted to the compact size.
Managing Director Emerging Markets at Dolby Laboratories, Pankaj Kedia is extremely positive about the collaboration with Creative:
“We are very excited to partner with Creative to make this unique soundbar experience a reality for consumers around the world. Consumers will be able to enjoy a stunning Dolby Atmos experience through a Dolby-engineered acoustic design that has never been seen before in such a compact form factor.”
With SXFI CARRIER, Creative and Dolby Laboratories are arguably aiming for nothing less than an outright reinterpretation of its predecessor (X-Fi Sonic Carrier). This soundbar was already able to generate positive sound experiences among many audio experts. However, the new edition doesn’t do everything differently than its predecessor. It simply retains things that worked well. For example, the SuperWide technology. This is supposed to ensure the widest possible soundstage, thus providing a spatial sound experience. However, the SXFI CARRIER no longer relies exclusively on SuperWide technology, but supplements it with one of the most popular home theater technologies at the moment: Dolby Atmos.
In terms of numbers, there are seven drivers at work in the soundbar. Each one has its own amplifier, which is DSP-controlled. In the end, you get a similarly powerful sound as with the Sonic Carrier, which, however, comes along much larger and with a proud 15 drivers. In the course of this, the SXFI CARRIER, in contrast to its predecessor, also shrinks significantly in price without sacrificing sound quality. Although such sophisticated sound technology can create a wide sound stage, you really need voluminous speakers for rich bass. Accordingly, Creative includes a 10-inch subwoofer with its compact soundbar. This not only ensures a rich bass sound, but also comes along wirelessly.
Cinema sound even with headphones
The small soundbar has yet another feature to offer. With the Super X-Fi Headphone Holography technology, cinema sound is also possible with headphones. Here, the headphones make use of an integrated AI of the soundbar. SXFI makes sure that the headphones reproduce a sound stage that is supposed to be like installed surround speakers. Whether this natural listening experience can really be possible can only be found out in a detailed listening test. However, if this is the case, home cinema fans with sensitive neighbors will be especially pleased.
In terms of connectivity, the handy soundbar comes with everything you need these days. In addition to 1x USB-C, 1x USB-A, 2x HDMI 2.1 and 1x HDMI eARC, a wireless connection to the speaker is also possible with Bluetooth. So, the overall package sounds really impressive – at least if Creative and Dolby can keep their promises. Sim Wong Hoo, CEO of Creative said:
“The SXFI Carrier is the result of close cooperation between Dolby and Creative. Only thanks to this cooperation was it possible to develop such a compact soundbar with such an impressive sound. With the current Corona situation making cinema visits impossible in most countries, the SXFI Carrier soundbar offers the full acoustic cinema experience in the comfort of your own home. In addition, thanks to Super X-Fi Headphone Holography technology, users can also enjoy a Dolby Atmos powered audio experience through headphones.”
Price and Availability
If you’re currently looking for a high-performance soundbar and are willing to spend a little more money, you should definitely take a look at the SXFI Carrier. You can buy the compact soundbar now on the manufacturer’s website for an MSRP of 999.99 euros.