CES 2019: Creative shows off more of its Super X-Fi offerings

The Straits Times was shown a prototype of Creative's new Sxfi TV media box. ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN
The Creative Sxfi Wire (centre) is a smaller version of the Sxfi Amp (right) targeted at third-party headphones maker to implement Creative's Super X-Fi 3D sound technology. On the left is the Super X-Fi chip. ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN
A mock-up showing how the Sxfi Wire can be implemented to existing headphones. ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN

LAS VEGAS - Local audio firm Creative has announced the worldwide launch of its critically-acclaimed Super X-Fi headphone holography technology worldwide at CES 2019, the world's largest consumer electronics show.

The Super X-Fi technology replicates the 3D audio you get from a finely tuned surround-sound set-up in a room with just a pair of headphones. It uses an app to map the ears and face of the user and store a profile to provide the best surround-sound experience.

At last year's CES, there was only a handful of media who came to try out the Super X-Fi, according to Creative CEO Sim Wong Hoo.

"There were like 10 media last year, but this year there are hundreds (of media) waiting to try the Super X-Fi," said Mr Sim.

Its first product, the Super X-Fi Amp - a USB-C dongle that connects to any headphones with 3.5mm jack - was launched last September in Singapore and proven to be a success.

"We have thousands of (Amp) units sold," said Creative's CEO Sim Wong Hoo. While Mr Sim declined to give the exact figures, he said it was pretty good for a small market like Singapore.

But Singapore market is still limited. So this year, Creative is putting its marketing effort in the US. At the same time, Creative is also talking to potential retail partners in China, according to Mr Sim.

In addition, Creative has added two more products to its Super X-Fi line up with the Sxfi Air ($219, available next month) and Sxfi Air C ($179).

The Sxfi Air is a pair of Bluetooth and USB line-in headphones with built-in Super X-Fi technology, while the Sxfi Air C is a pair of entry-level USB line-in headphones with built-in Super X-Fi technology but targeted more at gamers.

During a brief meeting with Mr Sim at CES 2019, The Straits Times was shown a prototype of a Super X-Fi media box, called Sxfi TV. This media box has two HDMI ports - one input and one output - and four USB ports.

Users will need a pair of new Super X-Fi headphones - called Sxfi Theatre. It looks similar to the Sxfi Air, but is not Bluetooth-enabled. Instead, it comes with its own USB wireless dongle known as Sxfi Transmitter.

The user's Super X-Fi profile will be stored on the Sxfi Transmitter. When the Sxfi Transmitter is plugged into the Sxfi TV, users can enjoy 3D sound on the Sxfi Theatre, regardless of the input source, whether it is from a PS4, Blu-ray player or Apple TV. As such, up to four can enjoy 3D sound right at their homes with the Sxfi TV.

The Sxfi TV, Sxfi Theatre and Sxfi Transmitter are expected to launch during third quarter of this year. Pricing is yet to be confirmed.

Mr Sim also showed The Straits Times a prototype of the inline control with the Super X-Fi chip built in. Known as Sxfi Wire, it allows other audio firms to quickly implement the Super X-Fi technology into their existing headphones line-up.

"They just need to cut the wires (of their headphones), connect this (Sxfi Wire) and they are ready to go," said Mr Sim.

Creative is currently talking to potential partners about implementing the Sxfi Wire.

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