Games have reached a level of cinematic quality that often rivals film in terms of audio and visuals. But developers didn’t design their soundscapes for your old stereo headphones. Those cans can often make it feel like the game is happening inside your head, but a lot of people don’t want to deal with setting up an expensive surround speaker system. That’s where Creative’s SXFI Gamer headset comes in with its Super X-Fi holographic technology. This simulates the sound of high-end studio speakers, and it is magical for gaming.
The SXFI Gamer is available now for $130. It uses a USB-C connection, which is ideal for connecting to your phone, the Nintendo Switch, and — potentially — the next-gen console gamepads. But you can also connect it to a standard USB type-A port with the included dongle.
When you use it in the right content, the SXFI Gamer blows away other headphones. And that goes for its microphone as well. Let’s get into it.
The SXFI Gamer brings games to life
The SXFI Gamer is a revelation when you pair it with a console or PC. The Super X-Fi technology uses an algorithm to create what Creative calls holography. Sound hits your ear in such a way that it builds holographic, positional audio that your brain interprets as a wall of speakers in a sound-treated room.
This effect doesn’t work great with something like podcasts. That kind of content sounds like someone turned up the reverb to max and walked away. But when I plug the SXFI Gamer into my Switch, it’s like I’m experiencing these games for the first time again.
I primarily play my Switch in portable mode, and even when using headphones through the consoles 3.5mm jack, the sound comes through as weak. But since the SXFI