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Creative SXFI Gamer headset review: Holographic game audio

Creative SXFI Gamer headset review: Holographic game audio

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

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Apple AirPods Pro spatial audio: What it is and how to use it

Apple AirPods Pro spatial audio: What it is and how to use it

  • Apple’s iOS 14 update brings a new feature called spatial audio to the AirPods Pro.
  • Spatial audio gives the AirPods Pro a surround sound effect, making audio feel more open and immersive.
  • The AirPods Pro can track your head movements, making it possible to adjust the audio accordingly as you move.
  • It’s available on iPhone 7 or later and on certain iPad models.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Apple’s iOS 14 update didn’t just bring improvements to the iPhone — it’s introduced a couple of new features for AirPods as well.

Most notably, AirPods Pro owners will now be able to take advantage of a new feature called spatial audio. As its name implies, spatial audio creates an effect that makes it feel like the sound is coming from a surround sound speaker rather than from your AirPods. The result is a more immersive sound that adjusts automatically as you move your head or your iPhone, making it almost feel like you’re in a movie theater.

The addition shows that Apple is investing in new features for AirPods beyond hardware-based upgrades, which can hopefully make Apple’s wireless earbuds continue to feel new and fresh even after years of use. It also shows how audio technology is becoming a more important part of Apple’s core product lineup as it’s rumored to be working on a cheaper new HomePod speaker and its first pair of over-ear premium headphones.

I tried out the AirPods Pro’s spatial audio when watching “The Mandalorian” on Disney Plus and “See” on Apple TV Plus, and found that it provided a much more open sound. With the content playing on my phone, which was placed to my right on my couch, it sounded like the audio was coming from several directions, especially right in front of

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