The Creative SXFI Theater is a critically acclaimed wireless headset with excellent audio quality and heaps of additional features, not least the prospect of holographic sound and unique audio profiles built for your ears and skull structure.
Add in some extremely comfy earcups, and you’ve got yourself a winner.
- Super X-Fi
- 30-hours battery
- Desktop app controls
- Detachable microphone
- Brand: Creative
- Battery Life: 30-hours
- Material: Leather
- Bluetooth: No
- Noise Cancellation: Passive
- Extremely comfortable
- Brilliant sound quality
- Long lasting battery
- Proprietary wireless technology
- SXFI profiles can confuse
Creative SXFI Theater amazon
The Creative SXFI Theater is a critically acclaimed wireless headset aimed at movie lovers and gamers. It combines soft over-ear cups with excellent audio quality, decent battery life, and some handy audio immersion tricks to deliver a fantastic overall package.
One thing to note is that the Creative SXFI Theater uses Creative’s Super-XFi headphone holography technology. You scan your head using a smartphone app, which then creates a unique audio experience, tailored to your ears and head.
Are the Creative SXFI Theater the wireless gaming headset for you? Keep reading to find out.
What’s in The Box?
Let’s take a look at what you’ll find in the Creative SXFI Theater box:
- SXFI TX Wireless transmitter
- USB extension and holder for the transmitter
- USB Type-C cable
- Detachable microphone
- 5mm analog jack
- Instructions, warranty, and quick-start guide
You’ll note that there is no carry case—more on why this is in a moment.
Creative SXFI Theater Specifications
Now you know what’s in the box, here are the specs:
- Design: Over-ear headphones
- Color: Black
- Drivers: 50mm neodymium
- Frequency Response: 20-20,000Hz
- Impedance: 32 Ohms
- Sensitivity: 114 db @ 1kHz
- Wireless Type: Proprietary Digital 2.4GHz transmission
- Range: Up to 10m/33ft
- Battery Life: Up to 30 hours with LED off
- Charge Time: 3 hours
- Battery Type:7v 1,300mAh Lithium-ion
- Microphone: Removable unidirectional noise-reduction
- Frequency Response: 100Hz-8kHz
- Sensitivity: -42 dBV/PA
- Weight: 339g without mic, 346g with mic
- RGB: 16 million colors on ear-cup rings
- Warranty: 1-year limited hardware
The Creative SXFI Theater are wireless headphones. They use a proprietary 2.4GHz wireless transmission protocol, connecting the headset to the SXFI TX Wireless transmitter. It does not feature any Bluetooth support, which is a limitation.
There are controls on the outside of the left ear-cup. You’ll find a mute microphone button, volume dial, power button, and Super X-Fi button that toggles your Super X-Fi profile on and off—but more on that in a moment. You should note that the volume dial doesn’t control the source volume, changing the headset’s volume instead. There is no mute volume button on the headset.
At the bottom of the left ear-cup are the inputs for the USB Type-C charging cable and 3.5mm analog jack, while at the front, you’ll find the detachable microphone port.
Creative SXFI Theater Design
At first glance, the Creative SXFI Theater appears large.
The headphones are big, with the ear-cups themselves taking up space. However, that’s because the ear-cups are filled with incredibly soft material underneath the soft protein leather. They’re extremely comfortable, and you can wear them for hours without noticing their presence. The ear-cups are also easily swappable, allowing you to switch them when they become worn.
One thing you notice immediately from the Creative SXFI Theatre is that while there is no active noise cancellation, the snug fit provides a decent level of passive noise cancellation from external noise interference.
While the SXFI Theater does not fold down, they’re not really designed for taking out and about anyway. In that, you’ll only have to find space on your desk for them, rather than worrying about crushing them in your bag. Hence, there is no carry case for the headphones.
The headband is solid and doesn’t feature much padding. It has a reasonable radius, but those with “larger” heads might find it uncomfortable during long periods. It is adjustable, though, so you’re likely to find a happy medium.
Also, talking of adjustable, the ear-cups and headband brackets operate with a slight rotation. You can rotate the headband independently of the ear-cups, allowing you to find the most comfortable position for both. It isn’t a huge amount of rotation but is enough for some extra positioning and comfort points.
The ear-cups feature a nice RGB lighting ring, controllable from the SXFI Control app for your computer. I like the RGB ring. It is subtle, adding a splash of color to the otherwise black headphones.
Creative SXFI Theater Sound Quality
During my extensive test with the Creative SXFI Theater, I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the sound quality. Prior to using this headset, my daily drivers were HyperX Cloud wired headphones. The difference between the two is night and day, in all areas.
Let’s start with the audio tests from AudioCheck.net. I’ve used and abused my hearing over the years and struggle to hear the top and bottom end of the audio spectrum. Yet, I can hear a broader range using the Creative SXFI Theater than with any other headphone, which in many ways, is remarkable.
The bass is deep but not stodgy, and the mid and upper ranges are crisp but not too sharp.
Part of the excellent audio quality comes from the Creative SXFI Theater’s headline feature: holographic sound.
What Is Creative SXFI Theater Holographic Sound?
Creative Super X-Fi is an AI-based technology that creates a unique audio model for your head based upon pictures you take. The resulting model allows for two things: spatial sound within the headset and a tailor-made audio profile, unique to your ears and skull shape.
The idea of holographic sound, or holography as it is also known, comes from the idea that we experience sound as a unique experience. My ears are different from yours, therefore we experience sound differently.
Creative’s Super X-Fi can deliver a better audio experience once it knows what it is working with. You use the SXFI App (available for iOS and Android) to scan your ears and head. The app uses a combination of in-ear and head shape measurements to build your unique audio profile. After creating the audio profile on the app, you upload it to the Creative SXFI Theater headphones, and begin experiencing custom audio.
Does Super X-Fi Make a Difference?
The big question is, “Does it make any difference?”
I tested the head mapping process and resulting audio profiles on my family members, meaning my wife and kids all had a turn. The differing head mapping profiles were interesting to hear, especially the disparity between myself and my 4-year old. My profile is bass-heavy, whereas those for the kids were lighter in comparison.
Figuring out which profile you liked the sound of versus the audio profile the SXFI App creates for you is a different matter entirely. You’re meant to enjoy the personalized experience of your head map, hearing audio like never before. But the result can feel a little disorientating, especially if you listen to several different profiles in a short space of time. Is that person’s configuration clearer? Does my treble need tweaking?
You’ll note the most difference while watching a film or playing a game. I took the Creative SXFI Theater for a run out in Dirt 2.0, and the sound was sublime, with deep rumbling engines and the local environment abound. Similarly, jumping into the Resident Evil 2 Remake really exemplifies spatial sound and the quality the SXFI Theater headset delivers.
How to Create Your Creative Super X-Fi Profile
As the audio profile is one of the best bits of the Creative SXFI Theater, here’s a guide on how to get it setup.
Use the SXFI App to Create a Head Map
Head to Personalize, select Start Head Mapping. You must collect an image of your right ear, your face, then your left ear. Once you finish, the app will create your audio profile automatically.
Now, here’s the thing. Because the Creative SXFI Theater doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity, you have to download a second app on your computer to link your SXFI App profile and head map to your headphones. It doesn’t take long and easy to use but is an extra step. Furthermore, if you want to change or update your profile, you must do it again.
Use SXFI Control to Upload Your Audio Profile
Download and install the latest version of Creative SXFI Control for Windows or macOS. Once installed, login to your SXFI account (created in the SXFI App). Your account will sync the head map audio profile to the SXFI Control app, then begin uploading the audio profile to the SXFI Theater headset.
When the Super X-Fi audio profile loads, you can toggle between the default profile and your unique audio profile using the Super X-Fi button on the headset.
You can switch the profile uploaded to the headset using the dropdown menu under Select your Super X-Fi personalization. Each time you create a new head map, it will sync with the SXFI Control app automatically. When you select a different profile, it will upload the details to the headset, and you’re good to go.
Other SXFI Control Tips
While you’re in the SXFI Control app, here are some other handy tips.
You can control the SXFI Theater RGB lighting rings from the Lighting tab, switching between colors and saving the tones you like. There’s also the option to switch the lighting off completely, saving some battery power in the process.
SXFI Control also includes an equalizer. If you find your profile a bit bass-heavy or otherwise, you can tweak your profile from here.
Finally, in the Setup tab, you’ll find the option to switch between Stereo, 5.1 surround sound, and 7.1 surround sound. This is handy when you’re watching a film or playing a game and want to switch up the audio settings quickly.
Our Creative SXFI Theater Verdict
There’s little doubt regarding the sound quality of the Creative SXFI Theater headset, or the build quality for that matter. It’s a premium product, through and through.
However, there are some questions. For example, do you need Super X-Fi spatial sound? The out-of-box Creative SXFI Theater stereo sound is brilliant. While the head mapping and unique audio profile is a cool feature and sounds brilliant in some media types, it doesn’t translate uniformly.
Furthermore, the lack of Bluetooth connectivity limits the use of the headphones. You can connect the headset to your smartphone using the 3.5mm jack, so there is that option, but then you lose the wireless element of the headset. At that point, you might as well opt for a different wired headset alternative, built with wired connectivity in mind.
Also, a headphone stand with charging functions would be nice, but it’s not incredibly important. The battery lasts for 30 hours so you can charge each night, ready for the next day. On that, the 30-hour battery is another massive plus point.
Overall, I’m impressed with the Creative SXFI Theater, even with the small limitations.