Today Creative is announcing a new way to experience audio. They’re calling it Super X-Fi, which is an expansion on the X-Fi technology that you’ll find in some of their home audio products, but this time they’re taking their spatial recreation techniques to headphones. Soon after CES this week Creative will be launching a crowdfunding campaign to gauge interest in a few product options.
The first is a dongle with the Super X-Fi technology already built-in so you can attach your favorite pair of headphones, second is either an over-ear pair of headphones or in-ears with the dongle already attached, and the third is a premium flagship pair of over-ears that will be announced some time in the future. But what’s so unique about Super X-Fi?
how do you get that same experience without hiring the Royal Philharmonic to play in your living room?
Well if you’ve ever listened to a live orchestra or performance, you know that it sounds drastically better than listening to that same piece in a pair of headphones. So how do you get that same experience without hiring the Royal Philharmonic to play in your living room? One way is to use multiple speakers placed strategically throughout the listening area – aka surround sound. Sound coming from different directions can trick your brain into thinking that there is more space available then there actually is. In headphones we call how well a pair can recreate spatial cues soundstage, and that in a nutshell is what Super X-Fi technology accomplishes.
But there’s more to the technology then just recreating the direction sound is coming from. A big part of how you hear sound is also dependant on your ears. They didn’t evolve to look the way they do just for looks. They evolved to funnel sound down into your ears, and these slight physical differences between humans changes how something sounds to you. Thats a big problem to overcome, but luckily Super X-Fi also takes this into account as well.
It’s all very complicated, but luckily none of the headache gets passed onto the consumer
By means of complex algorithms and AI, Super X-Fi combines real-time information about your head and ear shape with the dynamics of the headphones you are using in order to create an audio map. It’s all very complicated, but luckily none of the headache gets passed onto the consumer. The process is simplified greatly thanks to an app that you can download on your phone. Just take pictures of your head, select the kind of headphones you’re using, and you’re good to go.
This seems like promising technology so if you’re interested in turning your headphones into a surround sound system, make sure to keep an eye out for the crowdfunding campaign for the Super X-Fi headphones and dongles when Creative decides to set it live.