Collected my SXFI AMP yesterday at Creative Labs office and spent some time to attend the demo. The bonus yesterday evening is that I had a talk with Mr. Sim Wong Hoo, the boss of Creative Labs, on the SXFI and the up-and-coming SXFI Air.
If you have no idea what is SXFI AMP, check out this post. Basically, it is a very small device (like a dongle) that acts as an amplifier for your devices.
(Discount code to purchase it: http://sxfi.refr.cc/joeteh)
Check out my first impression of it and also, a hack to use it with Apple iPhone.
Before I talked about the SXFI AMP, here is something that some Apple users might be very interested.
How to Use SXFI AMP with Apple iPhone
If you have read the introduction of the SXFI AMP, you will know that Apple iPhone is not supported. However, during my visit to Creative Labs, they mentioned that someone actually has a simple hack to use it.
Of course, this is not official but it is worth the try because the sound quality is really good.
It is actually very simple. You will need to get the official Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter and a USB-A to USB-C cable as shown below.
If you are thinking to skip a step by purchasing the Lightning to USB-C cable, don’t do it. It will not work properly as the current drawn is restricted with that cable. Your SXFI AMP may not be able to work properly with it due to the restriction.
Next, hook up the cables (see the video I had prepared – go straight to 2:14 minutes mark) to your phone and SXFI AMP. You will be able to enjoy it.
Currently, there is no SXFI app on Apple Store. To configure the SXFI AMP, you may need an Android phone to download the app, map your ears and face before it is personalized to your needs.
Pro tip: Get your Android friend to help you
Let me know if you encounter any issue(s).
It is a very simple looking device. Even the packaging is very simple. Nothing fanciful. Just the SXFI AMP and a USB-C to USB-C cable in the box with some instructions.
On the front side, it has a simple interface. The top button is to turn on and off the SXFI AMP effect.
The “+” and “-” is to control the AMP output and the button between them is the play/pause button while playing tracks.
There is nothing on the back,
The connection to the device is very simple. If you have a mobile phone that has USB-C, just use the cable provided to connect to the USB-C port of the SXFI AMP. If your mobile phone is using Micro-USB, you will need to use a Micro-USB to USB-C adapter.
On the other side, you can connect it to your headsets. Preferably, please use a Super X-FI certified headset. In the app, there are a total of 15 headsets that are certified. Don’t worry if you don’t have it. You can use any headset. In the app, choose the “Unknown Headset” or “Unknown In-Ear” option.
Thankfully, Creative Labs provided a free Super X-FI Certified headphones, the Aurvana Special Edition, for the early adopters.
Demo, Usage and Quality
I am not an audiophile. However, when I attended the demo with clear explanation from Creative Labs employee, I learned more about this tiny device.
What is important is that the SXFI AMP allows you to listen to music as though you are in a 3D environment by creating the spatial sound or the holographic sound.
This is done with years of research on the device and algorithms to determine the best fit for each person. When you use the SXFI AMP for the first time, you will need to map your ears and face so that the software can let it project the sound correctly to your ears. Click HERE to read more about it.
Thankfully, I was at the right time yesterday. Got to meet Mr. Sim Wong Hoo, Founder, CEO, and Chairman of Creative Technology, and spoke to him about the SXFI AMP and also the up-coming SXFI Air.
He mentioned briefly that it took him many years of research (and money – S$100 million) to come up with this tiny device.
The team actually did not expect such overwhelming responses from the media on it but it just happened. He mentioned that Singapore is the first to launch and followed by the rest (maybe in the US).
I asked about the SXFI Air since many iPhone users are curious about it. At first, he showed me the design where the boom mic can actually be taken out and replaced with others. And the padding can be taken out and changed to other materials.
I am impressed but I am more interested in the pricing. I asked him about the pricing and he asked me to guess. I guessed somewhere above the S$400 range and he laughed. What he told me (not the official price) is something I cannot write here without official acknowledgment. I can only say I am very surprised with that rough pricing (that is why he asked me to quickly sign up for the launch) 🙂 . If you get the hint, do it now.
During the demo, we were offered special pricing for two products – the EMU-Teak (S$999) and the Aurvana Trio (S$199) at S$649 (with free SXFI AMP) and S$145 respectively.
I succumbed to the offer and bought the Aurvana Trio.
So, if you have not tried the SXFI AMP, find someone who has it to try it out. If you can’t wait, buy one now. Here is the link.
If you want to get an S$20 discount, get the discount code below.
Disclaimer: The S$20 Discount link is a referral link which you will get S$20 off the purchase and I will get S$20 as rewards.
Now, I think I cannot listen to any music or movie without the SXFI AMP. BTW, if you are using it on a PC/Computer, remember to configure your sound to “7.1 Surround” and sample rate to at least 24bit, 48000 Hz to enjoy the full range of sound.