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Creative SXFI Carrier: A Dolby Atmos Soundbar

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Technophile

Great sound for video and music, but this is not a WiFi device

When Creative and Dolby get together you can expect audio magic to happen. The Creative SXFI Soundbar is the first soundbar to be jointly developed by Dolby and Creative. It’s a simple soundbar with great sound. Creative brings to the table its Super X-Fi technology and combines it with the immersive Dolby Atmos.

The SXFI carrier is a compact design with a huge sub-woofer

The SXFI carrier is a compact design with a huge sub-woofer

SXFI is essentially all about a head-mapping technology for setting up a headphone. This does need an SXFI certified pair of headphones but you can connect regular wired headphones and somewhat experience the effects.

The SXFI carrier is a compact design with a huge sub-woofer. Weighing in at close to 23 kgs for both items, meant I did surely need help in initially carrying, unboxing, and setting up.

The main soundbar has quite a few speakers in it. There are three front speakers for the left, right, and centre, two for the sides, and two upward-firing. The sound signature concentrates on the mids and highs leaving the heavy work of the bass to the subwoofer which is a very good way to implement it.

Connectivity is only via the TV

Connectivity is only via the TV

Dialogs are crisp and clear and surprisingly music is also very well rendered. Usually, a soundbar works great for video content but not always for music. In the case of SXFI, it does handle both very well.

The top of the soundbar has the standard controls for power on and off, volume control, source, mode, and SXFi. There are multiple modes available for sound presets. We used Movie for most Dolby Atmos content and it sounded great.

The upward-firing speakers certainly gave a sense of height though not completely overhead but at least from a little beyond the top off the screen. Music mode worked well for Music but I also liked Neutral for music, I guess it depends on your personal sound preferences.

Super-wide Surround actually worked quite well for Dolby Atmos music, storer tracks with a vast sound stage and video content that was not mastered or recorded as surround sound.

The top of the soundbar has the standard controls 

The top of the soundbar has the standard controls 

Setting up the SXFI Carrier is very easy, especially if you use the HDMI eARC port and connect that to your TV. Both the HDMI ports are 2.1 so you can expect to get the best sound for most content including 8K videos. The soundbar does offer enough ports for various types of devices, optical IN, USB-C for Audio, Sub Out, Aux In.

Pretty much anything you need. The subwoofer came factory paired with the soundbar so setting that up just required it being switched on. What is lacking is connectivity via WiFi. No Chromecast, no Airplay. Doesn’t show up as a connected speaker for apps like Spotify or Tidal. Connectivity is only via the TV.

The soundbar does offer enough ports for various types of devices

The soundbar does offer enough ports for various types of devices

The SXFI does have an app that helps in the calibration of the speaker, but it is manual. Many of the speakers these days send out test tones which they use to measure distances and set up accordingly. In the case of the SXFI, these measurements need to be made manually.

The main soundbar has quite a few speakers in it

The main soundbar has quite a few speakers in it

It is a good idea to run through that process because it does make enough of a difference to the sound. Every room is different and the placement of objects, furniture, rugs and other things that may enhance or dampen the sound do need to be taken into consideration.

Overall, if you have a space constraint or a smallish room, the SXFI is a very good soundbar to have, it is not quite the full immersive experience but it does draw you into the content adequately. It is a trifle on the pricey side coming in at ₹99,999/- but the sound is great and it is worth it.

Published on May 07, 2022

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