Entertainment Review, Show Review

CREATIVE Super X-Fi Amp Review

You are standing in an empty concert hall. The room is laden with deep red velvet chairs and a spotlight shines on a black piano on the stage. You smooth out the trousers you ironed just for this occasion and slide gently into a row in the middle of the floor level, careful not to bump your hips against the many armrests equipped with tiny binoculars that you will not need today. You do not need to look over anyone’s hatted head or bulky shoulders, because you are completely alone. The room echoes with the sudden rhythmic strum of footsteps on the stage, and you watch as several people line themselves up near the edge. Max Richter. Dirk Maassen. Yiruma, Dustin O’Halloran, Brian Fennell. In turn, they take to the seat of the piano and you are lulled into a stupor during this concert series just for you.

Alternatively: you sit on the couch in your college apartment, the old fake leather of which flakes away all the time. You have mounds of homework despite it being only the second week of the semester, and you feel the impending creep of deadlines tangle itself in your phone calendar, which buzzes with a reminder to email that one professor about that one thing. Yet you’re still listening to these composers. These beautiful, beautiful songs are still resonating through an empty concert hall with only you for an audience. See, you have the new CREATIVE Super X-Fi amp for your headphones, and every song you listen to sounds as if it was being played in real time.

When we listen to the world around us, we don’t hear its heartbeats directly in our ears. We hear things all around us, the echoes of other people’s lives rattling through our heads like a constant surround sound system. For some reason, audio companies have ignored this innate human truth and have given us sound delivered directly into our heads – into our bones, even – and we have accepted this as the epitome of music consumption. We spend hundreds of dollars on headphones that will never sound like the real world.

This little amp ameliorates an immensely ignored problem. With the app, Android users (or PC/Mac, Nintendo Switch, or PS4; iPhone coming soon) scan their ears and front visage. The technology within the app uses these images to learn how it is that each individual receives sound and then sends that information to the amp, essentially teaching it how we each want to hear. Any headphone you use it with will work the same way veritable surround sound works.

My imagined concert series is thick with instrumental tracks, but the experience is in no way shortchanged with lyrics. As I write this, I feel like Soren Bryce is singing to me in my apartment. A few minutes ago, Hobo Johnson and the Lovemakers performed right beside me. The Super X-Fi Amp retails for $149.99 USD. Have you bought it yet?

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