Hi!
THis sounds really intresting.
I was very sceptical about creative long ago but they seem to have become more 
and more interesting as a company.
/A

> 13 mars 2018 kl. 00:57 skrev M. Taylor <mk...@ucla.edu>:
> 
> Hello Everyone,
> 
> I am posting the following article not because it is directly linked to
> Apple but because I feel that this could be a significant breakthrough for
> the future audio accessories for Apple products.
> 
> Mark
> 
> Creative's new Super X-Fi audio tech is frigging mind-blowing, CNET
> 
> Creative's new Super X-Fi audio tech is frigging mind-blowing
> The company known for Soundblaster finally has a new killer product, and
> you'll probably want one too.
> By Aloysius Low, March 2, 2018 3:08 AM PST
> 
> 
> Creative's Super X-Fi chip aims to open up your ears.
> 
> When Creative called me up to ask if I was interested in hearing something
> incredible, I was skeptical but curious.
> After all, this was Creative we were talking about, the creator of the
> SoundBlaster, the default standard for audio in PCs in the '90s and early
> '00s, but the company as a whole hadn't really had a major hit since.
> The company felt like it was in a death spiral after releasing a string of
> uninteresting products, and while it made a brief splash with its $5,800
> Creative Sonic Carrier, that didn't exactly revive the company's fortunes --
> no thanks to the crazy high price tag.
> That's all about to change, it seems. Creative's CEO and founder Sim Wong
> Hoo claims to have found the holy grail of sound for headphones: The
> company's new Super X-Fi technology can turn ordinary headphones into
> wondrous surround-sound setups. And having tried out the demo personally, I
> think Sim may be on to something. 
> Magical sound
> The name Super X-Fi may make this product sound like an upgrade to the
> Creative's existing X-Fi tech, but it's a whole new ballgame for the
> company. The tech is a result of $100 million invested over 20 years of R&D,
> all with the aim of figuring out how to make earphones sound natural and not
> feel like the sound is "trapped in your head."
> "We sold tons of headphones but I don't use them. It doesn't feel natural. I
> can't stand the sound. It's constricted in my head and I don't want to
> stress myself," said Sim.
> Over the two decades of R&D, the Creative CEO would reject the prototypes
> that made their way to him every other year. Even when the team finally
> thought it had cracked the puzzle last year, Sim had the design sent back
> five times. He wasn't even sure if Creative had anything ready to showcase
> at CES 2018. 
> But 20 years of effort seems to have paid off. The result is a the Super
> X-Fi chip, located on a $150 dongle, similar to the more expensive portable
> amplifier for earphones you'd find in the market. The dongle can turn the
> sound from your single-driver headphone into a device capable of delivering
> 7.1 3D surround sound that's natural and realistic.
> 
> The $150 dongle will sit between your phone and headphones.
> It's not just a case of pumping out 3D sound out. Everyone's ears are
> different and this affects the way audio is received. To make sure it sounds
> right for every individual, Creative spent time scanning ears, collecting
> data on how sound is received and training an AI to predict a custom sound
> map. Once that was done, Creative was able to work its Super X-Fi magic.
> And it really is magical.
> First I took photos of both my ears and face with an app to get my custom
> sound map. Then I sat down in a home theatre equipped with expensive
> up-firing speakers for Dolby Atmos effects. Finally I had to take another
> measurement of my ears by inserting two microphones while a test track
> played.
> The additional calibration wasn't exactly needed, but Creative wanted
> another profile to show how close it could come to mimicking an actual room.
> The default sound profile for Super X-Fi is taken in a smaller room, which
> sounds slightly different as well. 
> From there, Creative started playing a Dolby Atmos demo video, with sounds
> coming from the left, right and above. I was then told to put on a headset,
> and Creative repeated the video. I assumed I would have been able to tell
> the difference, but the audio coming out of the headphones sounded exactly
> the same as what I'd previously heard.
> I thought it was a trick -- the headphones weren't playing anything, but the
> speakers were still blasting away. So when I took the cans off to find
> myself listening to nothing but silence, I think I swore out loud. I was
> completely blown away.
> During the subsequent demos, I switched between the calibrated profile and
> the one the AI picked for my ears, and found that there was a difference
> between the two. Creative told me that in the future you'll be able to
> switch to different sound stages. When you play music tracks, it expands the
> sound space, making it seem like you're attending a live performance. 
> "It's like a short-sighted person putting on glasses, everything becomes
> much clearer," said Sim.
> It will be free (sorta)
> If this all sounds too good to be true, you'll have to try it out for
> yourself when Creative releases a free app next month. The app will let you
> play music you already have on your phone, but if you want it to work magic
> with streaming services such as Spotify, you'll have to wait for the $150
> dongle that's being released in the third quarter of the year. 
> Creative hopes to get 50 million app users in the next two years. It's
> planning to certify headphones for use with Super X-Fi for a nominal fee
> from manufacturers. As each headphone is different, Creative will be able to
> collect more data on how each one works and use that information to deliver
> even more realistic audio in future.
> While the company originally planned on a crowdfunding campaign to launch
> its Super X-Fi dongle, overwhelming response at CES 2018 convinced Creative
> that it had a hit product on its hands and it will be scrapping that idea.
> Besides the app and headphones, Creative is also working on wireless
> headsets with its Super X-Fi chip built in. It's also planning sound cards
> and boxes for TV sets with wireless headphones. That means you won't need an
> expensive home theatre setup to enjoy full surround 3D sound. It'll be
> interesting to see if the app will work as promised. And if it does,
> Creative looks set to finally return to the highs of its tech heyday. 
> 
> Original Article at:
> https://www.cnet.com/news/creatives-new-super-x-fi-audio-tech-is-frigging-mi
> nd-blowing/#ftag=CAD590a51e
> 
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