I love wireless headsets, especially since they have upped both the battery life and sound quality over the last few years. Whenever I get the opportunity to check out a new one, it is a real treat though Creative’s SXFI Air Gamer Hybrid Wireless/USB headset is a bit different from the norm. Instead of offering connection through a USB dongle, there are various options for both wired and wireless connections. I was also very skeptical of how much difference their head and ear mapping through the Super X-Fi app would make. Thankfully, this headset exceeded all my expectations, and the only things I don’t love about it come down to personal preferences and not any performance issues.
- Price: $99.99 (Creative)
- Weight: 338g (with NanoBoom Mic)
- Style: Over-ear
- Battery type: Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery, up to 11 hours
- Operating Range: Up to 10m/33ft
- Frequency Response: 20 -20,000Hz
- Driver: 50mm Neodymium magnet
- Bluetooth Frequency: 2402 – 2480 MHz
- Audio Codec: SBC
- Impedance: <2.2kohms
- Frequency Response: 100–16000 Hz (CommanderMic)
- Frequency Response: 100–8000 Hz (NanoBoom Mic)
- Sensitivity: @ 1 kHz: -42 dB (CommanderMic)
- Sensitivity: @ 1 kHz: -38 dB (NanoBoom Mic)
- Technology: SXFI InPerson
From the first moment of opening the box, I had a unique feeling as if I was opening up incredibly expensive studio headphones. The packaging was well done, and everything about how the SXFI Air Gamer Headset feels screams high quality. The headband seemed like it didn’t have as much cushioning on it as my other headsets do, but the cushioning is very high quality. At no point did it hurt my head while wearing them. Additionally, when I first put these on, I was concerned they would cause my glasses to hurt my head because the squeeze of the earpieces was more than I am used to. However, the incredible memory foam earpads, covered in perforated protein leather, never once caused me pain no matter how long I wore the headset. Considering I am very susceptible to this issue, it was remarkable to find it wasn’t an issue.
Since I was skeptical of how much a difference the head and ear mapping technology would make, I first used this headset without going through that process. Right out of the box, the sound was right on par with similar headsets in this price range, with one exception. Everything sounded so crystal clear I was shocked by how quietly I could have things set and still be able to hear everything perfectly. It didn’t matter if I listened to music, played games, or talked on the phone. Everything was crystal clear without having to blast the volume.
Using the app to map my head and ears was also very easy, although if you have someone else take the images for you, it is even easier. That’s pretty much to be expected, though. Once the mapping was done, the profile uploaded quickly from my phone through the Bluetooth connection. The whole process was simple and not at all problematic. To test how much of a difference the profile made to sound quality, I first listened to the fifth movement of the Brahms Requiem, which is a piece of music I know well, without the profile loaded and then again after loading it up. Even without the profile loaded, the sound quality was impressive and had a depth field I don’t often find in headsets at all. Once I loaded up the profile, though, I honestly would have sworn I was sitting in a concert hall listening to a live performance.
Obviously, this excellent sound quality carried over to playing games as well, but it shined even more when juggling multiple inputs. Most of the time, I have to mess with the volume levels of various sources a ton to get everything to the point where I can hear everything the way I want to. I barely had to tweak anything with this headset. Game sounds were distinct from voice chat, and both sounded distinctly different than listening to music on my phone. Answering the phone while playing games without having to take off the headset was also a huge bonus. This was especially handy when playing games on my Switch as I tend to wander a bit, and my phone isn’t always in my pocket. Being able to tap the left ear cup and answer/end a call was highly convenient.
The SXFI Air Gamer headset also comes with two mics which are both removable. One is a short mic, and the Commander Mic is a more extended boom-type mic. Both are quite good and offered some of the best sound quality I’ve experienced on a headset, but the Commander Mic is just a bit better and offers some noise suppression. My only complaint about the mics is they also have mic monitoring on, and there doesn’t seem to be any way to turn that off. Which, for some people, is a big plus, but I prefer not to have mic monitoring on at all.
My main complaints with this headset are come down to my personal preferences. For example, I wish there was a USB dongle included with these as well as the cord. My computer doesn’t have Bluetooth on it, so my only option for connection was using the USB cord. This works perfectly well as the cord is extremely durable and about 6 ft long, so it wasn’t a real problem. I just prefer to be completely untethered. My other minor gripe is at 11 hours, the battery life is on the shorter side of things. This wasn’t a massive problem because I used them plugged into my computer a lot, but it could be an issue if you intend to primarily use them wirelessly.
The SXFI Air Gamer Headset is one of the best headsets which can be bought at this price point. In fact, I’d also say the sound quality of these is on par with my $350 Sennheiser headset, minus the sound canceling of the latter. Having the versatility of multiple sources and the ability to swap between them is also a huge bonus. The available option of two different detachable mics, which both sound incredible, is also a huge bonus. These are a solid set for any audiophile.
The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.