The Creative SXFI Air C used for this review was sent in by the manufacturer.
Ever since Creative’s Sound Blaster hardware took the PC world by storm way back in the 80s, the almost legendary audiophiles have done well to continually provide consumers with some of the best audio kit money can buy. Whether that’s in the form of modern cutting-edge sound cards like the Sound Blaster AE-9 or a budget speaker set-up like the Pebble Plus, Creative is always there to provide a solid time for audio aficionados. After 30 years, the company still manages to push audio hardware forward, and this new product is no exception.
Enter the Creative SXFI Air C, a headset that is thankfully far from as clumsy as its overly wordy naming. Designed as a 7.1 audio headset, complete with a decent but unexceptional microphone for heated Discord calls, Creative may have finally outdone themselves here.
Housed within a simplistic but attractive shell, the SXFI Air C is a surprisingly powerful piece of tech. While the prospect of an entirely wired device is an immediate turn-off for many who are making the transition to an entirely hands-free future, Creative attempts to remedy the situation with near-perfect audio playback, as long as you use the high-quality cables included within the Air C’s box.
With decades of audio hardware behind them, it’s no surprise that the SXFI line of headphones boasts consistently clear audio. Whilst the device does benefit from being connected to an actual PC – utilizing the device’s USB power will result in cleaner audio and useful headset controls – the standard playback through a simple 3.5mm male-to-male cable is crystal clear.
Unlike other headphones, the SXFI Air C doesn’t attempt to muddy the sound with any extra enhancements: it’s a pure audio experience the way it’s supposed to be. While I love the sound of thumping bass, it’s nice to experience a headset that doesn’t attempt to bass-boost by default. With the cumbersome help of a PC app, you’ll be able to bass boost to your heart’s content, but Creative isn’t attempting to fiddle with the pure sound.
Remarkably, the most enjoyable factor of the device is its conformability. As a glasses wearer, I often find myself shirking off headphones in favour of earphones due to the fact that most of the clearest headphones tend to squash the frames of glasses wearers – Razer’s otherwise flawless Nari Ultimate does this distractingly often.
With a simple form factor that simply rests around the ear instead of attempting to clasp onto them, the SXFI Air Cs are relaxing to wear. The soft, and replaceable, foam earcups are easy to forget about. If it wasn’t for the long wire trailing out the bottom, I’d probably have forgotten I was wearing then. This headset finally makes headphones immersive.