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Creative Super X-Fi headphone holography

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  1. whazzup
    In my case, I feel that the SXFi makes audio sound echo-y and like in a cave. I can't say I can pinpoint the issue as precisely as you, but I'd imagine I'm experiencing something similar. The audio quality drop is bad enough that whatever positional effects are lost to me. And if I hadn't experienced Out of Your Head, or even good ol Dolby Headphone before, I might have gone off thinking that this was meant to be.

    What's making things even worse, is I recently heard got to hear the SXFi Air C at a demo booth in my local area. I was able to try it with a few videos, including a short clip of the Avatar jungle night scene, where jaguar creatures were circling the main character. Surprisingly, the out of head effect was very good! Way better than what my own profiled SXFi amp + HD 598 was showing me. I think the vocals were still too hollow sounding than they should be, but otherwise, I would even say the positional effects are on par with OOYH. I suspect they're using the mic calibrated profile. I posted this experience over in HWZ forums and another forum-er also suggested that as a possibility: https://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/119156377-post4645.html

    So yes, I'm keeping the SXFi amp only in the faint hopes that Creative figures out how to provide the mic calibration service for everyone at a profitable margin. Until then, the SXFi effect with only the head mapping calibration is really a joke, although some people are fine with it. For me, thank god there's OOYH.
     
  2. Zenvota
    Remember, when using these HRTF binaural convolution engines you need to invert the headphone response to compensate for double HRTF, otherwise 2-6khz sounds over accentuated and drowns out the rest of the frequency response. Couple eqs for example:
    20190205_015307.jpg 20190205_015208.jpg 20190205_015403.jpg 20190205_015423.jpg

    When using USB dacs and OOYH and you get the pops/spits w.e close the program, set ooyh to default in the sound properties and cycle through the speaker layout setting, than set your dac as default. If you still get pops restart the program once. This works for me 99% of the time.
     
  3. whazzup
    Oh my, you're right! This should be in some sort of FAQ over at OOYH, to just set the default speaker manually rather than let the software auto change the settings.

    "...using these HRTF binaural convolution engines you need to invert the headphone response to compensate for double HRTF,..." If it doesn't take up too much of your time, can you explain why there's 'double HRTF', for a non-engineer person like me? So this applies similarly to OOYH, SXFi and others?
     
  4. Zenvota
    https://secure.aes.org/forum/pubs/conventions/?elib=19273

    Basically you're playing back a measured impulse response and hrtf and have your own hrtf when listening to headphones. In this instance an uncompensated flat response is an ideal starting place and then you can compensate for a hrtf that's not your own from there.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  5. whazzup
    Let me see if I understood correctly...
    When I select a speaker preset in OOYH...I am getting the recorded speaker impulse response + HRTF of the person doing the recording (human or mannequin)...but when I hear it through MY ears and headphones, 'my' HRTF is different from the recorded HRTF in OOYH?

    Whereas in SXFi's case, there's only 1 speaker set up afaik, but if I was able to attend Creative's CES booth where they provided the in-ear HRTF recording, then the SXFi effect will NOT be a double HRTF, since it's my own ears (assuming I used the same headphones and amp at home)?
    Or, it will ALWAYS be a double HRTF, simply because the recorded HRTF is 1, while my present condition listening to the recorded HRTF is the 2nd....
     
  6. Zenvota
    correct, I cant find the graph but it showed when playing back hrtf convolution and measuring on different ears vastly different responses, say a 20db peak at 3.5khz, or a 10db null at 1.5khz. This can be corrected as well eqing by ear.

    and yes the latter, if its your measurement you still need to eq the headphone response, but dont need to compensate for a different hrtf.
     
  7. johnn29
    I suspect that's what the headphone selection is about in the SXFI amp. It EQ's to some sort of ideal response. The DT990's naturally have that horrible treble simblance. When you select the DT990's in the SXFI App it cuts that beautifully. That combined with the headmapping means you should get a very good sounding simulation for the loud speaker setup they were using.

    I've always suspected that in ears would be the best way to listen to binural recordings. They completely take the pinna out the picture so you don't get a double pinna response. I can't see why that wouldn't actually be the same for HRTF solutions. Anything that has a natural sound stage needs a lot of correcting.

    I wish I could download that AES paper - it's behind a paywall. Is there a way of doing your own measurements with in ear mics and calculating your own correction curve?
     
  8. Zenvota
    The only thing is the way the waveform hits your ears plays ibto the externalization of the virtual loudspeakers, i.e. HD800s soundstage.

    There are tons of tons of papers on room impulse response and binaural convolution just google that + pdf ;]

    Theres JVcs Exofield http://pro.jvc.com/pro/pr/2018/ces/JVC_Exofield.html
    THXs Spatial Audio Platform https://www.thx.com/blog/thx-announces-end-to-end-positional-audio-solution/

    Hopefully with VRs popularity we'll see affordable solutions for actual PRIR as it benefits ambisonics as well
     
  9. johnn29
    Oh great! I didn't know more companies were into this field. The more I get into it I wish I could just go and pony up cash
    How did you invert the response? Did you get measurement graphs from something like rtings.com? Is there anything in REW you did to calculate with the EQ calcs? How do you know how much to cut? I've just unscientifcally cut to taste, sounds great but I'd like to do a proper inverse curve if I can for my collection of cans.
     
  10. Zenvota
    Invert might not be the exact right word. I start with flattening out the uncompensated response.

    -Innerfidelity measurements seemed to be the most accurate for me.
    -Playing a 20hz-20khz sweep on youtube and noting the response compared to the innerfidelity measurement. It doesn't have to be completely accurate just close.
    -Setting several filters in eq apo, say -3db qfactor3.0 every 500hz, 3 of each and turn them on and off while listening to something a bit more complex or busy(/cough metal).

    And of course if you have a miniears thatd probably make things alot easier.
     
  11. Radical_53
    My device finally arrived, but I can’t seem to get it setup the right way.
    I used the hint from the other thread here and chose the Aurvana Live2! profile for my Ultrasone HFI-780 cans (very similar to the Edition 9, not the same quality of course).

    Each EQ preset I found was tinny and rather ear-piercing, though. Flat was horrible, „classical“ or „game“ where the better ones. I’m coming off a ZXR with custom opamps, even though I hope that won’t make a difference.

    Any advice? Is there any chance to get the in-war measurement done, for example?
     
  12. whazzup
    For the ear-piercing part, are you talking about the amp alone, with the SXFi off? I haven't tried the HFI-780, so I am making wild guesses here, do be aware of that. But just based on what I read about the HFI-780, for example from WhatHiFi: https://www.whathifi.com/ultrasone/hfi-780/review, if it's already 'tweaked' to have an 'exciting' response, it's possible that the SXFi's effect will push frequencies into the extremes.

    I do notice that the amp (SXFi off) by default is a bit bright, when connected directly to my HD 598. With the UM Martian, it's almost harsh. But I'm currently running it through an old Denon analogue amp, it seems to be tamed. Based on the ARTA / RMAA measurements, the reviewer had concluded that distortion values were higher than desired: https://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/...-fi-amp-measurements-rmaa-review-5931458.html
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
  13. Radical_53
    It's extreme with SXFI on, yes, and a tad bright when it’s off (compared to my ZXR).

    What I don’t understand is the EQ part, especially „game“. I used it to play for a couple of hours last night and there were some great positional moments. But then, looking at the curve it uses, I thought „flat“ should’ve been nicer. Flat does sound totally different though and, somehow, much more distant and echoey.
    I’ve never used EQs, I thought I knew what they were doing though, but then I can’t color-correct my monitors either without a device to do it for me. What I do get though is if the result is right or wrong though, and this just doesn’t seem to hit it yet.

    On top of this, I can’t even select different headphones from the Windows app. I have to reconnect the device to an Android phone so it stores my selection.
     
  14. whazzup
    Not a heavy eq user, so can't help you there. What I can think of is whether the others can recommend some eq software so you can compare.


    This doesn't sound right. You have head mapping done already? And logged into your account in Windows?
     
  15. Radical_53
    Yes, and stored to the device. I might re-do it if you’re saying it shouldn’t happen, but quirky software is nothing unusual for Creative (at least from my personal experience).
     
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