Creative SXFI Air Gamer in the test

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With the SXFI Air Gamer, Creative is sending a successor to the SXFI Air released more than two years ago. The manufacturer wants to have audibly improved the sound. The new touchpad operation should also convince. When it comes to the SXFI surround sound, however, opinions are likely to continue to differ greatly.

Design and workmanship

In terms of design, the new SXFI Air Gamer from Creative fits in almost seamlessly with the series of previously published models SXFI Gamer (test) and SXFI Air C (test). The headset, which is available in this country at an RRP of EUR 139.99, is well made, but the external appearance remains quite sober. Once again, plastic is the material of choice for the new representative, only the headband is made of metal and usually ensures a secure fit. Sudden movements quickly show that it could still have been a bit tighter. The Air Gamer, which weighs around 314 g, can often just barely hold on to its head. Here, other manufacturers still often offer a higher quality appearance.

Creative SXFI Air Gamer in the test Creative SXFI Air Gamer in the test

In other ways, too, the manufacturer relies on what has been tried and tested for him: For example, the auricles of the new headset are firmly connected to the bracket and do not have a suspension, as is usually the case. Only the cushions and the drivers behind them can be moved easily. This somewhat restricts the adaptation to the ears and head, which to a certain extent also takes place via the upholstery.

Synthetic leather instead of fabric

In the SXFI Air Gamer, Creative uses synthetic leather again, as in the normal Gamer version, and not fabric as in the Air C. Even if the covers of the auricles are provided with many small holes and should therefore be more breathable, sweating ears cannot be prevented, especially at the currently prevailing higher temperatures. On the other hand, headsets with leather covers should be easier to clean than their fabric counterparts. One solution would have been to give the user the choice and include both versions. As with the previous models, it is also possible to replace the new generation by turning the cushions slightly. The ear pads themselves could have been a bit stronger, but still ensure a comfortable fit. However, their elasticity should decrease over time.

The ear cups of the SXFI Air Gamer offer few options for adjustment The ear cups of the SXFI Air Gamer offer few options for adjustment

There are no changes to the cables included. The headset comes with an approximately 1.8 m long connection with a USB-C connector on each side, with which the headset can also be connected to a corresponding mobile device with a cable. A small adapter to USB-B is also included for connection to the PC at home. In addition, the headset can be operated in analog mode, but Creative has included a significantly shorter 1.5 m analog cable with a four-pole 3.5 mm jack connector – for a corresponding adapter to connect the headset to a sound card with a separate Connecting the headphone output and microphone input is the responsibility of the buyer. Furthermore, the headset can be controlled wirelessly via Bluetooth, but there is no wireless connection.

Two microphones for different scenarios

In addition to the connection options mentioned, the Air Gamer offers two microphones, both of which are plugged into the jack input provided for this purpose: The 1 cm microphone, known as the “NanoBoom Mic”, is the more discreet option for recording voice when on the move, but with a clear voice Compromises in sound quality. For the four walls at home, it is better to use the larger “CommanderMic”, which can also be better placed over a gooseneck. There is more about both microphones at the appropriate point.

The The “CommanderMic” (above) and the “NanoBoom” (below)

In addition, the SXFI Air Gamer has a card slot in microSD format, with which content can be played on the go regardless of a source. However, caution should be exercised with the spring mechanism: In contrast to the solutions in other devices, this has a significantly greater spring force, which means that the memory card can fly through the room and disappear in a corner if it slips off your finger. This is just a warning.

Lighting included

At the same time, the SXFI Air Gamer has LED lighting, albeit subtle, which is presented in the form of two rings on the auricles. These can be selected in the usual colors using the associated SXFI software. The type (normal color or rainbow), on the other hand, is set by briefly pressing the power button on the headset.

The subtle lighting of the SXFI Air Gamer The subtle lighting of the SXFI Air Gamer The subtle lighting of the SXFI Air Gamer The subtle lighting of the SXFI Air Gamer


The SXFI Air Gamer offers several possibilities to connect to a PC, a Mac, a PS4, a Nintendo Switch or other devices. A connection via USB can first be established – thanks to the included USB cable with USB-C connections on each side, also to corresponding mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. It is also possible to use the headset purely in analogue mode with a jack cable, but then control via the sensor buttons is largely omitted – only the volume can be adjusted and only when the headset is switched on.

The SXFI Air Gamer can be fed from many sources The SXFI Air Gamer can be fed from many sources

The headset can also be connected to corresponding sources via Bluetooth 5.0 LE. There is also the option of using both sources at the same time: The headset can be connected to the computer or console via USB or jack, while wireless communication can take place with other game participants. It is also possible to take calls via Bluetooth.


The SXFI Air Gamer has a number of operating options directly on the left auricle, which can be divided into two groups: In addition to the mandatory switch and the button for establishing Bluetooth connections and the SXFI activation button, the headset also has a side Sensor field attached to the auricle. However, this form of operation requires a certain amount of familiarization, does not always work as reliably as conventional buttons and shows that existing and proven operating concepts do not always have to be replaced by new technologies.

Operation via the integrated touchpad is not always convincing Operation via the integrated touchpad is not always convincing

The volume can be increased or decreased with a swipe up and down using the sensor. This happens up to a volume of 8 percent in steps of one, between 8 and 20 in steps of two and then increases more and more. Nevertheless, almost 30 swiping gestures are necessary to go from the loudest to the quietest output (or vice versa) – this is much faster with a normal rotary control, even with a separate button, the user should reach his goal with less effort. It is therefore not possible to reduce the volume quickly. If the headset is used on the PC via a USB connection and the keyboard has a volume setting, this would also be a better and faster alternative. With a connection to a PC or mobile device and media playback, the next or previous track can also be selected by swiping the side areas of the sensor field. With the same gesture it is possible to place calls via connected Bluetooth devices on the left or right side of the headphones. A corresponding call can be accepted and ended with a double tap and a finger. The voice assistant of the respective device, if available, can be activated with a simple tap and then hold for two seconds.

Using the memory card turned out to be a bit cumbersome in the test. In contrast to what is described in the instructions, the mode must first be activated using the Bluetooth button and then the touch unit on the left auricle must be tapped with your finger. The area for this seems to be defined so small that it is difficult to hit. In the test it happened again and again that there was no reaction. If the playback from the SD card could be started, content could be played independently of a source device – but then, apart from SXFI, without any sound changes. Random playback can also be activated by tapping with two fingers.

On the next page: SXFI setup and sound

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