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Old 13-10-2018, 09:59 AM   #3131
LiLAsN
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SXFI Mic Calibrated Experience (not representative of main user experience)

So I have a major discovery as well as issue that I want to address. It makes me quite sad that the majority of users except for the less than 1 percent few that got the specially crafted treatment gets this.


What if I told you SXFI works for the <1% of people out of hundreds of us currently who got the Mic Calibrated experience?


The Binaural Experience

So as someone pointed out, there is video by the Verge titled Hear New York City in 3D audio.

It is based on the concept of Binaural sounds. If you watch the video by clicking the link which is in the title, you are treated to proper 3D surround headphone experience.
But take note, the mannequin ears that the microphones are stuffed in is not in the shape of our ears specifically. But when you watch the video, it works right? Like you can hear the experience even though it was not calibrated to our ear design specifically.


The 2D picture gamble

So the point that I am trying to make is, vs a 2D picture and a 3D scan of our ear canal, the results varies significantly widely.
A 3D scan of our ear canal gets us 70-80% accuracy.
A 2D picture scan is significantly worst.
Like a lot of us will definitely end up with profiles that are completely inconsistent and inaccurate.
It's like a gamble with a very big gap between striking a win or losing.
Or throwing a fish line into the sea and you don't know what kind of fish you'll end up with.


Accepting the Binaural Audio experience

But if all of you agree that the 'Binaural experience' video works for you, then the experience will be the same if we use a profile that was mic calibrated by someone else's ears.

So with a lot of thanks going to terrykorkor, I had the chance to use his Mic Calibrated profile. And even though it will not be 100% a reference experience to me, it came EXTREMELY close. Higher than the trash algorithm that I was given by the AI.


AI Algorithm Concern

The AI algorithm will get exceptionally worst over time because those Mass consumers that use them and are not in this forum will do a head mapping of their friends and families on the same account. Causing the AI to think that is still your ear design when it is actually not.
It will get that more inaccurate over time unless Creative puts a HUGE WARNING on the app telling people to just make a new profile for their family members and/or friends else it will completely mess up the algorithm the AI is trying to map out.


My experience with someone else's Mic Calibrated Profile

So I was taking a long time to get this out there as I was finding just the right headphone profile as well as adjusting the bass and treble on the equalizer to find the closest to the pure audio when SXFI is disabled. So the tone, pitch, clarity and bass all matches up with the pure main source audio with the exception of the wider surround sound that the SXFI gives. Even then, I was finding the right headphone profile that gives the least amount of echo/reverb in its 'room'.

You'll be surprised at how good the Mic Calibrated profile is that even the generic headphone profile went so well with my E-MU Teak. The gap is too big compared to my own 2D Head Mapping profile.

The few reasons why I switched to the HD 650 headphone profile are because
- it kept the exclusive right or left channel sounds where it belongs thus maintaining the Stereo experience without being too mono. (as a result of the aggressive mixing of exclusive sounds in a channel appearing on other channels resulting in the mess of sounds that sounded more mono.
- Also, the profile gave the least amount of reverb and without distorting the audio. There are other profiles that give even lesser reverb but the sound is out of whack.
- And that the Mic Calibrated profile with the Generic Headphone profile still leans towards the bass-y type of audio experience.

The final set of calibrated settings I ended up with was the closest to the pure audio experience I could get (after few hours of comparing and adjusting the settings) and it sounded amazing.
Details are not lost. Thus, the SXFI is allowed to shine and give its wide surround space.
My only gripe is the reverb is still there and noticeable in games.


Games

Talking about games, I revisited the same areas in Overwatch and re-tested it. All the details are there. It feels wider and a bit echo-ey. But it was nice.

I can also hear sound positionings too!

I compared it to the Dolby Atmos one and the Dolby Atmos in my book is the most optimized sound experience ever and it lets you hear enemies above and below you.
The SXFI was quite close too. I can roughly tell enemies above but not below me as it is still just 7.1 and not 5.1.2 but it really came that close. Only difference is the reverb/echo-ey effect.

I actually do not have any complains with the details as they are all there. That is how good the Mic Calibrated profiles are.


Disclaimer

Thus, this is where the disclaimer starts.
You should take the reviews of people who had the Mic Calibration experience with a lot of salt as they are way way more precise, accurate and close to reference than what more than 99.9% of the majority will get with this SXFI Amp.
Thus, they are not representative of the experience the majority of the population will get.
Like, it is not even close. It is quite good. I actually enjoyed listening to music with SXFI turned on as it gave me that surround feel to the songs.
It is incomparable to the profile I got out of the widely varied profile the AI generates.


The specific final headphone profile that fits the E-MU Teak and Beyerdynamic DT 880s nicely sounding as close to the source without it having weird pitch to the voices making them sound metallic or tingy.

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