Move over sound bar, here comes Creative’s X-Fi Sonic Carrier!
As a Creative product, expect their X-Fi Pro Studio suite of adaptive audio technologies (EAX 15.2 Dimensional Audio, X-Fi Crystalizer, X-Fi Smart Volume, X-Fi Dialog Plus) to come into play to support and even enhance 24-bit/192kHz PCM or loseless audio playback. Creative stresses that the X-Fi Sonic Carrier has 7 processors with total of 14 cores to handle anything you can throw at it.
Connectivity options are extensive, ranging from Wireless 802.11 b/g/n/ac support, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth, 2 x analog inputs, 2 x digital optical inputs, 4 x HDMI 2.0a inputs, as well as 4 x microSD card slots! Take note that the wireless networking technologies it supports enable streaming and multi-room content delivery too. Here are few other notable content support related information:-
- Network protocol support: AirPlay, Google Cast for audio, Miracast, Chromecast and DLNA.
- Online music service support: Spotify, Pandora, and many more popular streaming services.
- Video playback engine support: supports 4K (60fps) video content, as well as streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu plus and HBO GO.
During the show at CES 2016, we managed to audition an early prototype unit of the X-Fi Sonic Carrier in action. We loved what we heard from the system’s ability to produce the low rumbles of bass heavy sequences. The wider mid-range was loud, but not yet impressive, while the high notes were a tad harsh in our opinion. However, we must caution that there’s much tweaking that’s yet to be done and it’s at least another half a year before you will see it in retail. As such, we eagerly await to assess this when retail editions are available for testing.
Take note though, Creative expects the X-Fi Sonic Array to be on sale in the Q3 2016 time period and it will carry a suggested retail price of US$5,000. That’s right, it’s no typo. Creative is really serious and positioning this as the ultimate sound bar seeing that many mainstream versions are quite frankly lacklustre. Hence, their positioning and branding of this product as a Sonic Carrier.
If you’re really serious of being an early adopter, Creative has already started offering ‘crowd-funding style’ pricing tiers with the first 100 units going for ‘only’ US$1,750. Take note that the Xi-Fi Sound Carrier comes with one wireless subwoofer in its default package.